Soil in pots, T-8's and Hemigraphis

Subject: Soil in pots

> I recall that Karen Randall frequently uses pots with potting so
> and micronized iron for Crypts; presumably the lighting is not s
> strong. If we were using a 50:50 mix of soil and composted manur
> and putting it in pots with a layer of gravel on the surface, wo
> there be a danger of triggering an algae problem after putting i
> in the water? Has anybody tried this?

I do not pot Crypts.  They grow very well in my tanks in just the 
gravel/laterite substrate.  Mosy species also grow better in my 
better lit/CO2 tanks,(6 bulbs over the 70G, 4 bulbs over the 55G) 
although there are some exceptions.

I would be leery of putting manure in my aquarium!  That said, I 
do pot all my Echinodorus with potting soil and laterite or 
micronized iron.  They grow very well that way, and I've never had 
algae problems using this method.  Each algae "bloom" I've 
experienced in my tanks is traceable to the introduction of plant 
tablets containing nitrogen and phosphorus.  That's why I'd be 
very reluctant to add manure.


 Subject: Re: T8 vs. T-12


> Is a CRI of 80 good enough?
> I've found that Micro Swords (Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae??) - gr
> seemed to be sensative not only to enough light, but seem to gro
> a wide-spectrum type of lighting.  Does any think that using thi
> compare the grow rate in Vita Lite compared to say a Philips Ult
> worth doing?

I switched over to the SPX50's after a year of watching them on 
another person's tanks and on a limited trial basis on my own 
tanks.  The bulbs I used before _were_ Vitalites, and the front of 
my 70G tank is completely planted with Lillaeopsis, so I can speak 
to the growth rate of Lillaeopsis with both bulbs.  While I was 
not unhappy with the growth under Vitalites (the Lillaeopsis 
filled in the whole front of the tank under this lighting) it is 
growing better now that I switched to the SPX50's.  It is much 
thicker now than it was, with much shorter root segments. (between 
"blades")  I would assume this to be similar to watching internode 
length with vertically growing plants.

The only problem I had when I converted this tank to all SPX50's 
was that during the initial two weeks of "extra bright" burn-in 
period, I did have to wipe a little extra algae off the glass. I 
have watched the T8's in action for two years now, and run 
side-by-side trials for a year.  I've convinced myself, and those 
who know me can tell you that I don't jump on "band wagons" 


>  From:       'JLEE at park_com'                                   (
>  Subject:    T8 in T12 fixture
>  Sent by:    'jlee at park_com'                                   (
> Is it possible to install 32W T8 bulbs in 40W T12 bulb fixture ?
> jLee

Yes, but for the benefits we've been discussing, you must replace 
the ballast with an electronic ballast. (not difficult or 


> From: slvrfox at ix_netcom.com (George White )
> Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 21:35:58 -0800
> Subject: Hemigraphis
> I recently acquired a plant that was labeled "Hemygraphis Exotic
> a chain super discount pet store (petsmart). No one at the store
> tell me anything about the plant or from what source they bought
> plant. I could not find a plant listed by that name in any of my
> I was wondering if anyone had any info. on this plant. 

Hemigraphis is a genus of moisture loving terrestrial plants that, 
unfortunately, are sold as aquarium "decorations".  The species 
you have is probably H. colorata var. exotica.  This genus also 
contains the non-aquatics sold under the names of "purple waffle" 
and "dragon's tongue".  Plant it in a pot on your window sill and 
it will be much happier!

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA