Aponogeton madagascariensis dormancy

> From: "Wilson, Jon         I-NET ----" <jwilson at b856s3_ssc.af.mil>
> Date: Wed, 03 Jan 96 09:30:00 PST
> Subject: Re: (Q) Madagascar Laceleaf (Aponogeton fenestralis)
> > 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.

It sounds as if you've had some go into the dormant state and then
resume growing. Did you have to take any steps to initiate this
transition to springtime? My experiments with maintaining a strict
12hrs of lighting have not succeeded in keeping them from dormancy
and I've never had one resume growing after dormancy. I think the
bulbs are large enough to do it and I think temperature is the

I've had a little luck with lowering the temperature but the tank
is populated and I can't safely go much below 75 without risking ich.
For me at least, the plant seems to be more active at 75 than 80
and I've heard others comment that it doesn't grow well at 80. If
that were true, it wouldn't be a good candidate for a discus tank.

I'd really prefer to lower the temperature of the whole tank for
a few weeks and then raise it again but that's tricky to accomplish.
I'd have to capture all the fish and then somehow air condition my
room down to an intolerable level. Brrrr! Alternatively, I could
uproot the darn thing and put it in a separate tank which could be
located kinda outdoors. Paul's idea of putting the bulbs in some 
kind of a container would be good because then it wouldn't be
necessary to disturb the roots. These seem to get pretty large &
long so would require enough room. If they were potted in with
Crypts, I wonder how the Crypts would tolerate a rather cool winter
period? Also I think they might prefer a richer substrate with
manure than the other Aponogetons. The books mention using that.

> 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.

How true. :-}

Somebody else commented on the flat bottom of the tubercle and
asked about planting. The flat end down with the leaf sprouts at
the top. Bury any roots and about half the bulb or enough to keep
it from floating away. I've seen the two varieties too and I think
they had different shaped tubercles. The larger, pinkish variety
seems to have the flat bottoms while they others were tapered on
both ends. I wondered if this flat bottom resulted from the
grower cutting the bulbs for the purposes of propagation. Seems
unlikely since I think you'd cut vertically not laterally...?

As for fertilization, I've used various fertilizer tablets and
laterite-like fertilizer cones pushed into the substrate. If you
have Flourish, you can use the plastic injector to feed the
Flourish (or whatever) right into the substrate.