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Rotala macrandra (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 17:28:52 -0400
From: Karen Randall <krandall at world_std.com>
To: Aquatic Plants Digest <Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com>
Subject: Rotala macrandra

> How long have you  grown Macrandra successfully?

A long time... maybe 10 years?

> Before you were successful, were you unsuccessful (and what changed that)?

I learned how to grow plants.<g>  Seriously, when I met someone with a
German aquarium background who taught me about substrates, lighting and
supplemental CO2.

What are your tank conditions:

Lighting - I've grown it under MH's, NO flourescents, energy efficient
T-8's, and compact fluorescents.  The amount of light has varied from just
over 2 w/g to a little over 3 w/g.  I mostly use bulbs with a color
temperature between 5000-6500K, but that's personal preference... I've also
used 2700K bulbs a couple of times when that was what was around.

Temp - 72F-82F, indoors and variable outdoors in my tub pond. Interestingly,
it flowered there late in the fall, when the temperatures were low, and the
days were short.  It was cold enough that I put it in a bucket and carried
it in every night to avoid frost until it flowered and I could get my HAP
points for it.

pH - 6.5-7.5

KH - 3-6 dkh
Ca (ppm)- never measured
Mg (ppm)-   "
Cl (ppm)-     "

Fe (ppm)- I'm leery of Fe measurements.  I think we're often not talking in
the same language.  In the days when I tested for iron much, using the Dupla
Fe test kit, I needed to see SOME color to keep the plant happy.  The lowest
comparator in the kit is .05 mg/L  so perhaps it could have been as low as

additives/frequency (PMDD, KNO3, CaCl, CaSO4, etc...)?  I add Tropica
Mastergrow and KNO3 to the tanks twice a week, and change about 1/3 of the
water (which adds a small amount of PO4) every couple of weeks.

Substrate/additives/cables...  Most tanks have been set up with quartz
gravel and laterite. (Dupla laterite in the early days, the Karl Schoeler's
Substrate Gold)  I had one tank that had a soil substrate.  There were a
number of different problems with the tank, but the R. macrandra grew fine.
I have one tank with Seachem Flourish, and that does fine too.

Anything else you can think of... In the early days, when I way concerned
about keeping nutrient levels in the water column as low as possible, I
found that R. macrandra did best for me potted in soil.  I hust hid the pots
in the back of the tank.  The plants would become pot bound fairly quickly,
(about 3 months) and I'd need to cut the stems off at ground level, knock
the pots out, replace the soil and gravel and replant the stems.  This
worked quite nicely.  After Steve and Tom convinced me to be braver, I have
had no trouble growing it without soil.  I suspect it would grow fine
planted in sterile quartz gravel as long as nutrient levels in the water
column were kept up.