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Re: Water sprite questions

Bob Dixon Wrote:

> Subject: Water Sprite Questions

> I seem to find two different plants being refered to as Water Sprite.  Can
> someone help me out?  (Snip)


Actually there are at least four plants which are called water sprite by
many people. They are: Ceratopteris pteroides, Ceratopteris thalictroides,
Ceratopteris siliquosa, and Hygrophila difformis.  

C. pteroides seems to do best on the surface, While the other three will do
well either planted or left floating.  However, if planted C. thalictroides
and C. siliqousa become very large.  I say large because they have the
capability to be both tall and wide.  One specimen can cover a third of a
75gal aquarium.

Other names used for these plants include Indian Fern amd Water Wisteria.
The Rataj Aquarium Plants atlas has an excellent picture of Hygrophila
difformis on page 116.  Pages  122-127 show decent pictures of the other
three.  My personal favorite is C. siliquosa.  This fine-leafed plant
grows rapidly enough to harvest 30 to 40 young plants in a 75gal in less
than a month.  Although it is not generally available in the industry,
I have seen it come in with plant shipments from Singapore.

There was confusion at one time that C. thalictroides and C siliquosa were
the same plants grown under different conditions.  Having raised all four
in identical conditions it is obvious they were correctly identified in
the Rataj/Horeman atlas.

> Also, I got some of the former "Water Sprite" from my favorite LFS on
> Thursday.  This is the first time I have seen it in years.  Since then, I have
> seen the planted ones develop holes in the leaves.  I suspect they are on the
> diest of one of the tank's inhabitants.  The suspects include Ottos, a pleco,
> and Venezuelan Ramshorns.

The pleco and the ramshorn snails gets it to 50/50 and I'd bet on the pleco,
unless the snails have been starved of algae. 8-)

Karl R. Schoeler