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substrate for Aponogeton rigidifolius
Susan Romano asked about the proper substrate for Aponogeton
I claim no expertise with Aponogetons but I have pretty good success
with A crispus. The prevailing opinion is that Aponogetons generally do
not have thick root systems and are not well adapted to organic
(reducing) substrates. Avoid peat and other organic materials as well as
strong concentrations of substrate fertilizer which could burn the roots
ESPECIALLY during the early phases before the plant has had a chance to
I try to leave my Aponogetons alone once I've planted them. None of them
respond well if moved and this can be enough to severely set back A
madagascariensis. My current substrates and tank temps do not lend
themselves to Aponogetons. When I have room for more aquariums, I'd like
to try dedicating a cool water tank for lace plants.
Windelov's Tropica Catalogue, Aquarium Plants, A Complete Introduction
(t.f.h) by Holger Windelov & Jiri Stodola says:
"The ecological conditions under which the Aponogeton species live are
very interesting. First of all they demand soft water without calcium,
mildly acid and frequently changed. ... The pH value should be 7.0-8.0,
hardness 3-5 DH.
"Plant the thick tuberous rootstock not too deeply in a mixture of 1/3
rough unwashed sand without any calcium content, 1/3 charcoal, and 1/3
aged clay. It is necessary to add dried balls of clay under the roots
during the vegetative period when leaves fully develop. The treatment of
the tuberous rootstock is also important when transplanting. It should
be soft and not foul, and the softly concave middle should not be fully
covered with sand."
The statement "without calcium" is probably an exaggeration. All plants
require calcium in order to fulfil their tissue requirements. In some
situations such as here in Vancouver, our water truly has no calcium and
we need to add it to achieve 3-5 DH.
Good luck Susan! I like Aponogetons. One is trying to take over my 75
gallon tank now.