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re: Nuphar Japonica

Hi everyone,
The link to the picture posted by Robert is Nuphar japonica growing in my 65 
gallon tank.

The following info is anecdotal, based on my failures and successes with this 

N. japonica typically comes as a rhizome, one end cut from the mother plant 
and the other end the growing part. The rhizome develops anchor roots off the 
bottom and side of the rhizome. Easy to tell up and down with this plant. The 
cut end can have a tendency to start rotting and if the plant doesn't grow 
the rot can overtake any new growth and the plant can die. The plant 
supposedly comes from the orient, but it also grows in the Cape Fear River 
basin in the Carolinas, I believe. That is where mine came from. Maybe a 
non-native? It looks a lot like an Aponogeton ulvaceous with stems.

Proper planting:  Cut any rotten tissue off the cut end of the rhizome. Plant 
the rhizome beneath the substrate with the growing end breaking the surface. 
The rhizome should be buried at a 30-40 degree angle to the substrate, with 
the cut end the lower. The plant will grow in a line, the rhizome beneath the 
surface, and new leaves will come up from the top of the rhizome. Place the 
growing end of the plant in a direction where it will have room to grow. Plan 
for the spread of the plant in a straight line . 

Growth: the leaves on cuttings are usually small, and as the plant grows in 
your tank the leaves become increasingly longer. Mine started out 2-3 inches 
in length and are now 22 inches or more after several months. The leaves 
rarely get any algae on them. Tropica states there is some natural algae 
resistance in the plant. My experience confirms this.

Nutrition: The 65 gallon tank mine grows in has PC light at just over 3 
watts/gallon, CO2 injection, and gets TMG and the occaisional root tab. I 
think the plant likes bright light. It's bright translucent green color would 
seem to indicate that also.

Past failure: I tried this plant twice before in similar tanks and while the 
N. japonica didn't die, it slowly shank and turned into a bonsai plant, for 
lack of a better word. It can linger like this for months and months. I 
almost gave up on it. I was told it liked water movement, and gave it 
current, but it did not seem to make a difference.

Current success: My interest in Discus was rekindled last year and I turned 
the 65 into a rearing tank for some babies my breeding pair of discus had. 
Consequently, I raised the temperature of this tank to around 85 degrees 
farenheit. I then planted the N. japonica in this tank, and some other N. 
japonica in my 125 gallon with temps in the mid 70s. The N. japonica in the 
65 gallon took off and the N. japonica in the 125 did the bosai thing again, 
just like before. The two tanks are identical in conditions except the higher 
temps in the 65. So I can only guess that the plant needs higher temperatures 
to thrive instead of just survive. Arizona Aquatic Gardens recommends this 
plant for Discus tanks, so maybe this confirms the need for higher 
temperatures, although they never have it in stock, and AquaBotanic does 
right now.

I love this plant. It is absolutely one of my favorites. I am glad I can grow 
it now after two previous failures. Maybe my experience can help some of you 
avoid my learning curve.

David Grim   

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