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[APD] Eichhornia azurea

Gary wrote:

>> I am trying to work the palm plant into some sort of aquascape without
the plant actually taking over the tank.  Those of you that have worked with
the plant in the past know that it grows very quickly and a large "thick"
one can easily spead to a width of 16 inches for one shoot.  If you get lazy
and allow it to break the surface of the tank then you find that it turns
into a rather ugly E. crassipes - water hyacinth type of leaf instead of the
beautiful wavy green palm leaf.  From my experiences, even after cutting
these leaves back below the surface, they continue to produce the
undesirable leaves.  I want to try to produce a lot of fairly "thin" fronds
that can be used for aquascaping.  I think several of these with a 6-8 inch
spread could look interesting - at least for a short term setup.  Does
anyone have a suggestion for producing several fronds from one stem?  For
something like Ammannia gracilis if I want a lot of smaller, thinner plants
all I have to do is let the lower half of a stalk float on the surface for a
few weeks.  I get new plants coming out at each of the nodes.  Trying the
same thing with azurea might get me one plant but usually all I get is a
rotten stem.  While I'm asking how have others used this plant for
aquascaping?  Even in a large tank such as my 2x2x7 footer it's been
difficult trying to get it to fit in. <<

Hi Gary,

I've had no trouble getting 3-4 new stems to sprout from the bottom part of
the stalk after I top it.  These are a _little_ less "robust" than the
thicker, original piece, though I think they are STILL more than 6-8"
across.  The stems are _deffinitely_ thinner, and a little more graceful.
This might be a good plant to try Amano's pruning method with, and just keep
trimming it back hard.

It's such a pretty plant, but like you, I haven't found a way to use it more
than very temporarily that I'm happy with from a design standpoint.

Hey, now that you've got that fancy new camera, are you gonna take on the
challenge of a planted tank photo in the NEC contest?  I'll even go to bat
for them to add a class for them if I can get some other people to enter!<g>


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