Re: substrate for lileopsis & r. macrandra

Stephen Morrison wrote:
> I was thinking of adding lileopsis (sp.?) and rotala macrandra to my 
> desktop 5.5 gal tank.  What would be a good soil to use with vermiculate?
> Potting soil or soil from my backyard garden which has a lot of clay in it?

I wouldn't recommend commercial potting soil. It could have bits of peat
and bark in it. I'd suggest using the backyard soil instead unless it 
is extremely high in clay. Better to use a black, friable dirt, perhaps 
from compost. I'd suggest a layer of sand or gravel on the surface. 
The Lillaeopsis really grows well with soil in the substrate I find.
With so small a tank, you could omit vermiculite. The problem with a
larger, long term tank would be eventual compaction and that's where the
vermiculite helps. With out vermiculite you might get by with a shallower 

> Also, would 30 watts of daylight flourescent be enough for r. macrandra in
> a 5.5 gal?  If so, should I pot it?

Should be enough IF you can get the light focused in there. So far the
Rotala I have is growing fine but I have heard it is a difficult plant.
It might be better to put it into an established aquarium at first.
It does need a steady supply of iron and CO2 to keep growing.