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Re: Crypt care and ID

At 07:29 PM 3/7/97 -0500, Dave Littlehale wrote on the crypt mailing list:
>I just purchased some C. haerteliniana and looked it up in Aquarium
>Plants by Rataj & Horeman.  There the species is listed as C. affinis. 
>In the write up it says "sensitive to calcium and does not do well in
>alkaline or hard water."

This is not the only mistake in the Rataj book!

>In Aquarium Plants Manual by Scheurmann it says about C. affinis
>"tolerates subdued light and relatively hard water."

C. affinis (syn.  C. haerteliniana) definitely does well in hard water. This
has been confirmed by many aquarists. In fact, aquatic plant nursersies in
Florida grow this plant submerged using the hard ground water common to the
southern part of the State.

I have recently started to add calcium to my crypt tanks (by using small
amounts of crushed coral in their substrate) and I am seeing improvement in
my ability to grow these plants in my soft, well processed tap water. I have
not yet decided whether dolomite (with mg) is better than crushed coral. I
am a little concerned about the possible negative effects of too much Mg
which has been said to block the plant's uptake of other trace elements. I
think some crypts definitely do poorly in my soft water (this includes
includes C. pontederiifolia). It could be because my tap water is either
lacking something (like Ca) or because it has too much of something added at
the water treatment plant.

>Also, my C. haerteliniana looks nothing like any of the pics in either
>book.  It looks like a balansae except the blade is a little wider and
>the underside is red.  Could this be a variation due to growing

Yes, and there are also different varieties of C. affinis. There is a
"giant" variety (which can get large or stay small) which tends to be more
bullate and a "small" variety whose leaves tend to be less bumpy (for me).
Both get the reddish underside.  "That Fish Place" in Lancaster PA carries
both kinds... unfortunately they don't mail order their plants any more.

Neil Frank      Aquatic Gardeners Association         Raleigh, NC
      The Aquatic Gardener - journal of the AGA -  now in its seventh year!!