Anubias, H. polysperma, Denitrification

Subject: Anubias, recognised and unrecognised species
> To those interested in the genus Anubias-SCHOTT:

<big snip>

> The reason I am posting this is to ask anyone who is interested 
> the genus Anubias what they have found and where the informatio
> was discovered.  I have poured over all the books at my disposal
> but I'm hardly satisfied at this point.  Anyone interested in
> this exploration is certainly welcome.

I have an article coming out soon in AFM on this subject, but like 
you, most of my information comes either from the Cruzio paper or 
from my personal experiences with the plants.

These are the species/varieties I have propagated.  The ones that 
I have flowered are marked **:

 A. afzelli
 A. barteri**
 A. barteri var. nana**
 A. barteri var. caladifolia**
 A. 'Coffeefolia' (I agree this is most likely a barteri variety, 
 whether naturally occuring or a cultivar...probably the latter)
 A. gracilis
 A. heterophylla**
> Most propagation was emersed in a completely enclosed aquarium,
> where I was able to keep the heat and humidity constant.

In my case, all species/varieties have been propagated and 
flowered submerged, which is why I've steered clear of the really 
big ones like A. gigantea and A. hastifolia. (Although every time 
I've seen hastifolia for sale, it has turned out to be A. 
> I am also searching for A. gilletii and A. pynaertii. These
> two species are out there somewhere, as they were cultivated
> during the writing of the revision.  Any help would be great!

Let me know if you find them.  I'd love to play with them too.

I also got "suckered" into paying too much money for a 
"variegated" nana, which, under good conditions in my tank 
reverted to its normal coloration!<g>

A final observation is of a "Bonsai" Anubias I have.  I first saw 
this plant in a pet shop, and in the tank, I had no idea what it 
was.  It had tiny (1/8th") ovate leaves, shiny and bright green.  
I asked what it was, and they had no idea.  I fished it out of the 
tank to look at more closely, and as soon as I turned it over, 
recognized from the root structure that it was an Anubias.  It 
seems it had been in the fish room of a hobbyist in a bare-bottom 
tank for at least 5 years with only ambient light.  Rather than 
give up and die as any lesser plant would, it had merely become 
dwarfed by the poor care it received.  

I have had it in my tank for over a year now, and all the new 
leaves grow in as normal A. barteri var. nana leaves should.  But 
because of the long life of Anubias leaves, there are still a 
large number of the tiny leaves left.  I almost wish it had 
remained dwarfed... it was really quite attractive!


Subject: I don't recognize my anubius!!
> Can some please help me with this? I bought several anubius
> about a year ago under the name "nana". It does not look
> like the "nana" I have seen in photos. The leaves are much
> more egg shape that the spears I have seen. It is only about
> 3-4 inches tall and grows well, but the leaves are about 2/3
> as wide as they are long. By the way,they do come to a point
> Is this just a variety of "nana" or something else?

Your plant definitely sounds like A. barteri var. nana  I have 
seen a single photo of a small Anubias with slender leaves and 
labeled as "nana" but I Think this is a mis-identification.  I 
have never seen the plant with narrow leaves like that, and it is 
not described that way.  That said, Anubias _are_ very variable, 
both under cultivation, and in the wild.  So I suppose it's 
possible that some specimens with longer narrower leaves are part 
of the species, but it is not the norm.


Subject: H. polysperma 'Tropical Sunset'

> Would this be the same as an "Empress hygro"? That's what my sto
> called the Hygro I recently bought. It resembles H. polysperma b
> prominent white veins and the new leaves are pink, and turn gree
> time. The leaves on each stem go from green below to pink on top
> overall makes the plant look like light is hitting it from above

It sounds similar, although it's hard to tell for sure from a 
written description.  It is also possible that it is a similar 
cultivar developed by someone else.


Subject: Coil Denitrification

> I would like some expert opinion about the usefullness and =
> construction of coil denitrifiers in a planted tank.
> I have a 80l planted tank with a CO2 system and a trickle filter
> using Bio-balls. I have wondered if it would a good idea to repl
> the bioballs with some other media that supports denitrification
> clay tubes) or should I build a coil-denitrifier? The basic =
> objective is to eliminate the small amount of algae that grows i
> tank and to reduce the number of water changes required.

In my experience, if you have measurable nitrate build up in a 
planted tank, you are probably over stocking and/or over feeding. 
In my tanks, which are moderately stocked, there is never any 
nitrate to measure.  I have friends who occasionally "feed" their 
planted tanks by pouring in water from unplanted Goldfish tanks... 
the nitrate is quickly used up by the plants.  

Plants are the ultimate "denitrators".  Let them do their job!<g>

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA