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Old 06-16-2007, 10:12 PM   #1
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Growing Hemianthus emersed


I would like to grow hemianthus emersed using natural sunlight. Is this possible? Can anyone point me in the direction of a guide for this sort of thing?
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Old 06-16-2007, 10:28 PM   #2
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which the HC or the HM?
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:50 PM   #3
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HM. I've seen pictures of both being grown emersed, so I know it can be done, but I've never grown anything emersed before, so I'd like to research it first.
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:54 AM   #4
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bump...I need help soon because I just got the HM in the mail. I'm thinking like super lowtech/lazy...we're talking tupperware with saranwrap type thing going on...
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:14 PM   #5
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I'm growing some plants emersed right now, but I really don't like the setup so I wasn't going to post pictures until I redo it. But what the heck, it might give you some good ideas -







The trough is filled with Soilmaster, and there is plastic craft mesh hot-glued on the inside over the holes. I had to remove half my glass canopy to get this to fit on the back. The soilmaster soaks up enough water so that it isn't really necessary to have a pump and hose up into the trough (even when the water gets low), so on my next design I'm just going to take that part out. I also don't really like the rails holding it up and I'm sure I can find something less invasive. One thing I did as an afterthought is put moss between the mesh and the soilmaster so it is growing out of that into the tank, and that looks rather nice. I think I'll do that all the way around next time.
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:54 PM   #6
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Jen, that is so cool! Can I ask you...what about ferts? Do they just get it from the water? I mean, you can't use any type of fert tabs in the trough I would think, correct?

All you diy-ers out there are so creative. I want to try this next year with my outdoor plants rather than spend so much money on my annuals. Where did you get that trough, Jen? Michaels or some place like that? I love it!
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:01 PM   #7
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Hey Lori - I got the trough at Menards I think, it was just back with the other storage bins and totes and stuff.

As far as ferts, the water column gets a decent amount, so my guess is that the plants will too. I expect to see roots growing into the water column soon. Even beyond the stuff I mentioned, this design could REALLY use some tweaking. It's a cool concept, just not quite there yet, ya know?
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:21 PM   #8
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Hey Jen, you seem to know a good deal about H.M. Can I float this plant? If not, how exactly do I plant this? I got my package of it in the mail yesterday, and I just put eco complete in a tray and tried to plant it with tweezers. Didn't work too well, it's hard to distinguish the roots from the stems. How would you recommend it? As of right now, some of it is floating. In emersed growth, you don't want any water about the substrate level, correct? Right now, I have about 2 inches of water above the substrate. I have read that this can cause algae and mold growth, but since I don't know what to do yet, I'm going to leave it like this until I know better. Should I drain off the water? Should I keep it covered? I plan on growing this using shaded sunlight, but it's raining today so I have it sitting under my 2 x 55W PC light for now.
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Can I float this plant?
Yes, it'll actually grow into a nice mat when you float it - but the stems take awhile to straighten out if you grow it floating for awhile and try to plant it. I had some floating for over 3 months in my 110.

Quote:
If not, how exactly do I plant this? I got my package of it in the mail yesterday, and I just put eco complete in a tray and tried to plant it with tweezers. Didn't work too well, it's hard to distinguish the roots from the stems. How would you recommend it?
Any stem that you stick down in the gravel will grow roots, so don't worry too much about telling them apart. Stick the stem in far enough that it'll stay put and you should be fine. I generally poke it into the substrate with my fingers and if any stems are much taller than the others, I pinch those off and stick the stem down into the substrate with the others. It'll grow roots fairly quickly.

Quote:
As of right now, some of it is floating. In emersed growth, you don't want any water about the substrate level, correct?
In my current setup, it goes from water JUST visible over the substrate when totally full to water 1-2" under the top of the substrate. It always stays wet though, Soilmaster sucks up water and holds onto it very well, so it is always moist. I think this is the kind of thing you're going for. Some of my plants, when I first put them up there from submerged growth, get very crispy looking (bacopas, hygros, HM, hydrocotyle), but once they settle in they throw off leaves that seem better adapted and start to grow very well. There are two forms of most aquatic plants, and it takes awhile to convert to the emersed form. Many people I've heard of start with water 2" above - like you are doing - and then let it evaporate until the plant is exposed. As long as it doesn't completely dry out crispy, it should start converting and sending out emersed leaves. Some will look a bit crispy though.

Quote:
Should I keep it covered? I plan on growing this using shaded sunlight, but it's raining today so I have it sitting under my 2 x 55W PC light for now.
I have heard this helps, but I don't think it is necessary. Just make sure things stay humid by misting and keeping the water topped off. I have my emersed plants under a spiral CF bulb (not sure the wattage, 33 I'm guessing) and they really like that. I have 65 watts over the main part of tank.
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:39 PM   #10
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Thanks Jen, do you think I need to fertilize? Sorry about all these questions, I just got all excited when I got the package!
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:42 PM   #11
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Giving the plants what they need (ferts) is never a bad idea

CO2 is the main one to worry about. With enough light and CO2, the HM really takes off. I've noticed it grows more nicely in my shallower tank where it gets brighter light than in my very tall tank.

Another thing to note - if you try to take HM from emersed to submerged, you'll have a mess on your hands. It'll adjust, but it'll lose a lot of leaves in the process, so be sure you have a net handy!
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:54 PM   #12
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Would you recommend I just float it then? I plan on planting it in about a month or so (I'm moving to a new apartment, so it wouldn't make sense to set up the tank right now). I'm just trying to get a good amount of HM since it will be most of the foreground on a 55 gallon. Most people recommend planting heavily when starting a tank, so I'm trying to do that without spending a fortune (which I will anyway ). Thanks for all your help!
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:01 PM   #13
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If you're trying to do it emersed because you heard it grows faster that way and you're trying to get more of it, I'd say that's not necessarily true. You'd be better off floating or planting it submerged than trying to grow it emersed over the course of just a month. Do you have space to plant it submerged somewhere? Your 10 gallon grow tank? Either way, send me a PM in a month or so and I'll give you a good handful of it already in submerged form to help get you started with the 55 foreground
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:16 PM   #14
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My concern with the 10 gallon is that I don't have a decent light for it, and it already has algae in it from some crappy watersprite plants I got for free (LFS was going to throw it out), but if I can grow it with sunlight, I would be fine with that. If I were to float it, could I float it in very shallow water (like...somewhere around 2 inches )? My only decent light fixture is the 2x55 PC. Should I start up the DIY CO2 or should I wait a while?
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:26 PM   #15
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The DIY CO2 will help you with your algae problems in the 10 gallon. Even for a month, it'd be worth it. The desklight might not be too bad, I'd stick with it! Check out my post in the other thread. I've only seen one *maybe* two setups that have worked with only natural sunlight - and there's no way you could do it year-round.

If your concern with the HM is just keeping it alive for a month, it'd be "Ok" just thrown in a bucket with some water in a sunny spot. You may see a bit of algae, but I doubt it'd die in that amount of time (though this obviously isn't the best solution). If I were you, I'd try to clean up your 10 gallon with some DIY CO2 and let it float in the 10 gallon, or even plant it if you have room.
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