水槽の様子 Aquarium snapshots

After finishing a series of layout modification and cleaning, the water became clearer. I'd like to record the status.

I removed a plate stone at the front holding back the bottom substrate, and filled the place with a rock and a driftwood. The appearance became more natural. At the same time I widened the valley a little.

There were Japanese sweet flags and ferns on this porous rock, but it is now populated with succulents and carnivorous along with small amount of ferns.

I made the tunnel larger a little.


花の命は短くて A life of a flower is short


It is a pity, but when a flower orchid fully is opened, it have to be cut to reserve energy of the plants.


This season, flowers of this Paphiopedilum pot bloomed in December unlike past years. They used to flower in March. There appeared four buds from one pot, and the third one is about to be full. The first one had been fully open more than a week. It is time to cut.

I pruned two of the flowers and put them in a vase with a leaf of aspidistra. They will continue decorating the area for some time.


卵だ! Eggs!


Don't say "you are like a child", I was very excited when I found  one of my ricefish was swimming with transparent eggs at her hip in my aquarium today. It is common to see baby ricefish in our tiny pond outside. They are born while I do not notice and grow. But, this was the first time I found eggs in my indoor aquarium. Also, it is white ricefish, one of the specials.

メダカが卵を産むまでそのままにしておくこともできた。しかし考えた、それは非常に危険だと。何故なら、産んだ後大きな水槽の中で卵を見つけることは非常に難しいだろうし、水槽の中には食べる奴らが沢山同居している。水草といっしょに母メダカを瓶の中に隔離することにした。まるで母メダカがそうされたがっていたように、隔離は簡単に済んだ。その後私は数時間外出しなくてはならない用事があった。帰ってくるなり、瓶に近づくと、母メダカはもう卵を持っていなかった。卵を見つけようとしたが見つからない。もう食べちゃったか? その時、妻がコケの先を指差してここにあるよと言った。ありがたい。私の目ではまだ卵を見つけることはできなかったが、母メダカを掬ってタンクに戻した。

I could have left that until it laid them. But, I thought that it would be very dangerous; since it would have been really difficult to find them in a large tank, and also there live many eaters in the tank.  I decided to isolate the mother fish to a small glass container with some plants. It was easily finished as if the mother would like to be isolated. After I finished that, I had to leave it there to go out for several hours. Right after I came back, I went to the container and found the mother did not bear any eggs any more. I was having hard time finding eggs. Had she eaten them? Then, my wife pointed to the tip of one of the moss and said there they were. Thank God. Even though I could not see the eggs with my eyes, I scooped the mother anyway and put it back to the tank.


These are the eggs left.
Can you see?


How about this?


Checking internet, I found it will take about ten days to hatch. Ten days...


巻柏之銘鑑 Selaginella directory


A few days ago, a copy of annual "Selaginella directory" of this year was sent to my home. It lists the most popular selaginella species in the year, and is issued by Japan Selaginella Federation every year. Similar directories were published since long time ago. The oldest one like this was published in 1843. The current series of directories started in 1947 when the federation was founded. It was not every year until 1957, so this is the sixty-third issue.

It is interesting to see the elegance of names. Some of them are like the names of Sumo wrestlers. And, exact same names are used the other traditional plants in Japan that have been loved more than hundred years, and Saleginella is one of them. Examples of them are "Furan", Neofinetia falcata - a kind of orchid- ; "Omoto", Japanese rhodea, "Sekkoku" Dendrobium moniliforme. I think, probably, the names represent the taste of Japonism.

I marked the species that I own. There are many that I do not have, and at the same time many that are not listed of which I own. Way so far to be called a maniac, but so small my garden is to be a maniac.


事を始末する間に三匹を失った Three were lost during the action


After six month, I did a major reform of my aquarium layout. It is not so big compared to the last several change. I moved a ruffle sword plant whose leaves were covering the front wall of the aquarium because it is planted at foreground. It was OK when it was small plant, but recently each leaf stretches more than 20cm, and it often grows seven to ten leaves if not pruned. Moreover, it duplicated, and now there are two of them.


So, I decided to move one of them to the center of the tank. First I drained water below the surface of the soil so as to minimize making water dirty. The fish gathered to the valley area that I laid out before. Next, vacated the area by removing several rocks that are rumored to purify water. Then dug a hole to place the plant. Finally, dug one of the plants, and placed it into the hole with some soil.


While I poured water to regain original level, I drain some to remove some mudding that I made during the replanting.


Now, the tank looks better having some foreground space that fish can play around. It was easier than expected. However, the damage to the fish turned out to be not so small. The all fish lost appetite for a few days, and two rummy-nose tetra, and one cardinal tetra passed away during the days .

原因は何だったのだろう? 水の汚れが原因か? いや、それより水温だけは注意して調節したが、作業の間に水槽の水全部以上を水道水で置き換えてしまったことによる水質の急激な変化ではないかと思われる。次回は今は使っていないフィルタータンクに一日くらい水道水を貯めておいてから交換しようと思う。

What could be the cause? Is it the mudding of water I made? Rather than that, I suspect  the sudden change of water quality was it because of replacing probably more than all water of the tank with tap water during the process even though I was very careful to adjust water temperature. Probably, I should store tap water in my unused filter tank for a day or so before the next operation someday.


When I came home うちに帰ってみたら


I have been out of home for about twenty days. Until I came home, I was worrying what would happen to my lovely plants in the garden. I did what I could as much as possible before I left. I located pots that are covered by spray of sprinklers and sunshine. I adjust the sprinklers so that the spray would cover area as wide as possible. I even added several nozzles.

After I came back, these were what I found.

Faucarias had flowers.

Holly fruits started to color without pecked by birds.

Toad lily were still flowering and produced many seeds.

Snapdragon started to bloom. The flower is not so surprising, but what is surprising is this is the third generation that grew from self-sown seedling.

Climbing Onion almost withered. I now know this is not so dry-hardy considering it is one of succulents.

Selaginella colored more.

"Purple golden fabric" wore varieties of colors.

"Red peacock" is red.

"Lions in a mirror" and "Long life and happiness" are orange color.

"Longevity"  is brown.

Fifty tulip valves were delivered as gifts from Sakata Seed.


Color leaves 紅葉


Day by day, autumn coolness deepens. It is interesting looking at the color of my selaginella change slowly. I expect they will change color more and more as the wether gets colder.

"Chinese Flower". It recovered well after the damage of worms and moss after that. It gets to wear the orange in the middle of the leaves.

"Long life and happiness". The yellow gets deeper and it looks gold.

"Red peacock". Just as the name shows, it gets redder and redder.

"Lions in a mirror". It also goes golden.

"Purple gold fabric". It has orange at the leaves at center, and the edge of the leaves are still yellow.

"Flowers in a beautiful garden". Only a part of the leaves became orange.


The hint of autumn 秋の兆し


Writing 21, it is a bit of surprise that it is already late September. Last year autumn was nowhere, and tasteless like summer, summer, summer, and winter all the sudden. We have been able to enjoy the slow change of seasons from summer to autumn this year.

The plants have also noticed the change of seasons. And they have started to display themselves appropriate for the season.

A bush pot of wax trees with leaves all yellow and red.

Dogwood leaves. This tree is beautiful for the variegated leaves but never flowered for more than twenty years since planted here. The stubbornness is like insisting, "My speciality is just beautiful leaves, not those ordinary flowers like the others around."

Some of my Selaginella collections started to change color just a little.

"Sumonryu", Gate keeping dragon.

"Daioujishi", Giant king of Lion.

"Benikujaku", Red peacock.

"Shikinran", Purple gold fablic.

"Kinbotan", Golden peony.
Names unkown.


More bulbs and one more challenge もっと球根を、そして再度チャレンジ


I went to semiannual "Nagoya Cactus Club" exhibition and sale. This time, there are a lot of young, old, male and female ordinary people, not maniacs filled the site. I picked up three even though we hardly have free space to accommodate them in winter.

This is one of them Bowiea Volubilis, Climbing Onion. The bulb of this plant is buried and hidden, but I know it has a bulb like an onion that is the reason of the common name. After I came back home, I googled and found a good news. It is easy to cultivate than I imagined.

The next one is Seyrigia Humbertii. I thought this was a kind of cactus, but found out this is also bulbous.

The third one is Pleiospilos Bolusii. Some of you may know I killed two Pleiospilos before. I hope, "The third time pays for all."

By the way, this is the remain of "Royal flash" that was rotten and dried this past summer.


More ferns その他のシダ


There are more than what I introduced yesterday.

Lemmaphyllum microphyllum Presl. It does not look like a fern, but it is. the narrow leaves are microsporophylls. I frequently see them wild. But in my experiences it is not easy to propagate.

Pyrrosia polydactylia. Even though this is one of epiphytic plants. But, I planted this on the ground, and it looks liking the environment to form a small bush.


'Fern' 'fern' 'fern' 'til her daddy takes the T-Bird away, FERN! FERN! FERNFARE!


I am collecting ferns, too. I seem to like primitive plants.

Polypodium nipponicum. The green thick roots are appealing. This is a slow grower, and tends to lose leaves in summer. Now, leaves are coming back.

Pyrrosia lingua. I look cool with hard dark-green leaves. Green gets darker as each leaf grows.

Stag-horn fern, Platycerium wandae? This is the eeriest. I've been keeping this more than several years, and this is the first time it had sporophyll that is hanging from the body.

Pyrrosia hastata. Fast grower. I divide the plants into halves and gave the half to my relatives and friends several times, but in few years it filled the pot again.

Davallia mariesii Moore ex Baker.

This is a fern that has been very common in Japan for hundreds of years. People hang small ones with wind chimes to feel cool during summer.