plants going from submerged to emersed?
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:04 AM   #1
pandamonium
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plants going from submerged to emersed?


Hey everyone,

I have heard of people growing their plants emersed and then slowly converting to submerged. Is it possible to do this the other way around? I want to set up a emersed tank at school to grow plants and was thinking about bringing some of my plants to school with me to do that from my tank here at home. They are submerged here. Is this possible?

And with emersed plants, is growth difficult or hard to maintain?
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:36 AM   #2
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absolutely possible i do it all the time with my hc and glosso just keep in mind that it will take a few days to adapt to the new growing environment. i use a seed tray with a plastic lid it helps keep the humidity high. good luck

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Old 08-15-2012, 02:49 AM   #3
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Hi pandamonium,

Yes, many (but not all) plants that are growing submerged can be converted to emersed growth. Here is an excellent database of plant species that indicates if they can be grown emersed or not. The trick is to maintain very high humidity so when the plant is removed from the tank it doesn't go into shock from excessive water loss from transpiration. Plant leaves have a cuticle layer which helps them regulate their transpiration. When plants are growing in the water the cuticle layer of the leaf is very thin because there is no need for to regulate transpiration. When that same plant is growing emersed the leaf needs a thicker cuticle to regulate water loss. The lower the humidity of the environment the thicker the cuticle needs to be or the plant goes into shock and dies.

I am able to move plants fairly easily from submerged to emersed and back to submerged. The trick is to keep the cuticle layer thin by growing the emersed plants in a high humidity environment. Here is a thread about how I maintain several species growing emersed.

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Old 08-15-2012, 03:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinyron View Post
absolutely possible i do it all the time with my hc and glosso just keep in mind that it will take a few days to adapt to the new growing environment. i use a seed tray with a plastic lid it helps keep the humidity high. good luck

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Ok in that "adaptation" time, will the plant melt? Or will the growth just stop for a bit. What I plan to do is trim some plants out of my tank here and then ship them up to school, then grow it emersed. I was thinking about using those dorm room storage rollers, about 4 feet by 2 feet footprint and about 5-8 inches deep. Either that or my storage tubs at school, emptied of course. Floaters I can probably leave at home they will grow very well on their own. What is a seed tray? Sorry might be a stupid question ><

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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi pandamonium,

Yes, many (but not all) plants that are growing submerged can be converted to emersed growth. Here is an excellent database of plant species that indicates if they can be grown emersed or not. The trick is to maintain very high humidity so when the plant is removed from the tank it doesn't go into shock from excessive water loss from transpiration. Plant leaves have a cuticle layer which helps them regulate their transpiration. When plants are growing in the water the cuticle layer of the leaf is very thin because there is no need for to regulate transpiration. When that same plant is growing emersed the leaf needs a thicker cuticle to regulate water loss. The lower the humidity of the environment the thicker the cuticle needs to be or the plant goes into shock and dies.

I am able to move plants fairly easily from submerged to emersed and back to submerged. The trick is to keep the cuticle layer thin by growing the emersed plants in a high humidity environment. Here is a thread about how I maintain several species growing emersed.

Ok so as long as I maintain near 100% humidity, then I should be ok? Like I wrote in the quote above, I want to do this in tubs or in flat bins. I read your APC article and looked at the MGO potting soil you were using. I have looked at it before and people recommended topping it with sand or cat litter. Is this vital to plant growth success? And with fertilizers, do you dose as you would terrestrial plants? or do you have to put it under the soil? And regarding water in the soil, how wet should the soil be? I know it shouldn't be soaked but I know it should be quite moist.

The reason I asked is because looking at some aquatic stem plants, it doesn't seem like they have strong enough stems to grow emersed. I'll check out that list and see what I have that can make the transition Hopefully this will work.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:19 AM   #5
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Hi pandamonium,

I have not had a plant, not even crypts, 'melt' going from submerged to emersed when I move them into the humidomes. Over a period of time I open the top little by little and adjust the plants to lower humidity levels.

I don't use MGO, I use regular Miracle Grow Potting Mix and here is the info on ferts, you must have missed it. I top the Miracle Grow Potting Mix with kitty litter to help keep fungus from forming on the surface of the potting mix and make it easy to spot BGA if it starts to form.

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Currently I use Scotts Miracle Grow Potting Mix (not 'moisture control') covered by 1/4" of montmorillonite clay or cheap non-clumping/no fragrance kitty litter to keep fungus from growing on the potting mix and make it easier to spot a BGA early. The fertilizer in the potting mix lasts for about 3 months. I augment the fertilizer in the substrate with Miracle-GroŽ Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food which I use at 1/2 strength every couple of weeks when I water."
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:40 AM   #6
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will be stealing that peptent idea that is so ingenious thanks for the great info
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi pandamonium,

I have not had a plant, not even crypts, 'melt' going from submerged to emersed when I move them into the humidomes. Over a period of time I open the top little by little and adjust the plants to lower humidity levels.

I don't use MGO, I use regular Miracle Grow Potting Mix and here is the info on ferts, you must have missed it. I top the Miracle Grow Potting Mix with kitty litter to help keep fungus from forming on the surface of the potting mix and make it easy to spot BGA if it starts to form.
Ok I was told elsewhere to use MGO which is why I ask. Do I need to prepare the soil in anyway? Like mineralize it? Or is that all taken care of? And also, how is the smell? My townhouse-mates are concerned about if it will attract bugs or smell bad.

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will be stealing that peptent idea that is so ingenious thanks for the great info
Agreed haha. You better start drinking lots of soda cookymonster!
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #8
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Hi pandamonium,

No, I just use the Miracle Grow Potting Mix straight from the bag. No smell unless BGA starts to form; the peptents keep the moist earthy smell to a minimum.

Keep in mind that the system I use is not for trying to grow large quantities of plants to sell; I am trying to keep several species available for aquascaping purposes and if a GSAS member needs a 'starter portion' for their tanks.



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Old 08-15-2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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Whats the plant in the second picture on the bottom?
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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Hi Jegli09,

That would be Eriocaulon parkeri growing emersed and in bloom.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:46 PM   #11
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Is Eriocaulon Parkeri usually grown submerged?
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:19 PM   #12
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Hi InterestingFish,

It can be grown either way; it looks really good as a small grouping in an aquascape with the unique leaf shape and lighter green color.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:51 PM   #13
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Thanks Seattle. I will have to look for that potting soil. Is it this one? http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1#.UCwnf92PWTU
I don't plan to use the peptents as you did, more planning on placing it in a large storage bin with a 48 inch shoplight above it.
How many hours of light do you give these plants normally? And I plan to cover the bin with saran wrap to keep the moisture and humidity high. Will I ever need to monitor that?
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:10 AM   #14
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Hi pandamonium,

Yes, that is the potting mix that I use. My lights are on a timer, they come on about 6:00am and off at 10:30pm. I don't monitor my humidity, the bottom inch or so of the pots in the Peptents are in water and they are enclosed so the humidity is always high.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:26 PM   #15
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Have you ever tried to grow the plants in the peptents using natural sunlight ?
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