Plant ID and fertilizer tablets

 Subject: Plant identification

> There are two that I couldn't identify from the books I have.  O
> was sold to me as Dragon plant.  The leaves are shaped and color
> Java Fern (sometimes I mistake the two), but the undersides are 
> purple, much like the color of red cabbage.  So far, they grow w
> leaf per stem.

"Dragon Plant" is the name often given to plants in the 
Hemigraphis family.  These are non-aquatic "house plants".  OTOH, 
they are stem plants with the leaves growing off a central stem.  
If the leaves are growing one on each stem from a rosette at the 
bottom, it is probably a Cryptocoryne of some sort, which will 
make a very nice addition to your tank.

> Another plant was sold to me as Arrow Head, but it looks nothing
> arrowhead in B&R Vol.1.  The leaves are shaped like Lotus lily, 
> free-flowing; the stalks are more bunched up like celery, and th
> about 15 on that plant.  The leaves are  white in the centre, bo
> light green.

This I'm sure is Syngonium, another non-aquatic.  It will 
eventually die in the aquarium.

> The last one I suspect is Loosestrife.  It is light green, and t
> leaves on top are light pink.  I might not be providing enough i

Loosestrife (Lythrum) is a large woody perennial with small green 
leaves.  It grows with its feet in water (or damp soil) but most 
of the plant is emersed.  The pink on the top of the plant is its 
numerous tiny flowers.  This is a beautiful plant, but a 
_TERRIBLY_ invasive foreigner.  I doubt this is really what you 
have in your tank, as it's not unusual for a single plant to grow 
4-6' tall.  But if it _is_ what you have, be _very_ careful when 
you dispose of it after it outgrows your tank.  These plants are 
out-competing native bog plants in large sections of the country. 
 Don't let it get away!!!

If what you have is a stem plant, it could be one of several 
plants.  Many plants develop red or pink tips when grown emersed 
or under very good light.  My best bets from what you've told us 
so far would be a variety of Hygrophila polysperma or possible 
Rotala rotundifolia.


Subject: Fertilizer sticks

Wayne Neyman wrote:

> I no longer use them, and prefer to use his <DAI> plant tablets, 
> and a little "dirty" water from another inhabited tank.

Of course, Mikes tablets contain nitrate and phosphate too ;-)

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA