Monday, June 6, 2011

Fish Dying, Caught in Azolla Roots

Dead Fish, Snared in Azolla Roots
The Azolla water fern growing in my two 'frog ponds' (old baths) has grown roots at least 10 centimetres long and in the second bath formed a wall-to-wall carpet. I let that be a while to see what would happen with the water lilies also in there, in relation to the azolla.

In the first bath the azolla seemed not to be able to get such a strong hold. I think because of the greater diversity of plants in there. As well as the locally native water snowflakes (Nymphoides indica), smooth nardoo (Marsilea mutica), common duckweed (Spirodela punctata), ribbon weed (Vallisneria nana) and a thready wort I haven't been able to identify, there's a bit of azolla (Azolla pinata).

So, yesterday was the time to harvest the azolla. I do this fairly regularly. The result? Several dead fish caught in the mat of roots in the second bath. I guess it was an inadvertant way of getting rid of the guppies surplus to my wants.

Plus at least one very large tadpole in the metamorphing stage where they have their back legs and a tail. This one at least 4 centimetres long in the body and probably 2.5 centimetres wide. A giant. Black stripes through the eyes. Too fast to get a pic.

I have been wondering for a while what happened to tadpoles not maturing by the end of the 'season' so this could be the answer. They may overwinter and get an early start.

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