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Rotten roots

On Thrusday two weeks back I was setting up a spawning tank for an 
anticipated pair of Apistogramma borellii "opal".  I was roaming through the 
local PetSmart and ended up taking home a couple bunches of Cabomba 
carolinianus and a potted watersprite, probably C. silisquosa.  When I 
unpotted the water sprite, i noticed the roots in the rockwool were brown and 
smelly (I won't try to describe the oder- most of you have already been 
there).  I planted it anyway and crossed my fingers.

The cabomba did fine and is getting longer in a typical cabomba fashion.  I 
wish I could get C. americana to do that.  The watersprite proceeded to 
slowly turn brown.  There were three rootstocks altogether.  Two days ago I 
was doing tank maintenance and sucked one of the three out through the siphon 
and just let it go with the waste water.  The other two, while the old growth 
continues to slowly die away, also is putting up new, very healthy-looking 
shoots.  This is a low-tech ten gallon (35liter) with a little peat in the 
substrate, and Natural Gold in the water column.  I am hoping this stuff will 
turn into a "nitrogen sponge" for the health of the fry.  The gravel is 
epoxy-coated reptile sand.  I was going to include some pyrophillitic clay, 
but the local supplier failed to deliver it within a month.  I finally got it 
on the internet, but not in time for this tank.

I would have just floated it, but it had grown in a pot, and was so 
"verticle" in structure that I couldn't get it to float in a watersprite type 
pattern.  I intend to let the plantlets that develop off it to just float.

Has anyone else had Ceratopteris go through this and come out healthy?  Or it 
likely that in the end the stuff will just keel over and die?

Bob Dixon
Cichlid Trader List Administrator