Getting Plants Ready for Riparium - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2018, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Getting Plants Ready for Riparium

Hi all,

Got my plants to grow out of the back of my 10g today, a couple of polka dot plants and a "Bella" parlour palm. I was wondering if there's anything special I need to do to get them from the soil to a more hydroponic lifestyle? I imagine I'll want to rinse the roots pretty well to get most of the soil off before I plant them.

Does anyone worry about possible pesticide use on houseplants as well? I asked at the garden centre and they said they didn't know what, if anything, might've been used on them, so she recommended giving them a little bit of fresh water every day for at least 14 days before adding them to the tank to hopefully flush anything out of the system. I'm planning to rinse off the leaves as well, and then I'll run carbon in the filter for a few days after I first put them in, just to be extra cautious.

As far as planting material goes, I haven't totally decided yet - I'm tempted by crushed lava rock or small gravel, but I know plants generally root better into finer particles? Alternatively, what about those expanded clay spheres? I'm going to be getting a HOB breeder box to plant them in, so the livestock shouldn't have direct contact with the planter material, and I'm hoping it'll keep good flow around the roots.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 03:19 PM
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any luck with just using fine gravel with the plants? i'm thinking of starting a small soap dish planter in one of my planted tanks.

any idea if a bundle like this would work as riparium plants?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 05:35 PM
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I've never really been too concerned with pesticides or seen any negative effects so far. I usually just wash my plant roots well in tap water and then do a rinse with tank water or water treated with conditioner to get rid of any chlorine from the tap water. I will say it is easier to rinse the roots when the soil is dry. Also, if you aren't comfortable with the idea of chemicals you can prep the plant and just plant it in a jar of water and change out the water every few days to help get rid any chemical hitchhikers.

What breeder box are you planning on using? I'm using the large marina on my 20H and with a few mods it works really great. I changed up the airlift bit because it sputters and the noise drove me nuts. I tried using a submersible pump but it just kept getting clogged and needed to be cleaned fairly often.
Some of my other plants are planted in the aquarium in shower caddies. I have one pothos that has done amazing. Its roots have grown through the bottom of the caddy but my fish seem to leave it alone. None of my fish are real plant eaters though, so I don't worry too much about the plants getting destroyed.

I like the expanded clay, but the kind I got tends to be too buoyant so I topped it off with pebbles to keep the plants in place. You can also use small gravel or even just cut holes in foam, stick the plants through the foam out the bottom and put that in your planter, especially if you're using a hang on breeder box. I've also got bamboo cuttings just stuck into a planter with exposed roots and it seems to not mind. Most plant cuttings that I've propagated root much faster when I just stick them in my aquarium for a little bit before moving them to soil.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 06:10 PM
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I make planters out of plastic craft canvas and use a small block of filter foam with a hole cut in the middle . Push the plant stem through the foam and secure in planter box . Never have used any soil or substrate of any kind in planter boxes and plants do well .

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .

Last edited by Leeatl; 03-29-2019 at 12:12 AM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Hey! @glenCOCO I ended up using the expanded clay balls in the end - they worked well; floated at first but sank soon enough and in a HOB box it was no issue for me anyway. Unfortunately the riparium planter experiment was cut short when I had some work done on my doorframe, and the builders didn't inform me (or put down dustsheets!) before sanding vigorously... I'm still cleaning up fine dust off every surface. Thankfully the tanks were covered but I'd just unplugged the planter and not anticipated how thoroughly it would need covering, and the porous clay ended up permanently infused with this stuff
So the plants have been returned to soil.

@LadyWonkyMcJankeypants I was using the Marina Large HOB breeder box for it, which was a good size for the plants and tank. The concern with pesticides is because this is a shrimp tank, and they're a lot more sensitive (they are basically wet insects, after all!) I ended up after washing off the soil leaving the plants in cups of water for 2 weeks, changing the water out every day, and had no issues; may have been overkill but better safe than sorry, and that's what the lady at the gardening centre suggested.

Last edited by germanblueramlover; 04-05-2019 at 03:15 AM. Reason: fix typo
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pesticide, riparium, substrate

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