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Re: difficult plants (was algae)

Arthur wrote:

> >> I am of the more practical variety, that just wants
> > >the plants to look good for as little headache as
> >> possible, so I can move onto the aesthetic tasks of
> >> making the arrangement look good.
> >Nice goal, and a significantly different goal from
> >wanting to grow
> >anything that will burgeon under water.
> Roger, I don't know if you are referring to the
> "collector" hobbyist, who wishes to grow as many
> different kinds of plants as he/she can, in the
> greatest amounts possible.  Or if you are saying that
> my above viewpoint won't allow for the growth of the
> more difficult species.

I was comparing your goal to the goal of a plant collector.  There are a
few other goals that people set for their aquariums that lead them to
different ends.

I wouldn't say that your approach won't allow you to grow more difficult
species.  However, if your goal is mostly to make an attractive display,
then you wouldn't have much need to bend over backwards to grow a
difficult plant.

>  Along those lines, I want to
> throw out a question.  What are the most difficult
> plants?  I've had no problems with the often cited
> rotala family (wallichii, macrandra).  The most
> finicky plant I own is didiplis.

Difficult for one person may be fairly easy for another.  I once got
some beautiful Ammania (senegalensis, I think) from Neil Frank and found
that I couldn't get it to survive.  I think it was ultrasensitive to my
low-calcium, high-sodium water.  I tried my usual solutions for that
problem and they didn't work.  I think I could have imported water or
used reconstituted RO water to grow that plant successfully.  People
with more normal water shouldn't have the same problem.

There's also cases where growing a plant and growing it so that it looks
good are completely different problems.  I have some Eichornia
diversifolia that Tom Barr sent over.  I can get it to grow and even
propogate it a little, but I can't get it to look good.  The leaves and
stem below the top inch or so of the plant turn black and look
unattractive when viewed from the side.  I think that viewed from the
top in an open-top aquarium or a pond that the plant would be beautiful,
but I can't get it to look good in my aquarium.

Then some plants are difficult because they just shouldn't be grown
underwater.  I (and a few others) have tried growing Alternanthera
sessilis under water.  I didn't work. I couldn't get the plant to do
more than bud and then die under water.

Roger Miller