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Nitrogen fixing plants, missing fish, pruning, & salt tolerance.
This is a long winded post (as I reply to four different messages), so skip
over it or read it as you see fit.
Nitrogen fixing plants...
Well, as far as I know, the main reason for the legume part of terrestrial
plants is for energy storage. The aquatic counter part plants would be your
bulbs (like apongetons), banana plants, etc. As far as being symbiotic with
N fixing bacteria I'm not sure. I think (maybe incorrectly) you are mostly
interested in uptake of N by plants. Someone did a non-scientific (ie. not
with total proper controls) study of N usage by various aquatic plants.
It's in the archives somewhere, but I believe it is also listed on the Krib
(www.thekrib.com). This might contain the info you are after.
Missing fish in heavily planted tank...
If the fish is truly dead, count it gone. Though, I wouldn't count it dead
yet. My 100gal used to be very heavily planted, and you couldn't tell there
were any fish in there until feeding time. Even then, I never saw some fish
in there but 1x or 2x per year. I had one fish that I didn't see until I
actually tore down the tank a year and a half later (and as my wife would
tell you, I always was looking in that tank). As someone else stated, if
the fish is dead, it shouldn't impact the tank much at all (unless it is
huge, or you have lost a bunch of them). Also check behind the tank if
there are ANY open spaces in the hood. Never know if you've got a cripsy
critter back there on the floor.
Yeah, there isn't much on pruing plants. I haven't looked at Karen's
article, but she has been in the hobby a while, and probably has some good
advice for you. My simple advice is this...
Rosette plants - Just pull of dead/dying leaves. If you wish to propigate
it, then cut it across the center of the rosette. Plant both halves of the
plant, and it should do fine. Planting of these in the gravel should be
until only the roots of the plant are covered, and no more.
Stem plants - Each spot where the leaves come out of the stem is called an
internode. There are two methods of pruning (which should be intermixed in
my mind). First, you can cut the top(s) off of the plant. This will cause
the internodes to grow more on the original, and you can replant the top as
a new plant. Second is thinning... selectivly cut off some of the branches
coming off the internode areas along the whole stem. As you do more and
more pruning, this will all come natural to you. Planting of these
plants... strip a few internodes clean of leaves and branches, and place the
stem so that two or three internodes are beneath the gravel. Some people
say to leave the leaves on those internodes you bury to help anchor the
plant down. Others say they will rot the stem. I tend to strip them,
unless it is a troublesome plant, in which case I leave them on.
Ferns and rhizome plants...
Strap to wood or stone with fishing line (monofilament), thread, or string.
Remove dead/dying leaves. To propogate, cut rhizome (leave at least a few
good leaves on each piece of rhizome).
That's about all there is too it. I was also frustrated by lack of
direction when I started years ago. Don't let yourself get mad... take your
time, and it will come together.
I don't have figures for you, but you have what I would consider the most
tolerant of plants already. Anything that is estuarian plant would work as
well... so you might try the Valisnaria sp. and the other ribbon/grass like
family (which name escapes me at this moment). A mangrove tree would work
great (seed pods are available mail order). Stay away from the fine leaf
plants (like Cabomba). I think I'd also try the bog plants like Bacopa sp.
Good luck and post your findings with salt levels. I'm interested in the