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Help With Mystery Plant Id
February 23, 2011
6:12 pm
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poshsouthernbird
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Hi - can anyone help with IDing a mystery plant? I bought it in April 2008 as part of a pack of mixed crypts so I assumed it was a crypt of some sort but I've no idea what sort, or even if it really is one. I keep goldfish and this is one plant they haven't eaten so I want some more! If I tell you that the rest of the plants in that set up have long since been eaten (admittedly not the onion thing, that just died) you'll see why I'd like to know what this one is /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

This is a pic of it when it had been in the tank a few weeks - it's not a very good pic but I've outlined it in red (bottom right)!

[Image Can Not Be Found]

These are some pics of it now, again, not terribly good as I have two tanks next to each other in an L shape and the reflections etc. are terrible. Not to mention as soon as I went near the tank all the fish came to see me /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" /> Tank is 2' deep and the plant is the full height of the water. Substrate is just 2-3mm pea gravel mixed with quartz gravel, no planting medium. Apologies for the algae and snails ...

Any help happily received /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

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February 23, 2011
7:15 pm
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Bully
South Wales
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Looks like an Aponogeton crispus to me /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

February 23, 2011
8:09 pm
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Jarcave
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Agree with Bully. I had 50 arrive from Singapore last night that look identical!

February 23, 2011
9:13 pm
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poshsouthernbird
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Thanks for the replies /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> I'm not sure I've ever knowingly had one of those to compare it with - does look similar. Hmm, looks like I might have to get myself to an ebay store and get a couple for comparison /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> Will report back ...

Cheers, P /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

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February 24, 2011
12:46 am
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Bully
South Wales
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It seems to be a hardy plant, mine has been quite abused. I pruned it back almost to nothing once, then promptly forgot about it and covered it with some river stones and some bogwood, and it still grew through it all. Curiously, my supposed plant-eaters don't bother this plant at all. They also won't eat my Java fern and Crinum thaianum, so those are other plants you could try with your goldfish, that they may not eat. My fish don't actually eat the softer leaved plants, they just like to uproot them /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" />

February 24, 2011
8:35 am
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Jarcave
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They go in our mixed plant packs Sue. Crinum thaianum (thai onion plants) are very tough. You could also look at some of the Microsorium pteropus variants such as 'narrow leaf' or 'windelov'. The latter especially is more attractive IMHO anyway. What temperature is your tank running at? I can think of a few tough species that would probably survive the goldies, but not so sure about the temperatures without double checking. That said...

Spatterdocks (Nuphar japonica) should be OK once they've grown on a bit and would make an attractive centre piece potentially. You may even get them to flower. I've seen these planted in temperate areas in the states and they seemed to be doing OK, pretty well actually as they were flowering. The bulbs can take a bit of effort to plant securely without being dug up though. And they're very big.

Aponogeton ulvaceous may also be a contender as they are OK down to 20c. Again, these are fairly sturdy and grow very fast. I've had them grow at 5" + per day! These will also flower if given a bit of attention. But I suppose their success will largely be down to whether or not the goldies let them become established first or not.

Aponogeton longiplumulosus is similar to the ulvaceous mentioned above but will be OK down to just 18c. This also flowers but with purple flowers as opposed to yellow like ulvaceous. These are quite attractive but rarely seen for sale. None of the three species I've mentioned are especially 'cheap', but you could try them. All reach a good size but should be ideal for your goldy tanks, assuming they don't get eaten! lol Do you have a tank with smaller fish in that are less likely to attack them while they become established? I'm not sure if the goldies would eat any resultant flowers though? Just a thought....

February 24, 2011
9:08 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Nice tank Sue. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Cake or death?
February 24, 2011
1:26 pm
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poshsouthernbird
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Wow - loads of things to have a google on! The aponogeton certainly sounds worth a try. Temps are 22-24, I have a heater to stop it going lower than 22. PH is about 7.6/7.8 if that makes a difference and water is hard. I don't have a planting medium nowadays and the gravel is about 1-2 inches deep. I find they just dig too much to have anything under the gravel, the biggest can easily get through an inch in one go! I do have some fertiliser, JBL ferropol and another JBL one you dose daily, can't remember the name of it now. Haven't used them yet as had a few health issues with the fish recently and didn't want to go adding stuff to the water until they got sorted. They are improving now though so maybe will look at ferts again. I have UV sterilisers too, don't know if that affects plants, can't imagine it would? I would say the lighting is mediocre - it's two fluorescent tubes, Hagen ones - sun-glo and flora-glo. Any more than that and the water gets too warm for the goldies.

Have got some java fern on bogwood already - one is the 'normal' one and one has frilly leaves, is that the windelov you're talking about Jared? They grow fine but the fish do pull them off, although having tied them back on with fishing line they're finding it tougher to rip them off again! Could have some more, have got some large bits of bogwood that are just sitting about as decoration, they could have something tied to them.

I've got a 70 litre tank I was going to use as a 'plant nursery', it's a Tropiquarium 68, plug and play thing. The lighting is ok so should be ok for growing thiings on. Will have to get myself into gear and set it up. One of the tanks has smaller fish, the plants in there do get less of a battering and I swap plants between them so they get a chance to recover a bit.

I had a crinium, you might be able to make it out in the back of the top pic. The bottom of the bulb rotted and it was really very unpleasant and smelly! Not sure why it went like that though, the leaves did well. Probably worth another try /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Thanks for the kind words Matt - I was really pleased with that set up at the time. I did quite a bit of research and had it as a 'Diana Walstad' style tank without a filter, just a couple of small powerheads. I liked the idea of a little ecosystem. At the time I only had two small fancies in it. It had a topsoil from the garden centre under a quartz gravel layer. I had loads of different types of plants, they did really well on the whole, some more than others but it was interesting seeing it develop and decide for itself what it was going to do. Never had any ammonia or nitrite and the nitrate and phosphate were a lot lower than the tapwater so it did what I wanted it to which was help keep nitrates down, always an issue with goldies. The soil substrate went anaerobic though and then I had a lot of problems with it, the fish got ill and I stripped the whole thing down and redid it just with gravel/quartz. Plants were ok after that but I had more and bigger fish by then so they gradually got eaten.

I really liked doing it though and I'd really like to get back into planted setups again. Hornwort, elodea and cabomba are fine but I spend half my time rebunching what doesn't get eaten! Have just upgraded one lot of fish to a 6'+ tank with a matching one coming soon for the other lot so am starting to feel a bit inspired again to get some nice plants which will last and look good /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> And now I have plenty of room for some bigger plants so hopefully will be able to find something large and robust /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

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February 24, 2011
5:00 pm
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Jarcave
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Well with that water you could possibly consider the following Crinum species. Just bear in mind that they're happy with temperatures down to 24c and pH upto 7.5 so you're on the edge of their preffered conditions :-

Crinum natans
Crinum natans 'Crispus' The plant that most people believe to be true Crinum natans.
Crinum calamistratum

All are fairly slow growing. All grow large and so are ideal for a tank your size. I can't guarantee they won't get eaten, but calamistratum is certaily very tough. It's also one of the more costly plants though. They make stunning specimen plants like the aforementioned Aponogeton species.

I'm confident they'll be OK with your lighting as well. All are hardy and even capable of tolerating mildly brackish water!

To be honest Sue, you have a fair amount of scope. A nice big tank means you can keep a lot of plants that grow too big for smaller aquaria.

The wavy java fern you refer to will be the cultivar known as 'windelov'.

As for fertilisers, I'd probably add a few root tabs underneath the larger plants and possibly a liquid fertiliser without added Nitrogen and Phosphorus as I'm sure the goldies will produce enough of that (added to the food they won't eat being messy sods) and you'll run the risk of algae if there is two much of these two. Sounds easy in theory.... lol

February 24, 2011
10:19 pm
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poshsouthernbird
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Thanks for that, will get googling and make myself a shopping list /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> Have used Tetra crypt tabs before, they seemed ok but any others worth trying? AFAIK the Ferropol stuff doesn't have nitrogen or phosphorus in it so hopefully that will do the trick /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

QUOTE (Jarcave @ Feb 24 2011, 04:43 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for fertilisers, I'd probably add a few root tabs underneath the larger plants and possibly a liquid fertiliser without added Nitrogen and Phosphorus as I'm sure the goldies will produce enough of that (added to the food they won't eat being messy sods) and you'll run the risk of algae if there is two much of these two. Sounds easy in theory.... lol

There is no such thing as food a goldie won't eat! They eat everything and then trawl the tank looking for any last spec of anything, then start on the plants ... /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" />

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February 25, 2011
12:36 pm
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Jarcave
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They won't get every last tiny crumb. /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

Try a fertiliser without added N and P first and see how you go. You can always add something else if you don't get the desired results. The Seachem and Tropica ranges are very good.

February 26, 2011
10:56 am
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poshsouthernbird
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Have just checked the JBL stuff, definitely no added N/P so will give that a go and see what happens - thanks /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

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March 20, 2011
1:56 pm
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poshsouthernbird
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I think I may found another possibility for the mystery plant, it does look very similar to the aponogeton but I wonder if it is a cryptocoryne aponogetifolia? It's not quite frilly enough for the pic Bully kindly posted. But it did help, I found a link for the crypt and thought aha! The aponogeton thing is a clue! Oh dear, what a shame - looks like I'm going to have to buy a fair few different plants for compare and contrast purposes, lol /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

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