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Minimal Needs. Each aponogeton bulb contains the germ of life that starts a tiny green shoot growing AND the energy it takes to sustain its life. Your aponogeton will grow for months whether or not you fertilize it, regardless of aquarium pH, and regardless of your tank temperature or substrate.
Enemies. Plecostomus species (sucker mouth catfishes) eagerly devour sword plants. But for some strange reason, they exclude many (but not all) aponogetons from their diet. Large plecos will naturally knock all plants willy-nilly or even crush them. Ditto most large cichlids, goldfish, and koi. They just like to tear up plants. Apple snails enjoy eating the tasty foliage of aponogetons. Other snails ignore them.
Fertilizer. Food stored in the “bulb” gets your aponogeton off to a rousing start. Your fish also give off nitrogenous wastes, phosphates, and carbon dioxide that this fast-growing plant inhales. However, you’ll get bigger and better specimens if you fertilize them on a regular basis -- frequent small amounts of fertilizer work better than infrequent large doses. One healthy aponogeton can easily fill half a 10-gallon aquarium with attractive green leaves.
Planting. If you toss your bulb in a bare tank, it will fall to the bottom and start growing. In a tank with gravel, it will root itself. Most people stick their bulbs into the gravel because they want their show plants in a specific place – not drifting all over the place like the tumbling tumbleweed. Don’t bury your bulb. Just stick it in far enough to hold it in the place you want to keep it.
Nutish Ramrekha, February 8, 2009
Thnx for your info on crispus. I have potted 4 of them and here are the photos >Please note that you can use them on your site<
A: Thanks for the Aponogeton crispus
pictures. I'll add them to my
Lotsa Light. You can’t grow plants in the dark. Give your aponogetons 12 hours of light daily. You can find electrical timers priced under $10. You also need brighter bulbs in tanks larger than 20 gallons. The Triton bulbs work very well. Aponogetons grow in poor light, they just grow slowly.
Maintenance. In the wild, these guys leaf out, throw up a two-to- four-foot long bloom stalk, go to seed, then die back during the dry season. Take a look at the bloom stalk on the top. If you want to prolong your aponogeton’s “salad days,” pinch off that bloom stalk before it starts blooming. Otherwise, your show plant will go thru a several month resting phase. If it goes into this phase with little stored energy, it may not recover.
Propagation. On the other hand, if you want hundreds of baby aponogetons, don’t yank that bloom stalk. When the tiny flowers open, brush them lightly with a tiny paint brush to fertilize them.
Plantlets. Six to eight week later the tiny plantlet/seeds mature and fall off the stalk. They float a few days and eventually fall to the bottom to restart their cycle of life. You’ll want to provide them a fish-free environment. And you get better results in shallow water. Since the adult bulbs sell for so little, few aquarists devote much effort to aponogeton farming.
Summary. Aponogetons rapidly grow into excellent show plants. Lace plants cost five to ten times as much as the others. And they almost always come as bare bulbs. You need to fill in with something else. You get better results when you grow fast and slow-growing plants together. Sometimes you need to brutally cut back the faster growers. LA.
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