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Thread: Aquatic utrics

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    What little I know about aquatic Utrics is that those who grow them, have some amount of soil media in with them. What does the media do, since the aquatic variety don't have roots or rootlike appendages that anchor themselves to it?

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    My U. gibba and inflata never did well until I started growing them on dried LFS. Instead of really submerging them, I have them on top of the LFS, resting just at the water line. It seems to help them get air or something, and I think I read somewhere that the decaying plant matter staves off algae.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]What does the media do, since the aquatic variety don't have roots or rootlike appendages that anchor themselves to it?
    Au contraire! Plants like U. stygia (and U. intermedia??) have rootlike stolons branching off the main leafy stolons, which plunge down and into the substrate and anchor it. Even U. vulgaris will attach itself loosely into the sludge at the bottom if the water is shallow. The stolons of U. sygia also have traps on them (which are bigger and more prolific than those on the floating sections). U gibba seems to prefer to grow in a swampy gunk rather than floating in pure clean water, and they flower when they effectively form their own floating island of stolons and gunk. The distinction between affixed aquatic and floating is not clear-cut.

    As for the purpose of the substrate - it harbours microorganisms which the plants eat, it acidifies the water assisting with deterral of algae, as the substrate decays further it releases CO2 and humic acids, also deterring algae, and providing some trace elements and compounds which the plants appreciate.
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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Agreed. My U.gibba are growing on a mat of their own gunk and LFS that floats in 2" RO water. I let the water nearly evaporate until all that remains is a soggy mat, then I refill to 2". The water is a wonderful peaty-brown color and there's lots of little critters now swimming around which, I assume, feed the utrics. Also, in each tray, there is one aquatic snail and some aquatic non-CP plants to help deter algae. I've had one major algal bloom, but this dissipated in 2 weeks. The plants seem to enjoy this setup and flower.

    The success of this setup can be attributed largely to the kind efforts of Rob-Rah, Tamlin and TheAlphaWolf, who provided me with wonderful advice. Rob, among others, also provided some great advice for setting up my beautiful Aldrovanda tank--he is a true master of the aquatic! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    It just so happens that I have a tray of the live LFS right next to the trays of aquatic Utrics. So I will split the LFS and place the Utrics on top. Thanks for the education!

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