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Re: Alternanthere sessilis

>From: Karl Schoeler <krsfert at citilink_com>
>Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 17:28:45 -0800
>Subject: Re: Alternanthere sessilis
>> From: Roxanne Bittman <rlb at nhdgis_dfg.ca.gov>
>> Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 11:19:51 PST
>> Subject: Alternanthera sessilis
>> 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 follow?
>I just saw a fresh shipment of this plant from Florida.  It came in labeled
>as "Sunset Hygrophila".  I would tend to believe its' preference is emersed
>growth rather than in the aquarium.  However, I remember Karen Randall
>a method for potting and raising Rotala macranda which might at least help
>in keeping this plant submersed.   Additional lighting is probably a must.
>Karen, any input on this?
>Karl R. Schoeler

Labeling (and mislabeling) of plants is clearly a difficulty to our hobby.
Sunset hygophila is the name of the Hygrophila polysperma sport developed by
Florida Aquatic Nursery.  Most of their plants are distributed thru
wholesalers and the opportunity for mistakes is enormous. Sunset looks like
H. polysperma, but has variegated leaf. It looks quite different than the
plant called A. sessilis and unlike Alternantera, Hygrophila polysperma (all
varieties) does extremely well as a submersed plant.

There is alot of misinformation about red plants. They do not always require
a lot of light. Regarding Rotala macrandra, I have some growing in the 70
gallon which just got added CO2. This tank only has 80watts of flourescent
lighting. Up till the CO2, the macrandra was doing OK. With the CO2, it is
out of control....I preferred it when I did not have to prune it weekly. I
now moved a piece to another CO2 aquarium with twice the light (70g with 4
bulbs)to see what happens. Of course this 'test' will be flawed because the
lighting spectrum is different (different bulbs) and a more interesting
comparison would involve separate evaluation of intensity and spectrum...
one at a time and together.

Karen, we compared my low light macrandra to you high light one (Karen uses
5 bulbs compared to my 2). They had similar color, didn't they?
Neil Frank      Aquatic Gardeners Association         Raleigh, NC
      The Aquatic Gardener - journal of the AGA -  now in its seventh year!!