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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another grad student in the department here turns out to have a thing for carnivorous and bog plants. He gave me 3 species of Drosera and 2 species of Utricularia.
The grad student in an office next to mine also studies ricecut grass and gave me a small plant with clay and sand substrate.

The first two pictures are at initial planting two weeks ago. (18.09.08)

Its a 2 gallon hex tank, these seem pretty common and are my nano of choice. However I didn't have a light hood for it so I have a 100 watt equivalent CFL in a desk lamp hanging over it. Filtration is done with a modified Hagen Elite Mini - the coarse sponge is removed and replaced with a section of medium blue sponge and a section of high density open cell upholstery urethane sponge.

Substrate as you can tell is a local clay topped with washed playsand. I'm simply repeating what I did in my other 2 gallon hex that is housing two other Drosera species (those guys are doing fine btw).

In the two weeks one Drosera species seems to have died. I don't expect it to make a comeback.

One species is doing poorly, the old leaves melted off but it has begun to send out new leaves.

The last species is doing better, sending out new leaves without losing the old ones yet.

The ricecut grass doesn't seem to notice that its flooded. It grew out of the container and I just cut it down again to keep it fully submersed.

The utrics are doing well too. One species, the one with smaller leaves, seemed to have terrestrial leaf die off but its now growing with runners in the substrate. The leaves are -tiny-, only a few mm large. Its easy for the runners to be disturbed. two strands are attempting to float upwards because they were unburied in the pics.

The other species has actually had its leaves get larger. You can also see that its been growing with runners under the substrate as well.

I need to get a plastic divider to prevent the Utrics from growing into each other.

I'll be back later with the scientific names and to answer questions.

The Victims:


Initial Setup:


Two Weeks:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just let the rain come down. I didn't trim the plants because I know in some plants as leaves die the plant redirects sugars and nutrients from those leaves to new growth. I've just been pulling out dead leaves every few days.

I haven't been adding any nutrients yet (I'm worrying about starting green water with the rotting leaves). Only been dosing with 1-2ml of 2.5% GA every day or two. No CO2.

What might be helping to keep the water clear is my modified filter. The high density upholstery foam has the ability to capture green water algae. I'm currently confirming this in another tank and I'll make a post about it later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I won't say that it clears water like a UV filter, but it really does do a good job. I need to rinse the filter every 1-2 days and when I do a lot of green goo comes out. Its done a decent job clearing up my 10 gallon tank to the point that I can look down it the long ways and see stuff. I also don't see billowing clouds in the water either. For a while I could literally see the turbulence in the water around the fish as they swam through the clouds.

I'd like to get my hands on some even higher density upholstery foam.



Its been 3 days and I took another picture of the Utricularia if you want to compare. Its growing really fast. I'm going to start fertilizing and see if I can bring brighter lights to bear on it. I'm hoping to grow up a full carpet of it and then start selling it :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have never kept U. graminifolia so I can't speak of how it compares to it. I would love to get a sample of it though.


Drosera capensis var. alba - the large drosera with the strap like leaves. Currently surviving and sendng up aquatic leaves. The terrestrial leaves have all melted off.

Drosera natidula x pulchella - this was the pygmy sundew. They all died. :(

Drosera dielsiana - this is the small sundew that still had strap like leaves. Is currently sending up aquatic leaves and the old leaves have not melted off yet.

Utricularia sandersonii - the smaller of the Utricularias. The submersed leaves are very small and it looks like it may not root. I am not sure if it will even survive fully submersed for prolonged periods of time since growth is slow.

Utricularia livida - The big one that is doing very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Drosera are the ones with the sticky leaves... These leaves aren't stick anymore.

Yeah, it really depends on the plant. I think a lot has to do with its evolutionary heritage and even the particular population you collect from.

I have some Fontinalis antipyretica that is barely hanging on (it grows slowly and is extremely sensitive to glutaraldehyde which I had to dose it with to clear a cladophora infection). This plant, BTW, is willow moss which I understand there's a strain in the aquarium trade that does very well but I haven't been sent that strain.

I once found some Cardimine hirsuta on a ditch bank that I stuck in the aquarium on a whim. It bolted and was growing fine until an algae outbreak (I lost it eventually). I tried collecting some more -not- from a ditch bank and that simply melted immediately.

I'd like to get a sample of U. graminifolia to compare the growth rates.

Also, I think that even if it survives it may not grow well and the growth rate may slow down and eventually it'll die over a year. Perhaps some nutrient uptake is inhibited by the flooding?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The plant sample was passed to me from a friend who purchased it commercially. I can ask and see if he remembers where he bought it from and then see if the nursery has collection information. But since commercial collections of niche species like this tend to come from one or two sources there's a good chance that if you buy another one commercially it'll work out.

Have you managed to find any other Utricularias locally? I don't think I will get a chance to collect any local Utricularias until next summer, so I may just order a few online to drown...

There are yet more leaves popping up under the surface. I'm going to try to lightly fertilize the water column... I estimate that it will reach across the entire tank in 2 months and complete coverage within 6 months.

The completely drowned stems of the rice cut grass are starting to yellow. I don't know if the Drosera species will also survive the next few months. CO2 injection would probably help a lot so I may set up a small DIY system for the office.
 
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