Common Name: Lace Plant.
This plant is generally considered hard to keep and demanding at the best of times. Its natural habitat are highland streams in Madagascar where it grows in cool, shady waters. In my tank, it grows in 22.5 – 23.5°C. I have attached a chiller to the tank to keep the water cool on hot days. It is doing quite well but there are still a few mysteries: Older leaves get brown spots which makes them rather less attractive to look at. I wonder if this could be avoided. I have read somewhere that a nutrient-rich substrate could cause this so I avoided fertilising the gravel. Still, this effect is quite pronounced. Fortunately, the plant grows quite fast (if not as fast as Echinodorus species or other Aponogetons) so there are always enough young leaves to replace the older, blotchy ones.
Other plants on the above image:
Left: Saururus cernuus.
Foreground: Glossostigma elatinoides.
I have had this plant for several months now and I pinch out emerging flower stems. I don’t know if this is really necessary but I fear that the plant might die back once it has flowered successfully.
When I started this plant I had a difficult time with its leaves becoming small and turning brown very quickly. I have now blotted out some of the light in the light hood and the plant is definitely doing a lot better so a shady spot seems to be necessary. Generally, it has to be said that this plant requires some time until it gets used to the aquarium environment but once it has taken root, it will grow well, given the right conditions.
Temperature-wise, I would like to know if anyone has tried growing this plant in higher temperatures for a longer time. I learned recently, that the bulbs that are imported from Madagascar into Singapore for propagation are grown in relatively warm water. Albeit I didn’t get an exact temperature, my guess with an air temperature of around 32°C would be a water temp of not under 26°C. Obviously, the bulbs are kept at this temperature for a limited time so maybe that’s why no adverse effects have been observed.
Aponogeton madagascariensis in natural habitat
[image courtesy of wildmadagascar.org]