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Page 9

Journal of a
New Victoria Addict

By Alan Montour with Kit & Ben Knotts
Photos by Alan Montour - Click to enlarge

January 23, 2003

I have not been able to design a way to circulate fresh water into an aquarium setup, so I will now adopt a 25% water change twice weekly. Even though my water hardness test have been all a stable reading of 4 I seem to still be experiencing "melt". I have, since my last update, lost a total of 4 leaves! I have no need to remove them manually for the goldfish seem to fancy "melting" Victoria leaves. It is like they just disappear over night after they begin to melt.


My only 'Atlantis' has returned to having only 1 floating leaf and 1 new one forming.

I had to cover my pots with gravel to keep the fish from removing the top layer of sand as they searched for food.

This 'Longwood Hybrid' has 3 very round floating leaves and one with very prominent thorns. The new floating leaf emerging has a very thick stem. This one is surely "over the hump".
My second Longwood, at this time, has 2 rounded leaves and 1 new beginning leaf with prominent thorns. This one, I also feel, is well on its way to maturity! And my third Longwood Hybrid now has 1 leaf with 1 new leaf on its way.

Because of on-line source that Kit found for them, I have acquired Fish Emulsion and Schultz Iron Green, and have removed the Ironite from my "cocktail". First feeding with the proper ingredients was today. Now my contemplation has turned to just when do I repot into larger pots. I have not seen any roots indicating that it is time.

Baby Victorias, like many young terrestrial plants, do best when potted small. We want to mention again that our first planting is in 3 ounce plastic cups rather than the 8 and 9 ounce cups you and some others are using. We find they tend to "swim" in the bigger ones. We boost to your size with the fourth floating leaf and find that the plants have formed enough of a root ball that the roots and soil hold together when we transplant. This is really important since babies DO NOT like their roots disturbed! We urge you to wait to boost yours until they are actually becoming root-bound.

Look at my new 'Challengers' GO!







 All 5 have first floating leaves, so fast, and all 5 have second floating leaves forming. Amazing!

'Columbia' is a different story! Its growth rate has not been as stunning. I am struggling with getting my second aquarium stable. It has an algae bloom with water harness levels of only a 3. For my interest only, pH, nitrite and ammonia levels are where they should be. The water is very cloudy and taking pictures is very difficult. I have added 3 Shubunkins and 3 Chinese algae eaters to this aquarium and I will follow the same feeding program for Victorias.

  Of the 4 'Columbias', 3 have first floating leaves and the other has its first floating leaf starting, 1 hastate and 1 filiform. 

Tropical night bloomer 'Red Flare' seems to be very happy in these conditions and have also begun to send up first floating leaves.

So much is going on at the same time!



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