Tales from the Crypts

We gathered at our house in Wooloowin on Friday, 22nd October, 2004. There were seven people in attendance on the night, with several others sending their apologies. After a bit of socialising the meeting got underway.

The first item circulated around the room was a draft noxious plant list up for consideration. Bruce was sent the list by Neil A. and found it interesting that two of the plants on the list are natives. What are they thinking??? What I found most interesting was the diversity of what is noxious and what isn't in the different states and territories. Bruce has a prediction that all bunch plants will be added to the noxious list due to the ease of propagation - from leaves, cuttings, etc. We'll have to keep watching for more information on this matter.

Alan had a plant he wanted identified. The plant was growing along the marginal bank area of a creek. It was identified as Ludwigia peploides. This particular plant prefers to be a floating plant and is usually found growing along banks of water bodies and out along the surface of the water. Growing in the same area as the Ludwigia peploides was a very nice Elodea sp.. There were also many small fish in this clear slow moving water, most likely Gambusia holbrooki.

I asked for recommendations of places to visit in outback Queensland. Alan and I have been contemplating doing a road trip and were interested to hear what the others had to say. Carnarvon Gorge was mentioned as a likely place to visit. Remembering back to the days of working in the travel industry, I know the Carnarvon Gorge is a good tourist attraction. It was advised that if we wanted to collect fish, we do so on the way back. The area we were thinking about travelling is a nice area to find Deep Water Creek Splendida. Alan asked how accessible the fish in this area were. Greg said that they weren't too hard to collect - we didn't need a helicopter to winch us in. Someone did mention keeping a watch out for crocs. Crocs don't breed well in water temperatures as cool as the waters below Rockhampton, but that doesn't mean there aren't any there.

Phil had travelled to Noosa to look for fish and plants, but the trip ended up a bit wet. There were heavy rains while he was there. Phil recently acquired some killifish that were very nice. His plants are still growing well - some backwards, some forwards. He has two Aponogeton elongatus (Queensland Lace Plant). One isn't doing well and doesn't seem to be growing. The other is doing very well. Phil also advised that he is growing Hygrophila corymbosa (temple plant) out of the water, saying it is better for the fish.

Greg brought a book - Aquatic Plants of Australia by Helen Aston. Must be a good book since Bruce brought along a copy as well. He also mentioned two types of Najas sp. - Najas marina that has spiky leaves and Najas tenuifolia that has fine needle-like leaves. Greg also mentioned that he is getting ready to get rid of his Pontederia cordata (blue pickerel rush) as it drinks too much water. Ken agreed that it does like to drink a fair bit of water. He also brought along an information bulletin on "Freshwater Wetlands on Coastal Floodplains of the NSW North Coast, Sydney Basin and South East Corner Bioregions - Proposed Endangered Ecological Community Listing" from the website http://www.wetlandcare.com.au

Bruce mentioned that he was on a collecting trip at the Keep River in the Kimberley's and was almost eaten by a crocodile. He had been pushing a net down the river and spotted a slide on the bank of the river that was 1/2 as wide as a 3-seater sofa. Needless to say, he quickly got out of the water. Bruce also mentioned that Aponogeton madagascariensis (Madagascar lace plant) seems to do better in cooler conditions with a bit of shell-grit in the substrate. It doesn't do well in the sun or the heat. Lance always grows it in deep water or shade.

Peter went to a wholesaler on the Gold Coast and bought a CO2 system (with carbon block) for about $37 (+GST), CO2 bubble counter, check valve, CO2 atomizer and dissolution reactor. We'll await a report on how well the system works. Pretty good bargain.

We were on the topic of fluro tubes for fish tanks because Alan and I recently discovered that our tubes hadn't been changed since 2001. Most people agreed that the plant tubes were a waste of money. It is better to put your money in a good triphosphor tube. While still on the topic of lighting, it is suggested that the light cycles be reversed during the summer season. This means that the tanks lights are on during the night and off during the day to keep the tanks cooler. You could also remove the lids and put fly screen or shadecloth in place of the lids. Another recommendation was to keep the tank lights on for two days when new fish are introduced to the tank. This allows the fish time to adjust to the tank and fish won't be spooked by the lights going on and off.

Bruce mentioned some upcoming events at the Mt. Cootha Botanic Gardens. Since most of the events will have taken place before the printing of this article, I will only mention one - January 29th - "A Tropical Affair". If you get a chance go out and have a look around. Bruce also brought along a copy of "FAMA" magazine by TFH (Tropical Fish Hobbyist).

Before the meeting wrapped up, mention was made of South Australia being a great place to dive. There is a series of freshwater ponds that you can dive in. The waters are crystal clear, there is thick plant growth and white bottoms. If you are down that way, check it out.

We finished off the night with supper and more socialising.

The Brisbane Plant Study Group (BPSG) meetings are held on the 4th Friday of every month and begin around 8PM. If you need directions or have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email at bpsg2002@hotmail.com or via mobile on 0403 790 701. For the latest information, please visit our website at http://bpsg.frell.org