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RE: Growing mangroves

Sorry for not responding sooner.  We are not, in any way, experienced
mangrove keepers, but I will tell you what we've done and what we've

We dug up our plants down at the beach (Hawaii).  They tend to grow in
sandy mud.  They are very tenacious, so even the young ones (two leaves)
are tough to get out.  We always lose some of the roots.  They can be
found along the shore and also along the side of some streams within a
mile or so of the ocean.

We have a couple outside in a kiddie pool (fresh water, in a pot with
rocks) with our turtles.  They seem to be growing slowly.

Where we have been more successful is in our _very_ slightly brackish
(~1 cup of Instant Ocean in 100 gal.) indoor aquarium.  We have archer
fish in there so we like to keep the top open.  The tank is away from a
sliding door that gets indirect sun light.  Before I installed the
lights, the plants just had whatever light they got through the sliding
door, plus ambient incandescent light for a few hours at night.  We have
the plants suspended with some fishing line tied to a shelf above the
aquarium so that about half the plant is in the water.

The plants survived for at least three months with this rather low light
situation, even though they came from an area with almost direct
sunlight (except for the shade of some neighboring mangroves).  They
didn't grow much, although each developed at least two new leaves and
more roots.

Recently I installed a two lamp 4' fixture with 4100K T8's about 2'
above the water surface (attached to the bottom of the shelf from which
the mangroves are suspended).  The mangrove leaves are within about 6"
of the fixture.  They seem to like the increase in light, as most of
them have developed new leaves.  The longest roots extend a little past
1/2 the height of the tank (i.e. they have about a foot to go before
they reach the substrate).

I don't know if they would survive continuous submerging.  I recently
saw a documentary on Okinawa where they visited a bay lined with
mangroves.  There, the tide changed enough to completely submerge the
trees less than about 3' tall (I'm just guessing on the height based on
what the trees looked like underwater), but this was just for part of
the day.  They also mentioned that the trees excrete salt through the
surface of the leaves, which are periodically washed by rain (or when

Other observations:  when we go collecting, we sometime see the seeds
sprouting while still attached to the parent trees.

If anyone really wants to get some but can't find them, let me know.  My
wife and I have thought about sending some out.  Also, it would help if
you let me know what you're willing to pay so we can see if we can at
least cover our costs.

Hope this helps.

Happy Holidays!

Wade Shimoda
Honolulu, HI