20 November 2016

in the thirty-eight

Here's my new plants settling in. You can see watersprite is floating in the right upper corner, and it looks different too with the the bacopa trimmed back and replanted on that same side. Most of the crypts have melting leaves, but are showing new growth already too:
Aponogeton capuronii- I'm afraid this thing is going to be a beautiful monster. I read that max size was 20-40" so I was hoping I could keep it in my tank while taking off the older leaves to keep it in check- like I currently do with the apono crispus. However the size of this bulb is easily five times over the size of my apono crispus' bulbs- it's huge! I propped it up with a few stones until it starts rooting. It appears to have two crowns growing out of it, so it might be possible to split the bulb... You can see capuronii is already putting out new leaves- I like that they have a olive-green hue which might balance out the darker leaves I have in opposite corner with my crypt wendtii and the new crypt balansae.
I've got the new crypt balansae and three crypt retrospiralis planted in the corner behind the vallisneria. Trying to replace most of my vals with crypts as I am getting tired of thinning out the little runners all the time. Right now I think this corner looks rather pretty with the mixed types of long, slender leaves. It was a bit difficult to get the retrospiralis to stay down without burying their rhizomes. I finally pegged one down with a plastic strip that used to hold watersprite in place, put a small stone over another and sprinkled a handful of substrate over the third. You can see the crypt balasae better in a corner shot I took of the full tank- going to put that up in next post this one is getting long already.
These two tall plants kind of curving towards each other with the white base (like an onion) are crypt willisii var 'lucens'. Already a new leaf is emerging- see left side of the left plant- I'm waiting to see what the size is on that. If they stay shorter I might move them a little more to the foreground.
Crypt becketti 'petchii'- this one is kind of hard to show. I have two of them, one either side of the tank mid-ground. They each had a few long olive-green leaves which are quickly melting away. Here's one in front of the hygro/rotala patch.
Central of the second pic, just below the stones propping up capuronii, is a new leaf emerging on crypt petchii. Can't quite make it out in this image, but it has nice alternating color on the leaf margins- I think it will be a pretty plant, and it's one I've wanted to try in here for a while.
Crypt parva- it's hard keeping these down in the substrate. You can see all the mts moving in to eat the melting plant parts. New bright leaf tips coming up!
Here's another pic of that- I've got it alongside the driftwood log and in a few areas of the mid-foreground.
Marsilea hirsuta- this stuff is delicately pretty but such a mess right now. I hope it does okay planted rather deep, because no other way I can keep it down. Over half of it floated loose in the first week- fish might also be culprits as I saw a male barb tugging experimentally at a fading leaf. I replanted a bunch of it yesterday, but whatever is still coming loose in another week I will probably just discard, as long as the stuff that stays down is showing new growth to recover.
Micromeria- this one hasn't really shown any melt yet. I am not too expectant of it, as it all died on me before. It would be nice to have some more rounded leaf shapes in the tank, but I'm not betting on it. Speaking of round shapes, you can't really see the echinodorus in here anymore- the one I thought was a melon sword- I cut off a lot of older leaves that were looking poorly. Either it is really slow to adjust or didn't like getting moved- I have shifted it twice. Gave it an extra root tab but I'm not sure if it's happy yet. At least it is no longer coming loose from the substrate, seems to be rooting down and holding on better...
Flame moss- um, this one was an impulse buy and I am not really sure I should have got it. It looks so pretty in pictures with the gently spiraling stems of tiny plant hairs reaching up. But honestly, I have never done so well with moss. Gave up on java moss long ago, and the fissidens in my tanks is still not looking so good- it gets algae and debris stuck in it... but oh well, I am giving it a try. I fastened some onto an upturned plant basket with netting- you can see here already it is growing up through the net. Also put a few clumps tied down on stones and then sold off the remainder, as I didn't really know what to do with it all.
Bolbitis fern you can barely see in here. It is dead center of the picture. I love the color of it- kind of like subwassertang- but not sure at all how it will do. I've read various reports- for some people it does best rooted on wood, for others in the substrate. I tied some on my log, and tied a few other pieces alongside pebbles to hold them resting on the substrate until they might root out.
Here's another pic of it- again in the center of the image, so small!

Well that's it for new plant pictures, phew! More updates coming as they grow. Now that the garden is at rest outside, I'm paying more attention to the underwater garden indoors... so expect to see a lot more of that.

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