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Folks,

This is one of my pet peves. All of you, like me, have experienced the anguish of losing Cryptocorynes in our aquariums. We've known the anguish associated with crypt rot and other crypt afflictions. We know how hard it can be to keep crypts.

The Center for Aquatic Resource Studies put out a paper last year basically saying the Cryptocoryne beckettii is a noxious weed threatening to take over Texas and Florida waterways.

I quote:

"The potential for dispersal of Cryptocoryne at Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve is considerable. In the San Marcos River, disturbance caused by wading and sporting activities are suspected to have contributed to the tremendous proliferation of C. beckettii downstream (P. Power, pers. comm. 2002). Significant increases in dislodged plant fragments have been documented below high recreational use areas on the San Marcos River (Owens et al. 2001). Likewise in the Rainbow River, recreational activities were found to be responsible for the uprooting of large masses of vegetation (Mumma et al. 1996). The secluded stream harboring Cryptocoryne at Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve is currently off-limits but under consideration for public use.

You've got to be kidding me! #-o These streams have to have magic water! This type of paper is what happens when you have non-hobbyists working at these places. Gees. You think they could have taken a few specimens home and tested growing them in aquariums.

Some of you that have been on the APD a while know the story behind this paper and our trip to Rainbow River so I won't go into it. Nevertheless, you can read about the paper here.

I say we politely suggest to them that a few of us would be happy to clear up the river in a couple of days. Who's up for collecting some beckettii???
 

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According to some of the article references Steve Pituch has sent me, the escaped Crypt increases the size of its range by "almost 80 percent in one year. It grows "almost faster than they can remove it." There is an aggressive program to remove it by dredging from the upper San Marcos River because it is becoming the dominant plant and it threatens stands of the endangered Texas wild rice. It has grown back over some previously dredged areas, and plans are made to start dredging daily to try to get ahead of it.

It sounds like the genie is out of the bottle.

It must be all that moving water that makes it grow so well.

Maybe if they let us crypt enthusiasts try giving it more nutrients and additional CO2, along with HID lighting, the stands would no doubt all melt down, and it would become the delicate, prone to expire plant we all know.
 

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How many of us have experienced the Crypt of Aquascapes Past? I bet the dredging is just going to spread little bits of rhizome all over the place and that wondeful sunlight is going to help it grow..and grow...and grow. I say we all go to the San Marcos and gather up as much as we can!

Or, we could just plant different species and grow them too..;)
 

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San Marcos Crypts

Some things I've found out.

The San Marcos river starts in the middle of the town of San Marcos. It just pops out of nowhere. Several hundred miles away there is a river that just disappears. The distance between these two points is a major underground aquifer in Texas.

The becketti is in the first three miles of the San Marcos River before it meets and joins with the Blanco River. They say that this pure aquifer/spring water is a contant 72 degsF throughout the year. This is in a part of Texas that gets pretty cold in the winter and has frosts.

So the Crypts are in a very isolated area with a very unusual type of water, and environment. I'm sure the colder winter water from the Blanco River dampens the becketti's invasiveness when its root pieces get that far. Otherwise the plant would have grown down all the way to the Gulf of Mexico (over 200 miles away). It is interesting that Kasselmann says that it "also supposedly occurs in the springwater of wells." (I wonder where she read that?) :wink:

Apparently this environment is so beneficial to the becketti that it becomes a super plant as far as growth is concerned. Supposedly they have to go down two feet into the substrate to remove the plants to prevent them from reproducing again.

Are we starting to see the correlation here? :wink:

I wonder if the conditions are similar in Florida?

Steve Pituch
 

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Florida Crypts

The area where the crypts are in Florida also seems to be spring fed. Its called the Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve. I thing HeyPK and Plantbrain know more about it. I wonder if the control people have considered changing the parameters of the water temporarily to discourage the cypts. I would think a hardness or PH change would really set it back. Magic water!

Steve P.
 

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The Crypts here don't seem to be growing as much and can be removed and contained if they want. But we have hydrilla here:)

Both springs are similar in terms of temp, and other water parameters.

Simply because the plants is dislodged and floats downsteam, does not mean it'll grow somewhere, sometimes fragmentation is important in dispersal, I think the crypts might not be so good, either way and in both locations, the plants can be removed if the agency with authority wants to.

The limited outlets of invasiveness downstream also prevent too much spread but..........they allow boating in the Rainbow, these plants can get stuck on the propellers and transfered to another lake, this occurs often in Florida.

Damn boaters:)
But these seem planted by aquarist or growers of aquatic plants so Damn Aquatic plant people!

My fear is that they will make a big deal and ban ALL Crypts if one gets on the bad list, many of the inspections folks don't know much on taxonomy beyond a genus.

I doubt the the plants can handle anything except the springs in the locations they are now at due to temperature.

The problem is ths spring colonies themselves which can be removed, although plants with Rhizomes are very tough to completely eradicate, such as Hydrilla.

Chemical herbicides, burning during a draw down, etc doesn't work.

So the potential is high for these but we tend to think the plants grow slow, but they seem pretty competitive, they are still there.........and seemingly doing better.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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