[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Hydra like things...

> Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997 20:16:16 -0700
> From: MP <pearlsco at u_washington.edu>
> Anyone have experience with some hydra like organisms.  I have found
> some in my tank after adding some new plants (un-diped) and they have
> appeared to increased in number.
> They are light yellow/green in color.  They seem to grow on a shared
> stalk like some marine polyps, and one little guy is at each node.  Size
> is about <1/4" tall.  The shared stalk is about the size of a human hair
> (though a little smaller).  I can definitely see their little arms when
> they are in the water.  I've yanked them out, but saved them (as I'm not
> quite sure if I want them or not).
> Any ideas about how they would affect fish?  Any idea of a name for
> them?  Any other info would be appreciated.

I wonder if you've got some species of bladderwort (Utricularia), which
is a carnivorous aquatic plant.  The 'little arms' are a kind of trigger
mechanism that allows the plant to suck small animals into the pouch or
bladder where they are digested.  There are a lot of different species.
I have one with tiny pouches (~1mm) that probably eats protozoa, but some
species are big enough to catch small fry.

Mine grows like crazy.  It makes a nice floating cover in that the light
that comes through it is a beautiful color.  However, if it gets entangled
with a fine-leaved plant it's almost impossible to get it all out.  It would
be good cover for any fry too large for it to trap, since it makes a tangled
mat that predator fish couldn't get into.  On the other hand, it gets protozoa
that you may prefer the fry to eat.

Like any fast-growing plant, it can be used as a nutrient sink - pull out
clumps of it now and then to remove surplus nutrients from the system.  
Unlike other such plants, barring duckweed, it's not easy to find a store
that will take it in trade!

I've seen pictures of its flowers - they are surprisingly large and 'normal'
looking for such a strange plant.

Beverly Erlebacher
Toronto, Ontario Canada