Tonight I had a chance to repot the ‘St. Ouen’ for planting in the South America riparium. The plant still had a couple of blooms and one more flower bud. It’s root system was healthy and robust.
I had to cut the roots back quite a bit: they had curled around in the plant’s original pot. As a precaution I dusted with powdered cinnamon after the root pruning. Since the plant went right into the aquarium water after planting I don’t know how much this procedure might have helped, but I felt a need to take some precaution against fungal and bacterial infection.
I potted the plant in a Riparium Supply, Large Hanging Planter. Most of the planter was filled with 4-8mm Hydroton clay pebbles, which settled around the orchid roots as I poured it in. I added a 1/2″ top dressing of calcined clay gravel. This will prevent the clay pebbles from floating away or spilling out and it might also retain some nutrients for use by the phrag. Most of the orchid’s roots are in the large-grain Hydroton, so they are essentially suspended in the aquarium water. I will need to maintain consistent fertilizer dosing.
Here’s a picture of the whole tank.
I don’t have a species determination for this one, but it’s a Hymenocallis from the 120 gallon Mexico river biotope riparium.
This today from the 120 Mexico river biotope riparium.
Ludwigia peruensis is a great plant. You can train it’s semi-woody stems like a bonsai tree and it has these very pleasing blooms. The flowers only last part of a day: by around 3pm they begin to whither and drop their petals.
Here’s a view from today with new gravel on top of pool filter sand and with addition of mid-ground plants. I also planted a few underwater plants, including Ludwigia repens and an Echinodorus.
It looks much better. I don’t plan on any more big changes any time soon. Now just have to wait for it to grow in.
19 January 2009
Note that this is another retroactive post. I find it difficult to post fast enough to keep up with my picture-taking.
I removed all of the existing gravel substrate, then acquired a number of new rocks. After also juggling the plants some more I came up with this layout.
On a whim I purchased a new plant at the supermarket. It might grow in the riparium, or it might just die of shock. The calla lily (Zantedeschia sp.) is about 1 foot tall with bright pink blooms. I don’t know to determine whether this plant might just a be a pink cultivar of some other Zantedeschia species, but it looks just like pictures that I found of Z. rehmannii, the pink calla.
The references that I found described Z. rehmannii as suitable for pond/marginal culture. Callas are native to South Africa and neighboring countries, so this plant is rather out of place in this South American biotope, but its shape and stature fit well with the rest of the composition.
The aquascaping continued with the addition of a layer of pool filter sand.
This shot is from a few days ago
This plant’s natural range is Australia and neighboring areas, but I had the Hygrophila angustifolia growing in the South America riparium.
This is a pretty neat plant. I should add some more description sometime later on.
16 February 2009
I noticed a problem a couple of days ago—aphids! These insect pests are compromising the health of several plants, so I need to eliminate them. It is not possible to spray for aphids in the tank—insecticide would fall directly into the aquarium water— so I have decided to remove all of the plants for a bug-killing treatment. I put all of the plants into a 10 gallon tank and then filled with water. I also added just a few drops of dish detergent. The soap will decrease water surface tension, thus soaking and drowning the aphids.
If I leave the plants thus submerged overnight the aphids should die off. I might have shot a picture of the aphids, but I was more concerned with getting rid of them before they could spread to other plants in the house.
The next picture shows the empty tank: only the fish and underwater plants remain. It was a hassle to have to deal with the aphids, but I had been meaning to redo the aquascape anyway, so this little problem provided a handy excuse to set to work.