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Chimaera last won the day on May 16

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  1. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    The theory is that most things dissolved in water get concentrated as you boil water off, but bicarbonate is different; you drive off CO2 which is less soluble in hot water and the bicarbonate ions that were associated with it then bond with any calcium present and precipitate out as limestone, so TDS drops until you run out of calcium or CO2 levels reach that soluble in boiling water. If water has magnesium in it (there should be a lot in NE England), this does not bond with bicarbonate the same as calcium and precipitation is different. On various brewing websites the chemistry is explained far better than I can.
  2. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    I have been trying to work out if boiling water to precipitate carbonate will reduce TDS sufficiently. Hs anyone with a TDS meter done the experiment? It appears that if there is enough calcium in solution (as should be the case in a limestone/chalk aquifer, as in most of SE England) it should be possible to get bicarbonate down to 80 TDS, at which point atmospheric CO2 levels prevent it going lower. So by this, boiling water and letting the carbonate precipitate out would work for water for the short term at least. Does anyone know if this is true or not?
  3. Having just started a collection I am always happy for additions to it, so was really pleased to get some 'passengers' with other plants. I bought a 'starter set' of plants from H-C in the Winter (that have all surpassed my expectations of how good they are) and recently notices a few seedlings in the compost, so pricked them out. Associated with a S. purpurea were 3 nice little Sarracenias. I guess they are the same as the host, but could the hooked ends suggest S. psittacina or a hybrid of it? In the pot of a Drosera filiformis are a dozen seedlings; one has long leaves and is presumably the same species, the others are round with short petioles. Do leaves change shape as the plant grows or does this mean I have a round leaved form like D. aliciae? There was also a tiny clump of possible Utricularia but I think I killed it by moving it.
  4. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    I thought it was just me being ill-prepared; I have about a week's worth left in a barrel, then its weighing up using boiled water against buying deionised water. Maybe I should organise a barbie for Saturday; it will rain then.
  5. Chimaera

    Sarracenia flowers but No pitcher's?

    I am guessing that they have 2 real problems other plants do not, firstly they do not want to risk eating their own pollinators so flowering earlier than pitchers is good, also most plants can get nitrated from the soil as soon as they start to grow, pitchers need to rely on what is stored from last year until the first pitchers can catch more nitrate. If there is flower or seed production, it leaves little nutrient for pitcher growth.
  6. Sounds like a great idea.Maybe it could be reciprocated too; there may be pure strains of rarer forms in collections in Europe that are not present in collections in the US.
  7. Chimaera

    Does anyone keep their sarracenia outside?

    The RHS are carrying out trials of Sarracenias at Wisley and elsewhere and will publish the 'garden worthiness' of them ( I will keep an eye out for the results. They did an indoor one ( 2013-2015.pdf).
  8. Just been thinking about why subtropical Drosera and Serracenia would evolve to be so Winter hardy. I would guess that it is because they had to survive the last ice age (too recent for much speciation since), Most animals and plants could survive by moving with the climate belts away from the poles, but increased aridity would have been an additional problem for carnivores. So for Serracenia whilst southern Florida stayed warm, it also got very arid and no good the bog plants, so bog specialists were restricted to northern Florida and the Gulf Coast where winters were probably far colder than now. So even species that now never see a frost in the wild would have only survived by being frost hardy. The same could be true with S African Drosera; whilst the Cape area got colder, expanding deserts and savannah to the North would have trapped the Drosera in a far colder area than now, so only the hardy survived.
  9. Just started collecting a few carnivores, and looking for suitable plants for an unheated greenhouse (in southern England), it seems that a there is variable advice about the hardness of some species. As we (in UK and some of northern Europe at least) have just had an exceptional cold snap late in the year, it would be interesting to see what survived or otherwise in unheated greenhouses or outside this winter. I was surprised that a D. capensis survived being frozen solid (even iff all the top growth died off).
  10. Chimaera

    Second batch of pitchers in N. ?ventricosa

    Thanks all
  11. Chimaera

    Second batch of pitchers in N. ?ventricosa

    I'll repot and stake it then, thanks. It is the shorter, erect, stem that is forming pitchers, not the longer, drooping one
  12. Chimaera

    Second batch of pitchers in N. ?ventricosa

    hanks, that is great. As these things go, 2 days after starting this thread I noticed one of the tendrils had thickened up and developed a 'felty' texture; it now has a 1cm proto-pitcher on the end and a second tendril seems to be doing the same. The other plant is getting very long though; is is worth cutting it back to encourage more base growth? It seems to quite like being in the bathroom; humid, west facing and with slightly textured window glass cutting the worst glare. maybe it was the threat of the greenhouse that made it buck up its ideas.
  13. Chimaera

    Suitability of sand

    I don't know about Cps, but in Rhododendron it seems that calcium is not a problem, indeed calcium shortage is very damaging. It is raised pH that killed them, and you can add gypsum to give calcium with no problem. I also don't see mineral phosphate as a problem unless anyone knows otherwise; it is not very soluble and is apparently phosphorus is not an element Cps get from their food.
  14. I know this is a common topic, but exactly what in growing medium is and isn't acceptable for carnivores? Clearly calcium carbonate and high pH, and nitrates are out, but not sure about other salts. The reason I ask is I am a palaeontologist and regularly sieve sand from Morocco for small fossils and end up with a lot of sand left over once the fossils are removed (I have 15 kilos in my office at the moment). This is calcium carbonate free but contains small amounts of gypsum (Calcium sulphate), iron oxides and a quite a lot of mineral phosphate (mostly fragments of dinosaur bone; not very soluble). Any ideas?
  15. Chimaera

    Winter wetness

    Thanks again