M.p. 'Windelov' and Cycling new tank

Subject: M.p. 'Windelov'
> Regarding the Microsorium pteropus Windel v sold by Tropica.  It
> great buy, but the fish store is ripping you off by exploiting t
> plants' novelty.  It is basically a tissue cultured plant with s
> mutation, either natural or induced.  It has the same requiremen
> original plant.  Young plants can be propagated from the mature 
> Wait around or source out different stores before committing $34
> small plant.

Both M.p. 'Windelov' and M.p. 'Tropica' are naturally occuring 
mutations that were discovered in the Tropica greenhouses.  They 
are unsure whether the material was collected in this form in the 
wild, (they have not been able to locate more like either in the 
wild since they noticed them in the greenhouses) or whether the 
mutations took place in the greenhouse.  In either case, it was a 
fortuitous discovery, not a "forced" mutation.

While, as you said, and as I posted earlier, both forms grow just 
as easily as other Javas, please bear in mind that, historically, 
choice new cultivars of terrestrial plants go for _tremendous_ 
prices. (look at roses and day lilies!) People who enjoy being the 
"first one on the block" with a new variety will pay top dollar 
for that privilege.  Why should it be any different for aquatic 

If we want to enjoy the beautiful new varieties of aquatic plants 
that have become available in the past few years, (look at the 
Ruby Mellon Sword, or E. schlueteri 'Leopard') we should expect to 
have to pay more for these new varieties when they first appear on 
the market.  It's the same concept as buying a "Best Seller" for 
full price when it first his the stands, or waiting a year till 
it's out in paperback!<g>


Subject: Cycling new tank
> I'm about to start up a new 75-gallon tank that will be heavily 
> will include substrate heating, with laterite in the substrate, 
> CO2 using the yeast method. It would be nice to cycle it quickly
> do that by putting some of the gravel from my present 20-gallon 
> has a UGF, into the canister filter on the new setup. However, I
> problems in the 20-gallon and am afraid that using gravel from t
> would give algae a head start in the new tank. I'd appreciate op
> anyone here.

If you use gravel from the infected tank, you are seeding the new 
tank with the same algae.  Unless your maintenance practices are 
enough different in the new tank to affect the viability of the 
algae, you'll have the same problems in that tank that you do now. 
I'd not worry about seeding the new tank.  The plants you place in 
the new tank will already be colonized with beneficial bacteria.  
If you allow the plants 2-4 weeks to settle in before slowly 
starting to stock the tank, you should find that the plants 
themselves circumvent the spikes usually seen when cycling a 
fish-only or lightly planted tank.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA