PMDD, UGF/Heater, ID, Selling Plants, Javas etc.

 Subject: PMDD 

Bill Warner wrote:

> First of all, what the heck is PMDD?  It sounds like some kind o
> illness.<G> 

Oh no, Bill!  You're showing yourself to be an APD "newbie"<VBG>

PMDD = "Poor Man's Dupla Drops"

This is actually not a very good label, but the one that seems to 
have stuck.  Actually, Dupla DROPS are not a complete fertilizer 
by themselves... they are part of the Dupla system, and must be 
used in conjunction other products (particularly Dupla Plant 
tablets) to provide a balanced trace element supplement.

Some APD'ers have developed a DIY trace element supplement that 
seems to com very close to meeting all the nutritional needs of 
aquarium plants.  It is actually, however, closer to Tropica's 
"Mastergrow" than it is to Dupla drops.


Subject: UGF/heater system

> Dismantling a UGF:
> for the person wanting to dismantle the UGF in the 100g--I seem 
> in a discussion some time ago about UGH that someone had success
> a UGF plate with small submersible heaters in the uplift tubes. 
> this supposed to create a slight current similar to UGH cable he
> course, I'm way over my head here, but I thought I'd raise this

Be careful here!!! Using heaters in the uplift tubes of a UGF 
_does_ serve to move water _very slowly_ through the substrate. 
(it actually works quite well in this capacity)  It will _NOT_ 
serve any useful function as a FILTER when used in this manner.  
It does not move water quickly enough to keep the substrate 
aerobic, which is necessary if you want to use the substrate for 
biological filtration.  

I think as long as the substrate is pretty clean, and does not 
contain a lot of un-decomposed food, it is probably safe to just 
turn a UGF off in a _heavily planted_ tank.  (at least this seems 
to be the experience of a number of people who have tried it... 
I've never worked with traditional UGF's personally)  If you were 
going to run into problems by just turning off the UGF, I'm pretty 
sure you'd run into the same problems using heaters in the 


Subject:  Plant ID

> thanks in large part to all the help I get here, I'm achieving i
> success with aquatic plants.  I do not, however, know the name o
> successful plant.  Can someone help me with an ID?  Description:
> recall it was sold as "Moneywort."  It is a stem plant with rath
> leaves.  At regular intervals the leaves emerge from the stem in
> opposite each other.  Each pair alternates direction--that is to
> pair of leaves emerges east and west from the stem, the pairs ab
> below emerge north and south.  The plant roots itself quite well
> sometimes roots protrude from the places where the leaves are at
> What is it?

Most likely Liysimachia nummularia.  It fits your description, and 
is the plant the common name "Moneywort" is usually attached to.


Subject:  Selling plants

> Since these and other plants are doing so well I am going to hav
> rid of some (I can't find my fish).  For the stem plants I take 
> retailer, how many stems is appropriate for a bunch.  Do you fol
> weights for each bunch you sell or is that the retailer's job?  
> do you bunch them?  How long should the stalks be?  I find that 
> couple inches will turn into a couple of feet in a matter of wee

Remember that bunch plants are extremely inexpensive at the 
wholesale level.  You're not going to get much for your bunch 
plants, but the best way to get the most you can is to do it the 
way the retailer wants you to!  Ask them how they'd prefer you to 
handle the plants.  Then make sure your bunches are bigger, taller 
and in better condition than anything they'd find at the 

Subject:  Java Fern problem, sort of

> My Java Fern does smashingly--in one sense.  Attached to the lit
> bought a long time ago are many, many little plants, spanning se
> generations.  Can anyone speculate as to why the main plant does
> much and why it and its descendants keep producing more offsprin
> looks more like a shrub than a rosette plant.

Well, it will _never_ look like a rosette plant, because it isn't 
one.  It's a rhizome plant.  A healthy stand will increase along 
the rhizome and become larger and larger.

Do you have very soft water?  I have noticed that Javas seem to 
produce more plantlets and grow a less robust rhizome under very 
soft acid water conditions.  With a little more hardness in the 
water and a neutral-ish pH, It seems to grow into a larger plant 
with fewer (though still plenty) of plantlets.  Over-production of 
plantlets seems to be a sign of stress in the mother plant.

Subject: Trace element problem?

> Along with my successes have come some failures.  Notably I have
> good luck with swords, H. Poly., or something someone gave me th
> Needle Ludwigia.  Although the swords have lived for a year like
> they, like the ludwigia and the hygro always look pale and leave
> dissolve as they age.  The ludwigia and hygro have just about ha
> can't seem to get the easy ones to grow!  Plants I gather are to
> grow (e.g. anubias nana, corkscrew val, etc. do very well).  I k
> tank is not optimal for plants, but am I right in thinking my Fl
> not doing the job?  Could it be that it's gone bad (some sort of
> settles out of it).

We'd need to know  much more about your tank to trouble shoot the 
problem, but do keep in mind  that no one (at least no one I 
know<g>) can grow everything well.  Sometimes you can track down 
the problem, sometimes it's more difficult.  I have some plants 
that do much better in one tank than in a very similar set up in 
another room... I really don't know why.  

Look at your _over all_ success.  Are _most_ plants doing well for 
you? Then it's probably not an obvious cultural problem.  It is 
something that will require more "tweaking".  I have found that 
under my tank conditions, Echinodorus sp. do not do well unless I 
pot them with soil and laterite or micronized iron.  This is 
certainly an easy thing to try.

Don't take labels of "hard" or "easy" to seriously.  I don't think 
anyone would consider Anubias nana in the difficult category.  
Vals are "hard" or "easy" based on the conditions in your tank.  I 
used to think that Rotala macrandra was a "difficult" plant.  Now 
that I've worked out exactly what it needs _under my conditions_, 
it runs rampant in my tank, an will quickly block all light to 
plants below if allowed to grow unchecked... But I still can't 
keep Duckweed. (not that I'm working too hard on that one ;-)


Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA