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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #999

On Thu, 29 Apr 1999, Pete rose wrote:

> I was trying to find what might be impossible. I'd like to get some
> Enchinodorus plants that would not
> outgrow a 55 gallon tank (or at least take a while to.)
> Tropica recommended E. cordifolius and E. schlueteri as being more
> restrained. I was also considering E. martii.

Cordifolius?  That's surprising advice as they grow fast and get large.  I
had one that I bought at a reduced price - a small potted plant in sad,
sad shape.  It took a couple weeks to acclimate before it started growing,
but once it started it burst out of the top of a 20 gallon tank so quickly
and with such vigor that I discarded the plant rather than trying to move
it to my 55.  I tend to look at E. cordifolius as a good pond plant - not
an aquarium plant at all.

> I looked through the archives. Several folks mentioned that their E.
> cordifolius put huge floating leaves at the surface, and grew too big to
> be manageable. Didn't find much on schlueteri. One guy mentioned his E.
> martii grew to 40".
> So, is there any Echinodorus that stops growing at 20-25" or so? Or
> perhaps another type of plant that looks similiar to a swordplant. Or
> is the answer just to replace them every year or two with smaller
> specimens?

I think that either E. amazonicus or E. bleheri ("plain" swords) might
stay small enough to grow in a 55.

There are a few medium to large size rosette plants that you might look at
as alternatives to sword plants.  Many Aponogetons could be planted in the
place of medium to large sword plants.  On the small-to-medium side of
things, I like Barclaya longifolia.  I've also seen Cape Fear spatterdocks
used as one might use a sword plant, but I have no experience with those.
I think there are a number of Cryptocoryne that get up to medium sizes and
offer nice color variations as well as good size and interesting leaf
form, but those might be hard to find.

Roger Miller