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Re: fry plants
Java moss and Java ferns (in a couple of forms) come close to being official
killie plants because they are so pretty, tolerate low light and a variety
of water types. However they do grow slowly the way we usually grow them. On
the other hand, there are some people who have succombed to "plant keeper's
disease" and have a tank with more intensive lighting and some sort of CO2
unit and it is impressive how fast those plants grow under those
By the time you grow a tank of Java moss from a starter, you probably will
be growing a second generation of the australe and a third generation of the
Nsukka. Unless of course you find a really generous local aquarist.
An excellent cover plant for killies is water sprite (India fern to our
British brethren). It can also be planted and will assume such different
leaf shapes that some people will swear that plants from the same strain are
different species. (There are also different strains and species too.) Water
sprites are much faster growers than the Java crowd.
Floating around a lot of the fish clubs is Najas guadalupensis, usually just
called "nayas" or mispronounced "najas". It is a veritable weed. Get some if
you can. It only does so-so in soft water, but is great for hard and neutral
If you can't get any Najas through a shop, area general club or killie
affiliate and would like an egg-less start, e-mail me off list. You've gotta
promise not to leave any of it in a local river. It is an exotic people do
not want in the warmer rivers. Responsible aquarists do pile extra Najas on
their compost heaps.
The same virtues of Najas could be claimed for hornwort. Some good and very
pathetic (probably cold water) strains can be had at the shops. If you
medicate with anything other than salt around hornwort, you have about 20
minutes until it disintegrates.
All three of those plants are pretty good indicators of water quality. If
they begins to fall apart and your lighting is good, it is time to do more
frequent (but small - 10% every couple of days) partial water changes.
All the best!
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