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Re: plant groupings

Thank's folks!  I feel much better now :-).

Just a few responses here...
Steve Pushak wrote:

> Hmmm... I've never found C. wendtii to be particularly slow growing in
> comparison to other Crypts. If you fertilize the substrate especially
> with clay and fertilizer, this plant can grow quite rapidly.

Sorry, I didn't mean to give the impression that C. wendtii was
slow-growing compared to other Crypts, only that it is slow growing
compared to many other aquarium plants.  My impression is that its
typically about "normal" for Crypts and maybe a little on the fast-growing
side (for Crypts). 

> ------------------------------

Bob Ashcraft wrote:

> 	I remember having hallucinations like this once, but I don't think
> they were deprivation induced.  Now that I think back, it was right after
> that freak sky diving accident, or was it that industrial chemical spill, or
> maybe it was just the 60's. 

The 60's?  I remember that.  I think...

> ------------------------------

Alysoun Mclaughlin wrote:
> The hygro, however, is a pain.  It will look great for a few weeks, and then
> the roots start.

Ditto.  I found it hard to keep H. polysperma from looking like a weed,
so I stopped growing it.

> ------------------------------

Eric Deese wrote:

> However, once a critical
> density of plants is reached, growth is explosive.
> I have often wondered exactly what motivates this. I find this
> only works when I initially establish the planting with three
> or more seperate plants - not just a multi-plant runner of a 
> single plant. Overlapping of the different root systems seems
> to be the factor the causes this phenomenon. I don't know if
> each respective plant somehow detects that there is another
> seperate plant within close proximity, and it therefore must
> spread out to enhance it's survival ability (due to competition
> for nutrients or other resources) or what. I have noticed that 
> when I don't start with "enough" initial plants, that a group 
> will often times never establish, and I will wind up with a 
> singular plant, or it will eventually die off (from loneliness???).

With several Crypts and a few other plants I have had better luck
establishing groups of 3 or more than I have getting one plant to grow.
Now when I buy plants I routinely buy at least two and usually more of one
species, and plant them close together (not larger Echinodorus, though). 
I'm not sure yet, but my most recent success with this effect might be with 
Barclaya longifolia. 

I don't know why groups often seem to grow so much better than individual
plants, and I'd love to hear some more ideas.

One idea I've had relates back to some reading on nutrient uptake by
plants.  Plants produce chelating agents and probably other chemicals from
their roots to help make nutrients available.  Perhaps a high density of
roots increases the effect from those chemicals?  This possibility would
seem especially likely if there is a species-specific agent that is also
attacked by bacteria.  Having closely spaced roots would help overcome the
bacterial breakdown, and if it was species-specific then any plant of the
same species might benefit from the presence of the agent, while plants
from other species would not. 

> ------------------------------

David Webb wrote:
> Oh, it gets worse, Roger.  Andrea and I have been in basic aquarium
> deprivation for almost a year now, and we just snapped.

Ok, I'm imagining you both nervously wandering about the house, putting 
plants in mason jars, plants in cookie jars, plants in drinking glasses, 
plants in the diaper pail...  Oh when will it ever end! :-)

> ------------------------------

Tom Peterson wrote:

> In response to your response of your own response... :)  Have you had any
> similar experiences with dwarf sag?

I haven't, but it sounds like Eric and Alysoun have.

Roger Miller
In Albuquerque, where you'd think this was a desert or something.