Re: Aponogeton Care

> From: User275806 at aol_com
> Subject: Question - Aponogeton Care
> How should these plants be cared for?  There is a time when they go dormant
> isn't there? When they go dormant, I heard that they should be taken out of
> the aquarium and placed in a pot containing soil and left out of the water
> for a period of time.  Any help or tips are appreciated.  Jeff

The most common (in stores) Aponogeton is the A. crispus hybrid which
does not seem to have a significant dormant cycle. Another common one
is the Madagascar lace plant (a. madagascariensis) which unfortunately
does go dormant. Some lace plants will spontaneously regenerate on
their own without intervention, perhaps triggered by water temperature,
water purity or other chemical factors. The best advice seems to be to
give them optimal growing conditions during the active cycle to ensure
an adequate reserve of stored energy in the tubercle for the dormant
season. It has been suggested that you could trigger the regrowth
phase by removing the plants to a refrigerator for a few weeks but I have
not yet heard of someone who has tried this. Anyone who has care to share
their results?

Another idea is the use of diluted Giberillic Acid (GA3) (which Charlie
Bay thinks is a growth inhibitor, see the APD 1-95 for 27 of November,
1995) which has been used to trigger flowering of emersed Crypts
and was covered in TAG  Vol 8 No. 5 (Sep-Oct 95).

I have a suspicion that A. mad. is not able to compete well in a
densely populated tank of assorted, highly competitive aquatic plants.
It might do much better in a specialized tank with other Apononogetons
and perhaps Crypts. Ideally, you should be able to lower the temperature
of the tank for about a month to 50 to 60 Fahrenheit. This would
preclude the use of most tropical fish. I would recommend the use of
a soil substrate of no more than 20% organic matter covered by a
layer of sand, the use of CO2 fertilization, moderately strong lighting 
and regular nutrient supplements. Solid fertilizer tablets in the soil 
may be beneficial too. Precautions need to be taken to prevent
infestation with fur or hair algae. Tank and plants should probably
be sterilized with a bleach solution.

Steve Pushak           spush at hcsd_hac.com      Vancouver BC