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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #776

Subject: Copper tubing in DIY CO2

I wrote:

>>Do _NOT_ use copper tubing on an aquarium.  Copper is toxic to both plants
>>and fish in more than minute amounts.  I suspect that with the moisture
>>from a yeast reactor combined with the acidity of the CO2 in that moisture,
>>you could pick up a lot of copper coming through a fairly small amount of

Greg wrote:

>Can you explain more, please? I was talking about copper tubing in the
>rubber stopper of a bottle containing the yeast solution. One then runs a
>plastic airline from the copper tube into the tank. Of course, one can use
>some other metal; plastic isn't as rigid and much harder to insert snugly
>into a rubber stopper.
>I can understand acidity's effect on  copper but how would the copper get
>carried by CO2 gas through airline tubing into the tank?

By the condensation that also collects in the tubing, and by the occasional
"accidents" that send liquid flowing from one vessel into the other.   I
have too much trouble with small amounts of copper in my tap water not to
be very sensitive to the problems caused by copper in a tank.  If I were
going to use a rubber stopper, and couldn't get plastic tubing through it,
I would use either staninless steel, or glass tubing.


Subject: Microsorium pteropus?

>    Evidently not all Java ferns are the same species (?) A while back I 
>bought this plant that had the roots wrapped in a foam sheet and wedged 
>in a small plastic pot. When I prepared to place them in the aquarium I 
>was appalled at how tiny the rhizomes were. Being a relative newcomer to 
>planted tanks I figured that was the way they were supposed to look and 
>they would soon begin covering the driftwood despite the pencil lead thin 
>rhizomes. Now four months later there has been zero growth (zero decay 
>also) despite water conditions that were normal for this plant according 
>to the sources I have read.  
>      I have since read in " A Fishkeepers Guide to Aquarium Plants" by 
>Barry James, of a Malaysian species that is not suited to submersion. Has 
>anyone else had this experience? How do you recognize the varieties that 
>are well suited to the aquarium?  Is this another example of terrestrial 
>plants being foisted upon the hobbyist as an aquarium plant?

There is more than one species of Microsorum, (no "i" in Microsorum, BTW)
but as far as I know, the other species are not imported commercially.
There _are_ at least 4 different varieties of M. pteropus available in the
hobby, but all grow well submersed.  

Have you grown other Java Ferns in your tank?  Do you know that they do
well in your water?  While Java Fern is considered an "easy" plant by many
people, it is also a plant that fails to thrive for some people who seem to
be doing everything right.  Possible reasons are water chemisrty parameters
that we don't (can't) currently test for, allelochemical competition from
other plants, or a disease process of some sort.  

The other problem is that Microsorum pteropus in the wild is a very rough
plant, full of parasites, and often collected under brackish conditions.
Wild collected specimens (and a lot of the commercially available Java Fern
_is_ wild collected) acclimates very poorly to captive cultivation.  

Leave the rhizome in place, and hopefully it will recover.  If it doesn't,
I _still_ wouldn't assume you have one of the other species, as they are
not found in the same locations, so are unlikely to be collected by mistake.  

Try to get some hobbyist grown Microsorum, and see how that does.  It will
probably fair much better.  If it doesn't, you may just have conditions in
your tank that are just not conducive to the culture of this plant.
Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association