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Thread: DOH! I blackened em!

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    swords's Avatar
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    I fed my Neps bloodworms on Sept 7th and then again plus a few drops of whole milk on the 19th. Aparently it was too early cos the pitcher fluid is black and the pitchers are starting to fungus on the lids (not all the plants, just the eustachya, fusca and alata). Is there a way to save the pitchers or will I just loose them? How much and how often do you folks feed your plants with apx 3" pitchers? Do you feed all the pitchers or just the newest one?

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    Hi Josh,

    wow, I'm still stuck in July and you already entered September [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    The fungus does normally grow on those spots you got some milk at. You can easily wash it away with no harm to the plant. I do use a hypodermic syringe (hope my dictionary is right - never used this word?&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] to feed pitchers so the whole milk goes exclusively into the pitcher fluid. If you got some drops on the peristome or the lib just spray the whole plant with water to wash it away.

    The black color of the fluid is somewhat unusual, but it may be due to the bloodworms. If you overfed the pitchers you'll smell this in a very short time and the pitchers will die back. That's also happening in the wild so Nepenthes will take no harm from this. Most Nepenthes only catch small amounts of insects in the wild (one ant in a few days is not unusual) and there are lots of bacteria and other animals living in the pitcher fluid helping to break down the caught insects in a very short amount of time. This aid they don't get in cultivation so it is best to feed only small amounts and to do this more often.

    I do feed all the pitchers of my highland plants about once or twice a month with a small insect I steel from my overfull Sarracenia. The size of those insects is not more than about 1/10 of the pitcher fluid.

    Joachim

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    swords's Avatar
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    Oops, I guess my desk calendar is flipped over to the wrong month! ha! I remember now that I was checking for someone what days I have to work... [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    OK, I'll try and wipe away the fungus. the lid and top half of the pitcher tube on the two oldest eustachya pitchers turned black so I cut them off.

    Perhaps I will go back to setting some wingless fruitflies loose in the terrariums every week instead of trying to target feed.

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    As long as the lower half of the pitcher is still OK I would recommend against cutting it off. The plant is able to get water and nutrients out of this half dead pitchers, which can last very long and so are still of big value for the plant.

    I do only cut away shrivelled down brown parts of my plants. Especially when the leafes die, the plants will take back the chlorophyll first which does them cost big amounts of energy to produce.

    Joachim

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    Hey hoss,

    I have done the same thing with the blood worms in the past, my experience was largely, massive and almost instentaneous (on a plant time scale) loss of the pitchers...

    I don't know what it was with the blood worms, but I tried again, with the same results... on some of my nepenthes, I always lose pitchers... on others... no change except for a growth spurt...

    they work ok with sundews if you tease them a little...

    other than that though... I think buying pasteurized crickets from ********** is probably the best idea.
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    When/If I manage to go around with the tweasers and attempt to feed some of the plants. I usually only hit the newest pitchers, sometimes there is only one but often there are 2 that have not been fed before. Rarely do I refeed all the old pitchers...Partly because the plants do catch a few bugs here and there on their own, but mainly because I just don't have the time to try and hand feed thousands of plants regularly. If I did refeed previous pitchers it would be done spareingly to just give them a little boost.

    I have not had any problem with the freeze dried crickets and freeze dried bloodworms. I usually only toss in one cricket if the pitcher is large enough (3" +) or a small pinch of the bloodworms. The only thing I have noticed with the Nepenthes is that sometimes a piece of dried bloodworm will stick to nectar on the peristome and will get moldy. I did try the bloodworms on the Heliamphora but the liquid often got cloudy and moldy looking so I no longer feed the Heliamphora organic matter.
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks for the bloodworm input. I don't know if it makes much difference but I use frozen bloodworms (sterilized then frozen in water) perhaps there's too many "juices" in the this kind as opposed to freeze dried?

    Anyone ever feed live brine shrimp to a pitcher? I know they have a slightly chitinous exoskeleton and our cultivated Neps probably have no infauna to process that stuff-or do they? DO you have to remove emptied cricket parts after a while or do they just disolve?

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    I have nothing to do with bloodworms. But if one of my pitchers are on the verge of dying I really start shoving insects down the pitcher. At least before it dies, it will have had its fill of bugs [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] .

    travis
    \"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.\"
    -- Oscar Wilde

    http://www.nasarracenia.org/

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