02-01-2010, 03:29 PM
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I second WisFish. First a comment on the light, I think there may be a mis-understanding...I am assuming from your posts that you have several aquaria and these gallon jugs on a shelf/bench with the fluorescent light fixture suspended over the lot, correct? In which case the light is fine. I think Angel thought there was one light over just the jug, and that would not have worked.
As WisFish mentioned, plants need nutrients and these they get from being in an aquarium with fish, plus added liquid fertilizer in most cases to supplement the minerals that may be missing from just fish and tap water.
By watersprite I assume it is Ceratopteris, the floating India Fern being another common name. This plant is a very heavy feeder, as are most floating plants; they develop fine roots to absorb more nutrients from the water, but as there were no fish in the water it was basically devoid of nutrients. Floating plants obtain CO2 from the air, another reason why they are such fast growers compared to submersed plants. But the mineral nutrients and nitrogen must come from the water. If you have any left alive, put it in (floating) an established fish tank and it should recover in a couple of weeks. One other comment on this plant, it does not do well in very hard alkaline water, but will adapt to basic slightly or moderately hard water. It also does not like changes in water parameters, and sometimes takes a while to settle in to a tank with different water from what it was previously living in. I have had these plants almost die back when moved from one tank to another if water parameters are significantly different.