Wednesday, May 14, 2008

BioCup One

After parking my car abruptly at the edge of Lake Matilda last week (I set myself on fire by dropping a lit cigarette into my lap) I decided to wash out the cup that had contained a yummy chai tea purchased at Borders Books, in order to collect some duckweed. Duckweed, also known as Lemna, I think, is the smallest flowering plant. It's also been recently discovered to be a relative of the Titan Arum, which can attain a flowering height of almost nine feet. Ain't life grand? I scooped up a big cup of pond crud and took it home to look at it closely.
By the time I got home the mud had settled and the duckweed was floating in a thick layer on top. In the water underneath, I saw snails and water beetles and various larvae, including mosquitos. I had also managed to collect a piece of milfoil, a common aquarium plant. I put the cup on my desk and watched it for quite awhile. It all seemed so lively in there that I hated to discard it. I decided there was too much duckweed because it was blocking the light to everything underneath it. I removed most of it, leaving just a thin film. Then I added a couple of shells, rocks and chalk flint to balance the pH. I replaced the top and moved it closer to the grow light. After several days, all seems to be well. The plants are all green, the water beetles are darting to and fro, the larvae are wiggling (and destined to die because once they reach adulthood, they'll have no place to go.) and the snails are laying eggs! Being hermaphroditic, I'm hoping they'll hatch. (It's the snails who are hermaphroditic, not me.) But if they hatch, I'll be out of balance. Dozens of snails, maybe hundreds, and no predators, you see. Snails are herbivores. They'll eat all the plants. The plants use up the excess CO2 to photosynthesize and they produce O2 for the animals. I have to think of a good predator; one that will fit into the chai cup and merely decimate my animals without actually extirpating them. Any suggestions would be welcome.
- It's Good to be King (Queen)
(The paragraphs are gone again! I rule an entire world and I can't get any frigging paragraphs??? What's with THAT shit?)

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