A while back I was given one parva that proceeded to get lost in the 75 gallon tank. Now I have been given another parva. Have also started a emersed setup that consists of a 15 gallon long with eggcrate in the bottom with several levels. So far have been using a mix of soil (commercial potting mix), peat and some turface to loosen things up a bit.
The above mix may still be richer than it needs to be - it certainly could be looser I am guessing. What would be the best bet for the parva? Should I get some sand for a sand and peat mix?
Will the parva be likely to do better emersed? Am I correct to assume the emersed growth would generate runners so it could be propogated for submersed growth in the aquarium?
I've been growing parva emerged for a couple of years now.
My favorite mix, and I grow most of my Crypts in pots, is just simple large grained, sterile sand, the play or filter type and decomposed peat 50/50.
Matter of fact, this is by a wide margin the most sucessful mix I've used for any and all emerged aquatic plants, and I've got a bunch too: Urospathas, Crytospermas, various Anubias species, Lasiomorpha senegalensis, Lasia spinosa, Homamenia sp. Laganandra sp. plus the Crypts and some other stuff nobody has ID'd yet.
Bottom third or so of the pot is lava rock or pea gravel for smaller items keeping the peat/sand mix just above the water line where it will still wick it up just fine.
Main idea here is: do not put any un or under decomposed organic matter underwater! If the plant survives, it will be in spite of and not because of the worm poop, bat guano, blood meal or whatever it was you added to the above. Pealite, gravel, Flourite, inert stuff -- OK to play with.
Let the plant get it's nutrition from fertilizer and put that organic stuff in your houseplant's pot above water where there's enough oxygen for it to behave as you intend.
I'll throw some (1-2 tsp) resin coated time release on the surface once or twice a year and I also fertilize with liquid Dyna-gro during the growing season when I do my orchids.
I've got a 10 inch pot just packed with parva growing in only this sand and peat mix and can pull off runners to do submerged aquascaping anytime I want. A week later you'd never know any were missing they grow back so fast.
Interestingly, the plant started to flower only after the pot became full and a little root bound.
Bobo in South Florida
Do you have any sort of current in your setups or is the water still?
<<Is the problem with organic matter under water one of going anaerobic or is it something else? >>
No, you've got it right -- it's basically that the substrate (usually) goes anaerobic. Totally so.
The plant's roots can sometimes pump down enough oxygen to make things OK, but this is an expenditure of energy which could better be directed (for our purposes) into growth, flowering, etc..
Point is, the plant doesn't even require all that organic matter - the peat alone is fine.
I've now seen dozens of examples of both methods and most with too much organic matter either die or have to be rescued. My buddy, Julius Boos of Aroid fame turned me onto this method which is now S.O.P. for many operations.
He travels the state bringing me Urospatha, Draconoites, etc. to rescue at my place since he's out of room, so I've seen many, many examples of this and complete turn arounds in specimen plants once re-potted in just sand, peat with drainage to the water line as I've described.
No, I don't provide current to the water in my emerged growth -- not because it wouldn't help, but because I have so many plants I'd go broke and besides, they are far from any electricity anyway. They are growing in the typical nursery 3-4inch plastic pots and the three inch deep tray they fit into is just filled with water. This is my typical Crypt set-up.
Try it! Cheap and reliable.
It is a good idea to compost any soil-peat or soil-manure mix for several weeks before using as a substrate. During the composting, organic matter that breaks down easily is all broken down, and organic matter more resistant to breakdown remains. I prepare a half bucket of peat soil mix at a time and store it in a covered sweater box (like a shoe box, but bigger) and keep it damp. If composted like this, the mix is much less likely to go seriously anaerobic and kill the roots of aquatic plants. In fact, I have never seen it happen.
Bob and Paul, thanks for the helpful information. Since I already have some growing in a somewhat rich soil mix, I will continue with that. I will compost some of the soil for use as suggested. And will get my hands on some sand to try that approach. For now I just have a small set up. Oh, and also have a couple of plants in rockwool cubes with the water up to the top of the cube. The cube plants are not doing as well as the soil plants.
Thanks again for all the help,
forgive my ignorance, but how is soil composted? what is happening while its sitting damp in a bucket?
Keep it damp in a lightly covered container where there is some air exchange, but not so much that the soil dries out. Bacteria, fungi, and all the other soil critters break down organic matter during the composting process. The easy-to break down organic matter is consumed first. then the more difficult types are consumed, but very slowly. It takes many years for all the organic matter to be consumed. The purpose of composting is to get rid of the easily decomposable organic matter. The rest of the OM is not likely to cause any problems when the compost is used as a subatrate under the gravel. No heavy bubbling, or black deposits of iron sulfide, or bacterial clouds above the surface.
Re: emerged parva
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