14 April 2014

what is this plant?

I had a pot with a dead fern in it (one of the divisions off the Boston Fern last year) sitting idly in windowsill. Had been sporadically watering it for the faint possibility the fern revivied, but instead this came up.
I don't know what it is. Its growth habit reminds me of the avocado, definitely behaves like a baby tree (didn't start with seedling leaves and then true like the veggies I've grown). It has narrow straight-edged leaves wider at the tip, with notches on the wide end.
Gah. I put this plant out on the balcony for some sun and forgot to bring it in at night. Something ate the leaves. And all the new leaves off my Sage in the adjacent pot. Which was the only living herb I had left.

13 April 2014


Delight in the new plant was bittersweet.
This is the last photo I have of Otto, perched on the ruffled swordplant (aponogeton).
Next morning I could not find him. Searched all over. Did I stress the fish too much, moving things around? I also cleaned a lot of algae off the glass- the two little catfish had not made much of a dent in that yet- and trimmed dead stems off the Watersprite (it does not have nice white roots growing like the others plants but keeps sending up new fronds regardless).
but after several hours still only three fish visible in the tank I finally started lifting things. Otto was trapped under the edge of a driftwood piece. Dead. I had put my hand back in the tank late last night to resettle the largest plant, which was not rooted well. Must have shifted some stuff and accidentally pinned the oto. I did not expect that- they always scoot out of the way so quickly- I wasn't watching for him- upset at myself. All that careful tending in the QT for weeks, and now he's just gone.

12 April 2014

aponogeton crispus

I have a new favorite plant. In my aquarium. All of a sudden I just want to sit all day looking into the underwater world, because this plant is so gorgeous.
It was one of an online purchase. I wondered how the plants would survive the two-day shipping but they seemed to do just fine. Came wrapped in damp paper in large plastic baggie then double-packaged.
I did have to trim off some dead foliage, but the plant once placed into the aquarium just looks stunning. The photo in no way does it justice.
The other two plants I bought are Bronze Cryptocoryne Wendtii (Cryptocoryne wendtii v. Tropica) which I like for the reddish coloring, and should do well in my conditions. The leaves have a nice blue-green gray color unlike all the others. Divided into a few smaller plants. It was a bit bent over when came out of the package, but straightened up more this morning.
Right now I am just staring at Aponogeton. It is quite tall for my tank, but I love the way it bends over on the surface (as long as the plant itself is ok with that and doesn't get leaf burn). It has lovely crinkled leaf margins and up close a delicate texture that reminds me of the lace plant I've seen in books, but this one doesn't have gaps.
I like it so much I want to pull out all the Vallisneria. Even though it is finally starting to get established and put out new bright green foliage, I don't love Val the way I suddenly love Aponogeton. I don't even really like it the way I do the Watersprite and Rotalia, the Java Ferns and Anubias. But I have to wait and see how Aponogeton adjusts to living here- if it does well I think I'm going to remove the all the Val and put in a row of Aponogeton across the back. The long stems will have a similar screening effect, I think.

You can expect more pictures of this plant! None of these quite captures the effect, and I love the way it gently waves in the filter current. It has a green-brown hue different from the other plants in the tank.

11 April 2014

my fish is eating a carrot

I never thought I'd say that sentence in my life before.
But read that possible to give Otocinclus other blanced vegetables, so I tried a carrot slice. Once again, Sparky was all over that, so I left him alone, pulled it out early afternoon the next day. I drop a spirulina wafer in once a week, notice the snail was hanging around the feeding spot the next morning. Think he liked that. I also think my Danios ate it! They have been looking awfully fat lately, so I've been trying to feed less and skipped a day. I was planning to give them flake food the next morning but instead found the wafer all gone (no remnants to siphon out like usual), the Danios had very round bluging bellies, and poor Sparky seemed to be cowering near the food spot. I peered in after lights-out and Imo was poking around just above the substrate, so I wouldn't doubt he ate that stuff himself. Maybe even drove Sparky off it.


I'm surprised that it appears I have actually brought a Pepper plant through the winter. (The other one got spider mites and was thrown out). Not sure how long this one will keep going or if it will fruit in summer, but so far it looks fine (if a little droopy). Plan to give it a good dose of compost when that stuff is ready from the worm bin!

09 April 2014


These cuttings I've simply been growing in a vase of water for months now. When the roots get long enough to coil around the bottom of the vase, I trim them back.
And once a week tip out all the water, give them fresh (fish waste water). That's it.
In the last pic here you can see a new green shoot growing up, from under the water! If I ever do have a paludarium, this plant will be a main feature in it I'm sure.

08 April 2014

dogwood leaf

This plant is the best one on my balcony right now (most of the other stuff looks dead) which surprises me. I'd think a young tree going on its third year in a pot would be rather unhappy...

07 April 2014

sunshine on green

Boston Fern has come through the winter with thinned foliage but still green. It dropped a lot of leaves this cold season but I'm hoping will revive with the new light and warmth of spring. When it's warm enough to leave it outside twenty-four-seven I'll give it the annual haircut.

baby baby plants

I am pleased with results in the jug greenhouses. All but the hosta jug have seedlings now.
The oldest seedlings, my Lettuce, are beginning to grow their first true leaves as well. Will have to thin them soon.