March 2007 Meeting

Friday, March 30th, 2007 at 4:57 pm

Over 20 folks packed into Sean Murphy’s house for GWAPA’s March 2007 meeting. We had a few new members show up for their first meeting, which is always great to see. Welcome to those folks!

Sean's Nanocube

Sean has a dizzying array of tanks lining his basement walls, all packed to the brim with cryptocoryne, of more species than even Sean can differentiate. That’s one of the reasons Sean has recently started growing his crypts emerged from the water, in pots, using a combination of hydroponics and greenhouse techniques. Sean shared the current successes and failures of his evolving techinique, as well as some methods that are being used around the world. Much of his technique is derived from his experience at the ECS last year in Europe, where he gained much insight from Jan Bastmeijer, and other European cryptocoryne mavens.

An overview of growing crypts emerged is as follows:

  • Use a hydroponics/greenhouse style tray with dome for preserving moderate humidity around the plants.
  • Use net pots to plant each species of plant individually. Sean didn’t have much success with clay pots.
  • Fill each pot with a combination of beech leaves, and peat moss. Do not compact the soil. (Sean is currently encouraging folks to try different kinds of leaves to determine their effects on growth. Jim noted that plain peat moss has not worked well for him. Aaron’s has had good luck with maple leaves.)
  • Plant an accessory plant such as live sphagnum moss at the base of the plant to help ward off fungi and disease.
  • Fill the tray with water to the brim of the pots. Fertilize as needed, although Sean hasn’t had to do much fertilizing.
  • Keep the tray covered at all times, with a light overtop. Window-sill boxes may be able to use the sun, so long as it does not overheat the contained environment. Sean’s boxes stay at room temperature, approx. 72F.

Sean is also a lead member of the up-and-coming North American Cryptocoryne Society, where further discussion of crypt-keeping can be found.

Also, at the meeting Ghazanfar announced that GWAPA 2.5G aquascaping contest will commence at the April or May meetings, pending how long it takes to order the necessary supplies. Planning of our Florida collecting field trip is also underway. Please watch the forum for more information on both of these topics.

Finally, the meeting ended with another huge “mini” auction.

One of Sean’s tanks.

Another of Sean’s tanks.

Another of Sean’s tanks.

Another of Sean’s tanks.

Sean’s nanocube: front-view

Sean’s nanocube: side-view

Everyone’s paying attention to Ghazanfar’s opening speech.

Sean’s talking about his immerged growing techniques.

Aaron thinking… “What’s in that bucket?”

Aaron shared some of his techniques for growing plants terrestrially.

One flat of Sean’s plants. Of course, most are crypts that he brought back from the European Crypt Conference.

A crypt. wendtii growing without needing to be potted.

Everyone paying attention.

Another flat of, what else? Crypts!

Sean and Ghazanfar prepare for our ever-increasing “mini” auction.

Aaron’s the auctioneer this time.