Best substrate to grow HC, UG & Belem emersed? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Question Best substrate to grow HC, UG & Belem emersed?

Hi. So by bf and I want to start a emersed plant farm
We are currently growing HC, E. Belem, M. Minuta, & Glosso in our 12G long tank right now with very decent growth rate using Fluval Shrimp Stratum at the top layer and Eco-complete at the bottom layer with Osmocote Plus tabs.

We want to start growing HC, UG, E. Belem, M. Minuta and Glosso emersed in 1 sq.ft. individual Tupperware boxes, but it is hard for us to decide which is the most cost effective substrate to use. We found that top soil and other gardening potting soils have the potential to rot the plants, produce fungus, odors, weird insects, etc.

Its seems like ADA AS II gets used a lot for emersed, but for 5 sq.ft. of it in 2" thick layers is a lot of AS. They aren't really cheap here in San Diego.

Any suggestions to "just as good" alternatives that can be put in any tank without washing the substrate, etc.? (i.e. shrimp and fish safe substrate).

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 02:05 AM
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Earthworm castings or clay balls (used in terraniums) are good for emersed growth and cheaper. Just need to crush them finer. Check out substrate options in any hydroponics store. Usually they are cheaper but probably cannot be used in tanks with fish and shrimps.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 03:28 AM
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Ovens will kill off bacteria, insects and crap. Why not cook that top soil before using it?

Use plant stratum, 17.7 pound bags are about $33 each. Only difference between shrimp and plant stratum is the size of the balls.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Gordon. I will have to see what my LFS sells them for, the plant stratum. Will the oven get rid of the smell too?

PS: We are planning to grow these under our study tables in our bedroom so if any substrate that is potentially harmful if exposed to for a prolonged period of time (inhaling it), please warn us!

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 07:02 AM
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I think you'll have lots of fun with emerged hc and ug. I also really like plant stratum.
But Gordon, where did you find 33$ for 17.7lbs???
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jkan0228 View Post
I think you'll have lots of fun with emerged hc and ug. I also really like plant stratum.
But Gordon, where did you find 33$ for 17.7lbs???
That's the standard price for like 8 kilos.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2011, 11:42 PM
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I saw big als for 37$ for 17.6 kg but they're outta stock.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Have anyone tried cooking their topsoil before usage here?

If so does the smell go away and be ok to grow plants emersed in the bedroom then?

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 06:11 AM
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I have to find the website.

I got three bags for under $100.00, shipping was about $20.00 though, for me it seemed like a good deal for that much substrate. I still have two bags :^)

Setting up another rack this week and I'm putting it to good use!

Cook it. Smell goes away. Will be fine, the only bacteria you'll introduce will be ones on your hands/plants and in water. Cleaner environment, though still not sterile.

If you start seeing fungus/black mold or bugs watch out, you didn't cook it long enough!

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 09:47 AM
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 05:19 AM Thread Starter
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Is that the link for how to prepare the emersed with topsoil or just to buy the cheap stratum?

Anyone use any coco-peat moss under the substrates?

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 03:00 AM
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 04:43 AM
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That is a good website! That price is decent!

Nice find!

-Gordon
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 04:57 AM
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Miracle grow organic is like 4$ and will fill several emersed setups... I have great growth with glosso and HC.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Miracle grow organic is like 4$ and will fill several emersed setups... I have great growth with glosso and HC.
Oh wow! Very good to know. They have many varieties I think, is it anything else in particular other than just MG Organic? I assume you still have to really wash w/e plant you used to grow in it thoroughly prior to putting it in an established tank huh?

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ada aquasoil, aquasoil, dry start method, emersed growth

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