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Thread: Growing utricularia in foam

  1. #1
    noah's Avatar
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    When I set up one of my tanks a year ago, I laid down foam in varying thicknesses across the bottom of the tank to act as a sort of capillary mat. This worked quite well. In one place, the foam did not quite meed the edge of the tank, so I planted some utrics in a spot of peat moss in the gap. Over the past year, the utric (U. calycifida) has flourished. Not only did it fill the gap with leaves and stolons, but grew stolons into and through the foam, popping up here and there:

    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/noah/caly_in_the_foam.JPG[/img]

    U. longifolia stolons growing out of the bottom of a pot have also taken advantage of this artificial growing media:

    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/noah/long_in_the_foam.JPG[/img]

    Having utrics growing in the bottom of my tank was a lot of fun until they started invading other pots through the drainage holes, as with this U. tridentata that is now infested with U. calycifida:

    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/noah/tri_infested_w_caly.JPG[/img]

    I have considered attempting to grow a utricularia purely in the foam, but I doubt it would find much food in this artificial environment. Probably worth a shot, though. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Exactly what kind of foam are we talking about? Foam rubber?
    'My love was science- specifically biology and, more specifically, when placed in a common jar, which of two organisms would devour the other.'

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    Very interesting! This confirms Dodec's theory that the medium really isn't all that important to many of the terresterial Utric's. I have Utricularia growing out of the drain holes in my pots, rooting in the sand I keep at the bottom of my trays for this very purpose. U. calycifida, like U. longifolia, is very happy with no media at all. I actually have to keep an eye on them since they try to sneak stolons up therough the drainholes of other pots. They sense the more optimal medium and try to reach it. That's a heads up to anyone with a number of species all together. They travle, and they're SMART!

    Dodec suggested trying to grow Utric's in a bowl of clear glass beads, and I think I will try this experiment soon. It has possibilities! I have also heard of rockwool experiments but haven't had any reports of successes or failures.

    The foam would likely restrict prey, and it isn't the most aesthetic medium, but this shows that the plants are very adaptable.

    I melted holes in my U. reniformis pot, all over the pot. The plant is growing the best leaves out of the holes of the pot, near the base, and not hardly at all on the surface. All this makes me ponder the role of oxygen in the cultivation of even the completely terresterial species. It seems they thrive more in media with numerous air pockets, so the foam would surely give them that.

    I would also be curious to know how seed would behave if sown on a sponge. This may be a useful propagation technique, and deserves more experiments. Considering the aseptic nature of the plastic used in foam products the use of it may be beneficial. Thanks for sharing this observation, and please continue the experiment and update us.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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