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Re: Echinodorus tenellus

From: gordon.woodward at db_com
Subject: Echinodorus tenellus

I am thinking about planting a patch of Echinodorus tenellus, about 1ft by
1.5ft, in my new planted aquarium in order to create the image of a
grass prairie. What I would like to know is how fast does this plant grow
ideal conditions) and how many specimens would I need to plant in the
in order for it to spread as quick as possible?

Also, having such a dense plant covering the substrate like it does, how do
bottom dwelling fish handle this (like the Loaches or Catfish)? Would they
this area and prefer a area where the gravel is visible, or wouldn't it
affect them?

My experience with E. tenellus is that it grows very rapidly under moderate
to strong lighting.  It will take a week or two for the roots to establish,
then stand back.  In fact, one must be diligent about thinning the patch as
it crowds the bottom..otherwise sister plants will starve each other for
light and the runners will take over everything.  I've had good luck with
the plant as a refuge for fry and grass shrimp babies that were hatched
right in my community 55 gal. and survived to adulthood.  No substrate
fertilizer was necessary, but the mulm accumulation in the patch was

Because of the mulm, I would not recommend introducing cory cats into the
system.  Too much chance for barbel infection, and you probably wouldn't
see them much anyway if the patch grew like mine.  In fact, bottom dwellers
generally disapper in the stuff or just uproot it to feed.