Piptospatha sp.Kalimantan

Hello again everyone!
Sorry for such a long delay between posts, but after summer vacation was over, lots of work ensued! Nonetheless here is a post on a relatively new Aroid called Piptospatha sp.”Kalimantan”.

PiptospathaKalimantan

It has been around for quite some time, but again relatively newly introduced to the hobby. It isn’t the most flashy or interesting Aroid around, but it is interesting in it’s own way with a bright red petiole and spade-shaped leaves with finely serrated edging. This plant does get a little on the large side reaching heights of about 12 inches, and the leaves get to about 4 inches from top to bottom and 3 inches in width.

PiptospathaKalimantan

In terms of care, it thrives in a moderate amount of light, soft and acidic water. As with many if not all Aroids you will want to make sure not to bury the rhizome under the soil as it will rot and the plant will die. As opposed to some Aroids, this particular one cannot be attached onto wood or rock, it simply won’t take and will eventually die, it must be planted in a soil-like media. This is quite a tough and hardy Aroid, it can take a beating and is lenient to changes in it’s environment, also it does not have a “die-back” or melt period like with some other Aroids.

All in all this is an easy Aroid to grow, give it a shot if you have a chance to get it!
I hope you enjoyed this short post on the Piptospatha sp.”Kalimantan”
If you like what you are seeing please feel free to leave a comment!
Have a good one guys!
Inspire91

Anubias “Coin leaf”

I’m back from summer vacation!
Sorry for the long break between posts, but here I am again with a new and interesting plant! Today’s post will be on a new Anubias variety called “Coin leaf”.

anubiascoinleaf

I just recently found out about this variety from a good friend of mine. Like Anubias “Stardust”, this variety can at times be quite difficult to obtain, and comes from a source which can at times be quite “stingy” with their supply. Due to that circumstance getting your hands on this plant is quite a challenge.

This is the most popular of Anubias varieities here in Japan at this time. What makes this plant special is clear by the name given to it. The leaves are almost perfect circles, shaped just like coins. Even I must admit that the shape of the leaves have a unique allure to them.

anubiascoinleaf
anubiascoinleaf

This plant is easy to grow, not anymore demanding than the typical Anubias. The leaves get to a max diameter of about 2 inches. From the side this plant isn’t the prettiest, but when viewed from the top, a large mass of this Anubias is quite a sight!

I hope you enjoyed this short post on the Anubias “Coin leaf”.
If you like what you are seeing please feel free to leave a comment!
Have a good one guys!
Inspire91

Anubias nana “Stardust”

Hello!
Today I will be doing a short write-up on one of my favorite Anubias! It goes by the name of Anubias nana “Stardust”. While this variety is nothing new, it has been quite elusive for some reason. I first got my hands on it about 8+ years ago, it was quite common here in Japan, I bought a large pot with 20+ leaves for 1100 yen, or roughly $13. I eventually lost the plant a year or so later, as I was not yet very skilled at growing aquatic plants, yes I know it’s an Anubias, and they are indestructible! I was that bad! 😛 At any rate, after I lost it, I kept my eyes open for it for years and years. I often came back here to Japan year after year, with that plant on my list of “must-have” plants, but only recently have I seen it again, 8+ years later!

anubiasstardust
anubiasstardust
anubiasstardust

The defining characteristics as you can see in the pictures, is that there is a white vein that goes right down the middle of the leaves. The 3 pictures above are of young specimens, the white vein becomes more bright/wider and from that main vein, white “fork” lines go outward laterally across the leaf when the plant itself becomes older and more mature. The picture below is not my own, but you can get an idea of what I am speaking of by taking a look at it.
anubiasstardustmature

Yes all of these pictures are of emersed specimens, but just like any other Anubias, it does well both in and out of water. The requirements and growth patterns of this particular variety is no different from any other Anubias.
A little teaser for you, this plant will be making it’s way to the US via myself and a good friend of mine, so keep you eyes open if you want to get your hands a piece of this aroid beauty!
Have a good one people!
If you like what you are seeing please feel free to leave a comment!
Have a good one guys!
Inspire91

Echinodorus Saturn 2000

Hello all!
My last post was about Echinodorus opacus “Goncalo” 2003, today’s post will be about another very special sword plant, Echinodorus “Saturn” 2000. Generally speaking “Saturn” is very similar to opacus, in growth, requirements, popularity, price, etc.

E.Saturn leaf

This is another one of the more popular and rare Sword plants in the hobby. The reason for this is it’s limited importation and its very very slow growth. The 2000 on the name denotes, the year that it was imported, at least into Japan. According to my source, there was only one importation of this sword also, just like the opacus from the last post.

A short story behind this plant is that the collector of this specific 2003 variety, never told another person where he collected it, and he actually passed away. So when he passed away, the collection site of this “Saturn” 2000 variety went with him. There are actually two different imported varieties of “Saturn” one in 2000 and one in 2003. The only difference with the 2003 variety is that the leaves are wider.

In terms of price, this variety actually commands a bit higher price than opacus. Not by much, we’re talking about maybe $50-$100 more per plant. Overall we’re looking at approximately $550-600 for a larger specimen.

E. Saturn several

Just like E. opacus, this sword may not be the most colorful or the most flamboyant in terms of leaf shape, but there is definitely a few characteristics that really make this one stand out from the rest. In my eye at least, the aspects of this Sword that catch my eye are:
1. The plant is a very hard-to-the-touch, it is not a soft and flimsy species.
2. It stays relatively small compared to most other Echinodorus. Whereas most other swords get quite large sometimes massive, I have only seen this one get to about 7-8in. tall and wide.
3. The leaves are long and ovate in shape, about 3-4inch long and 1-2inch wide leaves.
4. Some may see this as a draw back but I see it as a positive. This sword is a very slow grower, typically growing 1 full size leaf in a month, maybe longer. What makes this a positive for me is that it requires little if any trimming or pruning, I just leave it alone and it does its thing! We all know how swords can easily become a massive “light-blocker” or a “running-mess”.
5. This is not a hard Sword plant to grow, it is quite easy, just give it soft (2-3 degrees) and acidic (5-6ph) water.

This is quite another “gem” of a sword for the hardcore plant-collector! Personally opacus is my #1 favorite Echinodorus, but this is firmly my #2 favorite. Hopefully someday you will have the chance to obtain both of these beauties!

Thank you for checking out this post! I hope you enjoyed it! Please leave a comment! ☺
Take care all!
Inspire91

Echinodorus opacus “Goncalo” 2003

Hello all!
I know that I said that my next post would be on another Bucephelandra variety, but I think I am going to change it up today and do a post on a gem of a Sword plant by the name of Echinodorus opacus “Goncalo” 2003. (“Goncalo” is pronounced “Gonsalo”)

Echino. opacus small specimen
These smaller specimens would fetch about $300 a plant. Don’t you love how compact this plant is when it’s in it’s smaller stages of growth!?

This is one of the more popular and rare Sword plants in the hobby. The reason for this is it’s limited importation and its very very slow growth. The 2003 on the name denotes, the year that it was imported, at least into Japan. According to my source, there was only one importation of this opacus, and that was in 2003. As the name also denotes the collection site for this Sword was from Rio Goncalo, Brazil.

This Sword typically commands a high price, obviously due to its rarity and slow growth. When I first saw a specimen of this plant in Japan back around 2003, it was on sale for about $500 for a 4-5inch tall plant. To this day it still commands that price, maybe a bit cheaper due to the fact that by now, hobbyists have propagated it and spread it around a fair bit.

Ech.opacus
These full-grown specimens would fetch about $500+ a plant!

This Sword may not be the most colorful or the most flamboyant in terms of leaf shape, but there is definitely a few characteristics that really make this one stand out from the rest. In my eye at least, the aspects of this Sword that catch my eye are:
1. The plant is a very hard-to-the-touch, it is not a soft and flimsy species. Typically plants that are this type of “hard” means they aren’t really suited for life underwater, and also it typically means it will be a slow growing plant.
2. It stays relatively small compared to most other Echinodorus. Whereas most other swords get quite large sometimes massive, I have only seen this one get to about 3-4in. tall and 4-5in. wide. This one stays very compact. In fact one of the defining characteristics is that it has almost no stem to the leaves.
3. The leaves are quite round, and they can slightly bend a bit, with a sharp tip. They get to about 3in. width and 2in. length.
4. Some may see this as a draw back but I see it as a positive. Original wild opacus is a very very slow growing plant, typically growing 1 full size leaf in a month, maybe longer. What makes this a positive for me is that it requires little if any trimming or pruning, I just leave it alone and it does its thing! We all know how swords can easily become a massive “light-blocker” or a “running-mess”.
5. This is not a hard Sword plant to grow, it is quite easy, just give it soft (2-3 degrees) and acidic (5-6ph) water.
6. The veins on the leaves of this plant are a bright-green, very visible and makes for a nice contrast to the dark-green of the webbing of the leaves.

Echino.opacus

I hope that I could bring out all of the great aspects of this rare Echinodorus to all of you. Again it may not be the most flashy of Sword plants, but it is quite the “gem” for the hardcore plant-collector.
Thank you for checking out this post! I hope you enjoyed it! My next post may be on another rare Echinodorus, but don’t hold me to it! 😛 Please leave a comment! ☺
Take care all!
Inspire91

Got Microsorium??

How are you all doing? All is well I hope! 🙂
This post we will be getting back to plants, and my favorite genus of plants at that, Microsorium.
Most people know of the common “Windelov, Red, Tropica, and Narrow” leaf types, but did you know that there are at least 15-20 (possibly much more yet undiscovered) types of Microsorium?? Most have not been established in the hobby, but there are a large number of locality types, and a few cultivar types.

Microsorium are easy to grow, sometimes they can be a bit finicky if you let the water quality go too far down. They will do fine in the CO2/fertilizer/lighting tank setup (leaf stunting and crinkling can be a side effect of the unnatural conditions) but they naturally come from areas where there is filtered light coming down through the forest canopy, the choice is really yours.

Being that this my favorite group of plants, I had invested the last 6 years searching for the various hard-to-find/unknown cultivars and locality types, and I would like to share some of them with you.

Micro. Reverse Tropica
This Microsorium’s trademark is it’s scalloped leaves, although this is a picture of an emersed specimen, the leaves maintain that scalloped-look just the same while immersed. Leaves are approximately 5-7 inches maximum

Micro. Fork Leaf
This one may look similar to Tropica, but if you were to compare the two, you would notice that this one has much more “teeth” on it’s edges, and the teeth are much more narrow. I really prefer this one over Tropica, but of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder 🙂 This one is relatively new, and not many hobbyists have this certain variety. Leaves are approximately 5-6 inches maximum.

Micro. Small Leaf
As you can see from the size reference of my finger in this picture, this particular Micro. stays quite small, the largest leaves that you see in the picture, are as big as they get, about 2 inches. Great for those people looking to add a fern into a smaller sized, “micro”-type tank. This Micro. is also one of the softer-leaved ones, meaning the leaves aren’t very hard to the touch, and basically those Micro. that are soft-leaved, tend to be the ones that are more sensitive to water conditions.

I hope you enjoyed this post about my favorite genus of aquatic plants! 🙂
Take care everyone!
Inspire91

The First

Hello all! 🙂

Since this is my first post on my brand spankin’ new blog “AquaBiota” I just want to give you a short synopsis of what sort of topics will be covered here and my own interests and reasons for starting this blog.

First, “AquaBiota” is Latin for “aquatic life”, more specifically in terms of what this blog will be focusing on, is freshwater aquatic life (plants and fish).  There will various pictures of such things as aquarium/terrarium setups, aquarium products, fish, plants, and anything else that the aquarium hobby might find interesting.

As for my own interests and the reason for starting this blog is quite simple.  I have had a deep interest in the aquarium hobby for about the past 9 years now.  I have had experiences in working with a number of plants and fish, yet I have no specifics as to what species I like to work with, as I mainly enjoy working with species new/rare at the time.  If I had to put my finger on one of each plant and fish genus I most enjoy working with, it would be Apistogramma (fish) and Microsorium/Bucephelandra (plant).

I am by no means an expert or claiming to be one, the purpose of this blog is to share my interests, learn myself from others, and hopefully pass on some helpful information to others with interests similar to my own.  I hope you all enjoy this blog and the interesting things to come! 😉

Sincerely, Inspire91

I will leave you with some pictures of a few “Star Plants” or Eriocaulon. One of the more unique genus of aquatic rosette type plants that have had a strong buzz around them for the past few years. They as a whole can be quite fickle and require a specific environment in order to thrive. Certain species will quickly melt if optimum water conditions are not met.

Requirements: Generally speaking, they will do best in acidic (pH ~ 4-5) and very soft (GH of 1-3*) water. They do well in stronger lighting, and in my experiences really flourish in a “current” area within the tank.

Propagation: They propagate either by splitting from their core, similar to watching cells “cleave”, or they will throw up a long thin stem that will produce a small plantlet at it’s tip. If the plant begins to “cleave” let it split into separate cores (or as close as possible to separate cores), and then gently pull them apart, if you try to force it early and break them apart, you risk killing both (or more) of the plants that were about to be produced. If long thin stems (which break the water’s surface) with a white spores at the tip appear, you can (if by chance you have another of this plant doing this same exact growth at the time) use a q-tip and touch the various heads of these spores, and hope you have pollination. Another possibility is that the tip may or may not break the water’s surface, yet has grown a small plantlet, at which point you will want to leave it alone until it reaches about an inch and has a few roots growing from it, then you will cut it, and plant it into the soil.

This is a small only about an inch tall maximum, very hard to the touch species of Eriocaulon. It is found on the shores of the lakes in Sulawesi, in very tight compact mats. Very slow growing, but readily splits, and is quite unique in its “carpeting” capabilities.

This can be a tough one! This species of Eriocaulon from Matogrosso in Brazil, has very particular water requirements, very soft and very acidic. Prefers an area where there is a current, as it very much dislikes any debris settling on it. The many long and thin leaves, are very iconic of this species.

This is Eriocaulon sp.”Goias”, another Brazilian beauty that is special for its wider, turning leaves. This one can get quite large, as I’ve seen a specimen that was about a foot in diameter!

This is Eriocaulon cinereum (notice the many long thin stems shooting up from the plant, signaling a time of propagation) nothing too special, as this species was one of the first on the plant scene.
Eriocaulon cinereum (reproducing)