Pistia, Alternanthera and Java Fern

Subject: Pistia
> I would like to know what are the best conditions to grow Pistia
> stratiotes. So far, I put it in a jar with some soil and gravel 
> the bottom and about 5cm/2in. of water. The jar is on the window
> sill (at room temp). Does is need higher humidity (i.e. should I
> cover the jar) or higher temp? 
> The reason I put  it in a jar is that I didn't have much luck ke
> it alive in an aquarium before. I hope direct sunlight might be
> better. 

Pistia (commonly known as water lettuce) generally does better in 
a pond than in the aquarium.  In the aquarium, it usually gets 
smaller and smaller until it looks like big Salvinia.  It 
definitely does _not_ like the high humidity under the lid of a 
closed top aquarium.  If you want to grow it indoors, grow it in 
an open container with lots of light.


Subject: Alternanthera

	I recently purchased a plant labelled Thal. strecta which
> turned out to be, to the best of my knowledge, one of the alliga
> weeds (Alternanthera).  Are all species of Alternanthera only
> semi-aquatic, or are there some true aqautic specimens?  Any goo
> books on identifying the different species?  TIA

As far as I know, all species of alternanthera are seni-aquatic or 
marginal plants in the wild.  That said, there are several species 
that will do well in the aquarium as long as they have very bright 
light, CO2 and adequate trace element supplementation.


 Subject: Java fern
> I have a small strand of Java fern attached to bog wood in a 10 
> with DIY c02 injection.  The fern has minature spore plants on a
>  Some have more than 10/ea. per leaf.  What is the best way to g
> Do I leave them on the parent or pinch them off and attach them 
> too?

They will probably develop no matter what you do.  My preference 
is to allow them to develop at least 3 leaves and several roots 
before separating them from the parent root and attaching them 


Subject: Re: Java fern
> On 13 Aug 1996, Dan Simon wrote:

> > I have a small strand of Java fern attached to bog wood in a 1
> > gallon tank with DIY c02 injection.  The fern has minature spo
> > plants on all the leaves. 

> What are you asking for specifically?  Do you want to try your h
> growing fern from spores or do you just want more java ferns by 
> ever means?

Besides plantlets on leaf tips, it is not at all unusual for 
Microsorum to develop plantlets at the site of the spore packets 
as well.  I assume this is what Dan is describing.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA