Page 2

Journal of a
New Victoria Addict

By Alan Montour with Kit & Ben Knotts

Photos by Alan Montour - Click to enlarge

As I write this today we are receiving up to 8" of snow! And when I look at my Victoria seedlings I just smile and think of how my Victorias are going to look in my pond in the summer to come if I can bring them to a transplant size.

I am still battling a high nitrite (NO2) level of 2.0. If I can establish my beneficial bacteria they will convert this to nitrate which the Victorias will use for nourishment. This level is very toxic to fish so I am going to have to wait until this is under control before I introduce the goldfish that I want to add to my Victoria aquarium.

The ammonia (NH3/NH4) level is currently dropping at 0.50 and is telling me that the beneficial bacteria are beginning to establish themselves compared to a level of 1.0 one week ago. I have added lava rocks as a home for the bacteria and should see better results by next week.

And as for a pH level, it is currently holding at 7.5. I would prefer a neutral level of 7.0 but since my water is running on the soft side I think this is to be expected at a level of GH (4.0') and KH (3.0'). I currently am maintaining a water temperature of 90F. Should I be lowering this temperature to 85F at this time?

If the sun runs your temp up during the day, it might be wise to lower the controlled temp. It depends on how high it rises with sun - over 110F can be detrimental to the babies. On the other hand, they are doing well so why change something successful?

I have had to drop my water table level at this time as I currently have one 'Atlantis' and three 'Longwood Hybrids' producing their first floating leaves. I have to maintain a minimum level of 5 ½ inches over the Victorias in order for the filter system to work so I have raised the Victorias up on an inverted cup.

This isn't necessary. The floating leaves will stretch as needed. We suggest that depth mostly to get adequate light to the seedlings with just hastate leaves.

How do you think my 'Atlantis' are progressing at this time? The hastate leaves all seem very small to me but the rush to produce floating leaves IS a good thing?


Yes, it's a good thing. They seem to be doing fine. We would suggest overall that your seedlings need more sand around them. The soil surface should be flat to concave rather than convex and the crowns and all roots should be covered. We have drawn a line in the third image to give you an idea of the best level.

I plan on potting my three Victorias with juvenile floating leaves into potting soil today as I believe this to be the appropriate time to do so.

Hang on! This may be a mistake! What kind of potting soil? Exactly what's in it? This is the critical stage where the seedlings need a tiny bit of nutrient but any other sort of change may be deadly.

Are you planning to use our nutrient package? It is designed for bland media like sand. We would strongly suggest you stay in sand through at least the second floating leaf. You need a reasonable root ball for transplant - the seedlings won't survive being barerooted and transplanted. Potting soil may also introduce elements into the water that throws everything out of kilter!


< 'Longwood Hybrid' first floating leaf reaches the surface.

This one will be happier with its roots covered. > 


 This 'Longwood Hybrid' is progressing at a very slow rate compared to the others.

Those that march right along usually have a better chance of survival than the slow ones but sometimes they make it.

This 'Longwood Hybrid' I was and am still concerned about. The hastate leaves seem to have failed to fully mature, and one may have "melted". But it is the third to produce a floating leaf. Do you have any thoughts on this particular plant. Could it actually be a very robust plant?

That does look like "melt". It could be the first indication of a buildup of hardness or excess something in the water. Are you making regular 25% water changes? The plant is OK so far because it's made the floating leaf.


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Within The Victoria Section . . .

 Introduction to Victoria

 Victoria's History

 Index to

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Identification of Varieties


 Gardens That Display Victoria



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