Archive | November, 2014

GSAS Auction plants

12 Nov

Ok, so we went to the Greater Seattle Aquarium Society’s annual plant auction tonight, and man did I have way too much fun getting plants. I hate to say how much I spent… Mostly in 5-10 dollar increments… But I did by a 50 dollar jug of shrimp, lol. But I’ll get to that in a sec. We joined the club too, next month is their Christmas potluck. I’m not much of a mixed for things like that with a bunch of people I don’t know… But we will see. Depending on the program’s though, we do plan on going to at least some of the meetings. We will see how that works out.

So, in terms of fish, we got a rather nice, big albino bushy nose plecostamus, locally raised by one of the members (don’t remember his name, sorry), already with a few bristles, and twice the size of the one we had gotten earlier. Hopefully they get along ok.

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I think he is claiming this cave as his own hides home!

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We Aldo’s got a tub of shrimp in a ton of moss/algae stuff (Riccia?). The tag just says “50+ shrimp- RCS, Pumpkin, Tiger, Orange & more!”

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I think that one is a female, cause it looks like she is fanning eggs under her belly there. Some are a nice bright red, one looked yellow, most are just clear little shrimp. Some were tiny cry, others like this one good sized for these little guys, not quite and inch long. Since at the local LFS these were running between 4-7 dollars each, I think a buck a shrimp isn’t too bad. Even if these aren’t the cool stripes ones. Those were also at the auction though. We might be able to pick some up later at the monthly meetings at thief monthly auctions.

And then there are the plants… I kind of over did it. We didn’t want to get too many fish since the tank is still cycling, but plants I kind of got more than I may know what to do with, lol. It IS a 100 gallons, plus another twenty or so in the river top filter, but we will have to see how well I can find room for all these plants…

Anubias congensis

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Anubias barteri var nana (emerged- check out the flowers!)

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Anubias barteri var nana ‘Petite’

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Anubias sp (it was cheap, lol)

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Barclays longifolia- little narrow leafed water lily relative

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Bolbitis heudeloti- African fern

Bucephalandra sp #710-03

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Ceratopteris thalictroides- water sprite

Crepidomanes auriculatum- described by the guy from Aquarium Zen as a rare fern from (Malaysia?) which will grow up on a stem kind of like a tree fern

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Cyperis helferi- two strong tissue culture plants

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Cryptocoryne lutea

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Cryptocoryne pontederifolia

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Cryptocoryne undulate

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Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Tropica’

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Cryptocoryne sp (looks like green wendtii)

Cryptocoryne sp (thin wavy leaves, reddish color for now)

Fissedens (fontanus?)- Phoenix moss

Helianthus glomeratus- baby tears

Hygrophyla lancea

Hydrocotyle tripartita- I’m hoping this is like the dwarf one called ‘Japan’ around

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Ludwigia ‘Tornado’- stem plant with really cool, narrow twisted leaves

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Microsorium pteropus ‘narrow leaf’
Microporous pteropus ‘Windelov’- Java fern, an old standby.

Micranthemum umbrosum ‘Monte Carlo’- baby tears (grown emersed)

Monosenium tenerum- pellia, an aquatic liverwort, looks a little like seaweed kind of. Shrimp love it, and fish fry are also supposed to do well in it.
Najas guadupensis- guppy grass

Nymphaea zenkeri- tiger lotus

Proserpinaca palustris- mermaid weed, with its cool spiky feathery leaves. I just hope it does well in my tank, lol

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Ranalisma rostrata- “unusual small carpet plant”

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Riccia fluitans- crystalwort, another aquatic liverwort, much finer textured than the monoselenium type.

Vesicularia dubyana (Taxiphyllum barbieri?)- Java moss, cause you grow have it, lol

Now I just gotta get it all planted… Many of the stem plants will float for a bit, to acclimate. Makes the tank a bit of a mess, but that is all right. Gives the fish something to explore 😉

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Wall of plants!

12 Nov

So at the same time we are setting up the fish tank, it’s also past time to get all the summer plants that need overwintering inside. Poor things… I’m about a month late for some of them.

We ended up deciding to get new black metal shelves for them, and I must say I rather like the effect! Too dark now to take a photo, even with he flash it doesn’t look like much.

Poor hummers, half their favorite flowers are now inside… Fuchsias, shrimp plant, salvia… Didn’t leave them much outside but the Grevillea and the feeders.

The shrimp plant (Beloperome guttata) was starting to melt in the cold, but still putting on a good show!

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And look at all the buds on this “Christmas” cactus! It should be in full bloom, as usual, for Thanksgiving, lol. Assuming the buds don’t blast. Need to remember to most it often so it doesn’t go into too much shock.

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And finally, one of the Phaelenopsis orchids that stayed inside for the summer, and seems to be doing rather well.

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Setting up the Aquarium again…

12 Nov

So when I got back from the Peace Corps 20 some odd years ago, I set up this 100 gallon tank to play with. It worked great for a few years, but the metal halide and vho fluorescent lights I put in the hood were a royal hassle, and when the halide decided to go up in a poof of smoke (literally:.. I was dang lucky the thing didn’t burn the tank down, and the house with it!) I got frustrated with it and kinda left it lightless for a few years.

Low and behold, the Anubias barteri var. nana survived just fine. In fact, it spread slowly with nothing more than a power head to move the water around.

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A month or so ago Beth decided we should do something with the tank, and we invested in some of the new led lights for he tank. A week later… And some of the small Cryptocorynes (probably C. wendtii ‘Bronze’) are also coming up and slowly developing again.

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Love the Crypts… Most seem to like low to medium light, and though they may melt when you put them in the tank, if the roots are good will usually bounce back fairly quick. I’m still amazed they survived with no light for so long, and came back from nothing!

So, we’ve been on a bit of a binge getting the tank set up again. I switched out some rocks, we got some driftwood and a few more plants (Java fern, hygro, Crypt spiralis, Staurogyne, water sprite, and a funky moss? Monoselenium tenerum…)

And a really cool Chinese style dragon, which blows bubbles (12 bucks for the air pump please! But it is a really cool Whisper pump that is amazingly quiet for a pump, do to its funky casing that lifts it up with rubber feet to dampen the vibrations). Here is Mr Dragon!

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One of the two pieces of wood turned out to be a piece of grape vine, which of course floats like a cork. I actually kind of like the effect, but eventually it will sink, and I can attach Anubias and Java fern and mosses and stuff to make a tropical tree like thing out of it. For now it’s a cool floaty thing that is tangling some of the new plants that seem best floating.

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Of course, one of the things I had to do to get the tank running again was to get the filter up and going properly. I have it set with the pump IN the tank now (rather than in the filter like before), where it pushes the water up into the tray of the filter on the top of the tank, where it goes through a kind of river like baffle to the opposite corner, and dumps back down into the tank by gravity. Noisy as all get out, gurgles loudly, but it makes a cool planted filter for emergent plants. Kinda messy for now, but hopefully as it grows in things will look better.

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Lots of plants, but not many fish… So far we have five golden white clouds, some ghost shrimp we never see, 3 ottos and 3 Betta splendens babies that posture at each other like crazy all the time. Hopefully they will have enough room in the tank not to beat each other up too much as they grow up. Oh, and an albino bushy nose plecostamus. He’s still a baby too. No bristles on his nose yet, and I’m not sure how to sex them to tell if he is male or female either way. But he’s cool! Lol
Anyway, been looking forward to the local Greater Seattle Aquarium Society plant auction, which we just got back from, but more on that in another post.

So this is what the tank looks like now, before adding the plants from the auction;

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