Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #291

Subject: Micranthenum spec.

> On page 111 of TOA Horst & Kipper have a photo of a smallish
> (mid-tank) plant with lanceolate leaves they call Micanthenum
> umbrosum. Amano uses this plant as well in many of his tanks. Dennerle
> lists several Micanthenum spec. (M 30 - M 33) and gives them the
> common name of `Helzine' and says they orginate from America. However,
> if you open Yoshimo/Kobayashi's "The Natural Aquarium" you'll see what
> appears to be the same plant called Hemianthus micranthemoides. And James
> does not include this plant in his book.
> Do any of you have any experience with this plant and know where I
> might get some? (Since it's suppose to be an American plant you would
> think I would have seen it before, but I haven't.) What is it's correct na
> On a whim I just opened Baensch and found some of the info I was
> looking for - Micranthemum micranthemoides is a synonym for Hemianthus
> micanthemoides. They mention it is from Cuba and the southeasten U.S.,
> and is also called `Pearlweed'. Is this stuff commonly available in
> other places in the U.S.?

It grows wild in Florida, and is shown on the Florida University video tapes 
of aquatic plants.  It is also known as "Babys Tears" and grows both emersed 
and submerged.  Funny thing is that I have had the emersed form (from the 
grocery store florist department) growing in my Paludarium for years.  I 
noticed that the parts that strayed underwater seemed perfectly happy, but 
never made the connection until I saw the tape.  Just assumed they were two 
different plants with the same common name!<g>



Subject: Effects of peat & tannic acids


> I would speculate that TOA is concerned with reduction of light levels
> and getting the water too soft when peat is used to create
> "blackwater" type conditions.  I would not see peat in the substrate
> doing the same things.

Peat in the substrate _does_ do the same thing.  I have been experimenting 
with it in my Paludarium.  There is enough leaching from the substrate to 
color the water quite significantly, although that is less of a concern in 
the paludarium since the water is only 12" deep, and the light doesn't have 
to penetrate as far.  The water is also much softer, and the pH has dropped 
from 8.2 to about 7.

Don't know how long the effect will last, but it's been in there 3 months 
now, with 50% water changes weekly, and it's still cookin'.