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RE: [Aroid-l] My method--warm pots/water for aquatic aroids

  • Subject: RE: [Aroid-l] My method--warm pots/water for aquatic aroids
  • From: "D. Christopher Rogers" <crogers@ecoanalysts.com>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 09:10:08 -0800
  • Importance: Normal


I really like this method, Julius! I plan on giving it a shot. Here is what
I have been doing so far:

In my greenhouse I have two 35-gallon aquariums. I put a layer of peat and
compost about 4 cm deep on the bottom, and then an 8 cm layer of fine sand.
Then I filled the tanks with R/O water, and add some Lemna, Wolfia,
Wolfiella and Spirodella. In this way, the sand traps most organic material
at the bottom, and what sneaks through or is generated is picked up by the
duckweeds. This helps keep algae to a minimum. I use no heaters or
circulation pumps.

I planted my Crypts and Anubias in the sand, and let their roots go where
they like. I have had one Crypt bloom, but other wise the plants just keep
dividing. The Anubias seem disinclined to spread, but like to flower. Maybe
if I used heaters and circulation pumps the Crypts would bloom more, and the
Anubias would grow and spread. Next experiment!


D. Christopher Rogers
Invertebrate Ecologist/Taxonomist

EcoAnalysts, Inc.
(530) 406-1178
166 Buckeye Street
Woodland CA 95695 USA

? Invertebrate Taxonomy
? Invertebrate Ecological Studies
? Bioassessment and Study Design
? Endangered Invertebrate Species
? Zooplankton
? Periphyton/ Phytoplankton

Moscow, ID ? Bozeman, MT ? Woodland, CA ? Neosho, MO ? Selinsgrove, PA

-----Original Message-----
From: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com
[mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com]On Behalf Of Julius Boos
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 12:13 PM
To: aroid-l@gizmoworks.com
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] My method--warm pots/water for aquatic aroids

>From :         Dan Levin <levin@pixar.com>
Reply-To :      Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent :  Wednesday, February 14, 2007 5:34 AM
To :    Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Subject :       Re: [Aroid-l] warm pots/water for aquatic aroids

Dear Dan,

Thanks for the note!   I really should have 'qualified' my note by  saying
that what Enid did was AFTER she had followed my advice given in my article
in Aroideana, "Experiencing Urospathas', where I outlined my experiences
with my irreplacable aquatics being lost to exactly what you describe, the
potting 'soil'/mix rotting when submerged underwater.
In my article I outline my battle to overcome this, finally discovering that
by using 4"-5" of rocks/crock at the bottom of the pot, and then using a mix
with LITTLE 'soil' and mainly coarse sand into which I pot the plant ABOVE
this layer of rock/crock, and then placing these pots in LARGE saucers of
water kept no deeper than say 3", so that the 'soil'/mix is kept above and
so NEVER submerged underwater.   You must hand-water until you see roots
emerge from the drain holes into the water, and fertilize with a weak liquid
fertilizer more frequently, and change the water on a regular basis to
prevent salt bulid-up.   Dr. Birdsey used to submerge his pots (he used pure
coarse sand as a medium) completely underwater, and depended on his fishes
waste products for fertilizer.
If you can, look up and read the article.
Enid took this one step further by just using my method, but used a larger
'saucer'/container with circulating heated water, it is a fantastic method.
  All richer 'soil' mixes (not really soil at all!) will rot if submerged.

Good Growing,


>>Dear Julius,

Here on the other side of the US I stumbled upon the same solution
as Enid, perhaps 5 or 6 years ago.  In my case I'm using a Home Depot
inexpensive pre-formed plastic fish pond set well into the ground, a
submersible heater/ submersible pump inside.  The pond itself is located
inside my greenhouse- conservatory style- set amongst an in-ground
planting bed (it's too cold in the San Francisco area to sustain a  heated
pond outside year-round...).

The one thing I'd like to add here: I discovered that using any solid-
surfaced props (bricks, e.g. or even inverted clay pots) to elevate
my submerged aquatic pots resulted in anaerobic conditions and
serious root die-back at the solid surface/ pot interface.  In other
words, the greatly restricted water circulation at the bottom of the
potted aquatic plants resulted in noticeable "dead" zones within the
media profile.  I'm growing my aquatics in plastic net pots by the way,
so roots would grow out the sides only- not down through the bottom.

I've since been buying 4" ABS black plastic pipe couplings (slip x slip
type) which are very sturdy and of the correct height for me, then using
a stepped drill bit to bore numerous large diameter holes in the sides
of said couplings; 8 or so holes each.  Water (read: oxygen) now
circulates freely beneath the pots.  I suppose any strong, very open,
inert support would do the same- I merely found the couplings handy
and easy to modify.

The results have been significant and the plant's increased vigor quite
substantial.  They're growing easily twice as many roots as before, so
no surprise (this includes Lasia, Cyrtosperma and Typhonodorum).

All best,

On Feb 13, 2007, at 2:36 AM, Julius Boos wrote:

                My friends Enid and Sam, of Natural Selection Exotics


have developed what I consider the most simple and yet effective  method to
keep her potted aquatics not only growing during our cold/ cool season, but
also flowering reproducing freely!
Her system consists of a large, square plastic 'concrete mixing  trough',
abour 4' X 4', or maybe it was 5 'X 5' by 12" deep (any  other suitably
sized container would do).   These are available at  any large hardware
store.  To this she adds an underwater aquarium  water heater, and one of
those small underwater devices that pumps/ circulates water in many marine
fish tanks you see at a fish  store.    She puts water in the container so
that it stands about  4"-5" deep, sets the larger 3gal. and 1 gal. potted
plants in it  (Urospatha and Cyrtosperma sps, etc.), the smaller 4" and 6"
pots  are put on a suitable base (a brick, etc.), to bring them to the
correct height, and then she plugs in the two devices, aiming the  flow of
now suitably warmed water across the heater and around the  pots in the

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