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Crypt melt

>Date: Fri, 04 Sep 1998 03:00:51 -0700
>From: Steve Pushak <teban at powersonic_bc.ca>
>Subject: Re: plant groupings
>Has ANYBODY read the latest article in TAG on crypt melting??? Nobody
>has commented on this yet so I may have to resort to replying to my own
>message too! Wait... I think I can see responses now, yes dozens of
>them... floating up before me like ghostly images on the CRT... ;-)

Steve, I've meant to for years, but still haven't gotten around to
subscribing to the Aquatic Gardener, so I'm a little in the dark about your
article on crypt melting.  I really need to join the AGA, but I keep losing
the address and so haven't mailed the check.

Anyways, to the subject...

I used to have lots of problems with crypt rot, but once I started keeping
tanks that didn't get many water changes, the crypt rot pretty much went
away.  I only have one tank (at my parents' house) with crypts (wendtii)
that has recurring rot, but this tank is in direct sunlight for half the
day and also regularly evaporates away the 1/4" of water that I cover the
substrate with when I add water.  This tank also doesn't benefit from
Amquel when I add water, so I really don't expect these crypts to do all
that well.  However, I noticed significantly increased crypt growth the
last time I checked on the tank (last weekend) now that the hygrophila
difformis (that I added a year and a half ago to help consume excess
nutrients coming up from the peat/vermiculite/micronized iron lower
substrate) has nearly covered the entire substrate with multipinnate
emersed leaves (100% humidity will allow for multipinnate emersed leaves
instead of mint-shaped leaves on H. difformis).

Your note prompted consideration of the lighting levels on these leaves.  I
thought the recurrent melting was just due to changing water levels, but it
may be possible also that they were getting too much light.  One other
factor that I failed to mention is that I switched from two 15w lights over
the tank (in addition to sunlight) to a twin-tube 48" shoplight sitting on
top of that tank and its twin (both 30g breeders, 24"x24"x12"h) on their
homebuilt stand.  This should actually increase the lighting that the
crypts receive, but perhaps the combination of increased NO lighting and
decreased direct sunlight due to the change in day length may have a
significant positive effect on these plants.  I'm hoping that these few
tiny crypts will soon turn into a mass like those Roger describes in his
tank, because I'd love to steal some for the tanks at my house.

David W. Webb 
Live-Foods list administrator