Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #294

Subject: Re: Bob H's Aponogeton madagascariensis


> A lot of these are stem plants and might tend to hide the lace plants
> if they surround them. Cryptocoryne wendtii is very nice foreground
> and in front of A. mad.

Not all Wendtii is so restrained.  In my tanks I have both red and green 
varieties, and they are 16-18" tall ;-)


Subject: Straw for algae control?
> I was watching the Discovery Channel the other night - I believe it was
> an episode of Beyond 2000 - when they were talking about algae control
> in ponds. According to the program, a farmer discovered that some straw
> in the pond seemed to keep the pond free of algae. It was also mentioned
> that whatever it is the straw secretes seems to be beneficial to higher
> life forms (plants and fishes).
> I can't remember if it clears up a pond if algae is already present or
> not. Does anyone else know anything about this? Sounds too good to be
> true. Coming soon to a pet store near you - Tetra Straw Extract :-)

Since you can use straw to start an infusoria culture, I suppose it is 
vaguely possible that the infusorians could eat green water critters.  But I 
sure wouldn't try it in a tank. (Don't think I'd try it in my pond 
> Being (unfortunately) a city person, I have no idea where to get straw
> near here. 

If you really want to try it, most pet stores (even city ones) carry small 
packages of straw for use with small animals.

Subject: Dutch planted tanks vs. high tech. approach....

> Hi folks,
>         Maybe this question is a no-brainer, but I was wondering if there
> are any intrinsic differences in approach
> between dutch planted aquaria and the high-tech approach that is mostly (?
> adopted by members of this
> list ? I know that both approaches use CO2 fertilisation, and that dutch
> aquarists tolerate much higher levels
> of some algae than North American aquarists, but what about:


> I know that my stem plants eg. Cabomba, Hygrophila polysperma etc. grow i
> excess of 3 cm per day in a 20 gal
> high with 40W Triton, CO2, and trace el. supplements. How come you never s
> "leggy" plants in photos of
> dutch tanks ? do the owners prune feverishly, avoid fast-growing plants, o
> is there a European secret ?

I don't know that much about the differences in set up between "Dutch" tanks 
and High Tech (Dupla style) tanks, although I do remember that there was 
quite a heated debate about which was better a number of years ago in 
"Today's Aquarium".

I am not even sure that there is that much difference in technology any 
more... it is more a difference in philosophy.  Dutch style tanks are more 
like a "painting" or a "flower arrangement" than a garden.  A specific 
layout is designed,(based on some very specific design elements) which is 
heavily dependent on variously colored and textured stem plants.  These 
plants are regularly removed, topped and replanted to maintain the desired 
height and shape in the aquarium.  Fish are chosen as accents to highlight 
the total design of the tank.  There are often few enough fish that 
supplementation of nitrogen and phosphate is needed.

The Dupla philosophy, which is much more common in the U.S., is that the 
tank should be a complete aquatic environment.  In this philosophy, while 
certainly it is nice to have a beautifully aquascaped tank, there is inate 
beauty in the healthy growing plants and fish themselves.  Plants are 
allowed to grow more naturally, and are only pruned enough to keep them from 
crowding their neighbors, or taking over the tank.  Short plants are more 
likely to be used in the foreground than pollarded stem plants.

The fish, too, tend to be a more major element, with most people maintaining 
reasonably diverse "communities", although most people keep the stocking 
levels much lower than in the average "fish only" community.

My personal feeling is that while many Americans admire and apreciate the 
beauty of the Dutch style tank, (myself included) few of us have the 
discipline needed for this type of tank.  I think this also holds true for 
the Ammano style of tank.  While these tanks are outstandingly beautiful, 
you have to be able to resist tucking in "just one more" interesting variety 
that you picked up at the last auction.  I know _I_ don't have that kind of 
discipline! ;-)