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Re:Eichornia asurea and Nitrogen storage

>From: Stephen Pushak <teban at powersonic_bc.ca>
>Subject: Eichhornia azurea
>We recently acquire some specimens of this plant here in Vancouver and
>thanks to Olga, several of us have samples to try.
>Beyond the standard advise offered in the text books (needs high light,
>low to moderate carbonate hardness, trim before it reaches the surface)
>can anyone offer any first hand observations with this plant?
>Is it a fast grower? Does it have any tendency to grow exposed roots?
>What happens when you top it? Does it make side branches? Do you like
>using it for aquascaping or is it a difficult plant to keep looking
>smart? Baench rates this as a difficult plant to grow, on a par with
>Cabomba piauhyensis. Any other comments or tips?

Kasselmann says it is difficult and does best in strongly acid to neutral
water that is well supplied with nutrients.  The soil should also be a rich
loamy soil.  The more light the better.  She does not mention side branches
and says you propagate it when it reaches the water surface and starts
growing an aerial shoot by cutting it back and planting the cut end.

>From: Stephen Pushak
>Subject: Nitrogen storage
>If you grow fast growing plants in an environment where they have lots
>of available nitrogen, such as in small brightly lit tanks with
>killiefish, and then harvest the plants to another container where they
>are getting _less_ light, will those plants release a lot of nitrogen
>especially if some of them decay? I've used Salvinia from my large tanks
>for Betta breeding without problems in the past but had a high ammonia
>situation develop (1ppm after 5 days) in a 2 gallon tank with 2 bettas
>for breeding. I was using Salvinia, Frogbit and Ceratopteris in this
>tank. I think I should have maintained better lighting on this tank.

The dry weight nitrogen content can range from a little less than 1% up to
a little over 4%, depending on availability.  So, yes, plants grown with a
good nitrogen supply can release a lot more nitrogen when they decay than
plants grown with a poor nitrogen supply.  It probably didn't bother the
bettas too much, since they are air-breathers and tolerant of swampy

Paul Krombholz, in beyond soggy central Mississippi where the inch of rain
forcast became 4 inches.