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Re: Alternanthera sessilis

     From: Roxanne Bittman <rlb at nhdgis_dfg.ca.gov>
     I would like to successfully grow Alternanthera sessilis - and by 
     successfully, I mean plants with lots of red leaves and bushy growth, 
     like  in the Dutch Plant Aquarium pictures.  It seems all this plant 
     does in my tank is lose its leaves and put energy into root growth.  I 
     usually lose patience with it after a few weeks.  Is this too soon?  
     Is the trick to wait until it produces roots and then the leaves will 
     Tank is 40 gal, soft water, Kent's FW Plant Supplement 1x/week, Hilena 
     D in gravel, light is 4 30watt fluor. tubes, pH 7.4, no CO2.
     High root to shoot ratio is a symptom of low nutrient concentrations 
     especially in the substrate. Why not try adding some fertilizer mixed 
     into some clay balls or pieces of Jobe's fertilizer stix broken into 
     pieces and inserted near the plant roots? Also for strong red color 
     you would probably like to increase the intensity of your lighting.
     Steve in Rainy Vancouver