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Re: DC Zoo -- Amazonia

> Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 06:28:14 -0500 (EST)
> From: ac554 at freenet_carleton.ca (David Whittaker)
> Subject: Re: DC Zoo -- Amazonia
> Alysoun McLaughlin noted that the DC Zoo's 'Amazonia' exhibit
> contained anubias, rotala and java moss. I noticed anubias
> and rotala indica prominent in a similar Amazonia rainforest
> exhibit in the Montreal Biodome. It makes one wonder about the
> integrity of other areas of this artificial environment. They
> probably figured that only one person in ten thousand would
> notice.

The Dallas World Aquarium's centerpiece exhibit is its Amazonian
rainforest, complete with squirrel and howler monkeys, toucans, jaguars,
numerous amazonian terrestrials, and several very large aquariums filled
with amazonian fish and herps (crocodiles included).

However, as with the other aquariums mentioned above, the plants are
often not amazonian.  I've seen Java Fern, mainly.  I think I've also
seen anubias.

I think the main reason for this though, is that sometimes good
amazonian plants are not as easy to find or care for.  Consider whether
you'd like to maintain Echinodorus spp over java fern and anubias in an
overstocked, ozonated aquarium.  Do you want to run the nutrient
contents and lighting to keep some of these plants happy and growing,
knowing that you may have to take months to break the tank in, or would
you prefer to just set up a nice rockscape and attach a few low-light
tolerant plants?

So far, the Dallas World Aquarium hasn't been all too successrul with
their plants from what I've seen.  In their largest tank, the've just
tried water hyacinth in addition to echinodorus, but their new amazonian
water turtles (tropicals, similar in diet to sliders) seem to really
enjoy these plants.  They're trying to get permits to display Venezuelan
manatees now (they're among the few places I've seen that could keep
manatees healthy and happy, IMO).  When that happens, they'll be tossing
hyacinth in that tank by the bucketful to keep up with the manatees'

David W. Webb
Live-Foods list administrator