Niall FM

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Niall FM last won the day on May 23 2015

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  1. I don't have many photographs of when I received them but if you want I can send some of all the plants now? There wasn't any instructions or a huge effort on an acclimation process, the plants I got were just potted up and placed in a terrarium. They're all doing well, the cephalotus lost all it's pitchers at first but I'm told that's normal for most re-pots of cephs, but since then it has grown loads of new ones and even a new growth point. All the other plants(N.Hookeriana, D.Prolifera, D.Madagascariensis, H.Minor, Cobra Lily and an unknown VFT) are producing new leaves as often as they all should.
  2. I like Hookeriana, it's an easy enough hybrid with nice looking and sized pitchers. It's also pretty commonly available now
  3. Hi Richard, I was on holidays for the last week and upon arriving home discovered a dislodged drain pipe and some crispy plantlets. I began my first few in February, but I can not say for certain if it's too late in the year or not now, I was planning a test to see if the plantlets could survive their first year without dormancy (as this would mean pullings could be taken any time of the year) but due to "the accident" I can't and wont be able to tell you if their is a cut off date. I live in Kildare, I look forward to seeing those photos :-)
  4. That is bizarre, I collect water from the gutters of my greenhouse which are squeaky clean and that water always comes out from 7-11ppm. But I recently tried water coming out of the houses gutters(off the slate roof and dirty gutters) and it came out at 130ppm. That seems like a huge amount of variability!
  5. I know this thread is old but I just received an order from this seller. For €25 (not including P&P) I ordered a collection consisting of young plants... Dionaea muscipula Nepenthes hookeriana Heliamphora minor Cephalotus follicularis Drosera madagascariensis Drosera prolifera Darlingtonia californica All arrived bare-root yesterday in full health and well packaged(based on how none were even wilted). And to my surprise I was sent two of most things. Those that didn't arrive in twos were the VFT of which he sent FIVE! They are of two unnamed cultivars(I suspect dentate and red/green dragon) The cephalotus and darlingtonia were both large clusters of young plants. In the end the only thing that was as I expected (that didn't surpass expectation by a mile) was the nepenthes and it is still a lovely healthy little plant. Dealing with Michal Kouba (the owner) was also very good, he was very helpful and let me tweak the "Basic collection" that is listed on his site to chose plants that I preferred. So from my dealing with this seller I would say that in my experience they are quite good.
  6. Thanks, that puts me at ease. But corky I would suggest recalibrating your TDS meter as those results sound worryingly high for rain water (unless acid rain is common wherever you are)
  7. This is my current water start set-up, it's just a test-tube perched in my terrarium Gricey, I really like the idea of using distilled water, I imagine you would get no algae at all, very nice! To update what I'm doing: I now just have a single test tube that I stick everything into, at the moment it has Capensis, VFT Dentate and VFT red dragon in it. I was really impressed by this method due to it getting a leaf that was accidentally snapped in half to strike, it's just a little nub right now but it's definitely there! Here's some pictures of the plantlets from my original experiment 5 months on:
  8. I've been using the same old bag of peat moss since starting the hobby. But last week it ran out just before I got in an order of Plants... So based on advice seen on this forum I went out and got Shamrock branded peat, but I now think I've done something wrong, like get the wrong bag or something. My plants arrived in the post this morning and were all potted up and stuck in a terrarium with high humidity (instead of using a bag) and they all got top watered. But out of curiosity I checked the TDS of the water that collected in the bottom of the terrarium and it had gone from 7ppm to 62ppm. So I'm just wondering is this normal for peat to change the water parameters so much? Could it be the sphagnum, sand or perlite doing this? Have I bought the wrong peat, it says all natural on the bad(picture of bag below)? If this is normal should I just keep watering until the parameters come back within 30ppm?
  9. Hmmm interesting, I was thinking about giving Akadama a try in the mix, it's a soil for bonsai. Which I liked the look of as it lowers and buffers pH as well as holding nutrients, not breaking down quickly and allows good drainage. It seems quite similar to Turface(which before now I knew nothing about. But now I know it's not necessary so I might not try it...
  10. While I'm not that experienced with growing CPs under artificial lights I have kept planted aquarium aquascapes for a while so I would suggest checking out pet shops for T5 ho bulbs, I'd say there is somewhere better to get them as I've always found pet shops to be expensive, but always good quality
  11. Can anyone comment on the use of "aquatic plant soils" with heliamphora? It is suggested on the International Carnivorous Plants Society's website to try it... "The current consensus among North American growers is the best long term potting medium for Heliamphora is the one recommended by Butch Tincher: equal parts long fibered Sphagnum, perlite, and aquatic planting medium (or aquatic plant soil). This is based on materials that are available in North America. Aquatic planting medium is a speciality product. It may be difficult to find in some areas. Check with stores specializing in ponds and pond plants. It contains the clay products arcillite(W) andzeolite(W) which hold moisture and nutrients but do not break down. Alternate soil mixes are just long fibered Sphagnum and perlite, long fibered Sphagnum and coarse sand, or the mix I use of equal parts long fibered Sphagnum, coarse sand, and aquatic planting medium." - http://www.carnivorousplants.org/howto/GrowingGuides/Heliamphora.php
  12. I'm afraid it never even crossed my mind to do so but I will add some to this thread asap. I have since had success with no clingfilm but I do not believe it is due to there being high humidity at substrate level, but more so a constant wicking action of the surfaces in contact from pulling and the chosen substrate, I think this is so because if you consider why would a pulling be able to strike underwater? It just makes sense that it'd be an adaptation of a film of water wicked from the ground. Any humidity built up above the substrate would surely be blown away with any air movement. They were from a commercial dealer who's website says that they use Tissue Culture to produce all of their plants, so more than likely genetically identical. I've only tried on normal form and a few wacky traps.
  13. I have a love of science and as a result have been testing multiple methods of leaf pullings on Dionaea for some time now, this is a log of my testing method, results and conclusions. Introduction: I'm a student so cutting costs is one of my top priorities when taking cuttings, as a result all of my experiment was preformed using items that can be found in the common household(excluding a full spectrum CFL and a VFT:-P) as a result no chemical additives were used eg. Rooting hormones, anti-fungal powders .etc. All experiments were preformed over a three month period During said period progress was recorded at 1 month intervals Each factor/method was preformed with three leaves Once the traps turned fully black (in all methods) they were removed to prevent fungal growth Taking pullings: Pullings were taken early February from a plant which was bought fresh fresh out of dormancy Pullings were taken by un-potting the VFT and "pulling" downwards on the leaves so a section of the rhizome came away each time All pullings were taken from the same two plants All chosen leaves were of the same size and health Procedure: Method 1: Pullings placed on Peat Moss The leaf Pullings were placed in dents on the surface of a pot of boiled peat moss(dent used to make the most possible surface area of the underside of the leaves be in contact with the peat moss, boiled in an attempt to kill off fungus spores and bacteria) The pots were placed in a tray of Rainwater approximately 30cm away from a CFL Each pot was covered in cling film Method 2: Pullings placed in Long fibre Sphagnum (LFS) The leaf Pullings were placed in on the surface of the boiled LFS with as much of the underside of the leaves in contact with the LFS as possible The pots were placed in a tray of Rainwater approximately 30cm away from a CFL Each pot was covered in cling film Method 3: Pullings placed submerged in Rainwater The leaf pullings were placed in glasses of boiled(then cooled) rainwater (boiled in this case in an attempt to kill bacteria and algal spores) The glasses were placed approximately 30cm away from a CFL Each glass was covered with cling film Results: Method 1: Pullings placed on Peat Moss This method resulted in the shortest amount of time before fungal growth was seen(at the 1 month interval) No successful strikes were seen before all pots were consumed by fungus(possibly due to cling film causing stagnant air which sped up spore germination) Method abandoned at 2 month mark when all leaves were noted to be dead Not a method I've had "lots" of success with in the past as well Method 2: Pullings placed in Long fibre Sphagnum (LFS) Method shows promise as 2/3 had strikes Fungal growth occurred only after 2 month mark Between month 2 and 3 two leaves were killed by fungus(one with a strike and one without) By the end of month 3 the remaining leaf had formed a plantlet Method 3: Pullings placed submerged in Rainwater By far most successful No maintenance required (ie. no topping up water) apart from removing dead traps %100 strike rate No fungus seen(due to submersion) Small amount of algae seen during month 1 but it was left alone Conclusion: After preforming all three variations of leaf pulling I found the most successful to be the technique of placing pullings in rainwater. The LFS strike that did survive had grown larger then all of the plantlets from the Submerged method, but a conclusion on size of plantlet can not be drawn as this could be an isolated case. From my own opinion the submersion method is also the easiest, no potting or watering, just stick it in a glass of boiled and cooled rainwater(not to mention it's the cheapest) Method of acclimatising Submerged plants to emmersed(yes it's a real word) state After plantlet has reached approx 1cm in diameter remove it from the glass and place it on LFS or peat (very wet) in a pot with cling film over the top Over the course of a 2-3 weeks pop holes in the cling film At the end of the three weeks you have air-hardy little plantlets After Notes: Two weeks on from the end of the experiment all 4 of the successful strikes have formed plantlets with small traps, the ones from the submersion technique seemed to take a week off of growing to acclimatise. I would like to see how long one on the plantlets could be left in water before being acclimatised as growth was much faster pre acclimatisation, buts that's a whole other experiment for a different time. I hope my long rambling report can help someone in some way eventually. - Niall FM
  14. Thanks for all the welcomes hope to converse with you all on the forum soon :-)
  15. Thanks a million for the quick reply! I'm based in Kildare so I probably wont be able to pop round :-P I had read about the less hardy species of sarracenia and I apologise for not mentioning the fact I already have many spots in the greenhouse(unheated) with their names on them, but it's a long time until they'll be big enough to fill them. I also have a fish tank set up in the garage with artificial lights and a heater to power through the first dormancy for the sarracenia as I've read this can give them a whole growing seasons head start. If this has been a bad decision I fear it may be too late as they went in the fridge last week.