爆睡? Dead asleep?


All who keep aquariums worry about how to get rid of uninvited algae that grows from nowhere and at the worst case occupy the tank like spider nets over an ancient ruin. It grows everywhere; on the bottom soil, on the stones, over the surface of aquarium plants that we adore, and over the inside of the tank and obscure the inside of the tank.

Sometimes we use organic substances like pyroligneous acid as algae is said to like alkaline water, or even sometimes chemicals. However, the method I like is to put some creatures that like to eat algae. Some fish, shrimp, and snails eat algae, but all have pros and cons.

Todays story is about the snails. There are several snails commonly used as algae eaters in freshwater aquariums. Currently I have two species of them in my tank. Both of them are relatively new to my tank.

The first one is freshwater limpets; Latin name Septaria porcellana; that is sticking to the flat stone in the picture below. It lives longer than the similar species because it is more firmly stick to the surface of objects and make it hard to be eaten by fish. Yes, there are some fish that like to eat snail, and unfortunately there is one of them, clown loach, in my tank. The unfortunate point is they do not breed in fresh water, so I have to buy some every now and then.

Another one is Mud snail that is lying at the bottom in the picture below. I bought this just a few weeks ago. I bought ten of them, and avoided to put too many in the aquarium by putting only three of them in the aquarium, and the rest were thrown into the pond in the garden. Because, they are said to eat a lot of algae and sometimes they eat all of algae until they starve to die. This snail is also said to live long as it can protect their body tightly with the cap. Also this species breed in fresh water. They lay baby snails instead of eggs!

The one below lay upside down. The first time I saw this, I thought they were dead, all of them. As, I could not bear to see the scene, I hid them behind the bush of plants in the tank. But, to my surprise they appeared in the forecourt a few days laters there were noting to worry about. So, even though I feel a little nervous, I try to believe the snail is just dead asleep.

Another one is downside down. But, it has been motionless about an hour.

Another upside down. You can see the cap shut close.

The mud-snails are making me nervous by their taking nap appearance, but are attractive enough that I look for seeing their babies moving around the tank.


コントラストがキー The key is contrast.

The hot summer came at last. This year, summer has been cooler than regular years. I thought this summer was like one in summer resort. But, at last since several days ago, the heat has gone furious.

In such weather, plants in my garden grow so fast mostly. However, flowers are not abundant in my garden. Because, I stopped planting annuals like petunias or morning glories as we frequently went traveling during summer and so keeping plants during our absence with hot weather were difficult.

My wife likes to display flowers near the windows of our living room. I think that is one of the reasons she let me continue my gardening hobby. So I have to collect pots with flowers from very few choices even in the hot summer.

There have been Crossandra, Bule wing, and Balloon flower flowering there.

Bule wing       

When the balloon flower was in full.
Former two are still flowering. Good boys.

The balloon flower that had been flowering more than a month finished their first series of flowers a few days ago. It would be after some weeks to have them flower the second round.

I had to bring something to fill the area where the balloon flower had been.

Annabelle still has flowers waiting to be dry flowers, but it cannot be moved as it is planted on the ground. I planted some Sunflowers grew from seeds that were given by my wife's mother. However, they look really frail and does not seem to bear flower in their lives. They cannot be moved either.

Finally, I chose a pot of Jacaranda. Even if it does not have flowers, I thought the fine leaves could be a good contrast against the other plants.

Since there is no other plants that would back up the space, I had to spend days feeling nervous.


吊るせ! Hang it!


Today's subject is this stag-horn fern. As most of you know, this is epiphytic, and in nature they grow sticking on tree trunks and things like that. It was sold in a pot, and I grew it for years replacing pots to larger ones repeatedly never liking an idea of forcing it to grow in a pot that is not their nature even though it has been growing OK.  

Now, it tries to cover the pot with its leaves like it exert the best effort to behave like an epiphyte. I could not tolerate this any more.

Actually, I have been considering it to plant at a hanging basket that idea I found at a conservatory of Nagoya agricultural center. There, I saw one stag-horn fern was hanging by a string happily. I thought it must be better than sitting on a shitty pot.
But to hang it, it needs something to cling to. There is a basket that have been left unused for yeas. I put some palm fiber for cushioning and sealing, put the fern inside having some leaves sticking out of the basket, and pushed in some live sphagnum that is growing around our pond furiously to keep humidity.

In the original plan, I was considering to tie the fern to the basket with some strings. But it ended up pretty stable, so I will leave it without any tying, and see how it will be. If things go well, the leaves will cover and mask the ugly wire basket in some years hopefully.

I am afraid it may feel disturbed by my rough treatment. To show my love, I dedicated one of the nozzles of my DIY irrigation system to make it happier.


しばらくぶりだネェ君たち  Guys, it's been a while.


This hydrangea was one of the five that planted this year on the ground after I had them grew from cuttings for a year, maybe two years. The original mother plant was a gift from our old friend more than fifteen years ago. However, the place it is planted had been shaded by trees that grew during the years, became weaker, and stopped flowering for many years. It was surprising that this young plant bore flowers. It made me think that the desire of their mother to flower was inherited to the child.


The Torchlily did not flower last year. I think it flowered two years ago. This is the second flower in this year. Although they are not as big as expected, we are pleased that they are healthy enough to be able to have flowers.

This clematis did not flower much during the past winter/spring time. Perhaps, be cause I replanted it last year. To my surprise, it started to flower since abut a week ago. It seems that it also just could not stop flowering.


例によって、うちに帰ってみたら When I came home, as usual 



As usual the plants in my garden look growing better while I was away for ten days. Sigh.


Fire cracker is unusually flourish this year. Is it because of replanting in the spring?


The baby tree of Italian big lemon had started to grow young leaves. The tree looks to love warm weather since it started to grow in late June.

A balloonflower is in full bloom although it grew too tall stand up by themselves that I tied them up to my hand made trellis.


The  leaves of threeleaf arrowhead, that was a gift from the Japan Gardening Society, are sticking out their stems from pond water. The one in my fish tank also grows out of water.


Rex begonia grew larger leaves and bear a flower.


String of hearts have many flowers.

Hydrangea Saisai blooms the last flower.

 Marattiales also flourish unusually.

One of my most favorite hydrangea had flowers, too. Isn't it pretty.


This is not a plant but a larva of Indian Fritillary became a pupa. Mothers are still laying eggs vigorously although the season of violet and viola is almost over.