I'm asking for a few suggestions to help get rid of this algae problem.
I have been growing Aldrovanda in a plastic container outside for the few months. All went well for a while but in the last month the algae has just spread all over everything.
The growing conditions I have are;
A 5 gallon black plastic container, round, about 12inches across.
Half rain water/ half tap, I don't know the ph.
A potted water lillie and two potted cat-tails growing with it.
There were various waterfleas and insect larva but now that it's gotten colder they've all died off or gone dormant. There is also a couple of leeches (about 3/4") in there which I thought I had gotten rid of all of them over the summer.
Light; they currently get about an hour of direct sun very early in the day, after that, bright shade. During the summer when there was almost no algae it received about 5 hours of morning sun and bright shade the rest of the day.
I would like to bring them inside for the winter but I would like to rid them of this smothering algae.
Any body have any suggestions?
Try cleaning your container then refilling with clean water and some sphagnum peat. You can replace the plants immediately or wait until the peat settles.
I grow all my Aldrovanda outdoors in above-ground containers ranging in size from 4 to >40 gallons. I water with tap water, which isn't too bad around here – TDS is around 340 ppm and pH is about 8.5. Both the peat and the inevitable accumulation of detritus help bring the pH to a suitably acidic level and plantings of Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinths) regulate the TDS somewhat. Still, in six months to a year, the TDS can climb to 1,000 ppm or more, which most aquatic CPs dislike.
The containers I've assembled with primary plantings of species other than E. crassipes often struggle. Water hyacinths are great at cleaning water (they're used as filters in some water treatment plants) and also provide needed oxygenation. With the addition of some hyacinths, your Aldrovanda should grow faster and algal blooms should become a non issue.
I don't have any first-hand experience growing Aldrovanda indoors, but have heard that that can be more challenging than keeping plants outside. You may get less flack from your plants by letting them go dormant, collecting the turrions and 'growing' them in your refrigerator for the winter. Here in S. CA, my plants are slipping into dormancy as we speak.
You can see pics of two of my venues for aquatics here.
Thanks for your help!
I'm not sure what strain of Aldrovanda I have, I got them from the Meadowview Biological Research Station. I think they will go dormant for the winter but our winters here would easily freeze the container I use solid for around three months, You have to go a couple of feet below the ground level to be freeze proof here during most winters.
I'll give them a water change with some peat. I had no trouble up until now growing them and they still look like they're going strong under the algae.