Houston Plant Fest 2009- Part 1

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Houston Plant Fest 2009 kicked off on Thursday April 9th with a get together at Houston Aquarium Warehouse. Planted tank enthusiasts and friends from all over United States had flown to this event hosted by Nature Aquarium Society of Houston (NASH). Daniel Villasenor owner of Houston Aquarium Warehouse is a reputed discus seller and stocks a lot of “hard – to-find” fish perfect for planted tanks.

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The Red Leopard Snakeskin Discus that Daniel had in stock were some of the best I have seen. After some drinks, snacks and catching up on old friends and new  I had to head out with Thanh to pick up the vans for our next days trip to San Marcos.

houstonpffinal42-1 Checking out crystal clear water at Aquarena Springs

houstonpffinal43-1 John looks pretty excited.

The drive to San Marcos started early. When I arrived at the meeting point with the van along with Thanh every one was already there, geared up with their collection equipments and cameras for a fun filled day ahead. There were 22 people in the group who made the trip. The drive was interesting as we spent a lot of time discussing our planted tanks.  We reached Aquarena Springs around 9 am. The day was looking great for our collection trip. After gazing at the beautiful underwater scenery at the Aquarena Springs reservoir through its crystal clear water the group was ready to head downstream to collect some plants.

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Drinda ready to collect some plants.

houstonpffinal46-1 Dave trying to grab some Fissiden fontanus.

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Collected Fissiden fontanus

The first stop down stream was a great spot just off the road. The group collected a lot of Riccia fluitans and Hydrocotyle verticillata at this spot. Heading further down from there we spotted Fissiden fontanus growing along the embankment. This was the first time we had spotted F.fontanus at this location.

houstonpffinal14-1The group headed further down the river where we spotted a lot of  Hygrophila polysperma , Potamogeton illinoensis, Ceratopteris thalictroides and Ecihhornia crassipes. It was really disheartening to see the river choked with these introduced species.

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Hydrilla verticillata clogging the river.

From here we proceeded to our next location to find the elusive Cryptocoryne beckettii. This is another non-native species which is gradually spreading in this river system. The group followed a trail along the river trying to spot some crypts. Along the  river banks we spotted Nuphar lutea, Ludwigia repens, Pistia stratiotes and more H.verticillata. We were not lucky enough to spot the Cryptocoryne but we spotted a school of large Koi cruising peacefully in a secluded section of the river.

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H.verticillata was growing everywhere.

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At around 3pm we headed back to Houston. Fish Gallery one of the premium aquarium store in Houston was hosting a small cocktail party in the evening.  At Fish Gallery we got a chance to relax and chat about our hobby with other fellow hobbyist. I grabbed this opportunity to snap some pictures of their beautiful livestock.

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Pterois volitans

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Ginglymostoma brevicaudatum

The day ended on a high note with all of us eagerly looking forward to the presentation from Mike Senske the next morning at the ADG Gallery.

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4 Responses to “Houston Plant Fest 2009- Part 1”

  1. Wow -what a great trip.

  2. Well done Bushan !

    Nice blog and good content. Keep up the good work !

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