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Aponogeton Plants

By Clint Norwood
 

As you can see this fish, Fp. scheeli enjoys hiding under an Aponogeton leaf.
Plants always have a calming effect on fish.
 

After about a month or two your Aponogeton might even flower!
Notice those floating leaves, one Aponogeton can just about fill up a small tank.
 
Aponogeton bulbs are available at places like Walmart. They come in packages of about 5 and sell for around $3.99. They are sometimes labeled as "Dwarf Hybrid Lilly". Many times you can buy the bulbs at petshops for about .50 each, or less in bulk. That's a pretty good deal because Aponogetons are very pretty plants, are easy to grow and sometimes they can even reproduce in the aquarium.
 
When you get the bulbs home all you have to do is drop them in the aquarium. Overnight they should waterlog and sink. But sometimes you have to weight them down with a rock or something. Then you can place them where you want the plant to grow. Don't bury the bulb, just lightly push it in the gravel sideways, just enough to hold it in place. The plant will start growing pretty soon. Some start growing the next day, but some take their time and just seem to sit there for up to a month doing nothing. But sooner or later they will start to gow. And when they do, they are some of the fastest growing plants in the aquarium. They will send roots out of one end of the bulb and stalks out the other, but the bulb will usually stay above the gravel. The leaves are very fragile, snails and plant eating fish will devour them. But Apos grow so fast that they aren't really hurt.
After about 3 to 6 months the plant will start dying back. When it does I remove the bulb and but it in a bag or plastic box and place it in the refrigerator in an out of the way place. After a few months of this dormancy you can replant the bulb and about half the time it will start a new cycle.
Aponogetons are not a demanding plant. They are happy in most aquarium conditions. They do well even in low light conditions and are generally unaffected by pH and hardness.
Another candidate for the Easy Planted Tank? Almost.

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