Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #298

On Sun, 3 Mar 1996 03:39:03 -0500 you wrote:
>There are several different forms of Java Fern, both due to 
>cultural differences and the fact that the plant is naturally very 
>variable.  There are also other species of Microsorum that are not 
>currently being used in the aquarium trade. 

AFAIK, there are two genetically different types of Java fern.  At
least two.  I have both and so does Neil Frank and I think Erik Olsen
does too.  Neil calls them narrow and broad leaf, I call them big and
little.   Big has 10" fronds typically, they are cross-shaped (two
pinnae on the frond about 2/3 of the way to the tip) and medium
green.  The frond surface is slightly crinkly.  Little has 2-3"
fronds, they are lanceolate and dark green, with a smooth surface. 
Big grows more spread out, little grows in a clump.

The Bobitus I saw from Neil was robust and healthy, sort of like a
refined big Java fern.  I don't know how fast it grows for him. 

Here is an interesting observation:  Six months ago my crypts were
going great guns.  I had a couple of small (young) swords (amazonicus
and bleheri) in the tank.  Over the last six months, the swords have
grown and grown, to the point where Friday I pulled the bleheri with
25" leaves and sold it.  Today I trimmed 18 leaves off the amazonicus
and it is still bushy.  Here is the puzzle:  During all these good
times for the tank (other plants have done well too) the crypts have
melted away slowly to nothing.  pH 6.0, kH 3-4, total hardness about
the same (very little Ca), passive CO2 (2 liter bell filled twice
daily), infrequent water changes (every month or two).  Fish are
spawning, plants are happy, all but the crypts and some vals that
have melted.  Any ideas?  My suspicion is that the swords excrete
allelotoxins that the crypts are sensitive to.  Anyone believe that
is a valid theory?  Is that the cause for the vals too or do they
just hate the acid?   Dave

Dave Gomberg, Experimenta      San Francisco CA USA   gomberg at wcf_com