02 January 2017

thirty-eight plant report

Time to see how all the newer plants are doing in my aquariums! Some are doing fantastic, others struggling and look like they might not make it. I was hoping that hygro pinnatifida would do okay in this tank, but it looks like it is just taking longer to decay. The stem I have planted on the right end of the tank, by the sponge filter, is quickly melting to nothing. Leaves dislodge at a nudge, even if they still look fine (so pretty).
The stems on the other end, near the main filter outflow, are lasting longer- but these are dropping leaves too, with no sign of new foliage. One stem came dislodged and I looked at it closely- there was a tiny nubbin of a new root at the base of it, but not nearly enough to help it hold on yet. I don't know if it can make roots enough to survive, before all the old leaves decay. The other 'ferny' plant I really wanted, bolbitis, is doing better- no sign of melting and some gradual growth. But still hard to get a photo of that one.
Crypts retrospiralis, willisii and balansae- seen in the corner here- are doing great. But crypt parva is having a hard time in this tank. I don't know why, but the plants against the short end of the tank keep getting dislodged- maybe because the kuhlis like to dig around there? These have nice new roots growing, but they still came loose. I've been replanting them in another area of the tank, where they don't seem to get knocked around as much.
Ambulia doesn't look happy in here. So I think that one might not like my conditions. It's just kind of fading away- here a fine, pale texture behind the crypt wendtii. Which is doing great, by the way.
Just to the right of it is the crypt petchii. Almost looks like a scion of wendtii that sprang up there, it is so similar in color to wendtii, but narrower leaves.
I am pleased at how much I like having the upright anubias in the background. I need more of them! The 'congensis' one makes a very nice backdrop color to the apono stems and the hygro thicket. (Do you see my new kuhli loach Tiger there?)
Even prettier is the anubias 'afzelii' with its red stems. I find it really hard to get a photo of that one, it's dead center behind everything else here.
And I think it's flowering! That newest shoot looks different in form than a young leaf. I've never had an anubias flower before.
In the foreground, my subwassertang bushes are starting to have nice shape. There are a few bits of marsilea hirsuta recovering, but I am not sure how long it would take them to spread and be noticeable in here. I'm not planning on planting any more of that...
And last of note, but grandest in scale, is the apnogeton capuronii. This thing is beautiful, but it is really taking over. It spans the entire corner of the tank now- reaching out to touch both sides and to the surface. I have read one brief mention by another aquarist that they tamed the growth of their 'capuronii' by cutting back the size of the bulb, but I am afraid if I do that wrong I would kill the plant...
Curiously enough, my aponogeton crispus plants seem to have checked their growth. They are not as tall and broad as before. Not sure if it is because of the new competition- anubias and hygros planted near them- or because I keep trimming off the outer leaves when they start to attract algae, have the plants finally been trained to stay smaller? Hm.

In that last pic, you can see to the right of 'capuronii' the nearly-naked stem of hygro pinnatifida (I should just pull it out) and the leggy stems of micromeria brownei- which I don't like anymore either. I was a bit dismayed this week to find that, no matter how nice the plants are looking, some of my cherry barbs had pale patches on their bodies like the beginning of fungus, and one of the males ragged fins. Nitrates were higher than I expected- 40ppm- so after the 50% water change I dosed very lightly on the ferts. I also spent more time than usual meticulously cleaning out all the dying foliage, and siphoned out two shrimp exoskeletons as well (so I guess they're doing well, if managing to molt- but I only saw two today). Not sure what caused the higher nitrates. I did look for a dead snail- my nerites are getting old- but they are all still alive.

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