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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.
Toronto, Ontario Canada