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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I was wondering if in a wabikusa tank (soil and water mixed) you could plant terrestrial Utricularia species.

I fell in love with its flowers and was wondering if I could pull of a wabikusa tank with utricularia in it. These are what I have in mind: http://www.cobraplant.com/utricularia-terrestrial.html

And do I really need RO water? Anyone an expert at carnivorous plants and terrestrial bladderworts?
 

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I think that sounds like a great idea! Mind if I copy you? :icon_lol:

Sounds like you would NOT want RO water. These guys are eating microorganisms, if RO was used there wouldn't be anything for them to eat. That link says to use pond water. I'm certainly no expert but thats just what I gathered from the link.
 

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I think that sounds like a great idea! Mind if I copy you? :icon_lol:

Sounds like you would NOT want RO water. These guys are eating microorganisms, if RO was used there wouldn't be anything for them to eat. That link says to use pond water. I'm certainly no expert but thats just what I gathered from the link.
No, R/O is what most carnivorous plants need. They come from boggy areas with low pH and typically soft water. R/O isn't 100% pure. It's closer to 95%. Besides, most carnivorous plants can get along just fine with good ol' photosynthesis.
 

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I stand corrected. Although, The link he posted leads me to believe that other types of water would be acceptable, which was what his question was. Most pond water wouldn't have very low PH like a bog.
 

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I'm sure if you used an easy to grow type, like U. calcyfida, it would be fine. Many plants and animals can adapt just fine to extremely soft water.

You'd be surprised at how soft and acidic a pond can be. Assuming it doesn't sit on a limestone bed or the surrounding soil is very basic, of course.

Pure rainwater coupled with all that decaying plant matter can dip pH quite low.
 

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And if you want to combine aquarium hobby with this, you could use Utricularia graminifolia which grows both emersed and submersed and has nice, I think purple, flowers.
 

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I'm sure if you used an easy to grow type, like U. calcyfida, it would be fine. Many plants and animals can adapt just fine to extremely soft water.

You'd be surprised at how soft and acidic a pond can be. Assuming it doesn't sit on a limestone bed or the surrounding soil is very basic, of course.

Pure rainwater coupled with all that decaying plant matter can dip pH quite low.
Oh I gotcha. I read that here in the PNW rain water has a PH of around 4.5 and the streams are around 6. Lake Washington however is around 8. But as you said, bottom line is these plants prefer lower PH and RO will help achieve that correct?
 

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all things are relative.. a little more of this or less of that might make it work without RO water. but consider with these plants regular waterchanges aren't necessary when grown emersed, so you wont need too change much of the water with new RO throughout the lifetime of the tank.

i used to maintain a taxonomic collection while in college, although small, there were lots of butterworts as well as other insectivorous plants. the director was a big proponent of rainwater only for his outdoor insectivorous plants, no ferts/mineral supplementation, and RO for the indoor ones.

it makes a big difference.
 

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get a softenizer from ada

...ok, that really doesn't answer my question.

I'm just curious how soft we are talking? I happen to have really really soft water coming out of my tap.

... rainwater only for his outdoor insectivorous plants, no ferts/mineral supplementation, and RO for the indoor ones.

it makes a big difference.
Sounds like RO is optimal for the indoor guys

can you use distilled water as a substitute?
 

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he only used RO on the indoor ones cause it was a PITA to get rain water into the greenhouse, im sure he would have used rainwater it if it were more readily available year-round.

how soft? i can't say for sure, but i doubt the tapwater in WA is any softer than water in San Francisco, and he wouldn't water the plants with tapwater more than once or twice a year in the middle of summer to prevent complete dessication while he was making more RO (older guy, kinda lazy). he said hard water would stunt the plants or prevent new growth, not kill them.
 

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I understand completely. Thanks for the information, it is most helpful.


a side note about the tap water
From Wikipedia:
"Hard water in the US

According to the United States Geological Survey, 85% of US homes have hard water. The softest waters occur in parts of the New England, South Atlantic-Gulf, Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii regions. Moderately hard waters are common in many of the rivers of the Tennessee, Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska regions. Hard and very hard waters are found in some of the streams in most of the regions throughout the country. Hardest waters (greater than 1,000 mg/L) are in streams in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, and southern California.[21]"

I'm sure the tap water isn't as hard for you but I have a KH and GH of 1 from the tap.

It's actually is a PITA because i have to add hardness in order to prevent PH swings in my tanks :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I have very hard tap water. So I guess that's a quick no no. I was wondering if I could save my water change water but I guess that is a no no as well.

I was actually planing to buy Utricularia Graminifolia from the Carnivorous Plant Nursery and noticed their other species and decided to look into them. I realized they must be perfect for wabi kusa. Do they do well in 24/7 wet soil? I will also look into a cheap RO filter. Perhaps this one? http://freshwaterinverts.com/aquamaxx_wru_ro_barebones.html
I'll look for another place that has the same thing or similar. It seems to do the job and it's half the price of the other ones!

And yes I will send him a message when I have my pot (its in my ceramics class waiting to be fired, then glazed.)

And I'm planning to get graminifolia (for obvious reasons) and perhaps livida and/or sandersonni. Subulata looks pretty nice too... I have two pots in my ceramics class getting ready so I guess I could go for 4 different species, two in each pot. Maybe I won't even make this wabikusa....

O yah and I've read that inert substrate and sphagnum moss works the best. I'm planning to get their stuff on the website.



Any other carnivorous plants that would work well in wabikusa? I'm kind of obesessed now :p. Sundews would be AWESOME!
 

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Note that some Utricularia can grow OK in hard water. Utricularia gibba does well, actually too well, in both my hard and soft water tanks. I haven't gotten it to bloom yet though.

The main problem I've had is that if algae coats it, it can die pretty quickly.

The wabi-kusa theme sounds very interesting to me.

P.S.
Distilled water is purer than RO, but is much more expensive if you need 100 gallons of it. Also, RO is a bit too pure, so you will have to add something to it or mix it with harder water to get something useful for a water change.
 
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