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  1. @xXInkedPhoenixX just be somewhat cautious with fish water, especially after cutting back root and introducing open wounds to the roots. Fish water has a lot of microorganisms in it. Usually good for the food they provide, but can also introduce things that could cause harm to a “damaged” plant. It is kind of funny, because as @Odd Duck said, I did start a thread specifically on trying to grow orchids to utilize the nutrients from fish water. But with the experience with have now, 1) I would be cautious about fish water on freshly trimmed back roots. Not likely an issue, but why risk if if you can resume it in a couple of weeks once they have calluses off? And 2) If I was to repeat the experience now, I would focus on using more water heavy, terrestrial orchid types such as Paphiopedilums or phragmipediums. On that note: I did leave my mother with a pond type aquarium with a phalaenopsis orchid hanging above the tank, but with the directions to “water it from above and let the water run off into the tank rather than trying to get the orchid roots/“feet” wet by sitting in the water.” I know this orchid is still alive and doing well, but I don’t know the exact condition. I will have to ask her to send some pictures of the un-potted roots and give an update on that project soon.
  2. @xXInkedPhoenixX Great! As a quick side note: in order to prevent any chance of an infection following a trim to the roots of an orchid you can do either or both of 2 things. 1) Spray off your roots (following a trim and before replanting) with some 3% (store/wound grade) hydrogen peroxide. This reacts with any microorganisms that could get into the cut root and break them down, eventually turning into neutral water. Some people think this is garchando on the orchid roots themselves, but it works for me and I have not noticed any issues with the roots following treatment. 2) Dab the cut end of the roots with cinnamon (the spice for cooking) as it is a natural anti fungal/antibacterial. DO NOT douse the entire root system as it will dry everything out, but plenty on the cut ends helps form a nice callus to prevent infection. Orchid Media: Most stores will plant their orchids entirely in moss. This makes sense because it helps keep them hydrated with the irregular/sparse watering they get at a store. However, (and this entirely depends on your climate) I would recommend switching to a more bark like medium in the future. The reason being, that moss actually dries much slower (holds onto more water than bark/coconut or pumice, typical in most orchid mixes) and is easier to break down into smaller debris which eventually can be toxins for plants (think of the ammonia in your aquarium water). This in my opinion is why most people eventually lose their store bought orchids, that they do not realize the roots are dying and they eventually dehydrate, because the dense moss 1) doesn’t breathe well (stays too boggy) and 2) breaks down too fast, eventually killing the roots. This doesn’t mean you should immediately repot your orchid again, but depending on your climate I would consider reporting within the year, and if you do not need to retain a moisture (so you are not watering your orchid all the time) I would consider putting in <20% moss and adding more bark/coconut husk, or switching to a medium to coarse orchid media. You may have to water more (depending on the humidity in your house) but the roots will be happier. Think, orchids would love to live best, bare rooted, on trees with daily light showers and mist condensing in their roots. We pot them to help retain more moisture in them, while also not driving ourselves crazy by having to water every day. Find what works best for you, but consider trying to cut back on moss for a phalaenopsis, save that for other orchids that LOVE water and/or are more terrestrial. I hope that helps, no need to repot right away, just food (and opinion) for thought. Find what works best for you and you will enjoy the hobby to its full potential.
  3. @xXInkedPhoenixX Orchids are great! As the proud owner of [I don’t even want to count] many happy and healthy orchids, the best advice I can give is to listen to your plant and respond to what it is telling you. Many orchids are quite adaptable (phalaenopsis, what you have, being some of the most adaptable). As @Odd Duck said, Phals are nice because they don’t need lots of light and are therefore great indoors. I am fairly confident that your bathroom window is likely not a problem if it is frosted, but when you go to check it in the summer I would be looking more at how hot the window may be getting after the sun has been shining on it for a while. If the shifting of the sun is gradual enough your phal may even start gaining a purplish pigment if, and only if, it is getting too much sun. This would be a sign that maybe you should shift it out of that window until the direct sun is not too harsh on its leaves. But again, I would not expect it to ever be an issue. The best advice I can give to a novice orchid keeper is to “repot your orchid into new medium, as soon as you can (a few weeks) this gives you a chance to really look at the condition of the roots and prepare it to grow to its full potential.” Growing: Orchids are great for the foliage, but if you want to get new blooms, the only way you will ever do so is if you get it to grow new leaves. The flower spikes come from between sets of leaves, but they will never spike from the same spot twice. I.e. you need to grow new leaves to give it a new growth node (between leaves) to send off a new spike. This is the time yours is in. If the spike has died off, the plant is in its growth phase and is primed and ready to get a word nutrients and put those into producing new leaves. Fertilizer: most general purpose fertilizers are fine 15-15-15 [nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium], but as @odd duck said, “water weakly weekly.” Meaning less than half of what your fertilizer recommends, but exchanging the higher dose with more frequent fertilizing (say every, or every-other week). As epiphytes (most orchids grow on the surface of trees and get their water/nutrients from rain or dew running/condensing on their roots) orchids as a general rule don’t get a lot of nutrients at one time and don’t love the build up of nutrient salts (white crystal-like scale) on their roots for a long time. So it is good to water lightly with fertilizer and then water in between with regular water to dissolve and remove those salts. But know here there are many opinions. And some people will put a slow release fertilizer into their orchid potting medium, I am just giving my opinion on what has worked best for me. Watering: Similarly, with watering you will need to adjust based on your environment. If you have a lot of humidity, less frequent is fine, if you are in a drier climate more often may be required. But as a general rule a good soaking is great. We literally drop our inside (plastic) pots in a tall container of water, so it comes up just below the base of the stem (crown) and let it sit [for 15 min, or all afternoon if you forget about it…] so that the roots and bark absorb all the water they can. And then take it out and let all the excess water drain out of the pot so air can get in and provide some circulation. Then you repeat this when your bark has dried out on top. [this is getting quite long and it is late, so I will reply back with more later…still to come…let’s talk about roots.]
  4. @Odd Duck Thanks for the tag. Sorry to join the conversation so late, I haven’t been on in a long time. I moved and am now active in an orchid club and local aquarium group so I do not get online as often.
  5. I was watching the latest Aquarium Co-op video “This fish room almost runs itself!” and Dean has small coils of metal in his tank. What is this for? Should I be considering it as part of my regimen?
  6. @eatyourpeasThanks for highlighting my little experiment on orchids. If anyone is interested the first discussion of this also has some links to a long time orchid grower that was growing some emersed as well. As for other emersed plants, I also grow pathos regularly. I (personally) have found that by drilling into my lids of my tanks, and using a clear mesh net pot, you can hold your plants well while letting the roots grow into the tank freely. Amazon link
  7. Ok, so after the follow up, this project may need a little improvement. I unpotted the first phal I planted about 2 months ago, and while it was looking fairly good from the outside, it is showing early signs of crown rot (black-ish discoloration at the base of the plant.) The roots are looking healthy (you may notice some of the original pot shape from the severe root binding that occurred previously), but they are probably getting too much water allowing bacterial growth that is turning to rot. Because of this I also unpotted the other phal (~3 weeks in a second aquarium) and it does not show any root rot, but is exhibiting significant root die off. The potting media here is showing much more fungal growth (white strands in media) as well, which is concerning. What this likely means is that just any old potting media is not going to work in this set up. I may see if I can recover these outside of the aquarium, and try again with another set of potting medium with healthier plants.
  8. I am glad to see this has sparked a lot of discussion. I will re-iterate what @Odd Duck has said, like with any good relationship you have to learn to listen to what you orchids are saying. No single water schedule will work for all, the best thing to do is try and keep a regular schedule and then monitor the water retention of the media, the look of the foliage and leaves, and check the roots. From there you can adjust to meet the needs of the plant and the changes in the season. EVERYONE should always be lifting their pots from the decorative containers and looking at the roots regularly. If you do not have a clear pot you should be looking at transplanting into a new container as soon as you get the chance. Often orchids you buy from local stores will be root bound (with too compacted roots in a small pot) and the media may start to degrade causing the mildew and damage to the roots. But overall, by seeing how the roots are responding to the watering/feeding schedule you can learn to identify early if there is a problem. I also prefer to soak my roots (~weekly) with fertilizer (skipping fertilizer every 4th week to dilute/remove any salt residue build up). But the important part is to then let the extra water drain off so the media is not sopping. I also live in the dry southwest (Flagstaff, so high desert with colder nights), so I plan to water more regularly than say in the humid south. That is part of the caveat here, I have designed this planter to allow for soaking of the bottom of the container and wicking of water into the media whenever I refill my tanks (also ~ 1/week), but know this is an experiment. The extra relative humidity of the water will slow the rate of drying for the pots. This is also an unfiltered pond for rice fish. Currently I am changing water every week during fry grow out, but slowly mulm will build up and I will want to make sure that there is no significant salt/fertilizer build up in the containers as this concentrated chemical residue can eventually "burn" the roots. The pot shown above is the second iteration of this project, with a newly purchased orchid planted in it. I will un-pot the first test subject this weekend, that has been growing for ~ 2 month, in order to give a good feel for how the roots are handling the setup. I would normally not want to disturb roots so soon after re-potting, but it should be long enough to begin to see some root decay, and help us understand if this setup is harmful to the roots. I will keep you updated. Thanks for the interest, @Torrey The nodes on your flower stalk are where the stalk is zig-zagging back and forth. Think of it as where your flowers were sprouting from. So where the brown papery triangles are sticking out on the image you uploaded. Odd Duck is recommending to trim the stalk back to ~1/2" above the second node. Be sure to use clean scissors/shears. I have never had much luck on getting good re-blooming in my phals, but I have had keiki (baby plants) grow on plants (when I was new to the hobby) that were root bound and unhappy. This can happen naturally, but often is a sign that your plant is trying to invest in a new offshoot due to unfavorable soil conditions.
  9. A while back I started a topic on orchids in or around aquariums, and it did not seem anyone had a solution so I decided to give it a shot to find and option myself. Background: If you are not familiar with orchids it is commonly described that they do not like "wet feet," meaning that as epiphytes you do not want to let their root structures sit in water. This can be one of the many reasons why novice orchid keepers experience good growth for a few months and then see die off due to over watering. However, I did mention in the previous post, a long time orchid keeper that had shown some success with orchids grown directly in aquarium water, like most aquarists will keep pathos. As a compromise, I decided to see if I could come up with some sort of hanger to allow the bottom of an orchid pot to wick up water, while also allowing for efficient oxygen exchange. This is my solution. The initial design was created to sit on the edge of my rice fish planter/indoor pond. It is made out of hardwood (walnut) and uses a Vigoro wall mounted ring (purchased from your local hardware store) to hold the orchid pot. The fabrication requires the use of a router to create a notch in the bottom of the wood upright, as well as a socket for the wall mount to be secured within the mount. Depending on your water level it is designed to be partially submerged (when the tank is full) while allowing for wicking of water and air flow through the potting medium. Note: potting medium will vary with your climate and water absorption needs. This was preliminarily potted with decorative moss and some lava rock to prevent compaction. [Also, note I did not readily have an orchid pot on hand, so I created one by drilling holes in a 4-5" plastic container to allow for air flow.] In the case of my setup, the water level will drop over several days due to evaporation, and I will often partially refill the tank by filling the pot and allowing the water to drain out into the tank. However, given your potting medium water wicking from base of the pot should be sufficient for sustaining proper humidity of the orchid. This is the second holder I have created, with the first (sitting in another tank) having shown good health for ~ 2 months with the same setup. Note: the plant is still flowering and will not exhibit the classic markers of healthy growth until the it completes this cycle and begins it growth phase. But I have monitored the root structures and have not observed any significant die-off. Only time will really tell, but I believe this to be a good option to use aquarium water to fertilize orchids while preventing over watering. Note: In order to avoid crown rot, orchids should only be watered through the potting medium. Water should not be allowed to flow over and puddle on leaves as this can allow pathogens to grow in the puddled water and attack the crown of the plant.
  10. Can I ask, being new to the hobby, how do local fish stores typically feel about getting fish donated? What are the typical responses most people get? [There are no LFS in Flagstaff, AZ, but there are plenty down in Phoenix I could drive down to donate them to.] As mentioned above, I expect to downsize a little for a move in November/December, and I am trying to figure out if I should go with a LFS or try and give them away to brand new individuals in the hobby? Obviously, I expect that some of them are going to die off with new people caring for them, but is this much better than relying on a LFS to have to care and support them? Do we expect that and LFS is going to have more capable clientele to care for them? The balance here is trying to move all of the fish and having to "worry" about incompatible fish storage during this trip. [Perhaps this is just me thinking out loud to prepare myself for the downsizing.] Fish under consideration: 1) Blue Miyuki Medaka rice fish which I bred. I will definitely keep a number of them and transport them, as I want to continue to breed them. I will also be giving a setup pond to a family member. I will have a few others and it might be nice to donate to the community as they are more "rare" in the area. 2) 6 cardinal tetras, I would like to keep and will probably transport. 3) 10 Leopard Danios, I could probably part with these as they seem like they will be the most agitating to move with, given their constant swimming. Do you think a LFS would want them? 4) 4 - female betas, currently in a community/sorority tank. I like these, but will they have issues being confined with the cardinals for a dew days on end? 5) 1 - male beta, already in his own tank. I will likely give him to a new/young fish keeper, as he will be the hardest to travel with. I assume this will be the least likely, besides the female betas for a LFS to want to take. Thoughts?
  11. I got some from petco And one of two sprouted just fine. It is currently taking over my tank. I guess I did not realize that they were significantly problematic to get good sprouts. But I did just leave it on the surface until after it was sprouted, primarily to know which side was up. An alternative if you have anyone around you with one; I keep finding small sprouted offshoots so have started moving then to my other tanks. This might be a great way to share and simultaneously help a friend clean out their tank of any extras.
  12. Luckily the fish won't care, unless it stays incredibly hot and you need to remove humidity to cool down the tanks. I have never been to Georgia so I cannot say I would have any feeling on the temperature and necessary precautions for cooling a fish tank in it.
  13. I would also be interested in recommendations here. I am planning a move from Arizona to Missouri in November. I have a 20 gal, and 3 - 5.5 gal, along with 2 - 15 gal indoor ponds. My proposed plan was: 1. To downsize as much as possible, giving away extra fish to friends in the area. 2. After this, I was planning on attempting to combine fish and plants into the 5.5 gal aquariums with portable USB batteries and USB air pumps (no filters). I am considering making a back seat wooden rack to help with securing the tanks during travel, and will likely reduce the water as much as possible to limit jostling around of the fish. 3. I will likely not feed the fish during the trip to limit waste build up. Some outstanding questions/considerations are: Do I need to worry about heat, as long as I bring in the tanks overnight any place I stay. Is the car heater enough for the fish I am moving (Bettas, cardinal tetras, danios, rice fish, neo cardina shrimp)? - I likely think so. Should I plan for any emergency conditions for changing water during the trip? Is there anything I am overlooking? Thanks,
  14. Interesting, I knew this looked unique enough to warrant investigating further. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utricularia_gibba Glad to know it should not be a problem for the young Midaka rice fish I am rearing in this indoor pond. I am trying to decide if I want to remove it now, while it looks like it is only a few strands thick, or just leave it. I assume like most aquarium organisms, it will manage itself with limited food sources in the water. In which case it may not be a big deal to leave and grow, but I will just need to be conscious of the possibility of spreading it to further tanks. Thanks,
  15. Thanks for the direction. It looks most similar to a slender pondweed from the description. https://thepondconnection.com/pond-and-lake-101/pond-and-lake-weeds-2/ I may grow it up a bit and decide if I want to keep it before it blooms or roots. Anybody have recommendations from having it in their aquarium/ponds? Thanks,
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