Aponos and Aponos

Subject: Madagascar Lace Plant Blooming

> My Madagascar lace leaf, that was the most beautiful and healthy
> (approx. 12" tall) I have ever seen, is just entering it's sixth
> tank and is shooting up new budding leaves, and--
> .. flower stalks that are racing for the surface at a rate of gr
> almost 1" per day! They look identical to the blooming stalks in
> Plants Manuel" (Barron's).... The longest stalk s about 7" long 
> 5" away from the open topped surface.

It is very common for Aponogetons, including Mad. Lace to send up 
flower spikes in the aquarium.  FYI though, a 12" Mad Lace is 
still a _BABY_!  I had one that was about 26" tall and took over 
1/3 of a 70G tank.

> I am hoping some of the Aponogeton experts here can tell me what
> means and what I should do, as I am at a total loss...? I assume
> plant is rather happy, but am wondering if blooming means the be
> the end--the dormant period; I doubt this as the plant has all o
> leaves popping forth...?

I would say that the fact that the plant is small and actively 
putting out new foliage is a good sign.  I think the fact that it 
is flowering is neither here nor there. (but it _is_ fun!;-) 
> And what do I do with the flowers when they open? I have only ev
> Aubias species bloom in my 4 month old tank. Do I need to pollin
> with a paintbrush? And what exactely does this--"pollinate"--mea
> dust the flowers back and forth?

> And then what about the seeds? 
> just drop into my tank, or should I remove them? Will they sprou
> need to do something special to them for propagation?

They will sprout right in your tank if the plant is self fertile 
(some are, some are not) The problem is that the sprouting seed is 
_very_ attractive to fish, even those not usually herbivorous.  If 
you have any bottom dwellers in the tank, they will knock them out 
of the substrate even if they don't eat them.  To maximize 
results, you need to move the seed to a tank with similar good 
conditions where they won't be disturbed.  They need a good 
nutritious substrate (not too rich in organic matter) and good 
lighting to grow well.

> Could I ju
> carefully mail them off to other interested aquarists?

You could, but I wouldn't bother.  Getting Aponogetons to fflower 
is not hard, and setting seed is luck of the draw.  Raising the 
seedlings is the challenge... go for it!<g>

> Forgive my total ignorance, but I am just WAY out of my league o
> experience here... I just wanted to the darn thing to survive fo
> months (which I was told, in all odds, wouldn't happen!)...

I'm glad you're having fun, and I hope your plant _does_ remain 
healthy.  But don't be disappointed if you lose it. They sometimes 
go great guns for a short while and then fail anyway. 


Subject: aponegeton somethingus

> I picked up a few aponegetons today, but i dont know what kind t
> the bulbs are a bit fatter, and the leaves are long and thin, li
> grass. any ideas?  they were 50 cents a piece, i could buy and s
> anyone wants some.

There are lots of Aponogetons on the market, many of them hybrids. 
 Many if not most of them look "grasslike" when they are first 
sprouting.  It's impossible to even guess what they'll be at this 
point.  $.50 each is about right for justs sprouting, unidentifed 
Apono bulbs price wise.  Enjoy them though, Aponos are neat plants 
what ever you end up with!

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA