You know, believe it or not, clubs are not al that anxious to have a new member who just wants free plants. When you go to a meeting they have plants that various people have chipped in, and you are expected to donate some of your own. I find Aquabid quite perplexing. I sell plants there, but the majority of the plants up for bid by everyone are never bid on, particularly the most common ones, and the plants sold on Aquabid often go for much higher prices than what you can buy them online for. Some people use made up names for the plants, exaggerate their rareness or other features, and there are even some that are not true aquatic. There is a guy on Aquabid that a lot of people like, but he sells his plants for two or three times higher than anyone on the internet like me does. I just don't get it. The best buys on aquabid are from trusted hobbyists that are selling plants that are not available from anyone else. They got these plants from trades with people in Asia and they are not commonly sold here. These are plants I can"t get. But a newbie can't grow plants that require complicated care.
Just remember a few things. No matter who you buy your plants from. They never look exactly like the pictures. Plants vary in size. Nobodys plants are always consistent, it is impossible. There is always a chance some of the plants may suffer a bit in shipping. Provide the best possible conditions for your plants. Buy from someone who you feel you can trust and just go for it. It is kinda hard to screw up a java fern. It is going to look basically the same no matter where you buy it.
Borneo fern is not aquatic. Corkscrew vals are generally shorter than other vals, but still may get too tall. Vals need a lot more light than what you have. I dont know what dwarf Hygro is. This has been mentioned before, but to my knowlege there is no such thing. There is Hygrophila corymbosa compact... but that is really not a dwarf specie in the true sense. I think your best bet is the java ferns, moss, Anubias and Cryptocorynes.
Robert Paul Hudson
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