As some may have noticed in my signature, one of my other hobbies is hydroculture, which is basically passive hydroponics. I have tried growing various carnivorous plants in hydroculture but, perhaps with the exception of Nepenthes, it has not been very successful.
This year I decided that I would try an active hydroponic system on a Dionaea muscipula (VFT). For this experiment I have used a homemade hydroponic system. The growing medium I used is small rockwool cubes (1cm x 1cm x 1cm), with a top dressing of gravel to keep them in place and to make things look a little neater. The base of the VFT bulb and the roots are in the rockwool, therefore the rockwool is the growing medium, not the gravel. This is all contained within a mesh pot, with air line tubing running through the pot to an airstone underneath it. This is then placed into a watertight container and rainwater is added to a level just above the base of the pot. The idea is to get the rockwool wet but not have the roots actually sitting in water at this stage. The other end of the air line tubing is then attached to an air pump which oxygenates the water via the airstone, this runs continuously. I have added a little fulvic acid to the water to acidify things a little but I don't know if this essential, I just had some so I added it. As you can see from the pictures, I've used a clear container, this is perhaps not ideal as light may encourage algae growth, though the rainwater that was added was initially a little green but has cleared. I will keep a close eye on this and cover the container if algae starts to appear. The plant has been in this system for a couple of weeks and it has put on new growth. This is encouraging as I expected the plant to show signs of stress but there has been no evidence of this so far. I will update this post on the progress of this experiment.
Overview of system:
Plant in place:
Pot containing rockwool cubes: