Twin Rare Crypt/Buce/Erios Emersed tanks
I started this setup using two extra 20 gallon long tanks and some old tupperware containers. It was a simple Zapin style setup; emersed tubs of substrate sitting in water. The substrate was a mixture of topsoil, Earthworm Castings, rinsed peat moss, and sand. I used waste water from my 180 gallon, EI dosed planted tank.
The setup worked very well at first. I experimented with different plants that didn't grow well in the main tank or stuff that was dug up by the cichlids. The growth was very impressive; nearly every plant tried converted from submersed to emersed culture without a problem. After several months of very positive results, I began to get some really funky green algae growth in the water. The algae took over a few Tupperware containers, and wiped out a few crypts and some stemmed plants. The soil smelled anerobic, which prompted me to increase water movement in the tank.
I added a Marineland Maxi-Jet Pro 400 and an Eheim Jager 50W heater to each tank. I switched from tupperware containers to terra cota pots and elevated the pots with egg crate. This has worked very well and all algae issues have failed to return.
Here are some of the crypts, Erios, Buces, and others I keep; most of these plants were either planted within the past 2 months or repotted from existing plants. Most of the plants have just established good roots and are sending up new growth.