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Greetings All,

Starting again on this forum like a few others are (unfortunately all of my posts & my account were gone, but we're moving onward!)  I hope everyone gets back on their feet alright after the data loss upset.  Also, my apologies; if this is not in the right place feel free to let me know and I will happily move or revise.
 
However, I have perused and perused posts for hours trying to figure this out... So, before I get to it I will let you know the conditions which my VFT's are currently experiencing:
I have about 12 VFT's grown from seed. They are 8 months old and about only 4 mm tall/wide, but some with anywhere between a few and up to 15 traps on each plant. They are planted in a large, wide tray with glass walls, insulated around the outside where the soil is with cardboard, and a ventilated / half-open top. The medium is 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) deep of 60/40 peat moss and black silica sand with a loose gravel bottom layer. They are "injected" (I simply use a needle-less syringe / eye dropper tool to squeeze water near each plant) about once a week and occasionally top watered with a spray bottle every now and then in between injections. The soil is typically moist and very rarely completely dries out before I water again, but just enough. Temperatures are kept at about 76 - 78 degrees F (approx. 24 - 26 C) when the lights are on, and about 74 - 76 degrees F (approx. 23 - 24 C) at night when the lights are off. They receive 16 hours a day of artificial light from 2 long T8 Full Spectrum FloraMax fluorescent lights that are about 8 inches (20 cm) away from the plants as well as at least a few hours a day of sunlight (as long as it is not terribly cloudy) through the glass door they stand beside. For outdoor temp zone reference, I live in Indiana, USA.

SO, here is the mystery: I have a few plants that simply have wanted to give up in the last several weeks, specifically once it got colder, with many traps just turning black on an every-other-day basis at times for some plants. Yet, they are right next to plants that are thriving and doing fantastically! For instance, I had 2 plants that are planted not but 1.5 inches (4 cm) apart, and one is doing amazing (very green) with over a dozen traps on it - but its direct neighbor who up until recently had just as many traps looks wilted and has had its traps almost all go black in a matter of a very short time. There are a few others in the same environment but doing the same thing - near seemingly well-performing plants but have been struggling like none other for some reason since winter cold, and I can't figure it out... Why would some be doing well, but others next to those ones be ailing and not creating new growth as old growth dies off? Could it be that the medium needs refreshed, they're trying to go into dormancy for some reason, competition or simple natural selection, change in closeness/amount of light/water, or is it the fact that they had been eating some aphids in the late summer/fall before I took care of the issue and they haven't eaten since (or ate too often before to help the newer growth thrive?) It seems so complex to me, and I keep reading differing opinions on what this could mean...

The sand is black and does have some "sparkly" bits in it. I think quartz, just fyi that it isn't mold or fungus... Anyway, you can kind of see how some are doing fine it seems while others are somewhat dying away... For instance, the one in the first image with the 2 right next to each other (1 very green on right & 1 turned half black on left) occurred in just the last several days (about 4-7) when at one point they looked almost exactly the same. Some have been (like a few of the others shown with red/black leaves/traps) simply on a downhill slope the last few weeks. Perhaps I'm overreacting, though I'm not sure. Any help and feedback would be appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Exhibit A of 1 Blackening Next to 1 Thriving.jpg

Little Odd Guy.jpg

Small Guy in Back Up Close.jpg

Some Okay Ones with One Blackened Bottom Right.jpg

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