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green layer on the water


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#1 Tha_Reaper

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:10 AM

Hi,

In my aldrovanda water i have a problem with a green layer on the water that appears every day in the evening. I try to remove the layer every few days with a paper (i can skim it off the water), but it keeps on returning.
I noticed that the green layer appears faster and more profound when the sun was shining bright that day.
I have a 2 cm of peat on the botom of the tank, int he water there is a waterhyacinth, Ceratophyllum demersum and an eliocharis acicularis.
I tried to add daphnia in the water, but the majority of the daphnia die within 3 days. The walls of the tank are clean with no algae to be seen.
I have also seen a lot of worm-like creatures in the water. They are around 7 mm long, and crawl over the botom or wall of the tank, so i dont think they are mosquito larvae.

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the aldrovanda dont seem to be harmed.

I will try to take a picture of the worm thingies, but i dont have much hope that a picture will turn of very good with my camera.

Anyone knows what that green layer is, and more importantly: how to get rid off it? So far the only way to completely remove it is adding so much water to the tank that water with the green layer just spill out of the tank. the downside is that the layer reappears 2 days later again.

#2 Tha_Reaper

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:30 AM

i have managed to take a picture of the worm thingies:

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anyone knows what it is?

Edited by Tha_Reaper, 22 June 2010 - 10:31 AM.


#3 ifurita

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:44 AM

How long has this setup been running for? This sounds exactly like the problem I had and your setup is very similar to mine: I also had a layer of peat at the bottom with a water hyacinth.

If the setup is relatively new and there wasn't the problem initially, then its probably the same issue I had: algae, caused by too much nutrients in the water. Using paper or otherwise removing it is fighting a losing battle. If you can, transfer the Aldrovanda to another setup and let this one alone till the plants and algae burn off the excess nutrients in the water. When that happens, the algae will all die off or at least die down to a level where you don't really notice it. You shouldn't leave the Aldrovanda inside if you choose to do this because initially the green layer will get thicker if not consistently removed and when it is thick enough, it will start to affect the Aldrovanda.

If the setup is over a year old and the problem only just came up, then you might want to look for a source of nutrients going into the water. It could be the worm thingies...though this seems unlikely unless you've got a major infestation. The worm thingies look like some kind of insect larvae, but I could be wrong.

Edited by ifurita, 22 June 2010 - 10:46 AM.


#4 Tha_Reaper

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:56 AM

this setup has been running for around 4 weeks, so not that long. Can the peat cause the excess nutrients? because other than that, i cant imagine what can cause too much nutrients. the water is RO water, so nutrients coming from the water is probably not the issue.
Having to find another container is kind of a blow for my plans, since i dont have much room left for another tank, and not the time to make peat sink sufficiently in another tank before i have to go on a weeks vacation.

because of this green layer i have already refreshed the water once. i totally emptied the tank, and refilled it with fresh water. that kept the layer at bay for 2 weeks, so if there are excess nutrients in the water, i think they "leak" into the water from the peat.

Edited by Tha_Reaper, 22 June 2010 - 11:01 AM.


#5 mobile

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:21 AM

Having to find another container is kind of a blow for my plans, since i dont have much room left for another tank, and not the time to make peat sink sufficiently in another tank before i have to go on a weeks vacation.

Peat sinks much faster if you boil it in RO water first.

#6 Tha_Reaper

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:29 AM

thanks for that hint mobile. I just went to the supermarket and bought 3 dishwashing bowls (i have 3 different species of aldrovanda) that i'm going to use in the meanwhile for the aldrovanda untill the normal tank has cleared up.

@ifurita: is it better to place the tank in full sun to promote growth and depletion of nutrients, or should i keep it in the half shade like its now? it now catches full sun from dawn till 13.00, and shade the rest of the day.

#7 jimscott

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 12:56 PM

Are the worm thingys mosquitoe possibly larvae?

#8 Tha_Reaper

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 13:03 PM

i have seen mosquito larvae, and they look different. on top of that mosquito larvae swim in the water, and dont stick to the walls like this.

i thought it could be dragonfly larvae, since they fly a lot around the tank, and they sometimes seem to lay eggs in the surfacing water plants, but after looking at wikipedia how the larvae look, i think that must be wrong.

#9 rsivertsen

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 13:34 PM

There is only ONE species of Aldrovanda (vesiculosa) but there are many strains, each from a different location. You really DON'T need peat! It only encourages algae blooms. You might try putting in some clay! The pH is not important; they actually grow best in neutral pH. Also, the water is too deep!

Use local pond water, and put in some clay, and silt from a local pond with large monocots, like Phragmites, Typha, Juncus, Carex, etc., along with the leaf litter of these plants, and have only enough water to cover the Aldrovanda. Then get some aquatic/marginal plants from your local home and garden supply stores, such as ornamental grasses, and plant them in the silt and spread out the roots, and lay the Aldrovanda directly above those roots, even comingled. There is a fully mutual symbiotic relationship where those monocot plants soak up and assimilate the nitrogenous matter released from the Aldrovanda, and in exchange, release a constant supply of CO2 which is absolutely essential for the Aldrovanda to thrive. There should be loads of different organisms with the Aldrovanda, from snails, mosquito larvae, copepods, rotifers, worms, fresh water shrimp, etc. I have no idea what those worm-like things are in your tank. Don't worry about the water getting filthy and messy; the Aldrovanda loves it!

- Rich

#10 ifurita

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 14:04 PM

4 Weeks? That sounds about right. Peat was also my guess concerning the source of the nutrients. My own tank(well, its more of a basin) got a lot of sun, I never did move it into shade. I'd say it sounds logical to move it to a brighter place to promote growth. Throwing in more nutrient draining water plants will also help speed up the process. In my case, I tossed in a couple more clumps of water hyacinth. It took some time to clear up in my case, but since you're using RO water, I think it will clear more quickly on your end(I use tap water). If you don't want to use peat for your bowls and have some live sphagnum around, you can use that instead, if the water level isn't kept too high above the live sphag. It works for my Aldrovanda and aquatic Utrics when I need a temp place to hold them for a while, although you do need a fair bit of live sphag if your bowls are large.

@mobile: Man, that's a handy tip! I wish I had known that sooner!

I can confirm that they're not mosquito or dragonfly larvae, there are mosquito larvae a plenty in my area, so much so that you get fined if they catch any around your place. My guess would be some kind of fly larvae, perhaps some kind of midge or gnat larvae?

#11 Tha_Reaper

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 14:30 PM

@ rsivertsen: i meant strains while i said species, thanks for correcting that.
The water is going to be a problem to take from a local pond, since all the ponds in the surrounding are literally riddled with algae and duckweeds.
The waterlevel looks deeper on the picture than it is in reality. its only 4cm deep after i filled the tank. At 2 cm and when i need to go away for some time, i fill it up to 5 cm.

The only grass that i have is the eliocharis acicularis. is that a good plant to put in the water? the waterhyacinth doesnt have a big root system... is that suitable for an aldrovanda pond? and the Ceratophyllum demersum doesnt has roots at all.... does that even help?

can you give some examples for monocot plants that remain small and are a must for an aldrovanda pond?
and for clay... will seramis work for that? (thats assentially baked clay)

I have already boiled peat for the next 3 tanks for my aldrovanda, and its settling down at the moment, so i think i will try once more with peat, it it doesnt work out, i will go resource hunting for the next try in a couple of weeks.

thanks for all the hints so far everyone.

Edited by Tha_Reaper, 22 June 2010 - 14:36 PM.


#12 Alexis

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 14:46 PM

Doesn't a bale of barley straw get rid of algae?

#13 rsivertsen

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 14:46 PM

I've never used seramis (baked clay), but it's certainly worth a try. Don't worry about getting duckweed and pond algae from your local ponds. My pond was/is loaded with duckweed, and sometimes algae, but when the Aldrovanda is thriving, it will cause algae to go into decline! Your local pond water will have the zooplankton that will actually groom the Aldrovanda and feed on the algae. The problem is that when they have no natural predators to keep their population in check, they undergo massive cycles of population explosions and crashes which end up in massive algae blooms. Here is a picture of my pond and the Aldrovanda I have in there. The water where they grow is only ankle deep. The places where the water is deeper have only Utrics, but not any healthy Aldrovanda. They grow with the marginal plants in very close proximity to those hummocks so that they are within a few cm from their roots.

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Notice the complete absence of any algae and the abundance of clay/silt along with the close proximity to monocot (grass-like) plants.

- Rich

Edited by rsivertsen, 22 June 2010 - 15:08 PM.


#14 mobile

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 17:32 PM

and for clay... will seramis work for that? (thats assentially baked clay)

I know very little about the cultural requirements of Aldrovanda but if they like clay/silt then I would have thought clumping clay cat litter (fuller's earth) would be better. I have used this as a 'soil' in an aquarium before. The clumps break down to form a heavy silt. Care must be taken though to check that there are no additives. I think that I used Tesco own brand. Like I said though, I don't know if Aldrovanda would be ok with this.

#15 Loakesy

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 18:34 PM

The floating green stuff looks a bit like pollen to me. Have you got a tree in flower nearby?

#16 Tha_Reaper

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 18:43 PM

no flowering trees in the surrounding. just some small red acer trees, and a lot of bamboo.

#17 rsivertsen

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 19:45 PM

It could also be polen from some conifer trees such as pines, spruce and cedar. - Rich

#18 Tha_Reaper

 
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Posted 22 June 2010 - 19:50 PM

in the times that there are a lot of daphnia in the water, the green layer appears in the evening, but in the morning, it has been greatly reduced, only to come back with a vengeance in the next evening again (2 times as thick). i dont think that is something that you would see if it was pollen. there are no flowering trees in the near proximity... i know pollen can carry up to 200 km in the wind, but there is a pond next to my aldrovanda tank, and i dont see a thing in that.

#19 Tha_Reaper

 
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Posted 03 July 2010 - 12:54 PM

i had to rescue my aldrovanda today again... after being away for 10 days they were totally entangled in filamentous algae. It didnt really surprise me, as i just trew the aldrovanda in a newly filled container with RO water and peat on the botom as i didnt have time to buy new plants yet.
Now i cleaned the tanks and tried to do it right. I bought 2 typha minima and a sparganium erectum, and split my water hyacinth in a lot of smaller plants and divided them over the tanks.
The botom is a mix of peat and pond-soil as that contains a fair amount of clay. when im going to get some water from a large body of water to introduce some new micro organisms to the tanks.

#20 japetus

 
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Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:14 PM

I was given a small Aldrovanda turion, which was cut in small pieces. I have put each one at a different container, with plants, with fish etc, in order to see which one will grow better and faster. In one it was immediately attacked by filamentous algae... At another where I also keep small fish, it is developing steadily but slowly.
The piece which was attacked by alage, I have put it in a small plastic container with mud, in which I had earlier sown rice seeds.. As I have put it there just two days ago, it is very early to try to give any results, but seems like an interesting experiment...

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