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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another ditch, much nearer my home, used to be a good source of E. cordifolius and various other interesting plants some of which might have had potential for aquarium use. They would spray it twice a year, but the spray only gave the plant cover a set-back, and it recovered pretty well before the next spraying.

Well, they took care of theat! They hit the ditch with a much more powerful spray that killed everything! Then the winter and spring rains eroded the banks back six or more feet in just half a year. Thousands of tons of soil were washed away. So they came back with heavy earth moving equipment and bulldozed everything smooth and covered the banks where the ditch was near the road with tons of rocks. Further away from the road they didn't bother with the rocks, and I guess they plan to let the erosion continue.

Is all this just because people don't like plants? It must have cost at least a million dollars!

There is no E. cordifolius left, but the picture shows what it was like.
 

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Denuded Ditches

Paul,

Incredible. :roll:

If there is an upstream part maybe the plants will come back. Nature doesn't give up so easily. Eventually, and it may take a few centuries, it will win.

Down here, I've seen concrete lined ditches on the downstream side of a roadway bridge and undisturbed land with plants upstream of the bridge. A couple of times a year the city comes in with bull dozers and removes all the sediment and plants from the concrete side. But the plants always come back.

Steve
 

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I have noticed the city doing that around my neighborhood also, but they only seem to do it to a few ditches and leave the others alone. I wonder what factors are used to determine which ditches to bulldoze and which to leave alone? I've got my eye on a few that havent been touched in a while and when spring comes hopefully there will be some neat fish and plants to discover :)
 

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wow, standing water, flowing ditches . . . sounds like a paradise ;-)
I like in the desert, so all we have here is the Rio Grande, and it's off limits to any collection thanks to the plight of the silvery minnow.

Sorry to hear about the ditch HeyPK, but in time it will grow back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That ditch is history. It looks as though WWII were fought there. I won't live long enough for that one to come back.

But, I found a promising puddle, along the road, on my way to school. I go by this puddle every day, and yesterday I noticed a new plant in it that looks like it has possibilities as an aquarium plant. It is a light green and has opposite linear leaves submersed that become round when the plant hits the surface. I have never seen it before and I have no idea what it is. This weekend, if there is a break in the rain, I will get a picture and one of the plants to see if it can adapt to aquarium conditions.

The puddle also has Ludwigia repens (which is everywhere!) and what looks like a small Potamogeton that has mostly floating leaves. How did that get there?
 

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Ditch Envy

Yes, Paul, I envy your ditch, I wish I could find stuff like Ludwigia around here.

I was thinking of going up to the northern end of Lake Corpus Christi to check for plants. Texas has only one real lake (Caddo?), the rest are man made. That means at the dam the water is deep and the banks are normally steep, no swamps. But at the other end it sometimes gets shallow. I am hopng it is this way at the north end of Lake Corpus Christi. However, I don't know if the plants are growing yet since it was snowing last nite just north of there.

How much vegetation is growing in your area in Mississippi?

Steve
 

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I too envy you guys with local water ways to collect from.

Like cpr4cpu, I too live in the desert, Joshua Tree is in the southern Mojave Desert.

I have a question though...

When you bring home a newly collected specimen do you quarantine them before adding to your tanks?

The reason I ask is, when I was younger, (many years ago LOL)
I was heavy into carnivorous plants. I had quite a few rare species.
Well I started to collect mosses from Griffith Park and I would bring them home and put them in my terrarium.
All went well for a while, but one time I brought this really cool looking moss home and within a week this really gross mold took over everything and ended up killing a lot of my expensive rare plants.
I soon lost interest, as you can understand. Hey I was a teenager.

Cheers, Cactusdoug
 

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I just rinse them off and look for signs of algae. However, I should probably be more cautious.

The worst algae ridden plants that I have ever seen were at local pet stores.

Steve Pituch
 

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what about other critters?

these plants I found had some worms in the roots. They were small and red. Looked like earthworms but maybe an inch long and about the size of a straight pin. I rinsed them really well and picked them all off (I hope) before I put them in the tank. But this has made me wonder about setting up a qt tank for plants this spring. See I'm addicted already...I'm scoping out places to look for plants.
 

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Worms

I wonder if they were tubifex worms. Aren't they about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, pink and threadlike? I had some propagate in one of my tanks once. I think they attach one end to the substrate and float vertically in the current. That is until a fish eats them.

The other little critter I like is Planeria (flatworm). They are flat, gray, and have a flat triangular pointed head. I learned in HS biology that they divide in half down the midle to reproduce (fission). It was quite a thrill to see some in my aquarium 30 years later. They're about 1/4 inch long.

It you look at the water in the bucket after you take out all your plants after one of your expeditions you will be amazed at the amount of little critters swimming around.

Regards,
Steve Pituch
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Like cpr4cpu, I too live in the desert, Joshua Tree is in the southern Mojave Desert.

I have a question though...

When you bring home a newly collected specimen do you quarantine them before adding to your tanks?
I wash them off, look at them in a white bowl with water with a magnifying glass to see what kinds of algae are attached, and then give them the bleach treatment. Unless Cladophora is attached, 2 minutes in 5% bleach will do the job. Then I float them in a tank where the light and iron level is high until they start to grow roots and new leaves. Then I plant them.
 

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Went and looked at the neighborhood ditch this afternoon. The city had recently mowed and all I could find was reeds.....lots of them. Bummer....
 
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