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Re: Is Red Rubin tasty? -- or - A Rubin goes good with a prune

Kirk M. said, in part:

I recently got a large Red Rubin sword . . . Since putting
it in the tank last Friday, its leaves have been tattered,
I suspect, by my Gold Nugget Pleco. The leaves were kinda
brittle to begin with because they were crusted with
calcium deposits and seemed to be on the verge of tearing
and deteriorating. It has started to develop new leaves,
but I was wondering if the new ones will be destroyed by
the fish . . ."

If the old leaves are in the condition you describe, they
are probably ontheir way out anyway -- but that isn't
necessarily a big problem, since you say the palnt it
puttng out new leaves.  Rubins grow fast and large and you
can prune away the outer leaves.

From my experience, plecos will tend to graze on what's on
the leaves rather than the leaves themselves, but this
eventually can take it's toll, causing the leaves to
eventually wear thin.  Of course, there are lots and lots
of different "plecos" and some are rougher on plants than
others.  In a well planted tank that doesn't have too many
plecos, you will probably be pruning the rubin leaves every
week just to keep the plant from becoming too large.  I've
had to do this in a 150 gallon tank (high light and
nutrients plus CO2).  You would need a very large pleco to
keep up a with a rubin once it gets going.

I have found that one can prune established rubins quite
aggessively and the worst that happens is that the plant
will seem to stall for a few weeks before returning to it's
journery towards plant-mass hysteria ;-)  But most often,
they spend their time pursuing hugeness.

The younger leaves can be lend beautiful deep red color to
your aquascape, and the gold veining gives something like a
stained glass effect -- I think this makes rubins worth
struggling with their tendency to outgrow the tank.

In a slow grow tank, with moderate light levels and
nutrients and no added CO2, a rubin is till liekly to be
one of the faster growing plants in your aquarium but it's
pace will be much slower in slow grow tank andyou will want
to be less aggressive about pruning.  You can anticipate
the pruning rate by the rate at which new leaves appear at
the center of the plant.

Btw, like bleheris, a rubin's outer leaves peel away rather
easily if you slide you thumb and forefinger down the stem
as close to the base as possible and pull back and

Good luck,
Scott H.

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