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Stem Plants Reply and a No-Lights-Out Observation

Clipped from Karen Randall:
>.. Has any one had any problems leaving leaves on the lower
>part of a stem that could really be attributed to this and not some general

I had an initially bad choice of gravel substrate and had no choice but to
use the lower leaves to anchor new plants as you mentioned.  I've had no ill
effects so far on any plant.  In one case (small pinnate-leafed stem plant, I 
forget it's name), I've shoved a good many leaves under the gravel.  In those, 
there was some browning of the lower stem to just above the gravel line, but 
the rest of the plant was great, and I can't say that the browning isn't 
normal or due to some other effect like lack of light to the base of the plant.

On another subject, I'm the proud keeper of a healthy batch of 2-week-old 
Kribensis fry.  Mom and Pop are doing fine, and my cardinals, rummy-noses,
danios and SAEs are no worse for the experience (and have lost surprisingly
little swimming space due to some thick folliage around the fry feeding
grounds).  A little nervous about lights-out, I left a bulb on over the Krib 
spawning-pot 24hrs a day for a week, knowing that my plants in that corner 
would suffer.  

To my surprise, the Hygrophila polysperma "sunset" batch in that corner began 
to grow twice as fast as the batch on the opposite side of the tank and turned
a bright red color (instead of pink). What I think is a Sagittaria sprouted a 
long flower stalk with 3 small white flowers at the end and began to sprout 
really long leaves (which is why I think it's a subulata).

After 2 weeks of this torture, the tips of my polysperma began to brown and I
trimmed off a 2ft long stem piece that had wound around enough to look like 
three separate plants.  Now that the fry are bigger, hopefully I can turn off
the bulb (actually one of those screw-in "compact florescents" they sell at 
hardware stores)...the cardinals have stopped looking like their cousins the
pirranhas and more like the gentle beauties we expect them to be.

cmunoz at crystal_cirrus.com