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Discussion Starter #1

Myriophyllum matogrossense, by Nikolay

For the weeks, I will start a topic discussion on the usage of specific plant types (foreground, reds, plants to attach to driftwood, etc) to provide more mechanics and insight on the usage and placement of certain plants in the aquascape. For this week, we will start off with the 'frilly' plants --plants with very finely dissected foliage:

Cabomba aquatica (yellow cabomba)
Cabomba caroliniana (green cabomba)
Cabomba furcata (red cabomba)

Limnophila aquatica (giant ambulia)
Limnophila sessiliflora (ambulia)

Myriophyllum aquaticum (parrot feather)
Myriophyllum heterophyllum (red milfoil)
Myriophyllum matogrossense
Myriophyllum pinnatum (green milfoil)
Myriophyllum propinquum (filigree milfoil)
Myriophyllum tuberculatum

...just to name a few. Formerly, these plants were extremely popular in Dutch designs which concentrated on providing maximum contrast in color and texture. Limnophila aquatica, especially, was used very frequently because of its impressive green pom-poms of growth.


Limnophila sp. 'Gigantea', by Ghazanfar Ghori

In recent years, these plant species are being used less and less in favor of smaller stemmed fine leaved species such as Lagarosiphon madagascariensis, Rotala sp. Nanjenshan, and Mayaca fluviatilis.

Do these plants fit any role in contemporary aquascaping? For what kinds of designs are these plant species appropriate?

More later in the week... but would like some thoughts. :)

Carlos
 

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I think those types of plants are quite pretty, but I find little aquascaping use with them. Perhaps it is my skills, or perhaps it is just the nature of the beast, but I have yet to be able to effectively use them in any "nature-esque" scapes. the closest frilly plant that I have been able to use sort of effectively is hottonia.
 

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Actually, I plan to use L. aquatica in my U-shaped aquascape to fill the opposite corners...I think it's a great plant with very wide growth, which is great to create a free-flowing aquascape. Yet it is odd that this plant is rare in the hobby?! :?
 

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I think these plants are great in aquascapes, maybe they are not used much because amano doesn't use them much. I think they are good in the back of the tank to make things look far away. I dont use them, however. Myriphyllum mato''' grew horizontal for me. And they are not exactly what i think of when i think of exotic plants. I like to use Exotics b'c i feel it is a challenge of sorts. I know i can grow these, i have before, nothing new i guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Actually, I've seen Takashi Amano use Limnophila aquatica both in his newer and older works. I tends to ue them in bunches of two or three. They are very impressive plants due to their impressive girth and highly pinnate, weeping foliage. He also tends to use Myriophyllum tuberculatum quite often, especially in the Nature Aquarium World 2 book.

Nothing new, eh? Would the fact that some of these plants are actually difficult to grow for the average aquarist such as cabomba furcata and Myriophyllum tuberculatum?

Limnophila aquatica (the REAL one), Cabomba aquatica, and Myriophyllum diccocum are quite rare in this country.

Anyways, I feel that these plants can make interesting texture contrasts in the background of an aquascape --which can be an element in both Dutch and Nature Aquarium layouts. They are poor choices for the midground because of their very rapid growth (unless you like pruning every couple of days). Although they are fine leaved, many of them can actually get quite wide so medium to large sized tanks are better for these species (especially in the case of L. aquatica).

Having grown several of these, the 'frilly' plants can actually provide a very forest-like appearance to the back of a layout. They have the appearance of trees growing in the distance.

Give them a try in a future layout and perhaps you will be surprised.

Carlos
 

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I just got a L. aquatica, very dense and short internodes. Now it's getting really leggy (long internodes), exatly like L. sessiliflora back in the days I thought I needed such a weed 8).

Any tips/tricks to get it really dense?

When I had the L. sessiliflora in poorer conditions with less light, nutriens and no CO2 it got dense and pretty like Cabomba.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Daniel,

I think L. aquatica, like most Limnophilas, usually has long internodes when getting first established in an aquarium. Later on, I believe the plant will react more sensitively to nutrient conditions. I'd imagine that with your Aquarelle bulbs and high P dosing, the plant should compact nicely in the future. If not, well, send it to me. 8)

Carlos
 

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Could you post pictures of AMano's tank with the Aquatica in it? I dont have book 2. I knew he used Myriophyllum tuberculatum But i like to use other red plants besides that, its too deep for my tastes.
 
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