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Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #608
Subject: Rotala macrandra
>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.
Hmmm, I have found that once you get it growing well, that it is amazingly
hardy, although it doesn't ship well. recently, I took a bunch of
cuttings, and bagged them to take to the local pet store. Things got busy,
and the ended up sitting, in the platic bag, on my diningroom table for
almost 3 weeks. They still looked fine in the bag, but I was afraid that
they wouldn't be healthy enough to sell at that point. So I pulled them
out of the bag, and stuck them back in another tank to see if they would
fall apart, or keep growing. I was surprised to find that they never
looked back. (now, unfortunately, I have twice as much to remember to find
a home for ;-)
I have found that shipping _is_ a problem. They don't tolerate the wet
newspaper treatment well at all. They are just too fragile. I've had the
best luck shipping them in sufficient water that they are completely
floating, with little enough air space that they can't slosh too much.
Even then, if they are bounced around too much, the will lose lots of
leaves, and even the stems can be broken.
>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.
Maybe that has something to do with my better luck with the plant. My
water is moderately hard. I do find that I need to keep it planted in
soil, and it must have supplemental CO2 to grow under my tap water
conditions. I have always assumed that it also needed high light, just
because the tanks that I grow it in (which are the ones with supplemental
CO2) happen to have strong light. Of course, Neil has gotten me thinking
now, and I'm planning on putting some in a tank that has supplemental CO2
and soil, but LOWER light, so that I can see if the light is a necessary
part of the equation or not.
Subject: Re: low tech/high tech
> I don't know about Dan Q's methods, but I've had lots of mail
>from people who were helped a lot by Kevin's and my low tech methods.
This is a very interesting question. What is Low Tech vs. High Tech? Neil
and I discussed this at some length while I was in N.C. If by "High Tech"
you mean lots of equipment, or lots of expensive equipment, your methods
are certainly low tech. My view is that "High Tech" includes highly
technical... in which case, your methods certainly qualify.
I don't think anyone would argue that a totally decked out Dupla system is
"High Tech". But are Diana Walstad's tanks "Low Tech"? Her understanding
of what _goes on_ in a tank, and the reasoning _behind_ what she does is
actually quite technical.
Knowing my own tnaks, and having recently seen Neil's, I would suspect the
Dupla crowd would consider both my tanks and Neil's "Low Tech", both in
terms of cost and equipment, while the average fish-tank-with-plants
aquarium owner would probably consider them "High Tech".
This whole discussion reminds me of the one we have in our local A.S. every
year when we decide on divisions for our Home Show. The marine folk would
like to divide that division between "reef" tanks and "fish" tanks. But in
reality, when you look at each person's set ups, where is the dividing
line? One tank is mostly for fish, but the filtration is based on live
rock and a protein skimmer. One tank LOOKS like a reef at first glance,
but has an under gravel filter. The variations are endless.
The same thing is true for our part of the hobby. Do you all remember the
discussions W-A-Y back on steady-state systems? I think that this is the
lynch-pin of defining our tanks. A white bucket (whoops, sorry Cynthia ;-)
with a pair of killies and a bunch of Salvinia sitting near a window can be
a steady-state system. If it makes its owner happy, that's great. Doug
Vaverde was talking about writing a computer program to monitor and control
everything on his tank from water changes to CO2 injection. Dr. Dave would
certianly consider this the intensive care ward for plants, but if it
works, and the owner is happy with it, that's certainbly an achievement too.
As with most things, we'll find a bell curve, with a few people at the
extremes, and the vast majority of us in the middle some place. Do we
really have to create pigeon holes like "High Tech" and "Low Tech"? I'm
not sure they accomplish anything.
Subject: AFM article
>ObPlants: Great article in the April AFM, Karen. I'm finally going to
>break down and add CO2 to one of my tanks.
You might be interested to here that the school has received the grant we
requested for a big bow-front tank for the IMC. (library to those of us
with gray(ing) hair) We're looking forward to setting it up this summer.
Oh, and BTW, Robbie of the goldfish fame is the second kid from the right
with the big grin and the striped shirt ;-)
Subject: Crypts and Hygro poly
>That is very interesting! You say that Hygrophila failed, but that C.
>wendtii thrives. I have been making the assumption that crypts would be
>like the Hygrophila. Crypts may have something going for them when it
>comes to fighting for CO2 in a low CO2 environment that I don't know about.
Of course it could be something completely different about the tank
conditions that keeps the Hygro from growing. I have no trouble with C
wendtii in any of my tanks with any type of substrate. H. polysperma will
_only_ grow well with a soil substrate. this is in tanks with and without
CO2 and with and without strong light. I don't know if this is another
copper sensitive beast, or whether there is some other factor involved.
Aquatic Gardeners Association