Tuesday, January 27, 2009

C. griffithii 'Bintan'

My explorer friend managed to locate some cryptocoryne which looked to us like C. griffithii on Bintan Island. As usual, he collected some specimens with unopened spathes again for me as well as a bottle of water from the locality for pH testing. I always had the impression that C. griffithii natural habitat would be of low pH since it could be found in Singapore at Nee Soon swamp area (I would expect the pH of swampy environment to be rather low although I have not been there myself) but I was wrong, the pH was close to 6.8 for the Bintan locality.

And as usual, with my poor cultivation skills and sense, most of the spathes melted away without opening again except for this tiny one (see below) which grew bigger slowing and finally opened today for us to have a positive ID on the species! Note that the other remaining larger spathe continued to remain closed after more than 2 weeks of cultivation.

I managed to obtain a specimen of C. griffithii 'Nee Soon' from a fellow collector and posted some photographs of it below for ease of comparison. It seemed that the specimen from Nee Soon has much redder colouring at the underside of the leaf.

Monday, January 26, 2009

C. longicauda 'Bintan' and 'Johor'

I have a few specimens of C. longicauda from various locality, some were bought from other collectors while others were collected by my explorer friend and passed to me. The first C. longicauda I obtained was from Pantu in Sarawak (East Malaysia) and it is quite beautiful with brownish leaves as compared with those from other localities. However, as I had just started my cryptocoryne collection then without a proper tank, I grew it inside a mineral water bottle setup with GEX substrate and managed to kill it quite effortlessly!

My 2 specimens of C. longicauda 'Bintan' were found and collected by my friend and I believed that it could be a new record in terms of locality since I have not read about this on the Internet at all. However, it is not surprising since C. longicauda distribution is rather widespread, ranging from Malay Peninsula to East Malaysia to Sumatra. My 2 specimens collected had up-opened spathes attached but unfortunately both the spathes melted without opening under my cultivation...... sigh :-P From my personal observation, the spathes of the specimens from Bintan are much smaller than those from Johor.

I almost had the opportunity of visiting the location earlier this month to learn more about the natural habitat but could not make it due to not being able to re-schedule my ferry to a later time. But my friend brought back a bottle of water collected from that location to satisfy my curiosity: pH = 6.6.

My friend also had the great fortune to be able to visit the natural habitat of C. longicauda in Johor. According to him, the habitat is actually some man made ditches (so I do not think that the pH would be very low for this location too). He collected 2 specimens with spathes again and passed them to me and fortunately this time round, at least one of the two spathe managed to open (well, at least for a while before falling).

I also have one specimen from Marup / Engkilili in Sarawak bought from a fellow collector as shown below. I am however clueless of the natural environment of the habitat there since it is a little too far for me to visit (anyone who have visited that locality before kindly let me know more about it, thanks!)

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Re-potting C. affinis 'Selangor'

I have these C. affinis 'Selangor' for more than half a year already, growing in 3 different type of substrates, namely lapis sand + coral chips, ADA Amazonia + Aficana and pure GEX (light green package) and they have not been growing well. Therefore, I decided to re-pot them today and make some changes to the substrates used.

For substrates, I decided to mix lapis sand to a mixture of ADA Amazonia + Aficana and added a small amount of peat granules. In one pot, I added some First Layer Pure Laterite and in the other I added some Mr Aqua PLPNT'S Laterite-Ball.

Hopefully they will grow better this year with the new substrates!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

C. sp. 'Lingga' natural habitat

Based on 2 locations (top photograph is that with yellow flower, bottom one is that with red flower):

General locality: along the banks of small streams with flowing water

pH: about 5 to 5.5

Type of substrate - sandy to muddy sandy

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Different colour of C. sp. 'Lingga Island' flowers

I was fortunate to be able to go for a long field trip to Lingga Island of Riau Islands with my explorer friend recently. And guess what did we found, 2 different coloured spathe C. sp. 'Lingga Island'specimens in 2 different locations! It is not a freak occurrence, we found a few spathes at each of the locations and the spathes at the same location have similar colour. Is this local variation within the same species? Anyway, they are fabulously beautiful!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First Layer Pure Laterite

I finally found some laterite product that really looked like laterite! I was combing through the shelves of C328 (a famous local fish shop (LFS) in Singapore) when I saw this old package which looked like the brand Ghazanfar Ghori featured on his blog.

I boldly said to the friendly lady boss: "How much is this, can you give some discount? Looks like no one will be buying this packet.". She promptly agreed to give a discount which was beyond the quantum I expected so I bought it immediately. She told me that this used to be a popular product previously but not anymore now and this is the last packet available in the shop. She would not be stocking this in her shop in the future... sad.

At least this product looked more authentic than the Mr Aqua PLPNT'S Laterite-Ball I bought recently. Now the question is which species of cryptocorynes should I add this to??? Haha, I guess more research is required to be done with regards to the natural environment of the various species of cryptocorynes!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Organic fertiliser for the new year

I went to Hawaii Landscape Pte Ltd nursery along Thomson Road in the afternoon to stock up more cheap square pots for the new year ahead and bought a box of fertiliser made of goat feces, dried and pelleted. I learnt from other hobbyists that they are using such organic fertiliser for their cryptocorynes so I decided to give it a try too.

New tank for the new year

A new tank for a new year! It shall be a tank for slightly acidic to more neutral pH cryptocorynes, tank water is as usual distilled water of pH about 6.6. More importantly, it shall be placed in the balcony of my flat without artificial lighting (i.e. making use of the natural sunlight). Hopefully the cryptocorynes inside this tank will grow well with this configuration!