Re: Chelated iron and rusty nails


 >> In general stem plants are fast growing and do not depend on their roots
for nutrient uptake.  but I never thought of Rotala and Alternantera as
falling into this growth category. <<

 I have to agree with you.  I believe they are better leaf feeders r=than say,
Anubias or Echinodorus, but I have recently had experience the R. macrandra
that leads me to
 believe that it _can_ retrieve substantial nutrition from the substrate.

 While I grow R. rotundifolia and R. wallachii without problems, R. macrandra
consistently failed to thrive in my tanks.  I did not think it was a lighting
issue, since I knew other people with less light who kept it successfully.

 Finally, I tried potting it up with potting soil, laterite and some
micronized iron thrown in for good measure.  Grown this way, I have had no
trouble with it at all.

 My theory is that since I need to use large amounts of Novaqua to bind the
copper in my tap water, perhaps left over chelators are binding liquid trace
elements as they are applied, and making something that is necessary for the
R. macrandra unavailable.  What ever is missing from their liquid diet, they
seem to be making up now from the substrate in the pot.  When I knock a plant
out of the pot, the root system is tremendous!

 Subject: Stephens  Plant Tank  II... comments welcome


 >> A word of warning - it's very difficult to get all the laterite washed out
of the gravel.  I tried this when I redid our 100g tank a year ago.  I washed
it all, then mixed new laterite in the lower 1/3.  The problem was that the
top 2/3 still had enough laterite to cloud the water for two weeks.  Unlike my
usual experience with Dupla laterite,
 it didn't seem to settle out this time.

 Save yourself a lot of trouble and get new gravel for the top layer. <<

 I'll second this one!  I did the same thing with the same results.  It took
almost a week of daily diatoming the tanks to get it cleared up.  Next time
I'll use a layer of new gravel on the top.  It's not that expensive for just
the top layer to be replaced.

 Subject: E. horemanii


 Since you mentioned your horemanii, How tall is the tank that you have it in,
and how tall is the plant?  I have a less than 1 year old 'Rubin' Sword (which
is a horemanii x barthii cross) that is big enough that the leaves lay all
over the surface of the tank.  I'm planning to move it to my 75G, but this
tank isn't _that_ much taller either.  How big a tank do you actually need to
show off one of these suckers properly?  Is the 120 big enough?

  E-mail from: Karen Randall, 17-Jun-1995