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Madagascar Lace Plant

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Going to show my age a little now, but years ago I remember seeing Madagascar Lace Plant for sale in a Fish Shop in Mackay, and as a young teen although I fell in love with the plant I never had the slightest hope of ever buying one because even back then I think they where selling for something like $50+ and this was when I only had a $5 a week pocket money income from my parents. Then for years I never saw these amazing plants again, and thought they must have died out in Australia (or been so rare I would never see another one expect in pictures), so imagine my surprise when checking on Facebook I found a person selling my dream plant, and I was actually more or less in a position to afford it!!!! Of course it was a no brainer and I contacted them immediately to secure a plant.

Its still only young but I have big hopes for it.

The bonus for me was the seller said they where growing the MLP low tech so no ferts or co2 injections. I read up some advise and found that when the plant goes dormant (most likely in summer) its best to leave it in the tank with warm water (bonus for me in central QLD since the struggle has always been trying to keep tanks cool), and that it does best with other rooted plants like swords near it. Perhaps a symbiotic relationship occurs much like certain fungi with Grass trees. Also some shade is advised I guess for the young plant/ leaves since a mature plant will easily have leaves reaching the surface of the tank.  Has anyone else grown this plant and what has their experiences been? Any other tips?

The cherry shrimp have already given a good going over and it looks like the snails have no interest in it, the main trick is going to be keeping the corys from up rooting it.

It is planted in a sand substrate with some rounded river gravel, at the far end of the tank away from the HOB filter that hangs on the side of the 4ft tank rather than the on the back of the tank. The light is a LED I think tropical grow light that doesn't go the full length of the tank although the MLP is planted down the best lit end of the tank with a sword in front of it, a curly leafed type of val near it and various Anubius and narrow leafed java fern attached to wood also near by. Also a very tall anubius to the front of it that does give it some semi shade.




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It may be late, but I also have these, infact I have three different version, not know the differences when I purchased it, as they are normally sold a one variation.

1st one I purchased was for my nano tank, a 16 litre tank, they grow so long over 18 inches long and is rather thin, similar to yours and covering the whole tank, so I gave it to my friend, and he likes it very well.

2nd one I purchased, it was a small variation, as the leaves is  about 2-2.5 inches wide and spread out sidewards, leaves are paddle shaped.  

3rd one grows to about 13 inchs long and fits in between your's and my paddle type being about 2 inchs wide.

right now I have them in my nano tank with shrimps. I use ADA soil, and a fluval HOF.




Friends tank



my tank

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    • Ricky ng
      Hey Simon, Thanks a lot to stop by and for all the useful information that you gave such a blessing to have you in this forum. I put 3 pine cone first to see how it goes lol i dont know if i can find that leaves but i think i can get the catappa leaves i think they all just the same.. my question is that since i also have purigen in my filter i believe it will absorb all the tannin so i dont know if the leaves still can reduce the ph.. what about seachem acid buffer or ADA soft water? Well the neos want keep breeding black bee and red bee also thriving for quite some time when i usr tap water plus seachem prime.. low grade prl and tiger fancy low grade has been there for just a month maybe but bb and panda just 2 weeks.. but i will try to do your suggestion 20% RO mineralize water changes..  Mosquito i think is a great idea mate.. and thanks a lot again for all the information that you gave.. may GOD bless you mate..
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Wow, what a great tank you have there! Usually a soil substrate s used with Caridina shrimp as that buffers the PH to ideal for te shrimp, but clearly you aren't going to re-do the tank at this stage. Adding Indian almond leaves can help the PH a little and you can put those at the back behind the scaping so they don't affect the look. RO water will have a Lower PH (usually 6 or lower) and a KH of 0 so water changes can bring them down so, I would maybe do 20% RO (mineralised) water change a week to start off and see where that gets you in a month - add new water very gradually, a dripper is best! The dragon stone may be increasing the PH/KH but if the 20% water change works and is manageable then maybe continue with that indefinitely - obviously you aren't going to remove the stone, that would be madness in such a beautiful setup?  If the shrimps are suriving then I wouldn't worry too much and I assume you acclimated them well. How long have the shrimp been in the tank? With RO water you will need to add minerals which would be GH+ for the caridina shrimps. Your KH is a bit high for Caridina normally so don't use GH/KH+ as that will also affect the KH. Tap water rarely works with caridina! As for fish, I think it would be risky with Harlequin rasbora (they grow quite big for a shrimp tank), especially if the shrimp start breeding, but chilli/mosquito/dwarf spotted fasbora should be fine as they are no bigger than an adult shrimp. I keep neon tetra and ember tetra with some red cherry shrimp but it is very densely planted so shrimps can (and do) hide a lot but I still expect the fish must get SOME baby shrimps? Even the micro rasbora may eat some new born shrimp of coarse. The biggest pointer though is if it is working don't try to fix it, I had caridina in PH the same as yours and they were fine even though it's not perfect for them! It can cause more problems changing things than it solves as many have found out........... just do as you are doing with the water changes of 20% RO mineralised for a month,add some Indian almond leaves and maybe some alder cones, and see where your parameters have got too! If the shrimp die then it may be worth going further but I wouldn't at this stage as it seems to be going so well. Again, wow what a tank, I am so jealous! Simon
    • Ricky ng
      I want to move to a caridina scape.. I've already have a quite mature 60p aquascape with mosses and anubias low tech but i use co2 only 1 bps or lower, dragon stone, inert substrate (la plata and jbl sansibar), water changes weekly and adding 1ml of Seachem Nitrogen and 1ml of Seachem Phospate, and adding a bit of ADA Mineral a day after, ADA Green brighty K every 2 day, previously i use tap water since i want to setup taiwan bee scape i already water change 50% of RO water.. Tds still 140-150, ph 7-7.5, kh 4, GH dont know i bought a broken one, i still try hard to lower down my ph but still can not.. so far i already tried to adding blue bolt, panda shrimp one each to test everyone is surviving so far.. what should i do next to stabilize the lower ph as well? And is there any fish recommended to keep with caridina? Harlequin rasbora?
    • jayc
      What plants are you going to keep in the tank? Low light mosses and slow growing anubias? then yes, that will be enough.   Good idea. Best to be safe.
    • Subtlefly
      So do you think you would get away with 1 x Kessil A160?  Or play it safe with 2 x A80 ? Cement tank been there since 1968  but I will check the water. Thanks
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