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I just joined the list and thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Eric Johnson and
I live in Bothell, WA, north of Seattle. My water out of the tap is usually
nitrate-free, high PH (8ish), no carbonate hardness, but a few degrees of non-carbonate

I'm not yet seriously into aquatic plants, but have dabbled in them for a year
or more with mixed results. I keep various rainbowfish almost exclusively in
my 4 tanks, along with SAEs and an occasional loach of the genera botia when
the snails annoy me. 

I've had mostly poor experience in a 29 gal tank with a plain gravel substrate.
Hornwort and Elodea grow like crazy in this one, but plants like various swords
don't live long, or at least don't really flourish. Swords tend to get very
yellow veins, and a waxy appearance to the leaves, and the leaves often curl
up. Does this ring any bells?

A long-living java fern in this tank suddenly dropped all its leaves with no
explanation, but is sprouting new ones now. 

Six months or so ago I set up a simple 10 gallon tank to experiment with some
plant ideas.  This tank has been far more successful. I think substrate makes
a major difference here. I used a couple inches of arcillite with osmocote mixed
in, with gravel atop of that. Many kinds of plants are doing pretty good in
this one. Swords in this little tank don't get nearly so waxy or have such yellow

These results have been encouraging, so I've just recently (a week or two ago)
set up a larger version in my 55. The tank is still cycling and I'm waiting
for some new lights from AHsupply before I actually add any plants to this new
setup, but I'm really optimistic. 

I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions. I'm really just a newbie at plants.

p.s. dumb newbie question: what is PMDD and TMG?