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Re: [APD] Re: water sprite temperatures

I think you might find small diffs depending on whether you
are talking about Ceratopteris thalictroides, which
comprises fine leaf and thread leaf varietes, and
Ceratopteris cornuta, which has broader leaves and more
easily forms new plantlets at the leaf margins, especially
when floating. 

C. cornuta is what is commonly available in the lfss in my
neck of the woods, and C. thalictroides is actually harder
to come by. However, I imagine this varies from place to

Both species are supposedy very tolerant of hardness,
temps, and pH. I've had success with them in relatively
soft, sligtly acid water with temps in the upper 70s F-low
80s F range. I believe C. thalictroides can withstand
cooler temperatures than C. cornuta, although I have never
personally tried to test their limits down in the 50-60F
range. C. Cornuta is much less tolerant of being totally
submerged. I pretty much consider that species a float-only
plant -- although one can cheat here and propogate it
floating and rotate substrated-planted specimens with new
mass from the floating stock.

They enjoy lots of light and nutrients, including CO2. I
think this is why they generally seem to grow better
floating than submerged or planted in the substrate. C.
cornuta especially seems to much prefer to float and I
don't have very good results with it totally submerged.
With intense light, C. thalictroides should do well
submerged in a rich substrate, preferably with CO2 enriched
water. I don't know if one can overfeed water sprite, I
only know that one can underfeed them.

If you have one of these species floating and the upper
leaves appear browned but the lower leaves are healthy,
then they are probably being scorched by the lights -- 
raising the lights slightly might make a big diff.

If the lower, submerged portions of a floater are browning
but the at-surface and near surface leaves are fine, I
would suspect inadequate CO2.

If the the plants are weak all over, I would suspect a
nutrient deficiency, in particular, nitrogen.

Even in a CO2 enriched aquarium, I have found that C.
cornuta much prefers to float or at least have a
significant portion of its mass in contact with the

Assuming your water is somewhere in the 70s, I would try,
one at a time, softer water, floating vs submerged, more
nitrogen, more traces, to see if any of these are part of
the problem. If you have a small quarantine aquarium, you
might try using that as a test tank. You could try these
all at once, but then you won't know which hook caught the
fish :-\ .

Hope that helps,
Scott H.
--- REDRAGON40 at aol_com wrote:
> Jerry:  Most of my tanks are at least half covered, and I
> use  mostly glass 
> covers with strip lights on top.  I really don't recall 
> what kind of covers 
> were on the tanks that had water sprite, or how warm it
> was,  but one person I 
> know has it growing like mad in rainwater in an uncovered
> tank  on the floor of 
> a basement by a patio door (not very warm).  What temp,
> pH,  light intensity 
> do you recommend?  Does the really fine leaved type
> require  the same 
> conditions as the more common type?

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