Outdoor Growout Box! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Outdoor Growout Box!

I'm attempting the most inexpensive way to grow out my clippings. I'm just going to use a plastic box, a mixture of my garden's dirt/topsoil, and the sun.

I figure the topsoil has a good amount of N,P,K to fuel the plants for quite some time. The rain water will provide small amounts of whatever minerals it comes in contact with on the way down (Ca, Zn, Mg, Mn, Fe, etc). I even think rainwater is slightly acidic( < 7.0) which my plants will like. It rains here in Miami almost everyday.

Hopefully simple convection will move nutrients around, and since it never gets too cold here I won't have to worry about heating.

I got this idea from these videos....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j88Ka...ure=grec_index
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkMcyHLxYQc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzkYIcWGUoA

Dirt from the garden


I put this in the shade


Amazon Sword, Ambulia, rotala wallichi. First plants to try this out on.




I also threw some Anacharis and Wisteria in the mix. I'll update in a few weeks to show how things are going.

Any help or ideas would be awesome.

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Last edited by BlueJack; 09-08-2011 at 03:09 AM.
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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 02:16 AM
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Very interested in seeing how this turns out. I have a good bit of peat, some potting soil, and spare pots. I may have to try this too. I imagine you can expect some significant die off since a lot of aquatic plants don't have such thick cell walls to prevent water loss. Am i way off mark?
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bpb View Post
Very interested in seeing how this turns out. I have a good bit of peat, some potting soil, and spare pots. I may have to try this too. I imagine you can expect some significant die off since a lot of aquatic plants don't have such thick cell walls to prevent water loss. Am i way off mark?
I filled it with water, just didn't post the pic.

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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 04:27 AM
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So you have plastic bins with water and plants?
Read 1 whom did that had to make a wooden box around the plastic boxes for with the water the plastic bowed.
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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 11:55 AM
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Read 1 whom did that had to make a wooden box around the plastic boxes for with the water the plastic bowed.
I would be that "1". I had to do frame the small thin walled storage type box....NOT a big storage tub.

Storage tubs have various thickness and different kinds of re-enforcement molding. I have some larger tubs that would be fine without framing. A great way to re-enforce a larger tub is to "nest" on inside the other.

Also, you don't need 10" of water above a plant in an outdoor tub, it will get plenty of light with just a few inches above it. The water level will also affect how the plant will grow.
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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks...I didn't see any bowing in the container yet. Maybe it'll happen after a few months from being exposed to the daily temperature fluctuations.

How deep was the water you kept them in? I know once a plant breaches the surface it has non-limiting CO2. Isn't that only for sturdy plants? Do ambulia, rotala wallichi and anacharis breach? Or just spread all over the surface?

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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 02:21 PM
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I'm sure the UV rays from the Sun will work on it a bit. Bowing will more be from how much water you put in the tub. Really, it's only an issue if you need to move the tub from place to place to take advantage of the Sun. Which is something I needed to do.

The less we disturb the root systems the better.
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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 12:32 AM
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I'm sure the UV rays from the Sun will work on it a bit.

Just spread some SPF 30 sun screen on the tub, and no more worries.
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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Things seem to growing well. Not as good as in my CO2, EI Dosing tanks, but not too bad either.




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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 11:35 PM
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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 12:25 AM
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You may want to put some small fish in there to eat mosquito wigglers.
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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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You may want to put some small fish in there to eat mosquito wigglers.
I was thinking about that. There are already some waterbugs in there, and at night it's the new hang out spot for a bunch of tree frogs. Do you think those guys eat mosquito larvae??

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Last edited by BlueJack; 09-28-2011 at 08:04 AM.
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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 02:23 AM
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Go "save" a HMPK Betta (they call them "dragons") from PetCo or PetSmart. A pair of gouramis would work too, might even spawn.
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 02:27 AM
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You could just get some rosy red minnows from petsmart. They are 13 cents I believe.
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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 04:02 AM
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What a great idea! I wonder if this would work in Northern CA?
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