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Thread: Photoperiod: how short is too short?

  1. #9
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    My plants are on a grow rack, right next to sliding glass doors. I use a timer and adjust the daylength to roughly mimic seasons. I've noticed, though, even with artificial lights within inches of the plants, they respond more to what shines through the glass doors than the fluorescent lights. I can tell that because the flower scapes "follow the sun", as it were. I won't be upping the daylength again (to 11 hours) until February.

    ---------- Post added at 07:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:08 PM ----------

    As an aside, I would water the D. aliciae from above, with purified water. That will remove the impurities and allow the new leaves to come in green, instead of black.

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    Just a few comments regarding gemmae formation. I have never experimented in minimal daylength, and this is a good question for experiment. I hope you will continue to update with what you learn from your attempts.

    In general, gemmae production needs less than 11 hrs photoperiod. Plants in habitat form gemmae during the wet season, so wet and cool is optimal. They are light hungry plants and will not form gemmae unless there is ample light. I used flourescent tubes and the rosettes were always nearly touching the tubes no more than a couple of cm away. It's pretty safe to say you cant get them close enough to the light source unless there are heat issues. Judging from the coloration of your plants, they aren't getting the light they need, and it is doubtful that there is enough to power the gemmae formation.

    I always opted for a 70/30 mix of silica sand/peat.

    Your plants exhibit many signs of excessive mineralization in the mix, and you should consider the issues of substrate and water purity.

    I also suspect that an interrupted dark period will inhibit gemmae formation, as when a light is turned on in an otherwise dark room.

    I hope these observations help you with success with these great plants!
    "Grow More, Share More"

  3. #11
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks! Out of curiosity, which plants in particular were you talking about when you made your comment about excessive mineralization?

    I'm using a RO filter for my water, so if present, the minerals would be coming from the soil. That in itself is concerning - I tested my sand with white vinegar, and no fizz. I also rinsed my peat and sterilized it to boot. Where would it be coming from??

    That's unfortunate about the light. I'll see if I can finagle a way to get my pygmies closer to the fluorescents.

    I recently upped my photoperiod to 10 hours based on results folks here have had with 10 hour photoperiods and gemmae production. I don't want to chance it with a lower photoperiod based on the way these plants are looking right now.

    I will certainly keep you posted on my progress through the winter season. This should be interesting!

  4. #12
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I thought I posted this, but the D. aliciae crowns are blackened. That is not unusual but the way to get rid of it is to top water them with purifid water. This ties in with what Tamlin was saying about mineralization.

  5. #13
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Yeah I believe you added that to a post on the previous page, but thanks. I just top-watered my plants today.

    When top watering your plants, how long do you go between waterings? I don't really know how dry is too dry; my soil stays pretty soggy for a long time after being watered so it's tough to gauge.

  6. #14
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Every coiple few days. It's more a subjective call. For most plants (not Neps), about a 1/2-1" of water in the tray is appropriate.

  7. #15
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    So you keep an inch or so in your trays all the time and then top water every few days? That's more or less what I was doing before with less than stellar results, as you can see.

  8. #16
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    It varies from almost nothing to 2".

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