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Aphids & Floating Plants Revisited.

Hi All,

Yes, I posted the question about the ever-growing aphid population in my
FPF (floating plant filter). I was curious as to if there are *any*
floating plants that aphids don't seem to like. My filtration experiment
was going quite well until I hit this aphid snag. I originally placed
the following plants in the filter: Azolla, Salvinia, duckweed, Water
Hyacinth, and some sort of Dwarf Water Lilly. I threw out the Water
Hyacinth today. It was showing good growth for weeks until the aphids.
In spite of repeated cleaning, the aphids continually covered the thing
like a horde of bees on honeycomb!! Today it was mostly brown with no
signs of grown at all. The Dwarf Water Lilly has "diappeared." 

I've noticed that the aphids are largely on the Salvinia now. I don't
know if this is because it represents "higher ground," if they prefer
it's taste, or it's because the Salvinia represents the plant with the
largest leaves in the filter. Maybe it's a combination of all three.
There are very few aphids on the Azolla and duckweed at this time. 

> << A day or two ago someone asked if there were any floating plants
>  which aphids would not decimate. I've had an aphid problem for
>  some time, and while your aphids may belong to a different clan
>  than mine, here are my observations.
>  They love salvinia minima and most emergent stem plants which
>  are attacked as they grow at or above the water surface. This
>  includes the rotalas, the hygros, bacopa caroliniana, vallisneria,
>  nesaea, swords, hornwort, etc. They pay little attention to water
>  sprite and water lettuce. That doesn't leave much does it?
>  - --
>  Dave Whittaker
> I can safely say with little hesitation that aphids are quite fond of both
> water sprite and water lettuce!!
> Dean Sliger

I do not have water sprite and water lettuce in the filter at this time.
If there were a plant that everyone could agree on that aphids would not
touch, I would like to try it in the filter. However, I want plants in
the filter that will *grow like weeds* and suck up nitrates, etc. I'm
going to remove the Salvinia (with aphids attached) and see if the
aphids go for the duckweed and Azolla. Something tells me that they
will. I'm interested to see what happens. I figure I can afford to wait
a little while on this. The plants continue to do a fine job keeping the
nitrates down. If the aphids continue to multiply and find a comfortable
living on the Azolla and Duckweed, I will resprt to dunking them until
they drown. (I'm going to try 30 minute dunks every week for 3 or 4
weeks using very fine sheets of plastic mesh). I'll keep you posted.
Anyone have aphid problems on duckweed or Azolla?

Walter B. Klockers
Elma, Washington, USA
klock at olynet_com