Re: (Q) Madagascar Laceleaf (Aponogeton fenestralis)

> From: Stephen.Pushak at saudan_HAC.COM
> The plant has a strong seasonal dormancy which means that you would need
> to take steps that might be incompatible with keeping tropical fish in
> the same aquarium long term. This cycle appears to be strongly regulated
> by temperature. An ideal growing temperature is probably about 72 degrees
> with a dormant cycle temperature of 50-60 degrees. You could expect
> ich problems with most tropicals in the low 70s I think. Goldfish might
> be ok in temps of 50-60 but I have no experience to support that.
> The plant will grow at higher temperatures but less successfully. 75
> might be an ok compromise.

Yes, they are compatible with goldfish and 75 degrees is okay.
They actually do ok up to 80.

> I would strongly recommend planting only in an established aquarium
> where the algae situation is well in hand. Algae can be a serious
> problem as the leaves are easily attacked by brush algae or hair algaes.

This is very true. Before going back into dormancy, mine all succumb to
beard algae, even though there isn't any on anything else. It seems the
cleaning crew has serious difficulty in cleaning them properly.

> Many people grow the plant
> in plain gravel however, without soil or a reasonable facimile, the
> plant will only be using stored reserves from the tubercle.

They do a pretty fair job of storing nutrients in the dormant period.
If they do not, they don't seem to stay around very long before going
dormant again.

> The plant does NOT tolerate being transplanted well. It is best not
> to disturb the roots.

I made this mistake, they do not seem to like gravel cleaning in
the vicinity of the roots either,

> The initial growth of these plants
> was phenomenal; I regret that I did not have a suitable environment
> for their first planting and they did not recover well from the
> transplant.

When they come out of dormancy, they are quite amazing. I've seen some
throw as many as 8 10-12" leaves a week for the first couple weeks.

All in all, very interesting plants, but a major pain in the butt.

Jon Wilson