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Re: Rotala macranda

> I am afraid that tank-raised R. macandra will also have the same melt down
> problems.  R. macandra is a plant that tends to go downhill rapidly after
> being pulled up or cut.  The cuttings just do not keep well and are hard to
> establish.  The best thing to do is to have a well-lit location in an
> established aquarium all set up to receive your R. macandra plants when
> they arrive. CO2 additions along with some chelated iron in the water also
> help the cuttings get established.

I have not had this experience at all with R. macranda.  I routinely crop the bottoms off my macranda and replant the tops.  I have also shared my cuttings with others and they have survived the transplant just fine and continue to grow.  My experience is that it grows like a weed and is one of the easier of my plants to grow.  I received my original cuttings from George.

> I have also seen the symptoms of calcium deficiency show up in R. macandra,
> as well as R. wallichii, when the other plants in the same tank (crypts and
> swords) were growing normally. I actually lost all my R. macandra to
> calcium deficiency, but I got the R. wallichii, which was showing the same
> symptoms as the macandra, to recover by adding about a half teaspoon of
> lime to the aquarium.

> I havn't got any macandra now, but if I ever get some again, I will make
> sure that the plants I get are immediately put in a well-lit location and
> add CO2 and chelated iron and make sure that there is calcium available.  I
> think that both macandra and wallichii need higher levels of calcium than
> many other aquarium plants, even though the books say they prefer soft,
> acid water.

I keep my macranda in a very soft (<40ppm total hardness) slightly acid (pH=6.7) environment.  I use straight R/O water plus a little of Kent's RO Right and sodium bicarbonate to set the GH & KH to desired levels.  What is the hardness in your aquarium?