Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #41

E. Enns <ebenns at MTS_Net> wrote, Apr 30, about a problem in keeping potted
water lillies in a 75 gallon tank.  They were potted with soil mixed with
bonemeal, and the problem that developed was cloudy water, bad semll, and a
jelly-like growth covering things.

Something is feeding all those bacteria.  It could be the bone meal.  I
have not played with bone meal, but I think it is just ground up, dried
bones.  There is a lot of organic matter in bones that breaks down quickly.
There are all those cells that make up the bone marrow, and then the bone,
itself, has a substantial amount of organic matrix.  I would recommend
mixing the bone meal spareingly with the soil and composting the mixture
for several weeks before using underwater.  Composting should break down
all the readily-decomposable organic matter.  If you just want to get some
calcium in the soil, you could try putting in some broken up egg shells
soaked in water a few days to remove soluble proteins instead of bone meal.
It probably wouldn't hurt the water lillies if you just used straight soil
with no additions.

The other source of bacteria food might be the rhizomes of the water
lillies.  If they are decaying, they will probably be soft, and very

Good luck!

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174