How to Grow and Decorate with Bunch Plants 

 

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LA Pic
Anacharis makes one of the best plants for new fish keepers.  Under decent light, 
it aerates, takes out fish wastes, and decorates for a minimal cash outlay.
For decorating suggestions go to décor.  

LA Pic
Anacharis comes in bunches often weighted with a strip of "lead" 
at the bottom.  Split the strands up and plant two inches apart.  Anacharis 
grows a weak root system and never flowers.  
 

Kathy Findlay, June 14, 2006
Just a quick note to let you know I am enjoying browsing your site.  But one thing, the anacharis in my pond has grown flowers many times: they are small white round-petaled flowers that shoot up to the surface on small stems. If they bloom again this year, I will attempt a pic and try to send it to you! Additionally, I had the same anacharis in my pond for 3 years without adding or replacing it. I simply took it out in the spring and pinched off any soft bottoms, then tossed it back in. Last fall I had a nasty hair algae infestation, and I think it must have sucked all the nutrients away from the anacharis, because I had to replace it this year. So hopefully this batch will bloom as well.  This is from your bunched plants page:
Anacharis comes in bunches often weighted with a strip of "lead" 
at the bottom.  Split the strands up and plant two inches apart.  Anacharis 
grows a weak root system and never flowers.

A:  Anacharis grows wild in Iowa.  I've scuba-dived several lakes (mostly gravel pits) and never seen it flower.  However, it sounds like it does manage to flower.  Thanks for the info.  I'll add it to the page.  LA

Kathy Findlay, August 6, 2006
I have a couple pics of the anacharis flowers. It finally bloomed! I will attach 2 and hopefully they are a size and format you can use. If not, let me know what to do with them to make them useful. Or if you don't want to use them, that's fine too!! One is a flower as it is starting to bloom and the other is when it is almost finished. They only last about a day, possibly because the anacharis gets moved around by the filter and or the fish and the flowers get dunked. These are actually 2 different blooms--the thunderstorm got the first one before I could take another picture! My finger is in the one just to show the size of the bloom. You can cut it out if you like. Thanks,

KF

A:  Thanks for the pix.  LA

LA Pic
Anacharis grows fastest floating at the top where it gets more light -- not jammed
up like this where it barely survives.  Biology teachers love it (they call it elodea)
because they can see its cells at work under a microscope.  Anacharis grows wild
in Iowa in many ponds

LA Pic
Single stem of Cabomba.  The fan-shaped "leaves" make a very attractive 
plant in your tank.  Cabomba prefers clean water and good light.  

LA Pic
Cabomba looks best when planted in patches -- each stem at least two inches 
from its neighbors.  This gives it room to "fan out."  Put shorter stems in front for
a natural look.  Avoid planting in rows.  Or use it behind rocks or wood to
"frame" your focal point.  Keep it out of dark corners.  Cabomba grows wild 
in our southern states.  We've seen it in Alabama creeks. 

LA Pic
Cabomba's fine leaves make good baby savers.

LA Pic
Cabomba roots easily.  Note the white roots coming from most axils.

LA Pic
Cabomba makes an instant "filler plant."

LA
Cabomba looks excellent.

Dr. Jud Newborn, Plainview, LI, NY, December 16, 2007
I've found your website wonderfully lively and informative.  But I must ask you to warn everyone NEVER to dump their tanks or plants into local ponds, lakes and streams -- especially the non-native, unbelievably invasive Cabomba.
In fact it'd be far better for all dealers NOT TO SELL Cabomba at all, but offer native hornwort instead.  Some of Long Island's most pristine ponds and streams are now almost solid Cabomba. They simply cannot get rid of it. NOTHING WORKS. (Google this.) It reproduces from the tiniest fragments.  One lake was dredged of Cabomba -- and 6 weeks later it was full again!  So
please -- if you love ponds, native plants and fish, banish Cabomba forever. And if you're going to dump it, dump it in the GARBAGE, not in a pond!  Thank you!

A:  I googled cabomba + "Long Island" and it sounds like cabomba is very close to taking over.  Our local carp would clear it out quick.  Unfortunately, then you have to get rid of the carp.  At least they're edible.  I'm adding your warning to my cabomba page, but it sounds like we're maybe a couple decades late.  LA
PS: 
It is pretty.
PPS:  Here we have lakes that get choked with hornwort.

Chris Hamerla, Rhinelander, WI, December 30, 2010
Hello, I was reading through your site and saw the cabomba and anacharis.  I saw the letter informing about the invasive qualities of cabomba.  In Wisconsin it is illegal to transport, possess, transfer, or introduce cabomba and anacharis under Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter NR 40.  They are listed as prohibited species.  I thought you might find this information useful.  Below is the address for the PDF of the entire document.  Cabomba and anacharis (Egeria densa/Brazilian waterweed) are listed on page 3 on the right column numbers 4 and 12. http://legis.wisconsin.gov/rsb/code/nr/nr040.pdf

A:  Many moons ago I was in Madison to judge a fish show and jog across that lake in the middle of town.  And not a soul mentioned this to me.  Is this fairly recent?  I saw six-foot cabomba in Alabama so I assumed it was a warm water plant.  I know anacharis grows everywhere (including Iowa) so I assumed it was ubiquitous.  Luckily, our Fish and Game Dept. brought in carp and they keep it fairly well controlled.  And somehow the big-head carp and grass carp are also in the water now.  Triploids are supposed to be sterile but ...  Anyway, to make a short story shorter, I'll add your comments to my anacharis and cabomba pages.  Thanks.  LA

LA Pic
Ambulia resembles cabomba but is not seen as often.  Unruly specimens 
like this "straighten out" after a few days.  Ambulia grows around the stem
rather than in "branches" growing from the stem.  Both accumulate trash 
floating in the water.  Good filtration helps a lot.  Vary your stem heights
for the most natural look.

LA Pic
Rippling water makes an ideal hygrophila environment.  You will need to 
trim back your green hygrophila quite often.  Tops of hygrophila shade 
the lower leaves and cause them to fall off.  You need to fertilize this
fast-growing plant for best results.  Good plant for new aquarists.

LA Pic
Sunset hygrophila provides a different color contrast.  Sunset hygro does 
not grow nearly as easily as green hygrophila.  It takes more light.  Both
grow faster unplanted and floating at the top -- where they get more light.

LA
Most of sunset hygro's leaves are really green.  The "sunset" colors are 
found mostly at the top.  Fertilize it for best results.

LA
Mexican oak leaf, Shinnersia or Trichoronis rivularis, unknown to me.  Appears to grow about the same as green hygrophila.

LA Pic
Rotala indica looks like a hygro with tiny leaves.  Some of the rotalas have
reddish leaves.  These require much more light.  Get that bottom weight off.
The stems disintegrate from that "tourniquet" in about a week.  Strip the leaves 
from the part of the stem you push into your gravel.  It roots quickly.  Rotala
needs more light than most plants.  Not a beginner plant.

LA Pic
Three weeks later, note the deterioration.  Unbundle and replant.

LA
Rotala raised by Paul Greene under VERY high light.

LA
Planted individually.

LA
Free-floating sprigs develop lots of roots.

For more info go to Bunch Plants II

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