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Re: Aldrovanda

Thomas Barr wrote:
> > Subject: Aldrovanda
> >
> > http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq5040.html
> >
> > This plant looks neat.  It would be neat to try in a
> > container of its own where it's predatory habits don't
> > extend to tiny animal life not intended for an early
> > end (like fry).
Haven't grown it myself but I've seen it growing in one of
Australia's CP specialised nurseries. The general growing
requirements are very soft, acidic water, low to no levels
of fertiliser (or at least hungry plants as companions).
Peat tea is usually used - Typha leaves are sometimes added
to the peat. Presumably the rotting leaves in most aquatic
tanks should make the addition of Typha unnecessary. For
such a small plant it seems to succumb slowly if the
container is too small - 50g+ is usually the recommendation.
It forms turions if the water gets too cold, however, this
dormancy isn't totally necessary in cultivation. Probably
best under high light but watch for algae. It'll quickly die
if smothered. Like a lot of aquatic plants, it really
appreciates CO2. Watch out for herbivores. I've had
Ancistris snack on Utrics and I suspect many algae eaters
would do the same to Aldrovanda.

> You a big fish breeder?
>   I had never heard of it before
> > looking through and revising my club's AHAP rules.
> > Maybe you could feed it daphnia with a baster.
> Plenty of rotifers etc crawling around for it. Most all aquatic C plants do
> fine for years without live foods. Haven't found one yet that does not. Over
> feeding your fish food will increase rotifer densities or you can use dead
> food also or daphnia etc.
Agreed. Few carnivorous plants actually need supplementary
feeding. Besides I think people would be surprised how full
of microflora their tanks are.

> Unlike Utricularia, this plants has venus fly trap doors. Very cool.
> Many of the CP people are not good at growing aquatic CP's, we could help:-)
> Regards,
> Tom Barr
True, but I think there two main reasons for their lack of
success. Space and water. Utrics are not really held in high
regard amongst growers. Sure the flowers are nice but most
people would rather grow pitcher plants (Those who like the
flowers usually grow Pings because with Pings you at least
get to see the traps :-)). Most aquatics have quite small
traps and those with traps approaching anything
interestingly large generally require more room (either a
large tank or a small pond). Now CP's prefer very soft water
and they use a lot of it. If you don't have naturally soft
tap water then the water costs add up. Now give your average
CP grower (who generally wouldn't sell their mother for
aquatic plants) a 50g tank and give him the choice between
using it to grow a dozen+ spectacular Nepenthes, Heliamphora
or Drosera in a very impressive display which their wife
will let them keep, or fill it with RO water for the purpose
of growing a few minuscule plants which their wife will
refer to a pond scum (the name my wife termed my 4g tank of
Utrics) with maybe a few filler plants which you aren't
really interested in, I think you know which they'll pick.
It's not that these plants are difficult for them to grow,
it's just that they aren't willing to give the plants the
conditions they want so when they do grow them they give
them a tiny container and watch them slowly die. Convince
them to buy a bigger dedicated tank and I'm sure they'll
have more success. Most people I've met who grow the larger
aquatic CP's either grow them in their aquariums or outdoor
ponds. However, a paludium which includes aquatic and
terrestrial CP's would look fantastic.