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Banana Plants & Intro.

   Hello everyone, 
This is my first note to the list, so I'll post my question, and then my

    I've read differing opinions on whether one should grow Banana plants
(the small water lily-like plant from the eastern USA, sorry I forgot to
bring the Latin name to work this morning) in a simple gravel or soil-based
substrate.  Right now I have 5 or 6 in simple gravel, but I'm wondering if
I should move them into a more nutritional substrate in another aquarium.
If anyone could share which kind of substrate has brought them success, I
would appreciate hearing about it.

   I've been trying to grow aquarium plants and create natural environments
for various tropical fish off and on since I was 8 or so (32 years now),
and just returned to my passion with the chance to set up a tall 20 gal.
aquarium in my studio.  So far I have banana plants, java fern,
bladdderwort, frogbit and water lettuce growing under 2 - 40 watt
fluorescent bulbs.  I'm hoping to add several "kuhli"-type loaches to help
balance the tank.  It's a joy to grow plants after maintaining my wifes
nearly naked cichlid tank for several years.
    I've only been reading the list for a week, but this is truly a great

John H. Phillips III               e-mail:phillips at library_ucsf.edu
Interlibrary Loan     Rm 202
Health Sciences Library
University of California
530 Parnassus Ave
San Francisco,  CA  94143-0840
PH:   (415) 476-8383
FAX: (415) 476-7940