This month’s GWAPA meeting was at Ghazanfar’s house, and was awesome. I was dog tired after staying up late the prior two nights observing, and then driving almost two hours from Tuckahoe to Northern Virginia, but it was worth it. Ghazanfar has this 215 gallon tank that is to die for! Aside from the beautiful array of plants (gorgeously aquascaped, of course), the whole tank is built into the wall, surrounded by handsome oak (I think) paneling that really sets the tone. This is a tank I could spend hours in front of.
Ghazanfar’s talk was on growing aquatic plants emersed, something he has a lot of experience doing, particularly with cryptocoryne species, and while his talk was completely unprepared and off the cuff, it was an excellent introduction to this fascinating and productive method for growing aquatic/marsh plants. He described the basic setup, which can include either a covered fish tank or a plastic domed tray, with an inch or three of water in the bottom to keep the soil moist. That’s all it takes, really. Oh, and light, but a standard T-12 fluorescent shop light is more than sufficient. You can fertilize your plants, but Ghazanfar sugested it isn’t absolutely necessary, depending on the kind of substrate they are planted in.
Getting a chance to look at the four 40 gallon breeder tanks and numerous plastic trays he is using was wonderful, as he had quite a few crypts that were in flower.
I didn’t bring much money for the auction (which was probably a good thing! I have a tendency to lose control when I see a plant I want), but I came away with some good stuff: blyxa japonica, echinodorus tenellus ‘micro’, bolbitis heudelotti ‘large form’, and some cool obsidian rocks I think I’ll use in the nano aquascaping competition.