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re: Aponogeton madagascariensus

> Has anyone successfully kept this plant, and if so, how did they go about

I purchased my A. mad. bulb about 1 1/2 years ago. It was owned for years by
a local aquarist (Southern Ontario) who "totally ignored" it.
I did the same: Following Neil Frank's advice (thanks Neil!), I put it in my
tank, close to a clump of Cryptocorynes, and ignored it. The plant grew long
leaves (40cm) but didn't flower. Then It went through its rest cycle and
came back again. Again without flowers. The temp was as high as 86deg F on
hot days, normally about 78deg F.

I moved recently and doubled(?) the amount of light to 4x27W T8s bulbs.
Again, I planted the bulb near a bunch of crypts.The bulb lost some of its
leaves during the move, but recovered very rapidly. Now I have 7 or 8 60cm!
long leaves, and a flower stalk. Temperature about 78deg F.

In both situations, I injected C02, pH at 6.9 to 7.0. Carbonate hardness
6dH, in the first tank, about 10 in the second.

My recommendations for A. mad., (totally unscientific gut feelings):
1. plant near crypt roots,
2. plant only the bottom half of the bulb
3. some clay or laterite in the substrate
4. let the plant grow and don't constantly re-arrange it - hands off
5. plant in fine sand and take care not to damage the bulb
6. temp 75-80 is OK
7. give it a Jobe palm and fern stick every now and then, especially when it
comes out of its rest period.
8. don't remove the bulb from the tank when it rests - the bulbs come from
PERMANENT creeks and rivers that silt up in the rainy season. According to
C. KASSELMANN in AQUARIENPFLANZEN (Ulmer, 1995), the reduced light due to
the soil in the water triggers the dormancy. It is not, as usually assumed,
the disappearance of the water from the habitat due to the dry season.
Therefore, leave the bulb in the tank, and ignore it.

FWIW, YMMW, etc., etc.

Michael Eckardt
"The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense,
not between right and wrong."
Carl Jung