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Re: Mysteries of the wood Chunk

       From: Chuck H <grendel at usit_net>
       Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 05:57:59 -0500

.....The second growth I'm seeing is what I believe to be a moss.  It is a
curious growth of an electric, pale green color and is flat and takes the
form of a "Y".  There are 4 of these "Y" growths now and they are
multiplying.  My moss experience is limited to Java Moss and Willow Moss,
so I am unable to recognize it.  Willow Moss has never been near this tank
or anything in it, so I know that isn't it.  If it's Java Moss, well, it's
the first time I've seen this variety of form.  Does anyone recognize it or
the other growth I mentioned?  KL?

Oh yeah, this wood also has the narrow leaf variety of Java Fern growing on
it.  I doubt it is the culprit in the case of either growth, but who knows?....

I don't have any ideas about the straw colored runner except to observe it
and see what it grows into.

The "Y" shaped growth could be the Java fern adapting the gametophyte form
of growth.  Java ferns can do that.  It really isn't the true gametophyte,
which is haploid (one set of chromosomes), but under poor lighting or low
nutrients, I have seen the java fern revert to this form, even though it is
a sporophyte and is diploid (has 2 sets of chromosomes).   It is
ribbon-like, wrinkled, and dark green, having no spongy mesophyll with air
inbetween the upper and lower epidermis to give it the bright, reflective,
green color of the usual sporophyte leaves.  I once had a low-light 29
gallon tank with one rather pink,20 watt light where I had some crypts and
a literal carpet of the dark green, wrinkley gametophyte form.  Finally,
the light bulb got so old that it began to flicker, and, when I replaced it
with a cool white one, the Java fern immediately started growing the bright
air-filled leaves of the sporophyte form.

Paul Krombholz, in mild central Mississippi, up to my ears in exams and