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Propagating, dividing, caring for Madagascar lace plant (aponogeton madagascariensis)


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So I am ready to cry uncle. I knew a madagascar lace plant in a 5 gallon tank was too big, but I honestly thought it would not make it. I assumed I would get a few leaves and then it would just peter out. That has not been the case. 

Poor Piglet barely has room to make it to the surface. (pardon dirty glass and sand, I am about to water change and refill)


I have been thinning it out weekly it just keeps coming. You can't even see the sword plant hiding in the back, and it is smothering everything.

I think it is time to move it to the 40 breeder. But if I am going to destroy this tank, I want to know if anyone knows how to propagate this beast? does it make off sets? bulblets? can I divide it? 

Also...Shrimp and snails have been keeping this tank algae free, as has the rampant growth, no doubt. The electric blue acaras in the 40 breeder will not permit shrimp or snails. Any suggestions for algae eaters that will survive an acara, without eating the lace plant?

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14 hours ago, AquaAggie said:

@Brandy I get the concern but that looks amazing. I have two and I only get 3 or 4 leaves at time. One give great big leaves other thin leaves, probably only 1/3 of the width of the other. The variability seems odd

I just recently learned that there is more than one variety of lace plant.  Closely related, but some have narrower leaves, some smaller spaces in the lace, etc, and there appears to be some discrepancy on “varieties” vs “subspecies”.  Let me see if I can find that link.

This article has good information, but isn’t the one I was thinking about.  It does discuss just a little about the different varieties, but doesn’t really go into too much detail about the differences between them.  I’ll keep looking a bit to see if I can find the other article.



Edit to add another link.  This link is to an older set of what appears to be forum discussions that may imply there are larger differences than varietal differences.  At least one variety has a significantly different flower type and behavior and it appears to have the biggest difference in leaf type.  It may have more differences in cultivation technique also.  Some appear to consider it a separate species.  There is a fair amount of repetition in the posts because it seems to be a fairly random collection of correspondence between a group on a forum.  I’d like to find out what current thinking is among experts on both cultivation and species vs variety.  Most of this link says 3 varieties, more current info says 4 varieties.


A lot of the information I can find on cultivation is contradictory.  Some are growing in very rich substrate (some in manure!), and some say that will cause damage and rotting of the leaves.  Some say a cool rest period, some say warm rest period, some say no rest period is necessary.  About the only thing consistent is they all say the rest period should be in the aquarium and not dry like so many other Aponogetons.

I’ve always been fascinated by them and have a few bulbs now that will be getting spread around to assorted tanks.  I’ll let you know how I do.

Edited by Odd Duck
Second edit for typos and autocorrect stupidness.
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