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Thread: artificial floating pond islands

  1. #1

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    artificial floating pond islands

    Hi Folks
    got an idea some time ago for growing Darlingtonia and Pinguicula macroceras outdoors in full sun and heat, without them over-heating. Has worked pretty well so far.
    At the fish counter in most decent food stores, you can ask for the styrofoam fish boxes and get some. They are only going to be thrown away anyway. These are usually long, from 18"-36" by about 12" and usually 4-6" deep. They usually smell of fish, so wash them out a bit. Dont sweat it much as you wont be able to tell soon enough and the plants dont care.

    I cut some 3-4 inch long by 1 inch wide slits in the bottom side/edges, to allow water to flow freely through the box. These were stuffed with live sphagnum moss to keep peat moss inside from getting out. The boxes were weighed down heavily with chunks of serpentine rock. This has to be done carefully to keep the box floating level. Now fill the box with soggy wet peat moss and plant the plants in this. Top dress with live sphagnum moss. I have one that I did that has just serpentine and live sphagnum moss in it, and others with no live sphagnum except as to keep the holes in the side plugged. These are just serpentine and peat moss and are for the Pinguicula and seedling Darlingtonia and Drosera rotundifolia.

    I am thinking of trying Sarracenia and vft this way also. It allows the plants to stay contained and wet, while keeping the pond for Utricularia or other pond plants. I have goldfish and Typha in mine. This way I do not have pots in the pond subject to drying out if the water level drops... the islands float and stay at the water level of the pond.

    Over time the live sphagnum grows and covers the edges of the boxes so they look more natural.

    Now I have to figure out how to post the photos of these islands to this posting... jpgs from my desktop... I do not see anyplace to attach them.

    Best wishes

    Andrew

  2. #2
    dueoka's Avatar
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    Sounds really cool! Not sure if you can upload from your desktop, but I'd love to see pics!
    -Arthur

    Growlist

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    pm me your email and I will send photos. Havent figured out how to post from the desktop yet... andrewm25@earthlink.net

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    Oregon VFT's Avatar
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    I would be very interested to see how that works for Darlingtonia! They grow in my area but they get too darn hot for me to grow

  5. #5
    I am a CPaholic... DJ57's Avatar
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    I have done this with styrofoam "boxes" in my pond and it works pretty well for some CPs, but the flytraps tend to rot after a short time. The styrofoam I used was good for about 2 years and then began to break down and had to be replaced. These look pretty cool floating around the pond. Also have to watch for roots coming out the bottom as the fish love to munch on the roots, haha.

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    Havent figured out how to post photos here, so if you all want, PM your email and I will send photos to you that way and some one smarter than I can post them here Meanwhile, my boxes have lasted as long as 4 years floating, and even longer used as planting boxes. Problem I have here is the chickens like to eat styrofoam and peck holes in them. Fish boxes usually are pretty tough and strong. Mine floating islands have been frozen solid many times, lodged in as much as 4 inches of ice, one was there when the pond froze solid and killed my pet bluegills. Still going strong. Havent had a problem with the goldfish nibbling on the roots as no roots stick out of the holes. This could change though, and if it happens, I will feed my fish more often. They have plenty of water-lily, typha and algae, as well as duckweed and azolla to feed on though, and all the mosquito larvae I can get for them... on top of goldfish pellets... I also have a ton of anacheris and elodea in there too... I am careful come winter however, the Pings go dormant and form hibernaculae. These float off if the island gets too low in the water and the fish will eat them. Not a problem with Darlingtonia however.

  7. #7
    hcarlton's Avatar
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    If you want to post pics on the site here, place them on a free image hosting site (I use photobucket), and copy the IMG code.
    Everything has a reason, whether big or small. Never underestimate the power of what is or is not.
    There is far more to everything than meets the eye.
    Growlist

  8. #8
    I am a CPaholic... DJ57's Avatar
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    Chickens, haha. I would love to see pics, I think floating CP islands are so cool. I use photobucket also and it makes it real easy to post pics here as hcarlton said.

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