Thursday, October 21, 2010

C. sp. 'Sedili 2'

The forest around Sedili river has many beautiful pandanus.
In one of such forest, my explorer friend found some cryptocorynes and he brought me there recently.
I was distracted for a while with surveying what type of fishes could be caught there.
The bed of the forest were flooded with water.
Below are the photographs of the specimens of cryptocorynes found there. As usual, no flowers could be found to confirm the identity of the species. My explorer friend told me there was more specimens found there previously as compared with our recent visit, where had all the cryptocorynes went to, eaten by wild boars?
The forest bed was flooded with a layer of soft debris. However, I suspected that deeper down under these debris the bed should be sandy as the open area around the forest had sandy base instead. The pH of the water was about 5.5 to 6.0.
Many star plants (eriocaulon) could be found on the sandy base of the open areas around the forest.
There were many pretty tadpoles (which species?) there too, notice the whorl pattern on the underside of the belly.
... as well as a snakehead...
This is a photograph of the beautiful Sedili river.
Dinner was squid omelette, otah (grilled spicy fish paste in cocunut leaf) and fishball noodle in one of the open air coffee shop in Johore Barhu near the causeway.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Adding gibberellin

Faced with a drought in having cultivated spathes for more than a year already and some species are suffering from stunted growth despite fertilisation, I decided to add some commercial gibberellin to my cultivated tank to see if there will be any improvement in the general health and flowering of the cryptocorynes. See these links for more information regarding the effects of gibberellin on cryptocorynes (research paper, Ghazanfar Ghori's blog)
The instructions advised adding 1ml of plant gibberellin for every 50L of water. I am currently adding 5 drops into my tank water (about 3 inches high) plus 1 drop to the root area of those specimens which i hope to see flowering (especially those collected without accurate identification of species) weekly.
Lets wait and see if there will be any effects.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

C. sp. 'Sedili 3'

This is yet another cryptocoryne habitat location around Sedili which my explorer friend brought me to. It was a stream in the forest. If you did not look carefully, you would had easily missed this location as the cryptocorynes were camouflaged by the muddy base of the stream.
The cryptocorynes specimens found here had more distinct markings on their leaves. The leaves were generally dark green in colour with a slightly reddish undersides.
This shows how muddy the bed of the forest was. I only could stand along the edge of the stream as the base of the centre of the stream was too soft (i.e. possibly could sink in up to knee level).
Compared to me, my explorer friend could not be bothered about the dirtiness or the possibility of having bacteria / germs / Mr Lee C. H. / etc lurking within the water and mud. He always wears normal shoes and sometimes only sandals and will not think twice about stepping and sinking into muddy base or having to dive his head under flooded waters just to collect the specimens he wants. As for me, I am always wearing high boots up to just below knee level and will have to prance around the forest looking for firm base formed by rocks or roots to step on so as not to get my feet wet. Well, i guess tthat is  why I am still considered as an amateur only.
The pH of the water was not too low, around 5.5 to 6.0.
These are a few close up shots of some specimens with longer and narrower leaves collected at the same vicinity, which is why it is almost impossible to accurately identify the right species just be looking at the highly varied leaves.
Are these specimens found at this location similar (i.e. belonging to the same species) to the rest found in nearby locations around Sedili area and if yes, what species are they (i.e. C. nurii, C. schulzei, C. griffithii, C. cordata, etc???)? I will term them as C. sp. 'Sedili 3' first in the mean time, until some expert cultivator can help to flower the specimens for verification.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

C. sp. 'Sedili 4'

Sedili area in Johor state is a very interesting area with many cryptocoryne habitats. My explorer friend bought me to see a rather unique habitat which was a flooded forest with sandy base.
After bashing into the forest, cryptocorynes could be found growing on the wet bed of the forest. The below photographs speaks for themselves.

These are some close up photographs of the leaves of the specimens I found, while a few specimens had long leaves, many of the specimens had heart shape leaves as can be seen below. The colour of the leaves were greenish in colour with slight tinge of red at the underside (as usual)...
 The pH of the water was about 5.5 to 6.
My usual question, are these C. griffithii, C. cordata or something new? Well, I guess only the expert cultivators of cryptocorynes can help to solve the mystery by blooming them...... I shall term them as C. sp. 'Sedili 4' in the meantime.