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Re: Advice on a 20g Emersed on Balcony

> Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 17:02:02 -0500
> From: Carlos Munoz <cmunoz at crystal_cirrus.com>
> Well, summer's just about here in Austin and I'm thinking of
> putting a 20g out on the balcony to grow some nice emersed plants
> that will complement my girlfriend's flower pots. 
> (Un)fortunately, on the balcony I only get morning sun (until ~noon), 
> the rest being ambient light...a net of ~180deg blue sky view.  

This is still a lot more than you get from fluorescent lights!

> Anyone have suggestions of what will grow well emersed in these
> conditions and look good among some colorful potted flowers?  It'd
> be nice to stick to emersed aquatics, but anything that likes "wet feet"
> would be okay.

I suggest you use a plastic box or tub instead of a tank, less worry 
about breakage, etc.

I grew a water hyacinth under similar conditions one summer, in about
a 3 gallon bucket.  I was surprised that it bloomed continually.  The
flowers are really pretty close up, and the foliage is strange looking
and attractive.  Water lettuce is another interesting-looking floating
plant.  In a larger bucket I had a big Cyperus alternifolius, a relative
of papyrus sometimes called "umbrella plant".  There's a vegetable called
eddoes, popular in the West Indies, which makes a beautiful emersed plant.
It's a form of taro, Colocasia esculenta, sometimes sold at a big markup
as Elephant Ears.  It has big leaves which interesting patterns on them,
and purple-black stems.

Water hyacinths may be illegal where you are, but up here in Canada they
don't have a prayer of surviving fall let alone winter, so we can have
as many as we want at outrageously high prices for a plant that is a 
serious pest in Florida.  The other plants should be easy to find at
plant nurseries that cater to water gardeners.  The eddoes you can find
in oriental or West Indian grocery stores.  Sorry, I don't know what
they are called in other languages.