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Re: colorful plants, short vals

>I have a 55 gallon tank and I am getting a little tired of all of the 
>green.  What is
>something that you all would suggest for a little color?  I was 
>thinking about something
>that isn't a stem plant, after that, anything goes.  (Echin, Apon, 
>Crypt, etc?)
Many tropical lotuses have red leaves and surface leaves can be trimmed
off, I have two in my 65 gal. that are doing quite well and add a bright
red.  You could also try Barclaya longifolia or Echinodorus osiris.

>Back around Christmas time, I purchased two Vals from Petsmart.  They 
>both pretty small and only had two blades/leaves each.  Well now that 
>I have
>finally gotten my main plant tank going strong (ie: having to trim 
>back to
>swords, Cambomba, and H. polysperma every five days) I expected my 
>vals to
>start growing nice and tall...  Instead of growing tall, they are
>propogating like mad, but are keeping relativly short leaves (3-6 
>One of the plants has developed two spiral leaves about 5" long (the 
>leaves on this plant) and a bunch of shorter, non-spiraled leaves.  
>other plant has two 6" leaves and then about 20-30 smaller leaves.  
>Does any
>one know why my vals are growing out instead of up?  My tanks stats 
>- -29 gallon
>- -2" of peat/sand covered by 1-2" of play sand as a substrate
>- -120 Watts of flouresent lighting (combination of Chroma 50s and
>plant/aquarium bulbs) on for 12 hours a day
>- -DIY CO2 injection into a power head situated 3" above the substrate
>- -Water is 14ppm GH out of the tap, and then Dolometic Limestone and 
>soda are added to bring the GH and KH up to around 100ppm
My guess would be that you have Valisineria tortifolia, which only ever
approaches 20 cm.  I don't know much about it, but have been trying to
find some for the middle ground of my 75 gal.  Check _A Fishkeeper's
Guide to Aquarium Plants_ by Barry James, Tetra Press, 1984.  Not much
info, but good pictures.


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