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Chimaera last won the day on May 16 2018

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  1. Chimaera

    Garden gate ' illusion ' mirror

    Very clever idea. But I can see myself walking into it.
  2. Chimaera

    Has anyone else got tropical ants?

    They may be pharaoh ants; these are tiny (2mm) and yellowish brown. They can be a major pest in some indoor sites such as hospitals.
  3. Chimaera


    Who knows, not least the people we pay to sort this out for us. At the very least it is likely that CITES listed forms will not be able to be traded without difficult and expensive permits. As this will include all Sarracenia and Nepenthes species, there will be a problem. (I often send CITES listed fish and shark material between museums and this will be a real pain for me). Although this is the least of our worries......
  4. I would think the main problem is that house plants are not fashionable and many people are not willing or able to put in the effort to look after all but the most indestructible. There are 2 excellent garden centres near me in N London who offer really good ranges of outdoor plants but with very poor ranges of indoor stuff; maybe a third small cacti (unnamed), a third showy orchids and a third 'large green' plants. There is sometimes a tray of mixed small carnivores. all looking very sad. This is pretty much the same range as local DIY shops sell for half the price. Cacti and those types of orchids are almost 'decorations' and can be used for a few months in an unsuitable room and them replaced; maybe that is where houseplants are going. On the other hand there is a local company doing small succulents as decor pieces, with nice, hand made pots and charging an arm and a leg for them, but again these are plants that can survive for some time without being treated as plants but instead are exclusive decor items. My local Homebase gets an even worse set of houseplants, but does often have a range of rather unexciting carnivores, so I keep a look out for the 'half price half dead' section and have snapped up some half decent Sarracenia there (In the Summer I got a very large S. leucophylla hybrid of some type reduced from £35 to £2.99 and have managed to rescue the largest of the 4 grow points and it now looks very nice.
  5. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    If you look at a geology map of the Peaks you will see 2 main rock types; the Dark Peak is made of Millstone Grit- this is sandstone and shales with virtually no carbonate or other solubles in them, so runoff into the reservoirs with be low TDS and probably rather acidic. In the White Peak you have Carboniferous Limestone, a totally different beast made of soluble calcium carbonate so runoff and aquifers there will have a really high TDS and probably be alkaline. All those caves are the result of water dissolving this limestone, so as caves are made the material goes into the water.
  6. Not found that (yet). I added a few to a talk on evolution I do for a local school and the kids loved it, and auctioned (for the school) a small starter collection and the bids went up to £45, so clearly popular here
  7. Chimaera

    Inspire Me!

    I was in a similar situation a year ago and have gone from 4 types then to about 30 now. I got really interested in the many shapes (especially) and colours of Sarracenia pitchers and started trying to get one at least of each main morphology- flask-like (pursuer and hybrids), small and hooked, clump forming trumpets , tall trumpets, and added a couple of different vft colour forms and some different Drosera growth forms (rosette forming, clumping (capensis etc), forked (binata). I also have some of the native species of Drosera and Pings with the idea that these should be easy to keep.
  8. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    Nothing in the SE; 20% chance tomorrow and 40% on Thursday....
  9. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    Latest image from NASA. No cloud over land, but smoke from fires. The plankton are loving it though!
  10. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    Thanks a lot, I'm looking into options.
  11. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    Anyone with suggestions for a low price, simple RO unit that can easily be attached to a hose? I am using about 2-3 litres of water a day (I only have 6 seed tray size water baths) so only need a low quantity, so price and simplicity is key. Went to "borrow" some distilled water from work and some bugger had broken the chamber of the distiller and not told anyone, so that isn't working now.
  12. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    Interesting. So the theory is not matched by the results. It may be that your water contains sulphate which is not removed by boiling. I think at least some water softeners replace calcium with sodium; it may be that if you boiled in a kettle with limescale in it you reversed the reaction, with the addition of losing some water. My chemistry is not up to thinking why.
  13. Chimaera

    We all love free seedlings

    Thanks. They are all such lovely little plants. And the Drosera are growing surprisingly fast; the largest have gone from 5mm to 15mm diameter in a couple of weeks. I gather you treat Utricularia a bit like moss; let it fill the surface of pots of other plants and appreciate it.
  14. 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.
  15. 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?