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Lobelia poisonous to goldfish?



I've been trying to research the facts about the possibility of Lobelia cardinalis being poisonous to my 
goldfish. I keep four fantails in a 75g. tank. Lobelia can be encouraged to root from their flower stalks 
which are allowed to float on top of the water until new shoots form. The new shoots exhibit the submerged
leaf form and can then be planted in the substrate. Right now I am seeing new growth on the stalks 
I pulled from my garden and have floating in a pan under flourescent lights. I am fertilizing them with root 
stimulant and Miracle Grow Rose food. I intend to plant them into some gravel in a small 10g. tank soon 
to grow them to a size whereby my goldfish may not trash them. By the way, I will use Root Zone aquatic
plant fertilizer tablets when they are put into my fish tank.

This is my concern. I've read that Lobelia cardinalis is poisonous to people and pets and yet from what
I've read in the archives, some people report growing this plant in their tanks for years without problems.
Lobelia is commonly utilized in Dutch aquariums where plants are the main focus
of the tank and the fish are few in number. Some aquatic plant books hint at the possibility of this plant
releasing toxic juices into the water if bruised and yet others, (eg. Tropica's Catalogue) don't even mention it.

Perhaps some fish never eat the plant and are therefore allright while others like goldfish would. I need to 
know what happens to goldfish specifically if they ingest this plant as I've not heard anything. I'm fairly
certain that the people reporting no problems with Lobelia don't have goldfish. 

The reason I don't pick other plants for my aquarium is that I've always had problems before with introducing
diseases and parasites into my tanks, in spite of potassium permanganate dips, bleach dips etc.
Some pathogens,eg.nemotodes and aquatic mites can still survive these procedures as I well know
from personal experience. My garden lobelia flower stalks coaxed into producing plantlets is a safer bet
provided they aren't poisonous of course! If you have any answers for me they would be greatly appreciated.

Susan Romano


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