Okay I'm finally getting around to doing an emersed growout setup! The main goal of this setup is to finally start growing my own plants to use for aquascaping purposes, because of problems and frustrations associated with quality and size of plants when purchased from retailers (and, truth be told, from other hobbyists). By growing my plants out in stonewool-stuffed netcups, I have an opportunity to achieve the size and density I am looking for in each of my plants before actually aquascaping with them.
I am well aware of the fact that some plants will end up making the transition from emersed to submerged a lot easier than others, but the beautiful part of this project is it affords me the opportunity to learn which plants work and which don't. As we all know, some plants (HC comes to mind) make the transition flawlessly, while other plants (crypts come to mind) start to melt when you look at them wrong.
So, what I plan on doing is setting up a few mini-greenhouses that I will procure from a local hydroponic store. Here is what they look like:
I will then take my stonewool plugs:
And put them inside of the netcups:
Then they will be submerged in aerated water almost up to the top of the stonewool, and sealed up in the dome. Regular misting will be applied, of course, and the standing water will be changed once or twice a week. For lighting, at least until further notice, I will be using 4 bulbs of an 8x54w T5HO fixture that I really need to find a use for, since I can't sell it:
Hopefully I will never run out of plants ever again this way, but that's a lofty goal! We'll see. I begin this project this weekend. I will be starting off by attempting to propagate my UG this way. Does anyone have any comments, criticisms, or words of encouragement?