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Aldrovanda vesiculosa Everything about the Water Wheel Plant



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  #1  
Old 12th January 2009, 10:09 PM
arvin555 arvin555 is offline
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Default Aldro propagation

Would like to ask what is the best way to propagate Aldrovanda? I imagine that it'll be through cuttings, but what is the safest way to do cutting, how many leaf "nodes"?

Safest meaning, to be almost sure that either half will not die.

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  #2  
Old 13th January 2009, 09:28 AM
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alcran alcran is offline
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Default Re: Aldro propagation

It will branch and divide into more plants. That is the safest way but you could also try cutting your plant into several pieces, each an inch or two long.
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Old 13th January 2009, 09:45 AM
bactrus bactrus is offline
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Default Re: Aldro propagation

Arvin, When my Aldrovanda was alive, they multiply like mad when the condition is right- enough light and food. Don't bother cutting.
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Old 13th January 2009, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Aldro propagation

Well.....Just separate them like alcran when your aldro is big and mature(info not from me)...I'm still confused how can people grow aldro in water without having a single algae build up.

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Last edited by kentosaurs; 13th January 2009 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 14th January 2009, 10:19 PM
arvin555 arvin555 is offline
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Default Re: Aldro propagation

Thanks guys, okay I will NOT touch my Aldros then They are still 2 and 3 inches long, and the bottom ends would die and float off. I have an Utricularia Vulgaris that has branched, but the problem is that it suddenly disappeared, not sure if stolen by a family member or eaten by pests (I saw a rat in the area).

Ken, I am lucky that my Tubs have not had any Algae at all. I am not an expert but what I noticed with the tubs/ponds that I have are:

1. Lots of plants, I of course heeded the advice of the experts and got me some Grasses (monocotes), which is now thriving.

2. Not much fish, only maybe 5 medakas (like guppies) and a few shrimps.

3. No fertilization, except I do inject CO2 from time to time.

I have a bare tub that I am trying to culture some daphnia in, it had clear water like others, but recently I dumped a lot of spoiled fish food, in a matter of 2 days, the water turned green. One word Nutrients. I am almost sure that by dumping fish food in the tub, I polluted the water with nutrients thus Algae thrived.

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Old 18th February 2009, 11:59 AM
arvin555 arvin555 is offline
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Default Re: Aldro propagation

I hope Rich can chime in here. Rich would appreciate your comment about the following:

1. My Aldros has started to branch out, well one of them.
2. However the bottom end would continue to of course die out and float away.
3. I am not yet ready to do any cuttings yet but I have an observation:

I noticed that when Bactrus and Lim sent me Aldros, all of the plants died, except those that has growth tips. The 2 surviving plants that I have are the only 2 growth tips that survived during transport, they were pathetically small then, half an inch long or so. But they survived and now they are a couple of inches long and thriving. But those that didn't have growth tips just eventually died, even if they were still green.

I think that maybe Adrovandas do not do well when cut in the middle. What I mean is if I have a strand of say 1 foot long Aldro and I cut it in half. I have a feeling that the bottom half, the one without the growth tip might eventually die, while the top half with the growth tip will continue to grow. I am pretty sure though that the longer the bottom half is, the better chances of it surviving and growing.

I am not sure if there are any Aldro growers out there that has may plants to spare and willing to try an experiment.

I guess what I am asking is how many internodes or leaf whorles does it take to ensure that an Aldro cutting will survive?

Lastly, I have finally seen my Aldros catch daphnia, and because I do have snails, I often see Aldro traps that have caught snails. Often the shell is the only thing left inside. So yes I do agree with Rich, that Snails, shrimps, etc. do play a role in Aldro life.

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Old 19th February 2009, 12:18 AM
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rsivertsen rsivertsen is offline
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Default Re: Aldro propagation

Hey guys! Glad to see there's still some interest in these plants!

It really is NOT easy to grow them in small artificial containers. I've had a miserable time of trying to do that myself over the last 25+ years! They really are part of a complex symbiotic community, and without the proper balance involving all of the constituent members, (companion plants, small snails, shrimp and other crustaceans, copepods, Daphna, even small worms like tubiflex, and insect larvae), it's doomed to fail. When these things ARE in place, they grow faster than any terrestrial CP, and even faster than most Utrics! They will grow from 1.2 to 3 axils per day, and double or triple their growth points every few days, often doubling their entire population every week or less! But this is based upon how much it eats, it has a direct response to the presence of unlimited food by a burst of growth, and in response to an unlimited source of food, it will undergo unlimited, and unbounded exponential growth. The plant has no roots, so that the ONLY way it has to take in those nutrients is by its traps, and how much they eat!

However, there are several other factors involved: the plant requires large amounts of CO2 for photsynthesis, and often releases the excess nitrogenous matter that it cannot use for its own immediate needs, and this is provided by the close proximity of large monocot plants that are heavy nitrogen feeders, and release large amounts of CO2 from their roots by respiration in responce to the increase in nurishment, so that it is a fully reciprocol (mutualism) symbiotic relationship.

Then there's the issue of cleaning out the spent carcasses in the older traps; this is provided by the presence of small snails and copepods which also graze on any filamentous algae that attempt to attach onto the Aldrovanda. The Aldrovanda actually serves an an effective predator in order to keep the population of the zooplankon from undergoing catastrophic cycles of population explosions and crashes, yet another amazing symbiotic relationship.

Again, these nitrogenous compounds must me removed quickly by the roots of their companion plants, otherwise, algae will sieze the oppertunity and quickly overwhelm everything. The zooplankton community are generally algae feeders as well, so that is part of this balance. It's NOT the chemistry of the water, but this community of symbiotic creatures that makes all the difference. Some areas of the ponds have a very conspicuous presence of clay, and the water tests neutral (pH=7.0) to slightly alkaline! In these clay pits, they are often found growing in very shallow puddles, no deeper than a few inches, if that, directly above a large mat of tubiflex worms dancing directly under them!

Water depth is always very shallow, never any deeper than just a few inches, "ankle deep" anything more than "knee deep" is too much for them; but this is where the population density of the zooplankon community is the highest and most concentrated and where they are the closest to the roots of their companion monocot plants.

If you try to grow them in some large container, I would suggest that you set one up with some clay, tubiflex worms, and several large grass-like plants such as cattails (Typha sp), Papyra, or other Juncus sp., or similar plants so that it looks like you're growing these plants first, but upon closer inspection, one might happen to notice that there are also some Aldrovanda strands that just happens to be growing around the bases of those plants as well.

I hope this helps! In a few months, my ponds will thaw out and I will have access to millions of them again!

Last edited by rsivertsen; 19th February 2009 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 19th February 2009, 11:15 PM
arvin555 arvin555 is offline
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Default Re: Aldro propagation

Thanks for replying Rich,

Of course there is still interest in Aldrovandas!

Hey you didn't answer my question though, would you be willing to help with the experiment once your aldros thawed? I just wonder how short a cutting will adros allow so that the bottom end cutting (the half that doesn't have the growth tip) will survive. Say 1 inch bottom cuttings, would these live?

Of course it would be nice if I can get a 1 to 3 axil per day growth, but as of now they are not growing that fast, I will experiment with more food, etc. but afraid to do so yet coz I don't want to upset what balance I have now.

I do have cattails on my small plastic pond, have a lot of roots sticking out of the pot already. My aldros are allowed to just float on the surface of the water, water depth is about 4 inches deep.

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Old 20th February 2009, 12:21 AM
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rsivertsen rsivertsen is offline
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Default Re: Aldro propagation

Sure, I'll help with this experiment in any way I can! The problem, I find with using the lower parts of the stem is that the older traps have so much prey in them, that if the detritus feeders (small snails, shrimp etc.) don't pull out those spent carcasses, they can get hit with filamentous algae. Otherwise, any healthy section of stems should produce new plants quite easily.

Glad to hear that you have a good crop of large monocot companion plants for them, you might notice that the healthiest strands of Aldrovanda are those that are actually tangled up with, and commingled with the exposed roots of these plants. Phragmites produces busts of roots just below the surface in areas that are a little deeper, and the Aldrovanda that find themselves anchored in these mats grow very vigorously. - Rich
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Old 20th February 2009, 12:56 PM
arvin555 arvin555 is offline
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Default Re: Aldro propagation

Thanks Rich,

I will try to post a photo of my tub soon, and yes I did remember what you said about the roots some time ago, so I actually wrapped my adros in the roots that were long enough to reach the surface, might consider letting the water level drop some more during the summer, we'll see.

It is actually not that important for me now to know if bottom cuttings will survive, specially coz one of the two strands I have, has already branched out, still I think it would be a nice thing to know how long to do aldro cuttings to ensure survival. Sort of like how many internodes would you do cuttings with depending on species. Then again for Nepenthes I usually make sure I have 2 or 3 internodes just in case, a friend of mine is so good at it, he can do 1 node cuttings! Though I would be surprised if a one or two axil cutting from an aldro will survive.

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