Emersed Growth Questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Emersed Growth Questions

Hi all,
I have started growing plants emersed but have seen no growth. I give 5-6 hours of indirect sunlight every day with organic soil. The temperature ranges from 60-70 degrees. I have a rosette sword and some kind of anubias in the container. I have had it set up for about 2.5 weeks and have seen no new growth. Should I offer some direct sunlight or wait longer?
Thanks
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 12:32 AM
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Not saying you should do this but I did metal halides over swords, emersed, and they grew fast and tall. Had to use halides as the tank was in a very dark corner.

So, yeah, I'd say more light for sure.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 05:33 PM
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Hi @BuddyMan,

Welcome to TPT!

I've grown emersed aquarium plants for about 8-1/2 years now including species ranging from foreground plants like Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba', Eriocaulon species, various Cryptocoryne species, and a multitude of stem plant species.

My experience has been that plants do very little new growth until the plant has become 'established' and has established a root system. The time frame from this can happen can be as little as a week or two for stem plants and up to several months for Cryptocorynes, Erios. Both of the species you mentioned are slower growers. Anubias are very, very slow growers whether submerged or emersed, a new leaf or two once a week after the root system has become extablished is about the maximum to expect. I don't grow the Helanthium species however the Rosette Sword Plant (Helanthium parviflorus / previously Echinodorus parviflorus) is likely like the Cryptocorynes I grow and they will sit for about 6 weeks before showing any new growth. I have my plants under fairly high light ([email protected]) for about 12 hours a day so with less light I would suspect it will take longer to see results. Hope this helps! -Roy

H.c. 'Cuba'


Anubias barteri nana 'Petite' emersed (showing deficiency on right side)


Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Florida Sunset'

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 03:06 AM
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Full sun or with artificial lighting. Most will die off if your night time temperature fall below 50s unless you have a green house or some way to keep them warm. I grow glosso, hydrocotyle, dhg, rotala, and riccia in a shallow tub with old aquasoil and rain water year round in the bay area but many other tropical stems suffer in the cold. For those I recommend a disused aquarium or humidity dome with the strongest artificial lighting you can muster. Make sure you have good separation between pots as many aquatic plants have a creeping nature and will fight for space in adjacent pots.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 06:00 AM
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60 is way to low, 72 is about minimum you can get away with. Their tropical jungle plants. Their just going to sit there and do nothing and eventually die if kept that cool.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 05:10 PM
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Hi All,

These plants are not as sensitive to temperature as some may think. I grow my plants in an unheated attached garage with a western exposure. The plants are in pots sitting in 'humidomes' (for extra humidity) resting on shelves with heat mats. The temperature in the garage can get as low as the low 40's in the winter and even with the heat mats under the pots the pots can get down to 50 degrees. The growth does slow during those periods however I have not lost a plant due during the cold periods. The temperature in the garage in summer can hit 100 degrees plus. As long as the plants have water and humidity they show no ill effects.

Emersed aquarium plants in 'humidomes' sitting on shelves with heat mats
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice and unfortunately I do not have a way to monitor temperate.

I put them out in the sun for about 3-4 hours today and the plants have started to crinkle for some reason. Is this normal?

Sorry the images aren't great but if you can see some leaves on both plants are crinkled.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 03:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyMan View Post
Thanks for all the advice and unfortunately I do not have a way to monitor temperate.

I put them out in the sun for about 3-4 hours today and the plants have started to crinkle for some reason. Is this normal?

Sorry the images aren't great but if you can see some leaves on both plants are crinkled.
Hi BuddyMan,

The leaves are looking a little 'burned'; 3-4 hours of direct sunlight is probably too much. Indirect light is much better, a bright windowsill on the east (preferred) or north side of the house. Also, are you keeping your plants covered so the humidity stays high? Room humidity levels, especially in winter, are too low for most emersed grown aquarium plants.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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Hi BuddyMan,

The leaves are looking a little 'burned'; 3-4 hours of direct sunlight is probably too much. Indirect light is much better, a bright windowsill on the east (preferred) or north side of the house. Also, are you keeping your plants covered so the humidity stays high? Room humidity levels, especially in winter, are too low for most emersed grown aquarium plants.
Thanks for the response Seattle_Aquarist,


Yes, the plants are covered and I'm getting about 92% humidity levels. Also, I had them in indirect sunlight for maybe 6 hours a day but saw no growth within a time frame of about 3 weeks. Do you think I should keep them in indirect sunlight and just wait a little longer.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 06:53 PM
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Hi @BuddyMan,

Since you are keeping them covered, and still getting the 'leaf burn', I would have indirect light as the majority of your photoperiod and limit the direct sunlight substantially. Maybe try 30 minutes and see how the plants respond. If additional 'burning' occurs then even less or none at all.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 08:00 PM
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I think you need to harden the plants a bit and then they can get full sun. With full sun you need higher amounts of ventilation or the plants will burn. I would grow anubias in full/partial sun in Houston uncovered in a 10gal tank. If they are kept sealed they will overheat and burn however it takes a few months to adapt them. During the summer Houston humidity was always 80-100% so growing most plants outdoor in the sun was good. On scorching hot days I would move them to the patio. Now that I live in CA, I grow many aquatics uncovered in a black plastic tub on my west facing patio completely uncovered. However only certain hardy plants will enjoy these conditions i.e. cold water mosses, hair grass, rotalas, most creeping plants. Finer structured plants like myriophyllum would suffer.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @BuddyMan,

Since you are keeping them covered, and still getting the 'leaf burn', I would have indirect light as the majority of your photoperiod and limit the direct sunlight substantially. Maybe try 30 minutes and see how the plants respond. If additional 'burning' occurs then even less or none at all.
Thanks for the suggestion Seattle_Aquarist. I will try about 30 minutes of direct sunlight. I'll get back to you on how it goes.
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I think you need to harden the plants a bit and then they can get full sun. With full sun you need higher amounts of ventilation or the plants will burn. I would grow anubias in full/partial sun in Houston uncovered in a 10gal tank. If they are kept sealed they will overheat and burn however it takes a few months to adapt them. During the summer Houston humidity was always 80-100% so growing most plants outdoor in the sun was good. On scorching hot days I would move them to the patio. Now that I live in CA, I grow many aquatics uncovered in a black plastic tub on my west facing patio completely uncovered. However only certain hardy plants will enjoy these conditions i.e. cold water mosses, hair grass, rotalas, most creeping plants. Finer structured plants like myriophyllum would suffer.
Hi Jeffww I'm in CA as well and I'm not really worried about it being too hot. I'm more worried about it being too cold right now. I also don't understand what you mean by hardening the plants. I'd appreciate if you could explain that.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 04:03 AM
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I think cold would be better than hot in ur case with your plants. Heat mainly for erios.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 05:03 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion Seattle_Aquarist. I will try about 30 minutes of direct sunlight. I'll get back to you on how it goes.

Hi Jeffww I'm in CA as well and I'm not really worried about it being too hot. I'm more worried about it being too cold right now. I also don't understand what you mean by hardening the plants. I'd appreciate if you could explain that.


The plants will slowly adapt to tolerate higher light, lower humidity and more extreme environments. Even if they are adapted to emersed living they may still be very sensitive. It takes a long time for them to get nice thick and waxy leaves (esp. anubias) and they will be able to tolerate some very extreme conditions. You can see just how thick these anubias leaves are pulled from an old emersed set up. It takes quite a few months to get to this point. These were then transferred to my outdoor grow out during the summer (Houston). Tomorrow I can grab a pic of my outdoor setup in Bay Area. Outside 365 days a year on my west facing patio.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Just a little update I tried hardening the plants like you guys said and it worked GREAT!! The sword took off and is showing new leaves every couple of days and the anubias has one new leaf coming in. However, I did lose some leaves on both plants but the new ones are looking perfect. Also, does anyone know how to propagate swords?
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