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Re: 2 part question: Lava Rocks & Mondo grass

Date sent:      	Sun, 25 Mar 2001 15:48:01 -0500 (EST)
From:           	Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com (Aquatic Plants Digest)
To:             	Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
Subject:        	Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #922
Send reply to:  	Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
Matt <cheapo2 at mac_com> wrote:
> Subject: 2 part question: Lava Rocks & Mondo grass
> I have a 33 gal (12" x 36" x 18") tank. It was given to me by the previous
> tenant of my apartment (yay.), but had lava rocks siliconed to the entirety
> of the rear glass. Some of these were supporting Java ferns. Needless to
> say, I stripped the tank, but a few of those ferns were handsome enough, and
> they were also the only plants I had, so I put them back in, still attached
> to their host lava rocks. I built a canopy with 2x36" (30w) tubes and
> replaced the decrepit AquaFlow 201 filter with a Fluval 304. Temp is 78F
> (26C). Lights are on 10 hours a day. No CO2. Fish: 3 angels, 1 zebra loach,
> 1 big old cory (a survivor from the original setup), 14 Amano shrimp, 1
> smallish Pleco.
> Five months later I have a moderately planted tank.  (Egeria densa,
> Echinodorus macrophyllus, Aponegeton crispus, Hygrophila, Crypts, some type
> of Nymphea and the above mentioned Mondo grass (more on that later)).
> However, I am experiencing some weird plant issues:
> 1. Initially, I planted some Hydrocotyle leucocephala. They never
> flourished. They did produce some new leaves but these rarely exceeded the
> size of a quarter. Older leaves turned very pale and limp... I eliminated
> this plant from my tank. Easy to grow? Not for me.

Yes, easy to grow, hard to kill. There was not enough nutrients in 
the water column. This stuff grows exponentially when I out it in 
high NO3 tanks. Check your levels.

> 2. My Hygro: While it has produced a fairly dense carpet, the leaves remain
> smallish and are often slightly curled, both along their edges and at the
> tips.

Again, check the nutrient levels. Ca or Mg maybe low, Fe or NO3 
are probably 0?
> 3. My swords: a fairly recent addition to the tank, these are producing new
> leaves and losing their original leaves (normal?) but the new leaves are
> small and bolt straight for the top.
See above...
> Could any of this be attributed to the lava rocks? What other factors might
> be in play

See above...
> I bought something at the LFS labelled Mondo Grass. Curly blue-green blades,
> about 6" high, blades sprout from the base of the plant in a nearly
> symmetrical interwoven pattern. Roots are thick (1-2mm) with little bulbous
> swellings here and there. Contrary to the info on the Krib's blacklist, it
> has survived more than a month and is producing new growth. What is it?! (It
> does resemble the pictures of terrestrial Mondo Grass I have spotted
> online.)

It is Mondo grass, especially sold for terrariums/paludariums, or 
outlining your walkway around the yard. It may grow a leaf or two, 
but it's time is borrowed. 

Jamie    <"\\\>< Aquatic plants, water chemistry, and cichlids
Greenwood, SC     http://www.ais-gwd.com/~jjirons