Plant update (week 17)

Before trimming

I have been trimming the Hydrocotyle sp. ‘Japan’ once per week, selling off 60-100 cm at a time. If you want some, send me an email or leave a message! The H. leucocephala, which can be seen growing at the centre front has been moved to the back now.

The Lindernia rotundifolia has also started to take off, and since I took the first cutting two weeks ago, a couple more stems are now close to the surface, so I expect to cut them back next weekend or the weekend after.

All of the Cryptocorynes are growing well, although slowly, with C. beckettii ‘petchii’ being the fastest.

I have even managed to find some Rotala rotundifolia cuttings which are recovering slowly!

Mosses are also doing well. While I originally added only Vesicularia ferriei, the weeping moss has sprouted strands of Taxiphyllum sp. ‘peacock’ and there are a few strands of what I suspect to be T. sp. ‘stringy moss’, which is also sometimes labelled as ‘Japan moss’.

Another couple of hitch-hikers have also made it into the aquarium: Hemianthus callitrichoides ‘Cuba’ and Riccia fluitans. The Riccia is not doing so well, while the Hemianthus has gotten caught on one of the C. beckettii ‘petchii’ leaves and seems to be growing. Both species are often considered difficult or impossible to grow in “low-tech” set-up, so it will be interesting to see how these do.

The Pogostemon erectus is surviving, although no longer doing well. I added a root tab underneath it a couple of days ago and moved it out from under the C. wendtii ‘Tropica’, which had started trying to grow over the Pogostemon.

After taking the photo, I pruned back all the Hydrocotyle sp. ‘Japan’ from around the heater as I did not like how it looked and gathered the L. rotundifolia closer together, towards the back of the aquarium.

Sinking the wood

A friend of mine told me that his red moor wood took 4-6 weeks to sink, so I decided to give mine a little helping hand by placing a fish-bag-full of inert rocks on top of it, after moving it into position. On my second attempt, about a week later, I was able to remove the bag of stones, with the wood not floating up. I took the opportunity to move the weeping moss onto the wood, rocks and all included, as it is best when grown hanging off branches.

Daily tests: days 39 – 47

Filter is still steadily processing 2 ppm of ammonia in 24 hours. The Danio margaritatus have gone on hold because the breeder I was planning to buy them from sold their current batch to someone else, so I will move my Pseudosphromenus dayi into the aquarium first.

60_litre_asian_v8In preparation for the fish, I have just ordered the remaining plants, including some impulse purchases, and I have also ordered a piece of “red moor wood”, which does not look particularly red but will provide a good place for the new moss to grow on. The moss is Vesicularia ferriei, which is known by the name of “weeping moss” because it grows sideways and downwards, which I think will look good on the wood. For the moment, I have tied it to porous rocks, which were used as ballast in the Lindernia rotundifolia pots, with some black cotton thread. Cotton thread will eventually rot away, which is not a problem as the moss should have grown into the rocks by then. Alternatively, nylon string or fishing line can be used as these do not rot in water, but these can be dangerous to fish if they are loose because fish can become tangled the string and can cut themselves.

Plants layed out

In preparation for the new plants and fish, I have also replanted the Lindernia rotundifolia, so that the tallest plants are at the back and the shortest are at the front. The plants now form a very rough hemisphere. I am not so sure about the (apparently) general consensus that these plants as fast growing because they are yet to show that quality to me. So far, growth has been moderate at best, but steady and healthy… I will have to try measuring the growth rate at some point in the near future.