Mystery Plant, Glossostigma, Black Brush Algae and Lighting

Subject: Name that plant!  
> I've got a bit of a mystery plant.  It is about 6 or 7 inches ta
> has dark/redish stems with a single leaf.  The leaves are spear
> shaped, and set at angles (between 45 and 90 degrees) to the ste
> They are dark green and glossy.  It's an attractive plant, but I
> can't seem to find a picture of it in any books so far!  Any ide

Is this a rosette plant?  If so, it could be a Cryptocoryne of 
some kind.


Subject: Glossostigma
> I am relatively new to aquatic plants and noted that many past e
> mentioned that glossostigma was not yet available in this countr
> that still the case, or does anyone know where it can be purchas
> (riccia also).  Yes, I read that Amano book too.  Thanks for any
> that you may be able to provide. 

Riccia is definitely available, either mail order, from other 
local hobbyists, or even go grab some out of a local pond.

I don't believe Glossostigma has made it here yet, although it 
might be available in Canada, since Tropica sells it. 

Subject: Black brush Algea
> 	Ive had a sudder explosion of this kind of algea. Its 
> 	its starting to cover all my plants. Is there a way to get 
> 	of this? Last time it happened I did a drastic water 
> 	changed half the water in the tank..it turned red and 
> 	I did this again last week expecting it to die but it 
> 	Does anything eat this? My Pleco wont touch it. Any kinda
> 	chemical out there that will destry this without hurting

Siamese Algae Eaters will eat it, and copper will kill it.  But 
copper will also adversely affect many plants and kill some.  It 
can also kill you fish if not used with care.

 Subject: [none]
> Hi Folks;
>         I'm a newbie on the net so please forgive me if I screw 
> been lurking for over a month now reading the plant list with gr
> interest. I've been growing plants for over 20 years with good s
> monitored with interest the discussion on lights and plant growt
> seems to place a great deal of importance on the type of lights 
> question for the learned folks out there is "why?"
>         This may seem like a stupid question but if you use a co
> fluorescent and incandescent light, have you not covered the gre
> of the visible light spectrum. It is my understanding that chlor
> absorbs blue and red light best at 450 nm and 675 nm respectivel
>         Chlorophyll, however, is not the only light capturing mo
> There are also carotenoids which absorb blue and green light ( a
> nm peak ) as well as phycocyanins which absorb green and yellow 
> about 600 nm peak )
>         To me it would seem that the production of ATP and NADPH
> occur, for the most part, across the entire spectrum of visible 
> not any deficiency be made up by increasing the intensity and/or
> duration of the light that one uses ?
>         This question has actually puzzled me for quite some tim
> answer would be personally most satisfying.

You are correct that to a great extent, intensity is more 
important than spectrum.  Where spectrum becomes more critic is at 
very low light levels (which is unfortunately the case in many 
tanks where people would like to grow plants)  Increasing the 
photoperiod (beyond a certain point) does _not_ make up for lack 
of intensity.  Most aquarium plants are tropical, short day 
plants.  Most will not continue to photosynthesize efficiently 
much beyond 14 hours.

Incandescent lights are not particularly useful for a couple of 
reasons.  They do not produce any where near the same amount of 
light/watt as other forms of lighting.  Instead they waste the 
energy by producing heat, leading to a double edged problem.  Why 
use such an inefficient form of lighting?  

While many people (including myself) prefer both the look and the 
plant performance we get with full spectrum lighting, many others 
are satisfied with a combination of cool white and warm white 
bulbs.  But as well as not having the spectrum (or color) of more 
expensive bulbs, these bulbs also have a lower lumen output, so 
you're not getting as much light out of them.  Again, if you can 
arrange a bank with several of these bulbs you can make up for 
deficiencies in spectrum by increased intensity.  If you can ony 
fit one or two of these tubes over your tank, you might find that 
the more expensive bulbs give you better growth.

Lots of people want to try incandescent lighting because it seems 
cheap. (at least for the initial purchase) Very few (if any) 
aquatic gardeners would choose them as a long term primary light 

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA