Re:Madesgasgar Lace (sp?)question

> From: pstaeh at aplcomm_jhuapl.edu (Peter Staehling)
> Date: Sun, 23 Apr 1995 09:52:40 -0400
> Subject: Madesgasgar Lace (sp?)question
> Hi
> I am relatively new keeping fresh water plants.  I have a 55 g. planted tank
> that seems to be doing well. The setup is: DIY yeast CO2, single tube tritons,
> 78 F., 7.1 PH, (7.4 PH before CO2), small (.125")natural gravel over a layer
> of peat moss, moderate bio load, Penquin 300 filter.  Will the Madesgasgar
> Lace plant do well under these conditions?
Well, the Madagascar Lace plant (Aponogeton madagascariensis) is a beautiful
plant and all sources agree that it requires a very rich substrate. I would
also suggest you might add some fertilizer tablets. I urge you to get some
and let us know how it does in the peat substrate. We have not heard wonderful
things about the use of peat substrate, but that doesn't mean it's not working
in some applications. An alternative that I've read about is to put the
bulb(s) in a ceramic (unglazed) flower pot with a special soil. Sand, gravel,
laterite (or clay) and well composted, powdered manure is suggested although
I have not yet tried this. I need to find more A. mad specimens because they
are rare. So far I don't know of anyone who has propagated it here but you
might be the first. Also, (if you can shoulder the cost), I'd suggest putting
several bulbs together as this produces a much more pleasing effect and
unfortunately, they have a habit of dying off. Try to choose only large,
firm bulbs. Old ones will be soft and are no good with only small leaves.
Try to negotiate a package deal on several if the leaves are small but suspect
these because they may be old. You use Co2: good! I had troubles with
algae growing on the leaves and I believe this is the answer to this problem.
>   How long of a dormancy period do they need?  How often?  Is it possible to
The natural dormant period is several months however I suspect that the plant
can be "fooled" like many Aponogetons, by water temperature and the duration
of lighting. House plants can be fooled into renewed blooming after a few
weeks of subdued lighting followed by an increase so I suspect it is weeks
rather than months.
> rotate two plants so that one was always in the tank and one in cool storage?
Just rest 'em in when they stop making leaves. I think a small, cooler tank
with oxygen, a few small fish and plants and about a 10 hr lighting period
would do the trick. I'm hesitant about putting it in the fridge because of
the possibility of deteriorating water conditions. You could change the 
water every few days with tank or carbon filtered water to keep it fresh.
>   The local shop has some very nice specimens and I am unsure whether to make
> the plunge.
PLUNGE!!! I'm always here to talk with fellow A. mad. growers, breeders!
>   Any tips including recommended reading appreciated.  
Aquarium Plants by Rataj and Horeman has an extensive section on growing
Aponogetons and covers the lace plant. Anyone else have more specific, or
recent research material?