Could you please tell us your growing conditions (water conditioning, soil, window location, more details) and what red form is it? I would say increasing the amount of light it gets is the main factor in coloring up your plant.
Last Edit: Oct 14, 2009 5:01:45 GMT by sarracenialover
The plants are in a covered disposable container. There are some peat and dead leaves at the bottom...which is why the water is brown. They receive filtered sunlight through a tinted window. The temperature range is 26C-34C.
The plants were labelled as A. vesiculosa (red tropical plants; Darwin, N. Australia}.
I experimented with a different media (sedge litter) but I lost the entire container of plants. Not sure what happened because I read on this webpage that sedge litter is very good for the species.
Aldrovanda is nearly impossible to keep in any artificial container for any significant length of time, such as a full 12 month year. They have a very complex symbiotic relationship with several other life forms in a pond environment, and attempting to emulate all these factors in an artificial setting is just an exercise in futility and a waste of time and Aldrovanda from my experience.
They need to feed; a constant source of food is a prerequisite for them to thrive. They feed on almost any zooplanktonic life forms that can fit into their traps from rotifers to Daphna to small snails and even small fish, to mosquito larvae (even small worms such as tubiflex worms, and are the ONLY aquatic carnivorous plants that can trap and consume the largest forms of mosquito larvae). They will divide and produce apical branching in direct proportion and response to the amount of prey that they capture and digest. The more they eat, the more they divide. Without a constant source of food, they will go into decline and die. They are rootless plants and the ONLY way they can assimilate enough nitrogenous matter is from the prey that they are able to capture and digest.
Perhaps the MOST important factor, according to Lubomir Adamec, is the constant source for CO2, which these plants use for photosynthesis. In a natural pond setting, this is accomplished by growing in very close proximity to the roots of very large monocot plants such as Phramites, Carex, Typha and Juncus hummocks.
These large monocot plants have a tremendous appetite for nitrogenous matter, which the Aldrovanda gives off as surplus, and in return, after these plants absorb and assimilate these things, as a response, their respiratory rates increases which releases more CO2, which the Aldrovanda uses, and in return divides, produces more traps, which releases more nitrogenous matter, in excess of what it can utilize for itself; and then there is the detritus cycle, in which small snails, and other creatures such as copepods, and small shrimp actually groom these plants from any algae and removing the spent carcasses from the older traps, before filamentous algae seizes this opportunity, (which invariably overwhelms the entire plant as well, in their absence); and then there is the chemistry factor, which includes a constant source of Boron, Iron, Magnesium, etc., and other trace elements.
I've tried for more than 25 years to emulate these things (thinking that it was just the chemistry of the water, when all the time it was the BIOLOGY of the water), and have since given up when I observed how easily they grow once they became successfully integrated into their natural environment! Others have succeeded in growing them in artificial containers, but it's labor intensive and expensive.
They are marvelous plants indeed, and who could be faulted for wanting to grow them like any other plant on a window sill!? But reality is what it is. Just my $0.02 - Rich
Last Edit: Sept 19, 2009 3:59:43 GMT by rsivertsen
... not suffering from insanity, but rather enjoying it actually!
Excellent comments and synopsis of Aldrovanda cultivation and ecology. We've also documented Aldrovanda eating small tadpoles so increase your prey size! You can see a picture in the Aldrovanda section of our catalog at www.pitcherplant.org.
Thanks for your input. I have seen your posts on the other forums and know that the species thrive best in natural outdoor conditions. But my newborn is my priority that the moment, so the species have to make do with being in plastic containers.
Actually, australian aldrovanda, according to authority figures a such as Adamec, are best grown indoors. I think cindy can grow hers indoors long term. I've seen other growers in this forum and in others who have kept aldrovanda going for many years in containers as small as a fishbowl.