31 March 2018

new plants!

I was very pleased to do a swap two weeks ago- still catching up here on the blog- of aquarium plants with a fellow local "planted tanker". (My phrase). I gave him a sampling of buces, several medium-sized crypt lutea and crypt wendtii bronze, a half dozen crypt parva and a rhizome piece of crypt retrospiralis (which I didn't want to pull because I have a few and mine are growing so slow. But one rhizome was sticking out so I clipped it off and showed him how my willisii grow from tiny pieces).

In return I got: a handful of frogbit and red root floaters
I really like the frogbit. Hoping it will do well and maybe replace hornwort in here
A small clump of riccia. I don't quite know what to do with this yet, but it sure is a cool plant.
floated some in my window tank-
some very minute, known to be rare, anubias nana 'pangolino'. It's the smallest anubias ever.
They were culture-grown, so this clump of rhizome is kind of a lumpy mess but already I see new leaf growth
I tied most of them to bits of rock to hold down, and placed under my bolbitis driftwood. They look very much like buce!
Here's the one clumpy piece, in the tank.
Also a very lovely crypt undulata- long softly copper-brown foliage.
It had quite a bit of BBA along the leaf edges, which I cleaned off in a dip and manually pinched off using my fingernails. I didn't get it all- and the amano shrimps immediately started eating it.
I did put a few of the small individual crypt undulata in the window tank, just to see how they do.
Also this lovely anubias lanceolata, it's quite a bit larger than my others. I thought by the red stem it was another anubias afzelii? but he tells me they are maybe the same plant, with various names. Not sure. But I like it.
It's gone into my tenner, replacing the crypt lutea that was back there. I was beginning to dislike its appearance, how the foliage spread sideways and tangled into the rotalas, so happy to swap it.
Also a few rocks. "Dragon stone". Thinking what to do with them...

30 March 2018

shrimp genders

I have learned how to tell the male amano shrimps from female. Males have clear dots in a row on their sides; on females the markings kind of run together. This one is male-
this one is female- obviously from the eggs- which for once are in focus!
I think before I only had females- certainly most of them usually looked berried, the past few months. And I never saw them interacting, unless one displaced another off a patch of moss. But now these three new smaller ones with the tidy dots, sometimes I see them chasing the larger berried shrimps. So I think the ones chasing are the males. Not as if I'll get any baby shrimps out of it...

I got the closeups because when I recently put some new plants in, the shrimps were so eager to chow down on BBA on the older leaf margins (I removed a lot by hand, but there were remnants) they didn't pick it with their claws, but kind of crouched and pressed their mouths straight onto the algae clumps. It was funny. And cheering.

It was also amusing how they clung to floaters. Prior week, moving malaya shrimp into the tenner, I had a bit of rotala stem and a small loose bucephalandra in the bag with it, to give it something to cling to. The shrimp ignored the plants, scrabbling up and down the plastic sides of the bag, until I actually released it into the tank. Then it grabbed the plants and serenely floated with the current, hanging under the water surface. At least, while it clung to the rotala. When it moved over to hold onto the buce, the plant slowly sank under its tiny weight, turning rotations in the water as it went. The shrimp held on until it got close to another plant near the substrate, when it hopped off and crawled away into the foliage. Funny.

Shrimps in the main tank were chowing down on the tufts of algae until one noticed I'd put frogbit and red root floaters in the tank. Then they clambered around upside down all over those plants. Very eager to pick at whatever was among the root hairs. One grabbed a bit of red root floater that was disintegrating, and promptly starting sinking. Just like the other shrimp with the buce it held on until nearly reached the bottom. I couldn't help giggling.

29 March 2018


Very funny- the other day I noticed a spray of bright, tiny leaves among the schefflera.
it's a stem of the asparagus fern that grew up into the nearby schefflera instead of draping down.

28 March 2018

things noticed

because there is no gardening yet but I feel antsy about it, I pay more attention to the tanks... these leaves of my newer (although several months old now) aponogeton capuronii has very brown margins, and mottled spots if you look close
I wondered if it was just some individual variation, but the young leaves that came up last week, are bright green all the way through- can just see them here in center-
the Mother crypt wendtii bronze is getting quite lush- and there's a shrimp on one leaf
I'm glad I planted anubias nana 'petite' across the back- when the lower leaves die off ludwigia stems it's nice to see them back there. They do well in the extra shade under the heater. I've trimmed a few and replanted their tops, to fill out the row.
When leaf litter starts disintegrating I move the webbed leaf remains to the back of the tank, where they shade the small anubias a bit, and get picked over more by the shrimps.
moss shelf is growing out more! but I'm already thinking of redoing it with black plastic instead

zebrina cuttings

stems long enough, I took more pieces to root in water and replant

27 March 2018

pretty pink

I bought myself a new African violet few weeks ago
this pink one has delicate purple edges on the petals
It has two or three crowns and needs repotting soon
My youngest noticed the leaves of zebrina plant sparkle "like there's glitter on them" so I showed her the petals of African violet have the same iridescence. She was enthralled.

26 March 2018

new crypt

when I took my last otocinclus to a new home a few weeks ago, I wasn't expecting anything in return. But I admired an unknown plant in the other aquarist's tank, and he gave me a younger specimen of it- this cryptocoryne cordata.
I planted it (temporarily maybe) in the back at the end of the anubias nana row, behind the apono capuronii
here quick short end shot-
its taking the spot of this anubias lanceolata which I took out and put in the tenner in place of a crypt lutea which I removed for a swap-

from the tenner

amused how rotala rotundifolia twined itself up this wisteria stem
little trumpet snail above some buce
the cluster of buce isabelle in front of skull cave always gets shifted around by cories rooting after food. I've started tying down onto stones the ones that end up floating.
more new buce leaves unfurling!
buces on one side are slowly getting grown over by a small anubias barteri that is creeping out of the back corner
center here can just see the new leaves sprouting where I cut the anubias lanceolata rhizome
buce blue bell on the rock in center is growing taller than I expected!

25 March 2018

foolish move

I moved some plants in my tenner, on a day that wasn't water change. Just a few loose crypt parva back into place-
moved this tiny crypt willisii over to front center-
tied a few errant buce onto a stone
and wriggled them back down into substrate. I forgot I ought to do this only when siphoning out some of the mess. It didn't seem to kick up much mulm, but the cories looked distressed and were flashing. I did a small water change the next day and reminded myself to be more careful next time.

23 March 2018

window tank plants

They seem a bit improved with the longer daylight hours now-
Windelov ferns
There's another one here between the bits of subwassertang, and vallisneria in front of filter
most of the subwasser is in front right corner. It's perking up a bit.
Bolbitis fern has a few new leaves. I cut some of the old ones out, that were darker and curling.
Anubias isn't much to look at, since it turns away to face the light ...
One of the suspect sagittaria came uprooted and had no new growth- roots rotting. I tossed it. The other is hanging on a bit longer.
There's still a small piece of regular java fern in here. I ought to move it into a different tank. It's not really happy.
Small crypts in the front I've finally figured are crypt willisii.
Crypt retrospiralis have hung on all winter. I hope to see more growth when it warms up.