fw: Plant ID, Acorus, Java Fern, CO2 refills

Yet another forwarded message.  This time from Karen Randall.


---forwarded message---->

Date: 01 May 95 10:18:19 EDT
From: David Randall <76535.2776 at compuserve_com>
To: <Aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
Subject: Plant Stuff
Message-ID: <950501141819_76535.2776_DHL78-2 at CompuServe_COM>

K.C. Wong

 >> I need some help on ID'ing a plant I acquired a few weeks ago. The plant
looks very similar to Java Fern in that it has clasping roots and rizhome and
the same coloration. But the plant I got has longer upright
 stems that produces 3 leafs instead of one. The leafs are smoother than Java
Fern leafs. <<

 It's not Java Fern, though it is a similar plant.  It's the emersed form of
Bolbitis heteroclita. (Looks like Poison Ivy to me!<g>) Unlike B. heudelotti,
it is an Asian plant, and really does better emersed.

 Grown submerged, the leaves are much smaller, lighter green and very curly. 
It does not grow particularly well ... it seems to limp along without
developing into the beautiful display we expect from other aquatic ferns. I've
had a section in my tank for about two years, but in that length of time, the
rhizome has grown only from about 3" in length to about 9", IMO not much
progress in 2+ years! I really don't like it very much, and have kept it only
as an "oddity".  I keep meaning to get rid of it.  Only inertia stands in my


 >> However, a couple of people have said on the net that they were able to
get Acorus to grow. <<

 I was very surprised when I learned that Acorus wasn't supposed to do well
submerged.  I have a specimen that I have had for over 4 years, have divided
several times and have spread to other people locally who have also done OK
with it.  It is not a fast grower, but seems to plug along faithfully.  It
_does_ seem to need a lot of light.  The only division I've lost was one that
became shaded by a large stand of Bolbitis without me noticing.  The whole
plant sort of disintegrated, with all the leaves separating from the base.

 It may be that if you can obtain a piece of a plant that is truly acclimated
to underwater life it does better. Mine _did_ come from another hobbyist, not
a store.

 Re: Java Ferns

 I think when people start scrutinizing their Javas, they will see definite
differences.  Size of the plants is somewhat dependent on conditions, but with
the two "normal" varieties I have, (the new ones are very distinctive, and
cannot be confused with the others) they are really quite different even if
you have two plants of the same size in your hands.

 The large one is a light bright kelly green, very ruffled, and with broader
leaves.  The small one is much darker, and the leaves are much narrower.  They
have a puckered surface, but are not anywhere near as ruffled as the larger
variety.  These differences are obvious even in plantlets.  I can take a
handful of plantlets that have been floating free in the tank and as small as
1 12" in length and accurately divide them by type.  This holds true for M.p.
'Windelov' as well.  'Tropica' is a little harder because the deep
indentations in the leaf margins only develop as the leaf gains some size. 
Until those indentations (or streamers might be a more accurate description)
develop, the plantlets look very similar to those of the larger variety of
Java fern.

 Subject: CO2 refills

 I just had an irritating experience I thought I'd share. My CO2 tank on one
of my aquariums has been running for over 10 months, and I knew I was getting
close to needing a refill.  But there was still some pressure in the tank, and
I was still getting bubbles, so I was just keeping my eye on it.

 I noticed the pH starting to drift upward, so I kept adjusting my bubble
count up to keep it where I wanted. The plants were also sort of lagging
during this period. I should have realized that wasn't right, but I was busy,
and just didn't make the connection.  I recently got the tank refilled, and
things are doing much better.

 When I noticed that, I started asking around, and was told that there are
different "grades" of CO2.  Apparently, the last time I had the tank filled
(at a different place than I usually use) they used a lower grade of CO2 which
contained contaminants.  While I was getting some kind of gas out of the tank
toward the end, heaven only knows what it was.  It probably didn't have a ton
of CO2 left in it anymore.

 From what I was told, you want to specify the grade of CO2 used for human

 Hope this saves someone else a down-turn in their tank!

  E-mail from: Karen Randall, 01-May-1995