Watering Rubber Plant

I have a fiscus(?) that I bought from Wal-Mart a few years ago (is this the same as a rubber plant?). For awhile, all of the leaves were dropping off like crazy, which was partially due to the fact that I didn't know how to water it properly. Before long, I only had 14 leaves left on the whole thing!
All of last summer, I left the plant outside to see if the leaves would grow back. It seemed to be doing great, with new leaves coming in regularly and the stalks were growing, too.
When I brought the plant back in for the winter, I began watering it myself based on what had been suggested here. I tried giving it a little more than a cup a day, and was making sure that the soil was staying moist (but not wet) about 4" beneath the surface of the soil. The plant is directly in front of a south-facing window.
But since the day I brought it in, there hasn't been any new growth at all. In fact, recently a few of the smaller leaves fell off.
Am I STILL watering it wrong? The plant is about 2-3' tall, 7 stalks, and in a pot that's about 12" in diameter. I put a thin layer of decorative gravel (crushed brick) on top of the soil over a year ago to keep my cat from peeing in it. I'm watering it just above the soil, a little more than a cup a day.
TIA,
Mike
PS, I also had a goldfish tank, and they all died pretty quickly due to a high level of nitrates in my tap water (well water). Would this have an impact on the plant?
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On 14 Jan 2004 22:40:36 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Mike) wrote:

The "rubber plant" (Ficus elastica) is quite different from the "weeping fig" (Ficus benjamina), 'though both are popular houseplants. One annoying habit of Ficus benjamina is that it drops all its leaves when moved into different light conditions, 'though soon produces new ones. Don't know about F. elastica. The outdoor edible fig tree (well, the *tree* isn't edible -- the fruit is) across the street is about 20' tall with large (6"+) leaves in summer, pounds and pounds of fruit in late fall, and is now completely bare -- all the leaves on the ground.
Interesting to find how many species are included in this family, from the Banyan to the Sycamore. Best go look at some pictures to see which yours is. They all seem fairly prone to drop their leaves for many reasons.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Mike) wrote in message

it is still too much water. I water my rubber plant every three weeks or so (it is in a big vase, 5 gallons at least). You are right that it does well outside. it is immune to sunburning (I place it where it gets sun from 11am until 3pm), and likes the extra light.
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