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> Thanks Tom & Brian. The question I now have is does this plant grow in
> aquaria? How does it look? Do the cyano bacteria the plant exists with in
> mutualism ever run afoul in the aquarium?
It sure does grow and is quite attractive IMO for a floating plant. It can
be somewhat like Duckweed though but easier to remove. I'm sure there's some
images around on the web on it.
Check the Family Azollaceae. Very likely some floating around Florida
somewhere. I found a ton of it in CA. Common name is water velvet. You can
grow it in ditch just like Duckweed.
I know there's a book or two around that has a photo in there that APD folks
use. Try Baensch's stuff.
As far as the cyano causing problems for your tank in this plant I don't
think they are the same species of cyano's or the same genera even. Azolla
does fine in every tank I've ever had it in. If you have a thick mat of
Azolla and no turn over etc it may form(the stuff we don't like) but Azolla
doesn't need this type for the mutualism. The presence of the other bad type
is just the same as if you had duckweed mats in there, not because of the
Azolla and it's tag along cyano friend.
There's many types of of Cyano's out there. Some form some basis for
nutrient cycling in N limited Pacific Gyre in the Pacific where there's a
fair amount of nutrients but no N at certain times of the year. They add
lots of O2 and N to depleted surface waters.
It's a global scale thing really. The dynamics are quite interesting and are
analogous to some of our own methods of algae control/limiting nutrients in