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The following represents the initial planting for the SST. In some cases, there is some confusion of what plants we actually have. Our best guess or common name is shown in parenthesis.

We have not arranged the plants in any manner yet - we are waiting to see how well they respond to our conditions before settling on a formal arrangement. Right now they are clumped with taller ones in the back and shorter plants in front.

( number of stems of bunch plants )

The following are notes about each plant - the source, condition at the initial planting and condition after one week. All the plants came from The Plant Guy in Indianapolis, IN, except as noted. This is our first experience with him and I'm afraid I can't recommend him to the net. He has professional looking plant lists with references and he talks a good story, but the end result has not been up to our expectations.

Anubias spp.

The larger plants arrived bent and folded from shipment but were in fair condition. As with most Anubias, dramatic growth has not been one of the distinguishing features, but the larger plants are straightening up and getting their leaves oriented in a somewhat natural looking posture.

Echinodorus spp.

All but the 3 large E. cordifolius came from the plant guy and also arrived bent and folded, but in fair condition. The large cordifolius were found in a Denver fish shop and are gorgeous (not bad for "3 for $10" :-). The red melon swords and rosaefolius are deep blood red in color. These are the reddest swords we have ever seen. We hope they maintain this color.

The E. tenellus was in pathetic condition (we call it "pygmy chain stumps"). It was mostly melted down when it arrived and has just recently shown some form of life with some runners and new leaves forming. We suspect that the plant shipment got very cold at some point and the smaller plants suffered greatly. We had paid an extra $5 for a styrofoam box but did not receieve it. The plants came in newspaper and plastic bags.

Nymphaea lotus

We received 1 "micro bulb" and 1 root with a few leaves attached. No sign of activity yet.

Alternanthera sessilis

Like the tenellus, the A. sessilis apparently froze in shipment. The stems were translucent and mushy ("A. sessilis var gelatinous"). We thought we noticed some new leaves growing, but it's hard to tell. Hopefully, there is enough DNA left to get some starter plants. We have seen this in local stores as "dragon flame" or "scarlet hygro" and have had no luck in the past with it.

Armoracia aquatica

This arrived in fair condition, but has shown no activity. It looks like a small head of romaine lettuce (not at all like the picture in the Barry James book). We figure it is in its emmersed form and may change if it grows.

Bacopa spp.

The caroliniana came from our Rainbow tank. We had intended to not use any of our own plants to avoid transferring any "starter" algae from the other tanks. When we saw how pathetic the new plants looked, we broke down and just had to get some healthy specimens in the tank.

The monnieri arrived as mostly stems with a few small leaves attached ("Bacopa monnieri var mostlystemi"). It was so hard to tell what they were susposed to look like, we accidently planted half the stems up-side down! They are showing some growth at this point and should be nice detail plants.

Didiplis diandra

This arrived as mostly brown leaves and stems. It is responding well to the tank conditions and has about 2" of new, green growth. We will probably try this in our other tanks as well, once it gets healthy. The Rainbows should find this a good spawning medium.

Heteranthera zosterifolia

This arrived much like the D. diandra. It too is responding well and has put on 1" of bright green leaves.

Hydrocotyle leucocephala

This arrived in fairly good condition and is growing well. We currently have a variety of this in our other tanks that grows like crazy. The old variety grows on long vertical runners with 1" round leaves on short stems and might be cardamine. This grows on shorter, stockier vertical runners and has 1" leaves on long stems (up to 6" so far). A very interesting plant.

"Sunset Hygro"

We have seen this in local stores and has H. polysperma type leaves with a pink and white variegated pattern. When it arrived, it had mostly dead leaves but has grown very well and is now looking very healthy. I'm not sure if we really like the looks of the plant - we might move it to the 55 gallon tank to see how it does.

Ludwigia sp.

The L. repens came from our AOA and is doing fine. The "green ludwigia" came from a local store and appears to be just a smaller leafed version of the repens. We wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to actually be L. repens.

Nomaphila sp.

The N. siamensis looks like "temple plant" but the leaves are more oval than tapered. It appears to have been grown emmersed and has grown 2 or 3 new leaves on each stem. The new leaves are the same as the old, just brighter green.

What came in as N. stricta appears to be N. salicifolia ("Willow Leaf Hygro") according to Vinny's description. We have had this before and it didn't do much (didn't grow or die, just collected some small tufts of red algae). It has grown some roots, so we'll see what happens.

Rotala sp.

The "Magenta Rotala" was worse off than the A. sessilis and has pretty much disintegrated. Most of it has been scarfed up by the skimmer, but the tops of two stems show some new growth. The macranda came from the Rainbow tank and is doing very well.


This came from a local store and was a brownish variety when we planted it. New growth has a more greenish tinge to it and it has grown about 2" since planting.

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This page was last updated 21 February 1999