Emersed Setup! Kind of a How to as well :)
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:52 AM   #1
drewsuf82
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Emersed Setup! Kind of a How to as well :)


Hey everyone!

I've seen a lot of threads on other sites re: emersed setups and decided that with the going out of my moss setup (please see that thread as to why) that I would try and setup a low tech emersed setup! Wish me luck!!!

Things you'll need!
  • Scissors
  • Clear Plastic large bin
  • Shoebox size bins
  • Topsoil
  • Light Timer
  • Humidity Meter
  • Water
  • Lights
  • Some time
First of all you need some space The space from my bookcase/moss grow out setup will work perfectly



Then you'll need yourself a handy dandy clear plastic bin ($16.77 @ Walmart)



A Humidity reader is a good idea ($5.97 @ Petco, I could have gotten cheaper on ebay, but I'm impatient today....)



Next take your drill and drill you some holes into the plastic shoeboxes (be sure to save the lids you'll see why soon) Also use a pair of nail clippers to clip the plastic leftovers from the drilling if that sort of thing bothers you.....



Next clean out your bin, no pictures needed here....Dry the inside and then attach the humidity sensor to the inside like so....



I then took the lids that came with the shoe boxes and cut them to act as free dividers for multiple species (plus they're free since they came with the box!)



Fill up the dirt



Get your hands dirty and have fun



Add water, I've added about 4 gallons here, also add your dividers



Next add your lid and your lights (I had these laying around, I'm planning on adding a few more possibly, IDK yet)



Humidity showing about 95% about 2 hours after letting the lights run and closing the top, checking everything tonight, plan on adding a few plants tomorrow!



Thanks for dropping by, I'll prob add some more dirt tomorrow to make it further above the water line.

I've got plants that are ready to go in and I'll hopefully be adding some DHG as well as some baby tears to try this out!

Any suggestions yall are more than welcome to post them in the replies!

Subscribe for updates!!!!!
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:55 AM   #2
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Whoa! Very cool and surprisingly cheap. Be sure to post updates as the plants get started.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:09 AM   #3
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Whoa! Very cool and surprisingly cheap. Be sure to post updates as the plants get started.
Yea I've got some stuff waiting to go in and some other stuff that I want to add just to try Pretty excited!

Anyway for those of you number crunchers:

Large Bin ($16)
Shoebox Bins ($4)
Lights (Plant lights from walmart hardware dept) $28
Dirt ($3)
Humidity guage ($6)
Light timer ($10)
Total ($67) roughly give or take a few bucks with sales tax.....

I had the shoebox bins, lights, timer and dirt on hand so for about $20 I said why not.....

The other half looked at me tonight while I was doing all of this and said that I was insane....I said hey I wanna try something new
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:33 PM   #4
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Been looking at doing this myself. Thanks so much for the information and sharing it with everyone.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:16 PM   #5
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Been looking at doing this myself. Thanks so much for the information and sharing it with everyone.
No problem I've been all over multiple forums and how to sites for information, was glad to find several informative threads. Ran the lights about 10 hours overnight and they turned off at 7 am so i cold check the 12 hour light cycle. 3 hours after lights out and it's maintaining about 93% I'm thinking about adding a digital thermometer to it but it feels cool to the touch so thats my only concern atm.

Well and getting some plants in there
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:02 PM   #6
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So everything seemed stable, I've worked plants into 3 out of the 4 bins now.

Humidity was at about 92% when the photo period started, I added a bit of dirt to the bins to take care of the settling and then reduced the water just a hair, I'll be watching the dirt over the next few days to see if I should add a bit of water back or not, currently the water is approx. 1.5-2" under the surface of the soil.

Found some decent looking HC at the LFS (was very surprised to see that) bought a planter worth and got it in there. Here's hoping it takes off



Also found some pigmy chain sword, I've wanted to try these guys in the past but have had no room in any of my tanks, so I said why not and decided to go to town with the planter, here's hoping I get some runners Also decided to try some rotala macrandra japan red in this bin as well.



Some Moneywort and some CW Green, they're small but who knows, if these guys don't work out I'll transplant a bit from my bigger tank, or if they work out maybe I'll transplant some red or bronze over from one of my submerged tanks into the empty bin



Full bin shot as of about 20 minutes ago. I may open up to mist the plants down in a few days but that will be it, going to try to run this guy sealed for 72 hours and then open for gas exchange and mist and then close.



Comments and suggestions are always welcomed Thanks for dropping by, be sure to subscribe since this will be quite easy for me to update versus a lot of my tank journals.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:42 PM   #7
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Subscribed to thread
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:19 AM   #8
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Here's my set up. HC and anubias nana exploded. Cannot seem to get my chain sword to grow...must be the compacted dirt. Cover mine in plastic wrap and water them occasionally.

Metal rack (home depot) $30
Shoe boxes (walmart) $6
Grow lights (online home depot only) $40
Organic potting soil $10

Only a few changes I would make to my setup...Would have liked drainage like the OP has. And to use less dense substrate for plants with below ground runners.


Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-21-2014 at 07:43 AM.. Reason: Fixed image
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:25 PM   #9
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Here's my set up. HC and anubias nana exploded. Cannot seem to get my chain sword to grow...must be the compacted dirt. Cover mine in plastic wrap and water them occasionally.

Metal rack (home depot) $30
Shoe boxes (walmart) $6
Grow lights (online home depot only) $40
Organic potting soil $10

Only a few changes I would make to my setup...Would have liked drainage like the OP has. And to use less dense substrate for plants with below ground runners.


Very cool setup are you covering the bins on the bottom shelves?

Bump: So I figured that it was time for an update So it's been about three weeks since I got this up and running, and I'm noticing some growth and some plants are yellowing (maybe losing submerged leaves?)

Anyway here we go

The Dwarf Baby Tears seem to be doing well, I've seen a bit of expansion so far



Got some yellowing on the PCS but seem to be having a bit of success and growth with the Jap Red



Crypts seem to be doing alright and the B. Monnieri seems to be doing good, stems are now standing on their own and appear to have some growth going on, another few inches and I'll trim and replant



And here's a view from the top, I opened it today just long enough to take pictures, mist and allow for gas exchange (as I've been doing once a week on Sunday since I got this going)



Thanks for dropping by and if you have any comments or suggestions please feel more than free to leave them!
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:14 AM   #10
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So it's been about a month, and I thought I'd share some updates.

Growth seems a bit slow, but I have a new light on the way so that should be taking care of that problem

I've been opening it up about once a week to allow for gas exchange and to mist the plants so they don't dry out when I do that.

Humidity has been maintaining approx. 85% and the plants have been losing some of the submerged leaves in exchange for emersed. Anyway here ya go and as always feel free to leave a comment or suggestion in the replies









Thanks again for dropping by!!
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:50 PM   #11
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Hey everyone! Wow my last update was way back in November. Looking at the pictures from then to now what a difference a few months make!

I haven't really been able to maintain this the way that I would like, however it's been chugging along quite well. I have managed to open it at least once a week for 10-15 minutes to allow for air/co2 exchange and to remist the plants, but I haven't really taken any photos until I got in today.

Today I trimmed the plants and replanted many of the stems that I trimmed. Everyone seems happy and healthy which makes me happy.

So I guess I'll get on with some pictures.

Dwarf Baby Tears are spreading nicely, I trimmed and replanted a few to try to get it to fill in a bit more, and started seeding another bin with it.



The crypts and B monnieri are doing well, I trimmed and replanted them, the crypts are spreading a bit.



The PCS are doing ok, but I'm not happy really with their development. The Rot Mac Jap red is doing well. Not growing as fast as the other stems but it's doing good.



Here's the overall view.



This has been a fun project! Please feel free to comment or sub to this thread, I'll try to get an update in once a month, now that I'm starting to feel a little bit better.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:58 PM   #12
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Great project! Subscribed.

Bump: What lights are you using?
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:05 PM   #13
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Great project! Subscribed.

Bump: What lights are you using?
Thanks for the sub I appreciate it!

I'm currently still using the two lights that I bought forever ago at Walmart. They're back in the hardware dept they'll specifically say plant bulbs, I took the light diffusers off though to allow as much light as possible.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:22 PM   #14
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Thanks for the sub I appreciate it!

I'm currently still using the two lights that I bought forever ago at Walmart. They're back in the hardware dept they'll specifically say plant bulbs, I took the light diffusers off though to allow as much light as possible.
Thank you for the info! Im also curious how long your light cycle is and what you are shooting for in regards to humidity?
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:16 PM   #15
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Thank you for the info! Im also curious how long your light cycle is and what you are shooting for in regards to humidity?
Lights are on 12 hours then off 12 hours. You don't really need to worry about the intensity of the light or the light duration as much with this setup because there's really no water submersion for the plants to grow algae on. The goal is to have the water level up high enough in the big bin to keep the soil moist but not saturated and soupy. The first few days I had to adjust the water level down a few times to make that happen.

As for humidity, my gauge typically reads between 85-90, after i remove the top and mist it will drop to 75 or so but within a few hours of the lights on, it returns to that 85-90.
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