Re: Pond plant?

justin_frese at csufresno_edu (Justin Frese) asked:
>      I was wondering if anyone knew what sort of plant I occasionally
> see at the local shop.  It looks like hundreds of little lilly-pads
> aprox. 4-6mm across.  Are these intended for tanks?  Iwould think that
> the lighting would cook those little guys!  The pet shop has no idea
> about anything. (I think they throw darts at the order sheet to help
> decide what to carry)
>      Can anyone help?

I thought you meant "Amazon Frogbit" (Limnobium laevigatum) until 
I re-read your post.  This plant has a "lilly-pad" type appearance,
but with leaves 2-3 cm across.  Since the 4-6 mm you described
is rather small, I'm guessing you are seeing "duckweed"
(Lemnaceae) that establishes and grows quickly (and often
must be thinned).  The plant is often established in an aquarium
by accident, but grows well anyway.  My P. scalare ate all of mine,
though.  You are right--you might want to keep the light from
cooking the little guys, but it does require a lot of light.

I have TONS of Limnobium laevigatum in my tanks, and am pretty
irritated that I paid a plant shop $5 for a couple of shriveled
up pieces.  They propagate quickly, and now took over the top
of my tank.  I like the floating plant contrast, but must get
rid of a bunch of it (or nothing will grow in the bottom of
the tank).  I am still not ready (emotionally) to throw away such
big healthy specimens (especially after I paid $$ for little
junky ones), so anybody that wants some can have it for free.

Just drop me a line, I have a steady supply.  :-)

BTW--There was a string of posts a few months ago on aphids
living on the surface of tanks in these plants.  I had a BUNCH
of aphids living on these plants, and would "dunk" them under
every now-and-then for the fish to get live food.  Because I
had too many aphids, I then put them all in a collinder (sp.?)
and submerged it.  One-by-one the aphids would float up to the
top to breathe, and my tetras would pick them off.  It worked
great!  I had THOUSANDS of aphids incrementally fed to my fish
over 24 hours, and then let the plants back up.  All the
sumberged plants were completely aphid-free (drowned or floated
away), but I left a couple of floating plants to re-establish
my "free live food culture".

As an aside, I was surprised to find that barbs tend to like
aphids more than tetras.  My neon tetras weren't even sure 
aphids were food.  These kids today...  :^>

--charley                            Fort Collins, Colorado USA
charleyb at gr_hp.com	or	charley at agrostis_nrel.colostate.edu