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cypress and mangroves in aquariums

In a message dated 10/14/02 4:00:31 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com writes:

<< Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 07:39:15 -0600 (MDT)
 From: Joshua L Wiegert <jlw at dune_net>
 Subject: Re: Cypress and Mangroves
 I'd like to try Cypress in one of my tanks.  I've tried Mangroves ins 
 saltwater before, with mild luck.  Usually, they put out a leaf or two, 
 and never do anything more.  The leaf will drop off after a few weeks, and 
 they'll just stay ther e- not rotting, just not growing.  WHen I've tried 
 them in FW, they just sink to the bottom after a week and rot.  Has anyone 
 had success with them in FW?  
I've good luck with both in freshwater actually growing both in the same 
tank. Mangroves would have to be the easiest but bald cypress aren't much 
harder and water tupelo trees will work well to as will pond apple. My best 
success with cypress has come from digging up a small tree about 6" tall and 
putting it in a clay pot. Make sure most of the plant is above the water. As 
the plant gets taller it can be put into deeper water. the leaves and limbs 
must always be kept out of the water. This can be accomplished by trimming 
away limbs that are too low. Once you get the cypress tall enough to for the 
leaves and limbs to clear the top of the aquarium it can be planted in the 
aquarium substrate. I recommend about 1/2" of mushroom compost with about 4" 
of builders sand on top of that. The roots of the cypress will take over the 
substrate in short order and make a unique substrate. I like to use several 
trees, if possible several different species of trees. The trees roots are 
heavy feeders and they will keep the aquarium clean. Indoors I use 175 watt 
metal halide lights for each 24" of tank. I like to keep the light about 18" 
above the tops of the trees. If the tank is close to a window that gets good 
sun it may be enough to support the trees.
One bad side is that it takes about two or three years to grow a cypress tree 
to the right size for an aquarium so I usually do it outside in a pond. Water 
tupelo and pond or bald cypress make a good display together. By trimming you 
can shape the trees into any shape you want.