re: Dwarf/pygmy swords & Dupla fertilizer

>From: Michael Irlbeck <u7211aa at sunmail_lrz-muenchen.de>
>Date: Fri, 12 May 1995 12:47:25 +0200 (MET DST)
>Subject: Which fertilizer/trace elements do you use?
>So far I only put in some of Tetras Planta min fertilizer. A colegue 
>suggested I should monitor iron levels, with the MH light and the CO2, I 
>would probably need many times the suggested dose, especially in the 
>beginning. It would also control the algae (?). He uses the expensive
>Dupla stuff ($$$). Is it worth it? Who has experience with it? Is the
>Tetra stuff equal? How does the iron complex stuff keep down the algae?

The more tests you do for nutrient levels, the easier it is to balance
your tank.  If you do get an iron test kit, 0.1 ppm is about right.

I have used Dupla fertilizers also, and they do work quite well.  The
initial cost of the tablets and drops is high, but they do last a long
time.  When comparing prices, make sure you are comparing the cost per
day.  I use Dupla fertilizers at half the recommended dose.  I too use
CO2, but my lighting is not as bright as yours.

I don't not buy their KH / GH tablets, I use sodium bicarbonate
(baking soda) and calcium carbonate (chalk) instead.  I am not
convinced that their "laterite" is worth the cost, either.

>From Erik Olson
>The chain swords really do propagate fast, like Valisneria.  They'll send
>runners that covertly snake across your entire tank in a month. 
>Definitely NOT anything like C. wendtii.  Like most plants, I've found
>they do better if I just leave them alone... and that's hard when you're
>trying to constrain them to one area. 

I'll agree.  The smaller sword plants grow really fast.  There are
several species of small sword, some not as small as the others.
Echinodorus tenellus (sold as pygmy chain sword) is really small.
Echinodorus quadricostatus (sold as dwarf chain sword) is a little
bigger, and reaches 4 inches in height, with 6" leaves.  Both these
plants, I have found, need less light than Lilaeopsis.