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Re: The price of Microsorum Pteropus

Damien wrote:
>Actually I wasn't the person who said:
>"Java Ferns seem so ridiculously overpriced and my question is why? I
>have seem them selling for up to $30 per plant! They are hardy and do
>not take long to grow.= They should sell for around $6 per plant."
>The following link is to a forum (Boronia Aquarium Fish Forum) where the
>question (or complaint) was asked/made by someone ELSE:

Yes, I was aware that you were passing on someone else's complaint/lament.
Thanks for providing the link so that I could read the original post and the
follow up comment. When quoting a 3rd party, it is always helpful to provide
a link to the original statement, if that is possible. It helps put things
into the proper perspective.

>I was just saying in MY experience java fern had grown quite easily and
>cheaply. In fact I have NO idea of the costs associated with producing
>high quality aquatic plants commercially and have never personally
>complained about the cost of java fern via retail sources (although I
>did get really :%*!@* mad  when I discovered that a lot of plants I
>repeatedly bought which were sold as aquatic, and couldn't keep alive,
>weren't and that some were actually common houseplants). I was hoping
>helpful and well informed people on this list would share their opinion
>or knowledge on the subject and perhaps initiate a discussion on
>commercial plant growers. That's what I thought was supposed to happen
>on this list, an exchange of information to enlighten or educate others
>on all aspects of growing aquatic plants- including the commercial
>aspect of the hobby. All I wanted was just to discuss what it does take
>to grow java fern commercially; why it is so different from growing java
>fern at home, whether it is grown emerse or submerse, are artificial
>lights used and so on.
>Damian :-\

In my experience as well, Java Fern is very easy to grow and in my earlier
response to you I said that. But I also pointed out that growing plants in a
commercial setting can entail a lot of expenses that you might not be aware
of. I also suggested that if commercially grown plants are too expensive for
you maybe you could obtain plants from other aquarists through trades. This
is a very widely used practice - most of us trade excess plants and it can
save you a lot of money.

I can also understand your disappointment when you discover that a plant you
bought is not really an aquatic. This is probably happening less often now
(at least here in Toronto) than it did years ago as both shop-keepers and
hobbyists become more familiar with aquatic plants. But the consumer (you)
does have to shoulder a bit of the responsibility here - there are many
books available on aquatic plants suitable for use in an aquarium. It is
always wise to check with a reliable reference BEFORE buying something you
are not familiar with. I have been growing aquatic plants in my aquariums
for over 30 years but I STILL thow a few reference books in my knapsack
before I head out on a shopping trip to local aquarium stores. If I see
something I am unfamiliar with, I look it up before I buy it. It helps to be
aware that many dealers/growers still mislabel/misidentify the plants they
sell - this isn't being done on purpose, it usually means that they are
relying on out of date references.

The rest of your post gives me the impression that you are pissed off at me
because I either didn't agree with you or that I didn't give the information
you wanted to read. Sorry, that's life, no offense intended. As you admit,
you have no idea of the commercial realities of running an aquatic nursery.

There can be wide differences in the quality and price of the same species
of plants from different nurseries. In general, plants imported from south
east Asia would probably be cheaper than the same species imported (for
example) from Tropica in Denmark. Tropica, being located in a country that
is far from tropical would incur more expense to product the plants it
sells, in Singapore growers could take advantage of year round warmth and
free sunshine. But for many of us, the consistently high quality of Tropica
plants is worth a few extra dollars. You as a consumer have to decide how
much you are willing to pay.

It can also help if you develop a relationship with one or more local
dealers - let them know that you are interested in buying true aquatic
plants and discuss with them (calmly) the quality they currently have on
hand vs what you as a customer would like to see. I have seen a marked
increase in the quality of plants offered by at least one local retailer
here in Toronto which is at least in part due to requests from a number of
people who are on the APD and live here in Toronto. Good dealers value input
from their customers and they realize the value of word of mouth

Othere than this, I don't know what to tell you.

James Purchase