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Re: Potamogeton gayi

Lazarus, the Dennerle web site
(http://www.dennerle.de/ENGLISCH/e_frameset.htm) should have a photo of
Potamogeton gayi - enter code P70 into their search engine, that is their
catalogue number for the plant. The photo in the Nature Aquarium Book (Vol.
2, pg 52) shows how translucent the leaves can look. Another species is
shown in the photo on pg. 57 of the same volume - look for the bladderwort
in the middle of the image, there is a species of Potamogeton right behind
it, look for the plant with translucent green leaves.

I don't know what the LFS employee meant when he referred to it as a
centerpiece plant - usually, people choose plants which grow in a rosette
pattern (like a swordplant or a crypt) as a "centerpiece". Potamogetons are
found all around the world, they are commonly called "pondweeds". I used to
collect them from a pond close to my home when I was a teenager (a different
species of course). Their growth habit of all potamogetons is kind of
"weedy", the leaves grow on alternate sides of the trailing stems and, at
least in some species, look a bit like a translucent version of the common
houseplant "Wandering Jew". Some will develop floating leaves which look a
bit like a small, elongated water lily pad. The species you have, P. gayi,
comes from South America and likes bright light and soft water. Dennerle
refers to it as "demanding", but I've grown it a few times over the years
and just thought of it as "weedy" - when it grows well, its hard to kill,
but it does tend to be scraggly. Under really bright light, P. gayi gets a
red cast to the top leaves on the stem. It makes a nice, fine leaved foil
for larger leaved plants in a small to medium sized tank. If you give it
enough light and conditions to its liking, it will bloom (the flower spike
is held abive the water).

James Purchase