In the past I'd seen some dead bugs floating in the water of one of my large germination containers but figured "Oh, that fly drowned, it would've made a good meal for somebody..." and didn't think much of it. Then yesterday there was a group of these bug-bodies that had collected together that was the size of a silver dollar floating on top of the water!!! That was simply too much of "something" to not figure out what it was so I started digging and found...FUNGUS GNAT!!!
Right now all that I have in that container are a few flava OP, one Alabamensis x Alabamensis, a fair pot of S. Rosea, and the pot of wide-leaf capensis. The rosea seedlings are doing the best...had great germination and have only lost a few of them and they are getting a little size on them now.
The flava OP seemed to start out strong, but they appear to be declining a bit now. The wide-leaf capensis germinated great but the tiny plants seem to be declining rapidly now, too. The Alabamensis x Alabamensis and a very sparse germination with maybe three of the seeds germinating...one seedling never made it to real-leaf stage. Then, after the last two plants grew a couple of real leaves one of them shriveled up and died. That leaves only one weak-looking Alabamensis.
I've kept the humidity up on these but with the cover cracked an inch or more and most of the time a small fan moving air in the area. Water levels have been roughly 35-40% of the pots' depth (1"-<2"). Temperatures have been mostly good with a few spikes into the mid-to-upper 80's and lows down into the lower 60's...but only on isolated occasions. Lights has been running 16 hours...DLI reads around 23-24 on my phone app.
I haven't seen any worms, but I haven't dug for them. I think the sight of these gnats, though, are most likely telling me I've got an infestation that is greatly affecting these seedlings and that I need to take care of them. I water out of gallon milk jugs...easy to transport, etc.,. I may pour over into a smaller container for watering plants on the shelves. I've got some mosquito dunks and will be putting pieces of these in my jugs in the hopes of wiping the larvae out. The mature sundews apparently have been enjoying them but I'm pretty well convinced the larvae are damaging the seedlings. I've got one loan pot of five or six Filiformis Florida Red White Flowers seedlings that has somehow dodged the "stunt" and seem to be growing ok...they are far away from the germination container the gnats were found it and actually spent time outdoors last summer/fall. How big do seedlings need to get before they can "handle" having fungus gnat larvae in their growing medium?