Sunday, September 26, 2010

Unscientific testing of effectiveness of 4 different fertilisers

I conducted an unscientific test of a few different fertiliser recently. A few reasons why I term the test as unscientific (and therefore will have limitations) are as follows:
  1. cryptocorynes from Lingga Island  were used as test specimens but these cryptocorynes were not from the same location on Lingga island
  2. the quantity of fertiliser used varies, with some fertiliser having additional dosage added during the test period so the effectiveness might had been affected by this
  3. no control sample without fertiliser added was present to compare between samples with and without fertiliser added
  4. the after effects (i.e. after 26th Sep 2010) will not be recorded so the fertiliser's effectiveness over extended period of time would not be captured
  5. test not carried out on other types / species of cryptocorynes and therefore the results might not be applicable for other species
  6. test was carried out for my method of cultivation (i.e. emersed with aquasoil in covered tank) and therefore the results may not be applicable to other method of cultivation (i.e. submersed, etc)
  7. the way the fertiliser was applied was different, some on the top of the substrate and some inserted into the substrate and this difference should have impacts on the effectiveness of the fertiliser applied
  8. etc
Test were carried out from 11th July 2010 (i.e. date when fertiliser were added) and ended on 26th Sep 2010. 4 different brands of fertiliser were used, 2 were household plant fertiliser (with additional dosage added in end July 2010) while the other 2 were aquarium plant fertiliser. The pots shall be named pot 1, pot 2, pot 3 and pot 4 from left to right. Before scrolling down further, review the overview photograph of the 4 pots of cryptocorynes first and rank them from 1st to 4th based on which pot of cryptocoryne showed improved growth the most.
11th July 2010 - Overview
26th Sep 2010 - Overview
The details are as follow:

Pot 1: Organic Humus 8-8-8 (about 1/2 tea spoon added on the top of the substrate twice, once on 11th July 2010 and the other during end July 2010)
11th July 2010 - Pot 1 (Organic Humus)
26th September 2010 - Pot 1 (Organic Humus)

Pot 2: Ferka Rosetta (1 capsule added on 11th July 2010, inserted into substrate)
11th July 2010 - Pot 2 (Ferka Rosetta)
26th September 2010 - Pot 2 (Ferka Rosetta)
Pot 3: Dennerle Cryptocoryne Tabs (1 capsule added on 11th July 2010, inserted into substrate)
11th July 2010 - Pot 3 (Dennerle Cryptocoryne Tabs)
26th September 2010 - Pot 3 (Dennerle Cryptocoryne Tabs)

Pot 4: ijo organic worm casting (added 1 teaspoon heap twice on the top of the substrate, once on 11th July 2010 and the other during end July 2010)
11th July 2010 - Pot 4 (ijo organic worm casting)
 26th Sep2010 - Pot 4 (ijo organic worm casting)

So, with some many constraints and limitations listed above, I believed that the results should be considered as inconclusive and if that is the case, why did I ever bothered to make this blog entry?!?!?!?!?!?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Searching for hill stream cryptocoryne in Endau Rompin...

I went with my explorer friend to search for hill stream cryptocorynes in Endau Rompin based on a photograph (below is a photograph of the photograph) I saw on the Internet of a stream which seemed to have its bottom covered with cryptocorynes.
Below is a short summary of our search.
0200hrs - reached home finally after a long night boozing with colleagues...
0430hrs - alarm rang, dragged myself out of bed and commence the long journey towards Endau Rompin, felt like dying
0530hrs - entered Malaysia Peninsula, ate my favourite prata for breakfast, still very sleepy
 0945hrs - finally reached Endau Rompin
The many rivers and streams we searched in the state reserve forest, from rocky hill streams to swampy / sandy lower streams to wide rivers.
We even managed to find the exact stream in the 1st photograph but to our dismay, there wasn't any cryptocorynes to be found!!!
All we found were these, blue fern, piptospatha, beautiful moss, orange coral fungus, etc but no cryptocorynes.....
We met our close friend, Mr Lee C. H. in the forest and provided his family with lunch.
1400hrs - gave up on our search for hill stream cryptocoryne and left the forest to the nearest larger city for  a late lunch of Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice). Decided to call it a day and slept early.
0500hrs - woke up early to travel to another far away entrance of Endau Rompin.
0900hrs - reached the entrance to the swampy edge of the forest
We searched a few more hill stream with sandy / rocky base but could not locate any cryptocorynes as well.
1130hrs - gave up on our search in Endau Rompin and went to have lunch. Gave Mr Lee C. H. a lift out of the forest.
Was the failure to locate hill stream cryptocoryne due to us or was it due to Endau Rompin? Cryptocoryne hunting is never always smooth sailing, especially when you decide to hunt in uncharted territories....

Monday, September 13, 2010

C zaidiana spathe

I was very lucky to be given a chance by my explorer friend to take photographs of the spathe of C. zaidiana. He managed to collect a specimen with attached spathe and met me for coffee at a coffee shop when he came back to conduct the autopsy of the spathe together to take photographs.
The limb of the spathe was very interesting, the base colour of the limb was creamy white in colour with warty surface. The limb seemed to be either lightly burnt or coated on the surface such that only the top portion of the "warts" was dark purple in colour.
The top of the limb recurred to the back.
We were fooled by the kettle shape which were constricted in the middle. Thinking that the kettle was somewhat similar to C. pallidinervia such that the kettle was very small (i.e. only within the small round top portion), we cut the spathe into two half instead, breaking the lower section with the female flower portion off.
The lower section of the inner wall of the kettle was slightly red in colour. The valve at the entrance of the kettle seemed slightly yellowish in colour.
The styles were long and thin with dark purple tip.
The top of the spadix (i.e. the appendix) was dark purple in colour too.
The olfactory bodies were also dark purple in colour too.
Hope you enjoyed the photographs of the spathe of this rare cryptocoryne.