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Old 03-01-2005, 07:27 PM   #8
Gill Man
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Well, if you're 100% sure that the plant shown is M. heterophyllum. From Encyclopedia of Water Plants, by Dr. Jiri Stodola, THF Publications (1967).

"Description: Leaves are in whorls of 4 to 6 in number on fine, long, threadlike segments when in cold water (54 to 62 degrees F), and lanceolate, sharply dentate leaves appear at high temperatures (60 to 77 degrees F.). Rather often you find both types of leaves on the same stem, if the temperature fluctuates during growing time (both types are 2 cm long). Emersed leaves grow sharply serrated on stems, and are narrower and stronger than the submersed ones."

Many plants we grow in aquariums are also sold as pond plants, especially those that can grow well in cold water. That does not mean they do not grow underwater. If this is indeed M. heterophyllum, then you shouldn't have a problem growing it in a cooler aquarium. The redness are pigments produced to mask and protect the chlorophyll as it grows closer to the light source.

As for the common name parrot's feather, it, like all other common names for plants and fishes, gets misused often, and applied to similar looking species so it's not adequate for identification purposes.

Don't make me get my Shaolin Monk ready...
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