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Aldrovandra: Introduce Zooplankton?


A leuco by any other name would still be as glutto
I have some U.gibba and Aldrovandra coming next month or so, and have begun to set up my small water feature for them. So far I have done the following with a 4 gallon or so washing bucket.

- started with a base layer (~1 inch) of plain kitty litter for clay content
- added a layer of boiled peat moss (~2 inches)
- topped it up with a layer of silica sand (~1/2 inch) to hold it all down
- filled the water up to about six or seven inches above the media being sure to use as much"peat tea" (the water left from boiling the peat) as possible
- planted 4 large-ish stalks of bamboo and two cattails (Typha is their scientific genus, right?). I collected the latter from a local pond, while the bamboo was collected from a vase in my living room. ;)
- I plan to know let the container "age" and come into balance.

...and now three questions:

1) I am curious about the zooplankton that need to be present. Can I just take a gallon of water from a healthy local pond and add it to the container? Is there a better source to get microorganisms for my little setup?

2) Also, are those enough monocot plants? I can easily obtain more cattails along the road side and more bamboo from Wal-Mart.

3) Finally, should I gather some cattail litter to place on the sand in the tub, or will the living plants produce enough of this as they go along?

This is my first attempt with Ultrics and Aldro, and I hope to make it a good one! ..with your help, that is.

Thanks in advance, gang.
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Honestly the u. gibba will grow in any standing water out there. I would be more worried about the gibba taking over the bucket, but thats just me. I don't know much about aldrovanda, but I do know its very picky and not fast growing. Best of luck!
I wondered that about the gibba as well. I figured I could keep it trimmed back.. Even thought about making a partition of some sort.

I understand that the Aldro can release excess nutrients which other plants (monocots and gibba) will use up. I setup my tub based on info from several sources, but this one well-summarizes why I set it up as I did.

Grrr.. Just realized I misspelled Aldrovanda in the title.
Aldrovanda is actually one of the fastest growing carnivores out there, but it does make up for that in pickiness. Some microorganisms in the pool may be a good idea, as that's where the Aldros get their nutrients, but I'd err on the side of caution about just getting something from the pond nearby. I would suggest finding a place that offers small Daphnia, or just wait and see if anything comes in with the plants (as with what happened to me, though I must admit the Aldro did not like my low light levels) And do keep an eye out on the U. gibba, it grows very quickly.
If you're interested I have a culture of a very small species of Daphnia or some similar critter. They're much smaller than typical Daphia sps, max size is well under 1 mm. They tend to hang on surfaces and make short trips through the water. They work nicely for raising fish fry. If you're interested in some I'd be happy to send a culture for the cost of shipping, or if you have a little something in trade to offer that would be ok too!
I had both growing in a 10 gallon tank. I gave them bog seep water and provided a few of the bog plants. This was successful for a couple years, until I decided to change to creek water. That slowly killed them. The replacements I got this year fizzled, even though I went back to what brought me success.

Interesting, Jim. Do you think the microfauna where not the right type of proportion in the creek water? Or do you suspect something harmful contained in the creek water?

@SubRosa: PMing you now.

@HCarlton: I hear the gibba can get out of hand. I plan on culling and experimenting with it as I go.;)
Grrr.. Just realized I misspelled Aldrovanda in the title.

Don't worry about it. Aldrovanda was actually meant to be Aldrovandia in honor of Ulisse Aldrovandi, but Linnaeus spelled it wrong.

As for the microorganisms, you can order them online, or (more easily) go to a pond as you suggested. I would just make sure that there's not any nasty pollution in it. You could even just raise the microorganisms in a test tube or something and put them in the water, because I'm not too sure about the local pond. After all, if it's public, who knows what might have ended up in it.
  • #10
Good point raising them separately first. Mig be worth a separate bucket.

The pond I am thinking of now is a small one just two houses down. The only run off may be yard fertilizers... Doubt any Roundup or anything gets near it. As you say, though, you never know. :S
  • #11
I have no idea what went wrong. I received a new batch of U. gibba and Aldrovanda a couple months ago, along with a few companion plants. I went back to the bog seep water that had been successful, and the U. gibba just never responded. The Alrovanda sloughed off the existing growth, leaving me with a small piece of living material. One day, after a significant rainstorm, I couldn't find it anymore. It may have gone overboard and fell to the grass, or a critter got into it, or maybe it just died. I really don't know.

I didn't see a PM in my Inbox.
  • #12
Another possibility, somewhere I purchased a fish tank net that someone had 'restrung' with very fine plastic mesh. I can net out all sorts of small critters that way and transfer little or none of the water from where they came. Or rinse if I feel the need.