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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Question about pots

Decided to take my rooted plants and finally pot them with some aquatic soil.

I have quite a few clay pots, but can't stand the orange color and know I won't be able to hide it all. So I'm looking for alternatives that are readily available.

Was thinking glass might be a good idea...but how important is a hole in the bottom for circulation? Was thinking votive candle holders maybe.

Found some threads mentioning yogurt containers and such, but that's too big and I'd rather see orange than "Yoplait"

Thanks for suggestions and feedback!

Anne
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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anyone???? Going to the store soon. Don't have another day for a few weeks that I'll have time to embark on this project. Simple no don't do it will suffice - or else I'm going to give it a try and hope to not kill anything!
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 11:48 PM
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Maybe you should elaborate on why you're using pots and just how you're using them? Your post doesn't tell me why, emmersed, planting in pots instead of substrate in the aquarium? Without more information on intended use it's difficult for anyone to give recommendations.

I plant everything that needs to be in substrate into actual substrate, no pots, but I do agree that terra cotta is ugly in an aquarium. My local Lowe's has all sorts of aquatic pots in black plastic, maybe that's what you're really looking for?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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have a mbuna tank, so sand is my substrate and plants are submerged. Have used some root tabs, but think having some soil around the plants would be best. Already have 2-3" sand substrate and don't want to start all over for a few plants, plus I have to find a way so they aren't constantly uprooted (which I have with the terra cotta).

My real question is can I use some sort of container that does not have a hole in the bottom, or the possibility of making one? Just worried that the circulation is a major factor (though many of my houseplants don't have any)

I'll check out Lowe's, as that's where I'm headed, but this time of year they don't offer much in the garden section and they show nothing like the black pots online.

Thanks,
Anne
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 12:29 AM
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I have an greenhouse/nursery nearby that has an enormous selection of various pots, perhaps checking out something like that locally would be a good idea, but like you said, this time of year selection is usually limited in the non-dedicated places.

I've never potted plants for an aquarium, but some flow rate is probably important through the substrate in the pot. If I was looking, I'd try to find plastic orchid pots, the sort that has the slits up the side, instead of just a couple holes on the bottom.

Another option is to get some clear plastic disposable drinking cups, just use a hole punch to perforate it a bit.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Found some threads mentioning yogurt containers and such, but that's too big and I'd rather see orange than "Yoplait"
I feel the same about the subject.

Good tips indiboi I'm adding to your rep


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 03:21 AM
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I've wondered if it's possible to paint or stain the clay pots to a black or at least dark gray color. I also hate the look of clay in a tank, but I have to admit that 1/2 small clay pot with java moss on it does make for a nice cave IF ONLY I could get rid of that clay color!

Since I garden, I have painted all kinds of pots all kinds of colors, and most of the paints are non-toxic. With plain clay, the paint is absorbed into the clay itself. I'm wondering if I could use that to color the clay? Or maybe use a non-toxic stain? Would the color leach out after a while?

Has anyone tried anything like that before?

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 03:27 AM
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I haven't done it yet, but I like the idea of using silicone to coat a pot in black sand.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 03:28 AM
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I wouldn't use ordinary paint inside of an aquarium. You can purchase epoxy-based paint which would work and still be safe for the inhabitants. Another option is to have the clay fired with food-safe glazes.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 03:51 AM
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I just happen to have a lot of extra black sand (from my 2.5g nano). It wouldn't be much help to my "test" pots with huge clumps of java moss growing on them, but it would be better to start over and hide that clay than to live with it forever and ever. Black sand would be nice. Maybe even add some of my regular substrate to blend it in.

Now you have me thinking...

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 03:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiboi View Post
I wouldn't use ordinary paint inside of an aquarium. You can purchase epoxy-based paint which would work and still be safe for the inhabitants. Another option is to have the clay fired with food-safe glazes.
Actually, if I went this route, I'd rather check into a stain or a paint heavily thinned down with water to mock a stain. I'll have to check into this. The key is not to paint over the pores in the clay, but to have the paint absorbed into the clay itself. This happens naturally when I paint clay pots with thinned down paints and I know it works well when the plants are watered, but I've never tried to submerge one in water 100% of the time to see what might happen. Sounds like something worth testing out!

I can't help but believe someone has already done this and found a successful method. It's such an obvious thing to do. Maybe if I scrounge around, I might find something on the internet about it?

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 04:15 AM
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I have used terracotta pots in my aquarium, and they are absolutely safe for fish, after all they are made from soil. Make sure you buy pots that are properly baked in a kiln. If they have not been baked, they will just melt in water. Make sure you buy the right sized pots.

If you don’t want to see the pots then bury them under the substrate. What I do is grow my plants in an outdoor setup with DIY co2. These are always planted in pots. I have managed to get pots from sizes starting at 2 inches. Those look great. When transferring them to the aquarium I bury the pots in the substrate, you don’t need a hole at the bottom.

Transplanting them to other tanks and changing the aquascape is also very easy. Since you do not disturb the roots, the plants stay healthy.

I post some pictures later today…
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 04:19 AM
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You can grow moss on the pots to hide the colour....
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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covering the pots with the same substrate as you're using would be a nice effect. are you talking about using the silcone meant to seal an aquarium? it's not cheap.

So one person says a hole is not necessary. do you know this from experience? found a thread where Rex said roots will rot without good cirulation - but he didn't mention what works and doesn't work.

Moss won't work for me as my mbuna love to shred it.

As mentioned above, clear plastic cups is also a great idea, but i don't think all plastics are created equal as far as safety in the tank goes. Anyone know of any brands that are proven safe?
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 05:01 AM
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If it's people food safe, it'll be safe for fish too -- at least in terms of clear plastic cups. You're pretty safe with most types of plastic though, any that are sturdy enough should be good for the task, HDPE, LDPE, PET, PVC... speaking of PVC, you could get some of that schedule 80 dark stuff and create your own pots, with drilled holes. Just don't go environmentally friendly and get the cups that are made of corn and biodegrade in a month.
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