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Red Lotus Bulbs

Hello all.  I by no means feel extremely savvy on the subject of lotus 
bulbs, but I spoke with someone who has amazing red and green tiger lotus 
growing in ponds.  His first recommendation was a fertile substrate.  He 
uses potting soil in a pot, and uses tree spikes as his fertilizer.  Now 
this is in a pond, so we are talking a much larger scale, but I wanted to 
try and explain what is possible.  Here is what he does.  Step one, pot the 
bulb in a 4" pot with potting soil and small gravel on top.  Put 4 tree 
spikes around the bulb.  Put the pot 3-4 inches below the water surface. 
 Every month, he adds another 2-4 tree spikes to the pot.  His lotus plants 
grow emergent leaves up to 6' tall, and produce 4 or so flowers in the 
first year.  The second year can double the number of blooms.

Now for what I do for my lillys in my fish tanks, (not ponds).  I use a 
peat substrate mixed with medium gravel, (only 1.5 inches).  Then I cover 
with pool filter sand (fairly coarse, no dust problems, and settles 
quickly), only 1" deep.  This gives me a 2.5" substrate, and I have had no 
problems with it.  I use trumpet snails to keep the substrate turned.  I 
run 280 watts of light over an 80 gallon tank, and 60 watts over a 55 
gallon tank.  Both grow the lillys well.  The only other thing I do is 
change the water every 1.5-2 weeks (50% change) and clip any floating 
leaves before they reach the top.  I get about 2-3 new leaves per day out 
of the 80 gallon tank, and 1-2 out of the 55.  They are beautiful, and I 
love watching the clown loaches sleep on the leaves.  Oh well, guess that 
is all for now.
Troy Luttrell
In Jacksonville Florida, where we are hoping for rain soon!
Rathwine at mediaone_net

Also, if anyone has some savvy knowledge regarding Red Lotus bulbs and
their particular needs, I would love to listen- I really want to
establish these plants in my new tank. I rarely see them in good
condition at the shops, but when I do, they're something to behold.
Thanks to all......Morgan