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As much as I like my floaters, I don't think I would have them but for their ability to uptake nitrates. No nitrates=no frogbit=no salvinia. But, that's just me.
 

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My apologies. I must have missed it. What was the point of trimming the water lettuce roots? That's where all the nutrient uptake gets done. Also, I'm wondering if two hours is a sufficient siesta period?
 

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2-4 hours for a siesta is something I've seen Diana mention frequently. On page 179 of the Ecology of the Planted Aquarium (we need a shorthand for that) the benefit of a siesta appears to increase linearly over the 4 hour period.
"Siestas help control algae, especially in tanks without CO2 injection."
page 179, EPA (Ecology of the Planted Aquarium)
 

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I had a brief experience with ostracods and copepods last year at about this same time of the year when I brought home some topsoil from a farm in North Carolina. I was convinced the creatures were daphnia at first until dissuaded from that view by the Au Naturel community. The soil was likewise accompanied by a grayish cloud when added to water. So, i'm wondering if this is also the case with your substrate which is a commercially sold "raised bed" soil mixture. They sometimes contain compost which can be pretty rich in bacteria. I would suggest letting the critters do their thing; they already seem to be making a difference. I wouldn't add any fish until the creatures are done procreating and have disappeared on their own.
 

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Yes, it's not always easy to tell what is going to happen when a lily sends out a "runner". It can be a pad or just another submersed leaf. How would you describe the growth beneath the substrate? Is it a bulb, a rhizome or just a root ball?
 

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I'm not sure about the growth under the substrate, I haven't poked around. Six weeks ago when I planted it, it was just a plantlet with a few roots. Do you have any idea how long it takes for a lily to grow a bulb?
The nomenclature can be a little confusing. I'm still not sure when a lily is a lily and not a lotus. They both grow pads and can look remarkably like each other depending on the individual coloring of each plant. My tiger lotus recently sent out runners that resulted in new plants. The new plants already had small bulbs attached to them by the time they were big enough for me to notice their existence in the tank.

ETA: I would say if the plant is sending up pads, it probably is past the stage where it needs nutrients from a bulb. I bet if you poke around, you will find a bulb and can probably remove it fairly easily.
 

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I see. Looking into their taxonomy on itis.gov, the genuses Nymphaea (your lotus) and Nymphoides (my lily) share a class, Magoliopsida. They are in the families Nymphaeaceae and Menyanthaceae respectively. From a few minutes of reading, it seems like your lotus is in the true water lily family, whereas my "lily" is an imposter. Its genus Nymphoides was named after its resemblance to Nymphaea (water lilies).

I haven't found anything yet about the differences and how to identify them, so if you happen to, I'd love for you to share.
Yeah, my brief wikipedia search reveals that nymphoides are a definite thing. We're most familiar with the nymphoides aquatica a/k/a, the banana plant. There are dozens of other species found all over the world, many of them considered invasive.
 
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