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Aeration method (100% WC) of growing Utricularia Graminifolia (UG)

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Alvin Koh, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Alvin Koh

    Alvin Koh Junior Poster

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    Hi all,

    I would like to share a method which I found to be relatively effective in growing Utricularia graminifolia (UG), which may be helpful to those who may wish to attempt UG, but have limited supply of plants or are frustrated at the number of failures from previous attempts (melting/algae). I believe this method should work well with other smaller species of aquatic plants.

    I have previously attempted the Dry Start method (DSM) as well as direct planting into the aquarium with moderate success.

    1) Dry Start method - Due to tropical climate in Singapore (83-90 DegF / 28-32 DegC), white mold/cyanobacteria forms pretty rapidly. UG transitions very well from submersed to emersed. Growth speed was decent emersed - but still took a long time to fill up.

    2) Direct planting into aquarium soil in a new tank setup - UG takes about 1 week to acclimatise then starts to grow, but about 2 weeks into the startup, mass melting of UG occurs. It seems to be rather sensitive to decomposing material (e.g. soil) and diatoms. Leaves turn from bright green to yellowish/brown and melt off occurs. It seems to be hit/miss for some, but so far this has been my experience 3-4 times using ADA Amazonia in new tank setups.

    View attachment 4541

    View attachment 4542

    View attachment 4543

    View attachment 4544

    Equipment:
    1) Air pump + Air stone.
    2) Shallow basin/dish.
    3) Light source (w/ timer for daily photo-period - I am using 12 hrs)
    4) Internal pump (optional)
    5) Fertlizers

    The method:
    1) Utricularia graminifolia is floated in basin of fresh water (I use about 2 liters)
    2) Aerate well with good water circulation - I try to position the bubbles beneath the UG so that there is as much air-contact as possible
    3) Dose macros/micros at full EI (Estimative Index) concentration for the full volume of water in the basin.
    4) Change 100% water every 2-3 days

    My reasoning:
    1) 100% water change every 2-3 days eliminates algae/mold issues (the nitrogen cycle never gets started?)
    2) Maintains plants in their submerged state (no need for transitioning)
    3) Some plants grows faster in submerged state (Utricularia Graminifolia)
    4) Aeration via air pump in a shallow dish provides good air exchange and sufficient CO2
    5) Higher temperature (33 DegC) does not seem to be an issue
    6) High light output (65w CCFL fixture 6-8 inches above the plant)
    7) No filtration / soil required
    8) Low volume of water = easy water changes & little fert requirement (e.g. a full EI dose sufficient for a 200L/50Gal tank can last 100 times in this 2L setup)

    The UG has since doubled in about 3 weeks from half a tub of Tropica UG. It may be too early to tell but so far, it has been problem free and very easy to maintain.

    I hope that by posting this, I can gather critique of this setup. I also look forward to seeing other enthusiasts feedback on whether they benefit from this (or not).

    Cheers!
    Alvin.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    This is pretty easy to do with low/small volumes of water, you just take tank water and add to the UG for replacement.
    Similar to aeroponics, but for aquatic plants.
     
  3. Alvin Koh

    Alvin Koh Junior Poster

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    Hi Tom, thank you for your response :)

    I did get some inspiration from Hydroponics (and more accurately, aeroponics that you've mentioned) as well as the plant tissue culture from the Tropica 1-2-grow series (which comes with the gelatin-like growing medium).
    It was my first time purchasing such clean samples of plants, thus I wanted to find a way to mimic these types of growth (detritus free).

    Another reason is that since Utricularia graminifolia doesn't mind not having a soil/rooting medium, floating seems to be preferred and fuss free!
    They (UG) also seem to exist mostly near the surface in their natural environment - thus the bubbles via air pump, which also serve the purposes such as providing vigorous air/water mixing, fertilizer delivery, and mild temperature reduction from evaporation (helps in warmer climate).

    I would have attempted a hydroponics-styled setup (I didn't actually read up enough on this) but I found this method (floating in container) to have similar benefits with lesser equipment requirement.
    I prefer using faucet/tap over tank water though, because of the avoidance of soil/livestock feeding induced detritus and for sake of reasonable consistency/control.
     
    #3 Alvin Koh, Jun 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2013
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Floating plant culture is preferred as it's really easy and fairly clean.
     
  5. PhilipS

    PhilipS Lifetime Members
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    Too bad the pics are missing.


    So in a wabi-kusa setting, an airstone will allow the aquatic Utricularia to settle and grasp the netting or other suitable growing medium?


    This would be a fantastic carpet plant for a bog. Add a few Sundews, etc. Hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink. So many Utricularia terrestrial and aquatic species.
     
    Hari_Sankar likes this.
  6. Plant Man

    Plant Man Junior Poster

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    Good info here
     
  7. PhilipS

    PhilipS Lifetime Members
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    I got some UG grown emersed in pots. Its in a glass corelware getting south sun inside. Added a little water every few days to submerse it. Some fairy shrimp cysts are hatching so it will be interesting if the UG actually catches any.
     
  8. Jay Johnson

    Jay Johnson New Member

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    Does this look right? My t5 lights are 25" from the bottom of the tank. Do I need to get the dish closer?[​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
     
    sam_08 likes this.
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