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Thread: please help me with my aquatic bladderwort

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    please help me with my aquatic bladderwort

    my aquatic Utricularia, hasnt produced bladders at all since last time it grew them. Why is this? I need help as to what may be causing this? It doesnt look as happy as it used to and its growing much slower.
    I researched its natural habitat, the Okavango delta and it says It preffers bright light, and a
    pH between 7.5-7.8 with 75 degree temps. Currently I have it in a round glass bowl with peat substrate could this be too acidic? is there any alternative substrate that will create CO 2 and not be as acidic?
    Gen 1:11

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    What are you growing? Is it Utricularia reflexa? I have run into this problem a number of times but I'm not sure what the problem is. Perhaps there is a lack of prey in the container. And I don't think peat will create CO2 for you; you need to put decaying plant matter in like leaves to do that or even add supplemental CO2. I've used peat for all my aquatic Utricularia and haven't had any problems so far, so I don't think that is the problem, although maybe like terrestrial bladderworts the plant had exhausted whatever it needs in the substrate and need some new substrate.

    Are you growing it outside? The Utricularia that I grow outside don't seem to have problems with bladder production. Maybe it needs more sunlight if you are growing it indoors.

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    Axelrod12's Avatar
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    I've found co2 helps with my aquatic utrics producing bladders. I have some U. australis in 2 different tanks. One is medium light, no co2 and the other is high light, with pressurized co2 injected. Definitely more bladders in the pressurized setup.

    If you want to supplement co2, for something that small maybe seachem excel would help. I've never tried it before with any utrics except gibba which grows like crazy in just about any conditions but it does great for most of my other aquatics. It is a liquid source of carbon, just be careful not to overdose some plants are sensitive to it. I've seen it melt aquatic mosses and destroy vallisneria down to nothing.

    Co2 aside, I've heard said that ecology is just as important as water chemistry with the aquatic carnivores. So as already said maybe there is a lack of prey or light, etc.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Do you know the actual pH of the system? Seems to me it would be much lower than 7.5 with a peat substrate, particularly if the water is soft. Normally water with a pH that high would have a fair amount of minerals dissolved in it. If you were to use aragonite as a substrate the pH would stay right in that range. Not sure if the amount of calcium that dissolved would be a problem or not.
    Last edited by SubRosa; 08-15-2014 at 04:00 PM.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
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    yes its U. reflexa. it caught like 8 mosquito larva in each trap so i know its not that. It gets sunshine in the morning and bright light the rest of the day. Seachem seems interesting ill try it in the future, ill experiment with decaying leaves first. I appreciate all your responses guys.
    Gen 1:11

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    I do this

    General cultivation of aquatic utricularia
    Water depth: 5-120cm
    Water PH: 5.8-8.4 (optimum is 6.2-6.6)
    Bottom substrate: premium potting mix (will grow well and flower but not form traps), sphagnum mixed with sand and sand over peatmoss, or just a layer of peatmoss.
    Water temperature: 12-40C is fine for U.Gibba, Aurea and Stellaris
    Irradiance: Full sun all day, full morning sun and bright light (50% shade cloth receiving 2-4hours full sun), most prefer the latter.
    For a standard 2foot tank, a 3-5cm layer of peatmoss should be added, then a 2-3cm layer of clean sand as an anchoring base for companion plants as well as to hold down the peat, then the water.
    (optional, for optimum growth) After 2-3days accompany plants may be added (if any), then on the fourth or fifth day the PH should be recorded, target PH is 6.2-6.6, if the PH is to high add dried sphagnum, it will float for a day or two then sink and increase the acidity. Alternatively peat tea may be used, if the PH is to acidic simply bucket out water and replenish with new pure water. Once the PH is stable the Utricularia are added, this same method may be adopted for large ponds, I work on 1 cup of peat to 3L so a 250L pond takes about 84cups (or 8-9 compressed peat blocks), however for small tanks to 1 cup per litre is enough.
    In small setups (less than 100L) I find the addition of a simple CO2 reactor to be a great benefit to the growth rate, they are also simple to make and benefit all aquatic plants (however not recommended if there are fauna such as fish).
    To counter Algae I use horn snail, this is a minute species that does not feed on plants and can be brought from some pet stores, or alternatively collected, small cat fish work well in larger bodies of water (in excess of 100L), as do freshwater mussels (who seem to help in filtering the ammonia the fish release), however in smaller ponds and aquariums nitrogen/amonia levels climb to high with these animals for the plants to thrive.
    Alternatively, or accompanying the animals, companion plants may be used to reduce algae growth by absorbing excess minerals and also help utric growth by adding CO2 when old leaves decay.
    Accompany plants I use
    Other Utricularia
    Nymphoides(best in ponds deeper than 40cm, but small species work well in depths as low as 5cm, attractive and aid in protection from birds and strong sun in open setups)
    Typha (depths of 1-60cm, easily contained in solid pots, long pots work best), their stolonous nature also adds to the CO2 and provide shade and wind protection.
    Pistia Stratiotes (In confined Aquarium only, not in open ponds due to risk of spreading, periodically removed to prevent overcrowding, removed plants must burnt), extreme care must be taken with this species and it should only ever be grown in a container with a lid or indoors.
    Nardoo (tolerates depths of 1-40cm, can get out of control and choke out utrics if not controlled), an array of attractive specimen exist in the marsilea group.

    A simple CO2 reactor can also be used, I use 5L bottles with aquarium hose attached to a air stone, I also have a 1way hose joint to stop water from the tank being sucked up, the best ration seems to be 3L of water:250g of white sugar: 1 sachet of yeast, I change my CO2's every 2months, but larger 15L reactors last as long as 3months.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I wonder if egg shells would raise the pH a little...

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    I have more of this Pistia stratiotes - water lettuce than I know what to do with. If you want some, let me know. Assuming you are in compliance with local laws, etc.

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