Swamp or Sitnyag: a plant for reservoirs and aquariums

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Swamp or Sitnyag: a plant for reservoirs and aquariums
Swamp or Sitnyag: a plant for reservoirs and aquariums

Description of the marsh plant, recommendations for growing sitnyaga, how to reproduce, difficulties in growing, facts to note, species. Swamp (Eleocharis) is found under the names Sitnyag or Vodolyub, and also belongs to the family of herbaceous plants Sedge (Cyperaceae). Under natural conditions, representatives of this genus prefer to settle in swamps and in shallow water in reservoirs in Europe and North America. They are not averse to growing in meadows that are flooded, on muddy banks of reservoirs, while forming thickets. In the genus, scientists have counted more than 250 varieties.

Family name Sedge
Life cycle Perennial or annual
Growth features Herbaceous
Reproduction Seed and vegetative (bush division)
Landing period in open ground With the arrival of March or throughout the growing season
Disembarkation scheme Planting depth 5-30 cm
Substrate Sandy, loamy, heavy clayey, waterlogged
Illumination Open area with bright lighting or partial shade
Moisture indicators Drying the soil is harmful
Special Requirements Unpretentious
Plant height 0.05-0.5 m
Color of flowers Motley
Type of flowers, inflorescences Spicate or paniculate
Flowering time June August
Decorative time Spring-autumn
Place of application Aquariums, open reservoirs
USDA zone 5–9

The plant bears its name in Latin due to the fusion of two words in Greek, which in the English interpretation mean "heleos" and "charis", which translates as "swamp" and "beauty, grace", respectively. There is a version that this phrase meant "bog dweller". The name "sitnyag" originates from the Slavic word "net" or "net", which indicated the ancient use of the plant for weaving or tying.

All marshes have both one-year and long-term life cycles. Water lovers are characterized by a creeping rhizome, some species may even have tubers or bulbs. From them, elongated, leafless stems originate, which in appearance resemble threads. The height of the stems can vary from five centimeters to half a meter. The tops of the stems are crowned with small bumps, this is how the inflorescences of the sitnyaga look, which are collected from bisexual flowers. The color of the stems is green, but at the base they differ in brown color. In the same place they have enlarged sheaths, parts with enlargement that remain from the leaves. The inside of the stems is hollow, their shape is cylindrical, there are partitions inside. Leaf plates are either absent or they are reduced (reduced) to small scales. Some varieties, growing, form bushes with stems, resembling thickets in appearance.

During flowering, the terminal inflorescences are formed from bisexual flowers, which have 1–3 pairs of serrated bristles. When the flowers change color, these bristles often fall off. From the flowers, inflorescences are collected in the form of spikelets, cones or panicles, with single, ovoid or ovoid-cylindrical outlines. Their length can reach 18 cm, variegated color. Flowers originate from the axils of the bracts. In the inflorescence, there are 3, 7 or 15 buds. In the lower 1–2 flower scales are not formed, these scales are much larger in size. The pistil has 2-3 stigmas, at the base of the column there is a thickening, which is separated from the ovary by a constriction. The flowering process occurs in the summer.

When the column fades and falls off, this thickening will remain with the fetus in the form of an appendage. The fruit of the marsh plant is presented in the form of a nut, with a double bulge. Its color is yellow, when fully ripe it takes on a reddish-brown color, specks are present on the entire surface.

Basically, the sitnyag is used for landscaping the shores of artificial or natural reservoirs or in aquarium business, in paludariums. The latter term defines a reservoir with transparent walls, in which conditions are created for the habitation of semi-aquatic, aquatic, coastal and marsh plants, parts of which can significantly protrude above the surface of the water. Animals are also often kept there. The water lover does not grow too aggressively, so you can not really worry about other plantings.

Recommendations for growing marsh plants in ponds or aquariums

Swamp by the water
Swamp by the water
  1. Selection of a landing site. All water lovers are photophilous, and besides, they prefer to grow either in water or on very moist soil. It is recommended to choose a location in a sunny coastal area or to plant a bog plant in a container and submerge it under water to a depth of 10 cm. When leaving in an aquarium, the plant also needs some direct sunlight. You can install the container to the south, east or west, or provide lighting. In the latter version, it is recommended to use side lighting, while the lamp power will be 0.5 W / l. It is important to remember that for the sitnyag, the duration of daylight hours should be in the range of 11-12 hours. If it is noticed that the plant has slowed down in growth or has stopped altogether, then it will be necessary to increase the level of lighting.
  2. General rules for care. When the bog plant is in an open reservoir, it is clear that it is not afraid of drying out. But when growing bushes in garden containers, it is important to monitor that the soil in them never dries out. When winter comes, it is recommended to move the containers to a cool room with good lighting. Most of all, a water lover does not tolerate cloudy water, therefore it is important to maintain cleanliness in the reservoir and the aquarium, in the latter case, the water is changed monthly and the soil is cleaned. If this is not done, plaque will appear on the leaves. Some species, when grown in an aquarium, are cut to zero, while leaving only 2 cm of the stem from the ground, it is recommended for well-rooted shitnyags, leading to a thickening of the planting. Also, the bog mire is milled (the overgrown bushes are corrected, without touching the stems up to 4–5 cm), the scissors are placed vertically to the stems. The main thing is not to trim only the planted bushes of the swamp plant.
  3. Fertilizers. For the sitnyag, it is necessary to carry out monthly feeding with complex mineral preparations, for example, AQUAPLANTS or AQUAXER Macro –N (without nitrates).
  4. Soil and planting of a swamp plant. It is difficult to name the best substrate for growing a water lover, since sandy, loamy or heavy clay soil mixtures with the property of waterlogging are suitable for it. The marsh planting is carried out in an open reservoir with the arrival of spring. Can be planted in shallow water or on the banks. But at the same time it is important that the entire lower part of the stems is covered by water by 10 cm. Plants are immersed to a depth of 5–30 cm. If the water lover is planted in an aquarium, then the soil layer at the bottom should be 2–3 cm, since the root system does not have a strong development.
  5. Acidity of soil and water. In order for the plant in the aquarium to be comfortable, the water hardness should be 12 mol / m3, while the soil is selected with a neutral (pH 6, 5-7) or slightly acidic reaction (pH 5-6).
  6. Temperature for a water lover. When growing, both in a reservoir and an aquarium, the recommended heat values for a water plant are 22-28 degrees, but with aquarium keeping, with the arrival of winter, they are lowered to the range of 12-16 units.

How to propagate a plant for ponds of shitnyags?

Swamp grows
Swamp grows

To propagate a swamp plant for reservoirs, it is recommended to use seed and vegetative methods (a large bush is divided).

Throughout the growing season (spring or summer), the water lover can be divided. It is clearly seen how a large number of layering leaves the mother bush. These daughter formations are easily separated and it is necessary to plant them without wasting time in a prepared place in an open pond or aquarium. With the cuttings, you need to capture a little soil and at the same time it is desirable that the new growing conditions for the marsh cuttings differ little from the previous ones. This will make the adaptation easier, but in any case, the plant will adapt to the new place. Often, these bushes are planted in garden containers, which are placed under water at a chosen location. So afterwards it will be easier to care for the water lover. When planting directly into the soil, some growers attach weights to the rhizomes so that while the plant does not start up new root shoots and itself does not "hold" to the soil, it does not emerge.

Usually, shallow water is chosen as such places for excellent growth of a marsh plant in reservoirs, while planting is carried out in such a way that the stems of the bushes are 3/4 above the water surface. Layers will also feel good in the waterlogged coastal zone. The planting depth will directly depend on the size of the cut, but not more than 30 cm.

Important to remember

Some types of marsh (for example, tiny or dwarf marsh (Eleocharis parvulus)), when deposited in a new place, can hurt for a long time, even despite the provided suitable conditions. During seed propagation, the seeds are sown directly into the reservoir, but it is better that there is no strong current in it, which will carry away the seed or place the seeds in an aquarium or grow "seedlings" so to speak. If a seed propagation method is used and the seeds are obtained from existing plants, then they can be sown immediately or stored until spring. The seeds are stored on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so that the heat readings are around the 5 degrees mark. To grow "seedlings" of the swamp plant, you can use any shallow container, on the bottom of which the substrate is laid. Better to use an aquarium substrate (eg Power Sand Special M from ADA or DeponitMix (Dennerle)). If this is not the case, any nutritious soil will do, although the chariot grows on sandy soil.

Then a little water is poured into such an "artificial" reservoir so that the substrate acquires a viscous (swamp) consistency. Then the seeds of the water-lover are placed in it and heated in such a way that the soil completely covers them. Careful watering is carried out, but so that the seeds do not float. Such crops germinate quickly and already when the heat indicators approach the zero mark, and the ice comes off the reservoirs, it is possible to plant the shitnyaga seedlings in the ground.

Difficulties in growing a swamp plant

Photos of the swamp
Photos of the swamp

If such bushes are planted in strong shade and they do not have enough sunlight, then, as a result, a gradual stop of growth will occur and the bushes of the water lover will begin to degenerate.

Overgrown algae or rot becomes a problem when caring for a swamp plant. This usually happens when there is an excess of fertilizers in the reservoir or its crumbling and pollution.

Flower growers on a note about the swamp, photo

Flowering marsh
Flowering marsh

Not all varieties of water lover are applicable for landscape design (for example, they can be used to plant ponds and streams in a backyard or decorate aquariums), many of the marshes are planted on the banks of waterways to strengthen the coastal zone or give it a natural shape.

However, in some areas, there are sitnyags, which, growing, become weeds and, for example, interfere with rice crops. The most common species for aquarium cultivation is the needle moth (Eleocharis acicularis), because, by creating thickets, this plant will help small fish or fry to hide, works as a water filter, cleaning the environment and can saturate it with oxygen.

Since the rhizome of the shitnyaga is tuberous and fleshy (for example, in Sweet Marsh (Eleocharis dulcis)), it is actively cultivated in China. In the same place, the plant is called "Chinese water nut". The thickets of the water lover are used as feed for cattle. And since the plant requires fairly clean water, when grown in reservoirs, it is used as an indicator of the state of the aquatic environment.

Types of swamp

Hanging marsh (Eleocharis cernuus) is distinguished by branches of a light green color, which do not exceed 20 cm in length. The tops of the shoots are decorated with rather miniature brown inflorescences. When the shoots are young, they grow almost vertically upward, but over time they begin to hang down in an arc. When growing this species, pots are used as an ampelous room culture.

In the photo swamp marsh
In the photo swamp marsh

Marsh marsh (Eleocharis palustris) is the most popular variety. Shoots are dark green in color. Thick stems can range in length from 10-50 cm.

In the photo, the needle swamp
In the photo, the needle swamp

Needle marsh (Eleocharis acicularis). The stems of such plants in height can reach only 15 cm. They are distinguished by their subtlety, tenderness and resemble light green strings. If the form grows immersed in the aquatic environment, then it is usually devoid of flowering. It is used for decoration among aquarists. This and the previous species is usually found on the territory of Russia. He considers the temperate climate of the regions of America, Europe, Asia, and also Australia to be his native lands.

Single-scale mire (Eleocharis uniglumis (Link) Schult)). A perennial herb that is characteristic of northern latitudes. Prefers to grow in moist soil. This species differs in very refined outlines of the stem. Its width does not exceed 1.5 mm. The stems reach up to 60 cm in height.

Papillary marsh (Eleocharis acicularis). This perennial plant is widespread in Europe, including all lands of Russia, except for its Arctic regions. It prefers to settle along the banks of reservoirs and meadows with damp and swampy soils, can grow in ditches, is a frequent visitor and in water bodies. Stems reach 10–50 cm in height. They grow close or spaced, their thickness is 0, 3–1, 7 mm. The color of the stems is green or bluish-green. The surface is smooth, usually with a pair of scaly leaves. The rhizome is distinguished by creeping outlines, it usually grows in a horizontal plane.

During all summer months, flowering occurs, during which a spike-shaped multi-flowered inflorescence is formed, which is distinguished by an elongated ovoid or almost cylindrical shape. The apex of the spikelet is pointed, its length is 2.5–16 mm and the width is up to 1–3 mm. Pericolor setae can grow 4–5 pieces or they are completely absent. Fruit length 1, 1–1, 6 mm. Its outlines are obovate, the surface is covered with small specks. Fruiting occurs from mid-summer to September.

In the photo, sweet marsh
In the photo, sweet marsh

Sweet marsh (Eleocharis dulcis). In Asia, a widespread species in culture due to edible tubers, colored in brown color. They resemble nuts. From each nodule originate elongated tubular stems that resemble leaves, as well as numerous thin rhizomes growing horizontally. The height of the plant can be 1 m.

In the photo, the little sitnyag
In the photo, the little sitnyag

Tiny red hermit (Eleocharis parvula) grows in the North American and Cuban swamps. The shape of the stems is needle-like, they themselves are tough, the color is light green. Their height reaches 15 cm, but occasionally, if the aquarium conditions allowed, the plant with stems could grow up to 25 cm in length. The soil is suitable for sandy, silty, clayey or pebble.

Video about the swamp plant:

Photos of the swamp:

Swamp Photos 1
Swamp Photos 1

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