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I don’t think that’s an aerial leaf. It should be round. It might be ready to send one up soon. When it does, the submerged leaves should melt off so don’t worry.
 

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It could very well be an aerial leaf. I looked up the bulb type (white lily, nymphaea… I referenced from another thread) and the leaves look essentially the same.

It’s also still growing. The leaf will probably go through some shape adjustments, especially once it is emergent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
The submerged leaves are long triangles with deep notches at the base and undulating/ruffled. The emergent leaves are flat, bigger and rounder, which some small triangular ones. Attached are pictures of them in my 6 week-old tank that I've kept outside.

Never noticed this before!
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Well, here's a head scratcher. There is a new growth on my lily. It looks nothing like any leaf that has come before it. It is almost totally stem and is of a different thickness from all the other stems. It has pretty much doubled in length over the space of the last 24 hrs and is easily 9 in. long and snaking along the surface:
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What do you think? An aerial leaf or the much anticipated flower in development?
 

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Feel free to critique what I did yesterday. I decided the little guy needed some more head room. The base of the plant was literally six inches below the surface and all the literature supported my belief that moving it to a deeper part of "the pond" was recommended. However, my choices on how to accomplish that were limited to 1) adding more water to the bowl or, 2) lowering the plant itself.

A few weeks ago, adding more water would have been my go-to solution. More water volume covers a multitude of sins. But, now that I have a few umbrella plants, it would have meant raising their container higher so as not to water log them (and I kinda like the height where they are now.)

So, get ready.

I removed the lily from its pot. It's now resting on the bottom of the tank on top of the mulm along with its friend the anubias. About ten inches of water.

There were surprisingly few roots; evidently it is still subsisting off nutrients inside its rhizome. And btw, judging from the smell, the soil inside the pot was completely anaerobic.

The lily's reaction so far has been to grow the new aerial leaf even faster. It's easily a foot long and showing no signs of slowing down. My real question is what to do with the old soil. Can it be saved? What happens to all the HS2 now that it has been exposed to the air?
 

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In the presence of oxygen, H2S is oxidized by various bacteria to harmless sulfates (my book, pp. 67 and 153).
Okay, that's it. I'm buying my own copy of EPA. I think I can understand it better now that I've gotten my own hands dirty these past six months!
 

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So, is it worth bringing back a bag of red clay the next time I am in North Carolina? I think my big mistake was in using organic potting soil for my lily and becoming too focused on filling the pot. The gravel alone probably comprised about two inches - one on the bottom and another on the top! Would a handful of red clay in the middle have been better or would I still have had to worry about iron leeching out into bowl?
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Your beautiful bowl has clear water, fish okay, plants growing, etc). The lily is now starting to send up aerial leaves. That will help spur growth as it will now be able to bring oxygen into its soil substrate. Are you sure you want to mess with success? Instead, you could set up a small tank or bowl to tinker with new ideas, buy another lily, and play around with NC clay. :)
 

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Your beautiful bowl has clear water, fish okay, plants growing, etc). The lily is now starting to send up aerial leaves. That will help spur growth as it will now be able to bring oxygen into its soil substrate. Are you sure you want to mess with success? Instead, you could set up a small tank or bowl to tinker with new ideas, buy another lily, and play around with NC clay. :)
:love:
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That IS the problem with reading your book: it does make you want to try out new things, and I suppose that means, start new tanks (eventually.)
 

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Instead, you could set up a small tank or bowl to tinker with new ideas, buy another lily, and play around with NC clay. :)
I dunno. I just couldn't keep the vision of @dwalstad 's beautiful summer tubs out of my head, so I followed your advice and set up a separate tank for my red clay experiment.

The tank is one-half of an old vegetable crisper from one or two refrigerators ago (don't judge me - I come from a long line of hoarders.)
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The dirt is from my family's farm in southside Virginia (the land has been fallow for about forty years, so agricultural fertilizer shouldn't be a problem) I did add a API root tab for good measure which will be interesting because it says on the front of the package that the tabs contain iron (I mean, does that dirt look like it needs any more iron?):

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The real tale is what a difference it makes when you wait until outdoor pond season is in full swing to purchase your plants. For half what it cost me to buy a rhizome boxed in peat moss three months ago, I was able to buy what surely looked like a red tiger lotus that was already sprouting leaves:


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Essentially, I just repeated what I did with the rhizome many months ago. One big difference I used old bio-filter cylinders to line the bottom o the pot:
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That's not much more than a half inch of gravel as a cap.


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Kind of surprised by how clear the water looks.
 

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Oops. Change of plans:
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What had happened was...

I began thinking it was nuts not to take advantage of the supply of pond plants now available at this time of year, so I went back to Delancey Street with the intention of purchasing another red lotus. Over the space of a day or so, it began to dawn on me that I was sold the dwarf variety. It wasn't what I wanted but rather than make a big stink about it, I decided to scale down my red clay experiment. That's a re-used K-cup with about two table spoons of dirt capped by a couple of small stones. It's tank mate is part of my latest purchase.

When I got to Delancey Street, I decided to avoid the sales help and just look around for myself. No sooner did I pass half-way through the store than my eye immediately caught sight of a tank full of tangled vines and sizable root balls. It was a 55 gallon tank devoted to baby oscars but stuffed with aerial leaves of all sorts, including several banana plants.

I asked if any of the plants were for sale and the clerk actually had to check to make sure. He came back after a short time and quoted a price for these mature, strongly rooted plants that was equal to what I had paid for a newly sprouted bulb only three days before!

I greedily picked the biggest one and promptly brought it home whereupon it became obvious that it was too big for my nano tank. It was a tangle of aerial and emergent leaves and a few that I couldn't categorize. But, I am pretty sure that it is what is commonly referred to as a green tiger lotus or sometimes as, nymphaea maculata, notable for its green serrated leaves, often spotted with purple splotches.

Unlike my comparatively delicate, "hardy" lily, grown from a rhizome, this new plant was a mass of tough, thick stems and leaves. They did not wave back and forth in the water current like the lily and in the nano tank gave every impression of wanting to climb out of the tank, looking for prey. And, yet the sales clerk was kind enough to remind me that it was still attached to its bulb. And, that the bulb could easily be detached at this point in its life cycle - and, be re-used!

So, I kicked the dwarf red lotus out of the clay pot and replaced it with the newcomer.

In the process of replanting, a lot of the NC clay got flushed out. I doubt there's more than a half-cupful left, mostly mixed with a lot of gravel. I also pushed in another root tab since the first one was impossible to locate. Then, let it sit in the nano tank for a day just to observe what happened.

What i discovered was that, much like its domestic cousin, the hardy lily, the green tiger lotus is remarkably phototropic. As the day wore on (including, a four hour siesta), the leaves slowly began to untangle themselves. I've never seen a plant with so many different kinds: green and purple ones on a short stem; round, waxen ones that floated on tender strings, round, waxen ones that wanted to emerge from the water. One sizable leaf completely unfolded over the space of about eight hours!

By this morning, it seemed like a different plant; bushier, but clearly in need of more head-room. I measured the PH in the nano tank and at 7.2, it didn't seem terribly acidic. And, yes, I did re-read p.132 in EPA regarding @dwalstad 's experience with laterite.

Nevertheless, I decided to go ahead and place the clay pot in the main tank with my other plants and livestock:
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That's a lot of aerial leaves!
 

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I found this floating in the main bowl:
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It's clearly one of the lotuses, but I'm not sure which one. I had not realized a rooted stem could detach itself from the bulb so early in its development. But, who knows? This species seems to present surprises every day. So, in with the red clay it went:
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Oh, and I did remember to stuff a root tab underneath the clay as the new plant would need nutrients without its bulb.
 
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