12 January 2016

rare plants!

My plant package came in today, I think it's the most exciting fish day I've had yet. I received two rare plants! Took notes on how the packaging was done because I found it impressive and they don't look to have sustained much harm from shipping- also it looked like something I might be able to do someday when my plants are big and healthy enough to share around. The plants were placed inside small plastic tubs lined with damp paper towel, lids were shut over the edge of paper towel. Inside plastic ziploc bags taped shut. Wrapped in newspaper, placed inside a box lined with styrofoam and foil insulation.
My disappointment was the condition they appear to have had before they got shipped to me. The bucepalandra 'dark godzilla' had many leaves with torn or half-circle bitten edges- literally chunks missing from the leaf margins. I had to discard a third of its foliage.
The buce 'emerald' I saw when rinsing it in a bucket, had dark algae on its leaf edges. I spent quite a bit of time cleaning that off.
Thankfully the p. helferi downoi looks fine, just some tips looked cold-damaged that's to be expected.
In spite of my disappointment, I really admire the dark, olive-green/blue hues on the 'godzilla' buce.
Fastened it to a rock. It looks like the rhizome is growing in two segments, so if this thrives and gets bigger I could probably divide it...
In the tank it is really striking, even though rather small compared to everything else!
I put the buce 'emerald' on the end of driftwood piece, in a front corner:
Supposedly the bucephalandra species are pretty easy to care for "if you can keep anubias alive, you can grow buces" I was told! They are expensive because just not common in the aquarium trade yet (I saw a lot more up for sale that cost waaaay more than what I paid for these two. Striking plants, but mostly not affordable for me).
Pogostemon helferi downoi, on the other hand, it looks great but I feel a bit dubious about it. It's commonly referred to as P. helferi downoi, or just called downoi. The last helferi kind of plant I tried to grow just died on me. And lots of people rate this as needing high light/C02. However others report growing it fine in lower lighting, no C02 (like here), so I'm trying it.
It has the most fascinating crinkly, wavy leaf margins:
I put one in the tenner, just to see where it does better, my guess is not enough light here (on the right, just behind the fake skull)
more pics coming!

7 comments:

Hkiwi1846 said...

Cool I love buce! I forgot to tell you I think the reason your aponos look great then shaggy is because they go through a dormancy period where they either die back or grow smaller/duller leaves. I would suggest growing Madagascar lace apono (it can be purchased on eBay for 10$) I just ordered mine and apparently it goes through a warm dormancy and still has alright looking leaves when dormancy happens. Just a little smaller from what I hear.

Jeane said...

Hm- well, I've read that crispus was one of the varieties that doesn't go thru dormancy period? And every time it's started looking poorly turns out I had done something diff to the tank- these past two weeks I had stepped back on dosing micros (thought I had enough fish mulm but nope). Vals quit growing, rotala was looking glum, crypts turning brown, and the aponos as you've seen. Added micros back in and now the other plants looking better again- guess that was a mistake to think my tank was established enough to make such a change so soon.

I don't think i'm a good enough aquatic gardener to keep madagascar lace. It does look so awesome, but there's often a bit of fine debris in my water column (when my prefilter sponge gets clogged) and I think it would get real messy and degrade quick.

Hkiwi1846 said...

From what I Understand it does need to be clear of most things. It's not hard to grow but it depends on the person. Have you thought of diy co2? You could probably set up a rig for 10$ or less for your tank. I could totally help guide you through setting it up if you want.

Jeane said...

Yes... but then I'd have to dose more ferts to keep up with increased growth rate, right? Currently I'm doing 1/3 the recommended EI - only once a week. I don't want to get into a more complicated routine as of yet.

Jeane said...

Re: the aponogtons- how often do they normally go dormant? I assumed it was once a year, or once every 6 months at most? Mine have never yet reached full size, so I thought their dieoff was always due to a setback (caused by me).

Hkiwi1846 said...

Not 100% sure how long the dormancy is for aponos. I don't think you would have to dose more to be honest. I only dose what I see plants need (only iron and potassium for me because the fish give the rest) if you saw that you didn't like the co2 you could always stop it.

Jeane said...

See, I thought I could go that route! But when I quite dosing micros and just gave leaf zone (for iron and potassium) lots of plants started looking poorly. I dosed the micros again and they responded w/in a few days. Maybe because I don't have a very rich substrate.