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November Summary

Wow! I just got finished reading all my APD's since Nov 1. What a month!! 

I was fascinated by several threads and think I noticed a few questions
that went unanswered. Shame, shame. :-) Here are some comments, hopefully
not too late:

Re: Lilaeopsis 
There are 2 species in the trade: L. brasiliensis (aka L. novae-zelandiae)
and L. carolinensis. There may actually be one from NZ, but it is not in
the hobby. The one we usually see is from Southern Brazil and neighboring
areas. I have the one from carolina - it is growing OK in my soft water;
with CO2; 2.5wpg, temp ~80F.  It would probably be a good foreground plant,
but for my setups, it is a much slower grower compared to Echinodorus

Re: Flourite and other substrate additives
IMO, the purpose of iron bearing substrates (incl. clay soils and Dupla
laterite) is to be an _initial_ source of iron and a site for binding
phosphates. Unless one re-plants the bottom, it can eventually get filled
with roots, get too much O2 and basically limit the ability of the
substrate to provide needed iron. (Probably also true for Flourite). Then
Fe supplements may be needed in really heavily planted, root bound
substrates.... Thru the water works for me.... although I have plant
transpiration pulling water thru the substrate, I am pretty sure the
chelated Fe does NOT principally get to MY plants thru the roots (except
possibly for the ferns :-).  
Also, I don't know many people who have used more than one type of
substrate or switch from one additive to another. I have to laugh each time
I hear people say that they added XXX to their substrate and the plants
grew better. Of course, these testimonials are based on their previous
experience with plain gravel,  and probably without mulm. 

Re: better sources of iron?
Sometimes less in solution is better than more. Too much iron and not
enough plants and algae may follow. I always like to know if people are
having success growing vascular plants WITHOUT an abundance of the more
primative flora. It is pretty easy to get both to grow together, but I do
not consider that to be a sign of success. I am pretty sure that some
chelators (and maybe gluconate?) allow the iron to stay in solution longer.
I had trouble with communities of certain plant mixes when I tried weekly
additions of pmdd (pmWd?) with Fe-EDTA.  e.g. My Hemianthus micranthemoides
and ferns did not do well in presence of heavy feeders like a large
Echinodorus. With better chelators, no problem.

Re: "Thomas D. Kryger's question about brush algae
>If my memory serves, I have  2 options:
>Mechanical removal, SAE or have I forgotten something?

*Increased CO2, lighting or other ways to push plant growth 
  and limit water nutrients
* Shrimps (ghost shrimps or Caridina japonica 
  (without something in the tank they like to eat better)
*bleach treatment on easy to remove plants (e.g. ferns, anubias) and rocks.
* Copper, conc =0.5ppm (without sensitive fishes or plants)

Re: Ammania gracilus/senagalensis. Tom Barr's seem love 3+watts/gal. I keep
mine w. less light but also lower KH.  My only problem with this red beauty
is that the stems sometimes get too thick.

Neil Frank
Exhausted after reading a record 740 messages.