After an unsuccessful go with Alternanthera reineckii (didn’t thrive) and another with Alternanthera reineckii ‘Rosanervig’ (eaten by Amano shrimp), I’m giving it try with Alternanthera reineckii ‘Mini’.  This AR ‘Mini’ came from Pro Shrimp, and was grown by Tropica.  I have had mixed results purchasing aquatic plant tissue culture cups before, but this AR ‘Mini’ cup is one of the best I’ve ever seen.  The plants arrived in superb condition, with a huge number of goodly sized, mostly correctly structured plantlets.  Sometimes tissue culture plants can have a confused growth structure where it seems the plant doesn’t really have a good sense of top (leaves) from bottom (roots) and in some quarters tissue culture plants have a reputation for being more fragile than their potted counterparts, but I’m really optimistic about this latest batch.

In terms of growth in a new environment, tissue culture plants are in some ways well equipped to get a running start, since they don’t come with a large amount of emersed-growth-adapted leaves that would need to die off and get replaced by the new submersed-growth forms.  To make some room for the AR ‘Mini’ with good lighting, I cleared back some of the vallis; the vallis is so prolific that it needs a periodic clear out in any event.  Now I’m just hoping that that amanos don’t like eating the ‘Mini’ as much as they seemed to enjoy the Rosanervig…

With so many high-quality plantlets there was lots of AR ‘Mini’ left to be able to give it a try in the low-tech (non CO2-injected) environment of the Shrimphaus.  Tropica says that, “high light intensity and addition of CO2 improves the plant’s growth and overall appearance“, but this will be true for most aquatic plants and doesn’t necessarily mean the AR ‘Mini’ can’t be a success without injected CO2.  In any event, this will be a good opportunity to compare/constrast the plant in two different environments from the same starting point.

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