Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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TexasTanker 06-09-2010 12:18 PM

SE Asia starter plants
What would be some good SE Asia starter plants? Starter meaning easy maintenance. I have a project going and could use some experienced input. Thanks

Byron 06-09-2010 01:50 PM

Normally I would suggest you view our plant profiles, but the Asian plant selection is non-existent (except for one, mentioned below); guess I better add some more.:shock:

In substrate rooted plants, the Cryptocoryne species are ideal. Many of these are small plants, up to 3, 4 or 5 inches, so they make good foreground and midground plants. Plus they have variety in colour; some are light green, some dark green, some reddish, some brown--quite a nice mix of plants. One drawback, they do not like being moved within the tank, nor do they like any fluctuation in water parameters or conditions. A "sudden" change in pH, hardness, temperature, light, nutrients, or being moved, can cause them to melt; the leaves disintegrate overnight into a pile of mush. Fortunately, the roots almost always survive, and new leaves will appear sometimes within a day or two, other times longer up to weeks and even months. But once settled in an aquarium, where water conditions are stable, they will do very well. They send out runners with daughter plants springing up, not as prolific as swords or Vallisneria and Sagittaria. Crypts are slower growing. And they can grow in near-shade as they are low light plants, so good under cover of other larger plants or floating plants.

Aponogeton can be used in place of taller swords for a similar effect, though Aponogeton leaves are less "stiff" than Echinodorus and will "wave" in the water. Some die down for a few months in the winter, but otherwise they are fairly hardy. This species have tubers, so look for ones with good firm tubers, not soft and spongy.

Many of the stem plants are from Asia. Hygrophila species abound. H. difformis (Wisteria) is a good stem plant. In floating plants, one of the best is Ceratopteris (Water Sprite), this is in our profiles (click the shaded name); this is a favourite plant of mine, I bought one about 14 years ago and the production of daughter plants on the leaves is so steady that I still am throwing out plants every couple of weeks when I thin it out in the Asian tank, all descendants of that one plant. Wisteria can also be allowed to float.


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