Re: A. nana, & distinguishing Sagittaria from pigmey chain sword

>From: lennylim at netcom_com (Lenny Lim)
>Date: Fri, 29 Sep 1995 16:54:50 -0700 (PDT)
>Subject: Re: Foreground Plants
>I ordered some Sagittaria Subulata and some pgymy chain swords from
>That Fish Place a while back (2 months approx).......

>.....Despite staring at the pictures in "A Fishkeeper's Guide to
>Aquarium Plants", I can't seem to tell the difference between the two :-)
>Can someone tell me what to look for? Thanks.

The pigmey chain sword leaves have a more prominant midvein with branches
coming off of it at about a 45 degree angle along the length of the leaf.
Sagittaria has a less prominant midvein, and does not have veins branching
off.  The veins in a Sagittaria leaf all look parallel.  The pigmey chain
sword leaves also tend to increase in width over the first 2/3 or 3/4of
their length, and then narrow down.  Sag. leaves tend to be much more
uniform in their width along most of their length.  Sagittaria runners are
mostly underground, and pigmey sword runners are mostly above ground.
>Subject : Anubias nana roots
>My anubias nana seems to have more roots than leaves. The reason why
>this is bothering me is because a lot of the roots are above the gravel.
>Does anyone knows if it harms the plant if I trim it? For the moment, I'm
>leaving them alone, unless I can transplant them into another tank. The
>original tank has too many different plants in it that seems to prefer
>spreading their leaves horizontally...
Anubias nana roots cling to stones or gravel in the same way that the
modified rootlets of English ivy cling to a stone wall, These roots also
have very sparse air channels, compared to the roots of most aquatic
plants, and I don't think that they are designed to penetrate anaerobic
mud.  I have also seen that A. nana grows quite well as a floating plant,
whereas those plants whose roots do have large air channels do very poorly
floating (usually appearing iron deficient), and only thrive when they get
their roots in some kind of substrate.  I grow A. nana in coarse gravel
with only a very small amount of soil below.  If your plants look unsightly
because their stems are inches above the gravel, you can free the stems by
cutting the old roots and weight the stems down on the surface of the
gravel with pebbles.  Even very small fragments of stems will regenerate

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174