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post #11 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 03:09 PM
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I agree it may be a Najas. N. guadalupensis and N. conferta are very similar in photos. I've never seen either, to my knowledge. Kasselman says there are roughly 40 known species, distinguished by differences in the denticulation of the leaf blade and sheath, and the surface structure when viewed under a microscope. She says they are rare because they easily break during transportation.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #12 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 03:37 PM
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As promised (I remembered!) here is a photo of what I have, looks similar to what you have I think. the top bit is the new growth, the bottom is old growth.
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post #13 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 04:01 PM
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Najas guadalupensis is very easy care. And it does grow best just as you have it, as a free-floating mass.

There are several related types of this plant, some take on slightly different form or colors.

I think it's likely that you have najas, as the heads of your plant don't appear thickened.

Many livebearer owners use it as it creates an ideal hiding place for newly born fry.
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post #14 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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I agree it may be a Najas. N. guadalupensis and N. conferta are very similar in photos. I've never seen either, to my knowledge. Kasselman says there are roughly 40 known species, distinguished by differences in the denticulation of the leaf blade and sheath, and the surface structure when viewed under a microscope. She says they are rare because they easily break during transportation.
I can certainly understand the last part. The stems are VERY fragile! Unfortunately, I'm afraid I won't be able to provide a microscopic analysis of leaf blade denticulation any time soon, but if you'd like some I'll be happy to ship some to Vancouver once I've established a good colony! Seems the least I can do!


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post #15 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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As promised (I remembered!) here is a photo of what I have, looks similar to what you have I think. the top bit is the new growth, the bottom is old growth.
I like yours better! The old growth looks nearly identical, but I see some significant differences in the leaf shape of the new growth. I suppose that's little more than an exemplary illustration of the highly variable nature of the plant! Anything special you're doing with yours? I'm worried about the stems on mine, which seem to rot very quickly when planted in the substrate. I'd like to salvage the few sprigs I've got left.


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post #16 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Najas guadalupensis is very easy care. And it does grow best just as you have it, as a free-floating mass.
There are several related types of this plant, some take on slightly different form or colors.
I think it's likely that you have najas, as the heads of your plant don't appear thickened.
Many livebearer owners use it as it creates an ideal hiding place for newly born fry.
This is all very good news. I'm especially encouraged that it grows best as a floating mass since my substrate won't do much to hold onto the hyper-thin stems (especially with MTS burrowing about).

My sincere gratitude to you, Geomancer, and Byron for sharing your time and expertise with me. I sometimes feel unworthy of the knowledge but I'll do my best to put it to good use now that I've got it!


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post #17 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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I like yours better! The old growth looks nearly identical, but I see some significant differences in the leaf shape of the new growth. I suppose that's little more than an exemplary illustration of the highly variable nature of the plant! Anything special you're doing with yours? I'm worried about the stems on mine, which seem to rot very quickly when planted in the substrate. I'd like to salvage the few sprigs I've got left.
Just read the Wisteria profile. Seems I can achieve the more pinnate leaves I covet in your plant with a combination of temperature and light. Since I'm already keeping the tank fairly warm (80F), and the cuttings are in a relatively high-light location, I suppose it's more a matter of time than a need for change.

If I continue to have problems with the buried portions of stems quickly rotting, I think I'll let them float until they're a little more established. Either way, I think I'm better off planting them individually, rather than in a bunch.

Thanks for the great work on the profile Byron!


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post #18 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 06:25 PM
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I like yours better! The old growth looks nearly identical, but I see some significant differences in the leaf shape of the new growth. I suppose that's little more than an exemplary illustration of the highly variable nature of the plant! Anything special you're doing with yours? I'm worried about the stems on mine, which seem to rot very quickly when planted in the substrate. I'd like to salvage the few sprigs I've got left.
Nope, not at all, I'm about as new to this as you. Probably newer actually

I'm a couple days over a month on having them. My tank is really warm, warmer than I'd like. The floating thermometer says 82, the stick on the tank says 77 .... quite the range. I've thought of buying a third just to figure out what the heck it is. Regardless, the heater that came with the tank is not very reliable. The temperature is steady, but no mater how many times I turn the thing down, it slowly creeps back up to 82. It is on my list to replace.

I use "Leaf Zone" which is all they had at the time in Petsmart. It's not a good fertilizer as it only has potassium and iron, while Flourish has several other elements plants need. My water is also quite soft at 25 ppm. I'll be switching to Flourish as soon as the month changes, I'm trying to stick to a strict budget on what I spend for the tank each month to keep myself in control hehe.

Otherwise, I don't do anything. I have noticed however that yes, the part of the stem that is under the substrate does rot. I don't know if there is any way to prevent it. Roots come out of nodes, so when it is cut between nodes I think the bottom bit up to the first node is a goner. They don't seem to be going anywhere though, so the roots on the bottom set of nodes is enough to keep it from moving. I have 6 stems, 2 doing pretty good, 2 so-so, 2 have hardly done anything.
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post #19 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 09:32 PM
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So any plants left to ID? and what does denticulation mean?
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post #20 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Nope, not at all, I'm about as new to this as you. Probably newer actually

I'm a couple days over a month on having them. My tank is really warm, warmer than I'd like. The floating thermometer says 82, the stick on the tank says 77 .... quite the range. I've thought of buying a third just to figure out what the heck it is. Regardless, the heater that came with the tank is not very reliable. The temperature is steady, but no mater how many times I turn the thing down, it slowly creeps back up to 82. It is on my list to replace.

I use "Leaf Zone" which is all they had at the time in Petsmart. It's not a good fertilizer as it only has potassium and iron, while Flourish has several other elements plants need. My water is also quite soft at 25 ppm. I'll be switching to Flourish as soon as the month changes, I'm trying to stick to a strict budget on what I spend for the tank each month to keep myself in control hehe.

Otherwise, I don't do anything. I have noticed however that yes, the part of the stem that is under the substrate does rot. I don't know if there is any way to prevent it. Roots come out of nodes, so when it is cut between nodes I think the bottom bit up to the first node is a goner. They don't seem to be going anywhere though, so the roots on the bottom set of nodes is enough to keep it from moving. I have 6 stems, 2 doing pretty good, 2 so-so, 2 have hardly done anything.
Sounds familiar. I got started a couple weeks before Christmas. If my wife is to be believed, this whole thing is an elaborate ruse with me using our 2yo son as an excuse to set up a fish tank in our house. She's only 80% right. He loves it as much as I do.

I love the name "trial and error" for your aquarium. I suppose even the most experienced aquarist can identify with that! Tank looks great by the way! I had to laugh when I saw the heater that's been giving you problems. I have the exact same one! Luckily, I haven't had the same issues.

I could never have more than one thermometer, let alone three. I'd absolutely drive myself crazy feeling compelled to check, chart, and compare the temps on all of them constantly. Is it possible that another environmental factor (sunlight exposure?) could be affecting temp?

One thing you could try: Unplug the heater and set the thermostat back to the center line. Wait for the temperature to drop to say 78. Plug it back in. Theoretically, I think that should tell the heater to maintain a temp of 78 when it's set at the center line. Maybe it will work as a kind of restart?

Good for you sticking to a strict budget. If it wasn't for the missus, I'd never have the discipline.


My 2-year-old son asked Santa for "a red fishy." Now Daddy's got a new obsession!
43-second Tank Tribute (With Disney Soundtrack!)
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