Native Cryptocoryne water
The rivers of Southeast Asia where Crypts grow, have a completely different set of dissolved chemicals than most European or American tapwater. That is probably why a number of aquarists have problems with the cultivation of some species of aquatic plants, especially Cryptocoryne. To solve this problem, many European aquarists thoroughly analyzed the processes going on in the aquarium and performed experiments (4), but the final solution was to find the conditions in the natural environment in which the plants are found.
Hobbyists from different countries went on many expeditions to investigate thoroughly the conditions of life in rivers, from which the plants used in aquariums come from. For two years, researchers from Poland and Germany made trips to Thailand - resulting in Zwartek B. Ziarko publishing in issue 1/81 "Aquarium."
In this article I wish to present the results of measurements of the composition of the water obtained in the second voyage of aquarists to Thailand and Malaysia, supplemented with data from the literature (4,5) containing the results of a full analysis of the water from these areas and for comparison, the same data on Polish waters.
Waters in Cryptocoryne rivers, are clean, well oxygenated, and slightly reddish, bottom gravel and sand has an olive hue. Despite the heavy monsoon rains, they are almost transparent, while in neighboring rivers flowing among the plantations or in open areas not covered with jungle, the rain water is cloudy, as are our mountain rivers and streams.
It's the water in the rivers of Thailand and Malaysia are of interest to us, they contain small amounts of dissolved salts and are very soft usually no more than 1-2 degrees total hardness, while the water flowing from the Carpathians, are already on the water supply in the Upper Silesia to 10 degrees. The total amount of dissolved salt in the water Thai, as measured conductivity is 12 microsiemens/cm S. However, tap water in Katowice (derived from the upper Vistula) is the conductivity of 250 microsiemens/cm And in my tank, which grow Cryptocoryne siamensis, C. Grabowski, C. retrospiralis and Crinum thaianum water after three years of operation has conductivity 750 microsiemens/cm (Although the weekly exchange of fifth water).
Clearly when considering these two parameters, it's obvious how very different our water from the native water - "Cryptwater" is also significantly high in dissolved CO2; in our rivers it ranges from approximately 2 to 5 mg / l, but in Thailand to 14.3 mg / l. The oxygen content is algo high (up to 8 mg/l), similar to our well-oxygenated mountain rivers and streams. Cryptwater also has Chlorides in the water five times more than in ours. Another difference in the iron content is high. In our waters are mere traces (except for some specific water) - to 0.12 mg / L.
Nutrient content is subject to change during the year. Clearly there is little in the surveyed Asian waters nitrogen content in various forms such as NO3, NO2, NH4. In the clear waters the amounts are slightly larger, while the contaminated are much higher, and the same is indeed aquariums. K. Horst and H. Kipper drew attention to the interesting brown spilling from the river - natural mineral water springs, which are very rich in minerals. They contain 40 times more iron, 27 times more of manganese, 20 times more nitrogen and 8 times more carbon dioxide than water of the river, to which are continuously jetting by falling monsoon rains. When I saw just these springs large specimens Barclaya longifolia, the red form, was nearby.
Consequently, it is tempting to formulate some observations and conclusions after two trips to Southeast Asia. B. Ziarki mentioned in one report that plants live in specific conditions, namely in the monsoon season they are flooded with "high water", only to find in the dry season, a completely dry area.
A number of plants, such as Barclaya longifolia, Crypocoryne cordata, and C. Grabowski, grow in the dry season out of the water, in the mud, or even on dry land. These plants lose some or all of the leavs, and in the dry period remain in the form of rhizomes, tubers and to sprout again during heavy rainfall. In November they will blossomed and bear seed: Crinum thaianum, Barclaya longifolia, f Rubra, Lagenandra sp 'April' were all plants barely notices on our expedition because they did not have the leaves at the time. It is likely these plants that bloomed heavily in aquariums should be resting slightly (from December to May) or even stored in the mud with no water.
More difficult is the issue of Cryptocoryne, but their intense vegetative reproduction compensates for the lack of seeds. Moreover, as noted K. Horst and H. Kipper Crypt will not bloom at all if the water level exceeds 50 cm. In such positions, they only reproduce vegetatively.
Conditions under which these plants live in European aquariums are radically different than in the wild. Nitrogen and phosphorus requirements are higher than can be met by most regular tap-water. These components are derived from the decomposition of waste products of fish and plants and rotting remains of dead aquatic organisms.
There is little oxygen in the aquarium, the minimum amount of carbon dioxide. It is hardly surprising that Crypts grow in aquariums much more slowly than in the wild. The tap water supplied to them as excessive amounts of calcium and magnesium, and a minimum in relation to the needs of sodium, potassium, iron and manganese. However, despite such great differences in the composition of water, its eutrophication (enrichment) of nitrogen, phosphorus, etc. listed in the this article, some plants adapt well to aquarium conditions. They are found in or descended from plants that were exposed to limestone water - this is true in both Borneo and Thailand.
In my tank Crinum thaianum and Cryptocoryne siamensis (imported in 1979) have become perfect. The Crinum developed adventitious roots and the Crypt reproduced by stolons. In this aquarium the total salt content is 75 times higher than in the wild, the water column has a height of 40 cm, it is lit by a single fluorescent tube 40 W white light bulbs and two 40 V (?).
However, I added to the water once every two weeks teaspoon of bog iron ore and a pinch of sodium edetate, which can form iron and manganese complexes, to allow plants to absorb them. Humic acids (peat) will do the same thing but the advantage of the sodium edetate is that it does not block plant development after a while.
(1). According to K. Horst and H. Kipper.
(2). The results were obtained courtesy of the Directorate and the Provincial Waterworks laboratory in Katowice (average for the year 1980).
(3). Measurement's own.
Bombˇwna M., 1965 - Hydrochemical characteristics of the Roznow and Czchˇw Reservoirs. The Committee of Management of Mountain Academy of Sciences, No. 11, pp. 215-233. Bombˇwna m,
1965 - Hydrochemical characteristics of the Raba River and its tributaries, Acta Hydrobiologica, No. 11, pp. 479-504. Domańska R., 1957 - Goczałkowickie tank. Overview of physico-chemical water row. Vistula River and its tributaries in the section Wisla Black - Wisla stream. The paper elaborated on the work done by ZBWiK-IGK in Gliwice.
Horst K., H. Kipper, 1978 - Das perfecte Aquarium, Tetra Werke, Bielefeld. Horst K., 1979 - Secrets zwartek (Cryptocoryne), "Aquarium", z 2 (50), pp. 48-53. had L.,
Turoboyski L., M. Scratching, Labuz On., Studies on the pollution of the river Sola and its capacity for self-purification. Pol. Archives. Hydrobiol., Vol IV (17).
Stannenberg K., 1958 - General view of the chemical composition of river waters Polish. Pol. Archiv. Hydrobiol., Vol IV (17), pp. 289-359. Starmach K., 1938 - Research seston of the upper Vistula and White Przemsza. PAU Krakow, Volume LXXIII.