Nymphaea, Nuphar, tech, etc.

> From: "shaji (s.) bhaskar" <bhaskar at bnr_ca>
> I've had quite good success with water lilies.  I bought some generic
> "Nymphaea species" bulbs from Walmart, and they did well enough that
> the bulbs grew much larger.  I finally sold off the whole lot at an
> auction.

These are normal water lilies, right?  The kind that grow really huge and 
are meant for outdoor ponds.  The ones I've had no luck with are the 
"dwarf" bulbs sold in aquarium stores: N. stellata, N. maculata, N. lotus(?).
Perhaps I need to take a trip to Wal-Mart, now that we have them here.

> I currently have a single red spatterdock that I bought oh, maybe 
> three years ago.  I really like this one, it tends to stay submerged, 
> unlike most water lilies that I tried.

Is "red spatterdock" really spatterdock?  Dumb question, I know, but I've 
wanted to grow spatterdock for years.  It's a creeping rhizome like 
Anubias, and they sell you an end-cutting which usually rots after a 
month or two.  Zo tell me more about zis plant ov yourz. :)

> As a side note - it is interesting that Erik and I seem to have
> difficulty with different species of plants, even though we both have
> CO2 injection.  My Giant Hygro (Nomaphila stricta) and lilies grow
> like weeds, but Erik seems to have trouble with them.  

That's fixed now.  The lesson is: Give the giant hygro lots of space,
and make sure the cuttings are at least 5" tall when you lop them off.

> I have very
> little success with Alternanthera, but seem to remember that Erik said
> he had good luck with them.

This has also changed now.  The lesson is: Don't give the giant hygro
planted next to the Alternanthera too much space, or they'll get choked
out. :)

But seriously, the deal on Alternanthera seems to be to make sure you have
the right species.  If the stalk feels wooden and the leaves are oval,
it's the evil emersed species which will die after a month.  If the stalk
is thicker (1/8") and squeezable and the leaves pointy, it's the "good" 
kind that will grow like weeds. 

>  CO2 and substrate heaters, it seems, are
> not the answer to all aquatic gardening problems.

Certainly.  This technological terror we have created is great indeed, but
its power is insignificant next to THE FORCE.  Aquatic gardening comes from
within, not without. 

OK, I *am* in a cornball mood today.  But I'm kinda serious... I've seen 
a few people (myself included) believe that CO2 will turn them into a 
super-gardener.  Here is an illustration of two possible outcomes of this:

Anecdote #1:  One such person spent thousands of dollars building a
300-gallon tank with full CO2 and 600W of Metal Halide lights.  When it
was done, he threw in several hundred dollars worth of plants and fish. 
He ended up with 300 gallons of red brush algae and no clue on how to get
rid of it, because he only understood the surface of what was going on. 

Anecdote #2: Another such person, a good friend of mine, set up the yeast
bottle trick on his 29gallon tank that he'd been unsuccesful growing
plants in.  In the last 6 months, he's been reporting better and better
success, and crediting it all to the CO2.  And his tank IS beautiful now
(I will try and persuade him to write an article about it for the Krib). 
But in talking to him about his CO2, I found that his pH didn't change
when he "injected" the CO2, and the bubbling rate was something like one
per 15 seconds or less.  In effect, no CO2!  A PLACEBO!  On the other
hand, he's been using peat and fertilizer in his substrate, keeping 60
watts of full-spectrum light on the tank, not overstocking the tank, and
growing only appropriate plants for the tank conditions.

Woah, way too long message.

Erik D. Olson                		Virtual Employment is Real...
olson at phys_washington.edu