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Madagascar Lace Plants
I've had these plants on and off over the years, and my last
go-round was most successfull.
buy a pant with too many leaves. A few small ones is alright
if it's in the beginning of it's growth cycle, but they don't
like to be moved and IMO will not recover well if they are.
give them a big tank. A huge tank if possible. I bought two bulbs
from the same soure, both a bit smaller than a golf ball. I put one
in a 10 gallon tank and one in a 40 gallon tank. They both grew
to fill their tanks, and got no bigger than that.
keep them too warm. 72 is ideal.
feed them, heavily. They are immense feeders. The one in the 40
site in 4" of fine sand, with the bottom 1/2" being steel wool
(for iron) and cow manure. This is what the guy I got them from
(Jim Robinson in Mississauga, Ontario) uses, so I did as well.
Jim got about 50-100 bulbs and planted them all in a 65 gal tank.
Each one went nuts and put out leaves 2 to 3 feet long and almsot
6 inches wide. Them, they all flowered. If you go to his place
now, you'll see hundreds of tiny laceplamts in that tank.
He completley ignores them, except for the occasional addition
of a "plant tab".
Here are some images of this plant:
The above is taken from the side of the 36" long 40G tank. The
plant is a the other end of the tank. The height of the tank
is a foot. This pacture was taken when the plant was about
half grown. Whenit was completely grown, it filled the tank
so completely, other plants, even crypts, did'nt have a chance
to compete - they were totally choked out.
This is a picture of some killifish that liked to bask in
the strong light above the leaves that hung under the surface.
The fish are about an inch long the these leaves were about 4" wide.
To see the plant with leaves not all tucked under the sirface
the tank would need to be 3 or 4' tall. I've never seen
a tank that big and I'm sure my 200 year old wooden floors would
never support that weight. This is not a plant for small tanks.
Yes, this is my all time favorite plant. (C.purpurae is
Richard J. Sexton
richard at aquaria_net
Bannockburn, Ontario, Canada +1 (613) 473 1719