I got a lot of water fern aka Azolla, from our local pet store. They had a tub/pond outside just FULL of the stuff!!! When I went outside with an employee I stopped in shock at having seen the tub and the only thing that came out of my mouth was "Ohhhhhh! What's that?
LOL!!!! The employee said it was duckweed, but I never remembered seeing duckweed that was so pretty and lacey, so I figured I would look it up when I got home.
(It looks like green rolling hills of velvet moss when it is thickly covering a pond of water!!!)
Azolla, otherwise known as water fern or mosquito plant is actually really neat. I think it looks better then duckweed and from a search on wiki it even might be responsible for reversing the greenhouse effect 55 million years ago. For over 1000 years it's been planted in the rice paddies in China to block out weeds and to fix nitrogen in the fields. I guess, given the right conditions, it can double every 3 days. I will definitely have to watch these little suckers if they like my tanks so they don't block out what little light I have. I may make floating Styrofoam cup rings and place the plants in the rings to make sure that I have surface area for light to get through the water.
Since the plant does well with high phosphorus in the water and it has a symbiotic relationship to cyanobacterium. I guess they work together with each other and fix atmospheric nitrogen so it gives the plant access to that nutrient. Since I seem to be having a cyanobacteria problem with high phosphorus at the moment, I believe this little floater should take off in my water!
Azolla is considered a noxious invasive plant in southern states where it does not freeze, and from pond care websites it is hated for its ability to cover the water and block out light to your oxygenator plants below the water. One site kept saying it will kill your anacharis really quickly due to how thick it can get. Most of these site owners wage war on the little plants if they appear in their ponds.
I also picked up a small bundle of anacharis which looks kind of... well not too healthy...but maybe it will come back. They had pretty looking hornwort bundles so I picked up one of those. It seems like it will be messy with how it lets loose the little needles, but I am still going to try it out in an aquarium. My water lettuce also split 5 babies outside. I broke them off the mother lettuce and placed them in a separate container. I think I will try one out inside under my aquarium lights. I will leave the others outside to hopefully reproduce more. I plan on bringing them in before winter hits since they are only available seasonally here. Oh, I also found they had a bunch of java moss (!!!!
) in their back aquarium and I got the whole bunch of it. I guess they get it from people who are trading it in, so it's very hit and miss with the java moss. When I opened the bag I found there was a light sprinkling (Probably about 10 little plants) of actual duckweed in the bag that must have stuck to the moss when he was getting it out of the tank... I've never had luck with duckweed, my fish eat it I think. I will see how it goes.....
I am taking all the stuff out of baby bettas 5 gallon, and I am going to put some plants in there this evening or tomorrow until I can throw together a 10 gallon with a single fluorescent bulb hood. (bleh) I will run and get one tomorrow since I am never going to see Petco come through with my 29 gallon light order!!!! If they do, the fluorescent hood only costs like $30 or less i'm sure at my local pet store for a 10 gallon.
I got IBC welcome letter and membership card today too with the nifty bumper stickers I was not expecting. :) Not sure when I will get them on my car, seeing as I don't know when my vision will clear up enough in my eye so I can drive again.
I hope all these neat little beauties do ok for me.
Edited to add:
Possible odd fact:
I guess the water fern (Azolla) is also known as a child killer in southern states? (from a website) because children think the green carpet of moss/fernlets are solid ground and go running into the water to drown... Had to end my post on a happy thought right? lol