Growing Hairgrass by seed? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Growing Hairgrass by seed?

Hello,

With spring in full swing where I live my attention has been turning towards outdoors projects. I've been thinking for a while that if seeds were obtainable, it could be a lot of fun and potentially quite inexpensive to grow large quantities of aquarium plants outdoors in emersed setups and then transplant then inside into my tank. The first plant I tried to find was hairgrass and did indeed find seeds available for a couple of varieities. I ended up purchasing Eleocharis Acicularis from a seed nursery (ie not some random person on e bay but a reputable company). I purchased .5 oz of seeds for 13 dollars which should be some insane number like 20,000 seeds.

My plan is to use some kind of plastic low lying container (hoping to find some tuberware around the house but might buy a plant nursery container from online) with a clear top and then put in some potting soil and or regular ol dirt mixed with some peat moss and then plant the seeds into saturated soil. I'll keep the soil constantly soggy (think marsh or bog like water level). Keep the top on pretty much all the time and essentially walk away until its time to trim it. Let it do its thing and then once its dense enough, break it up into clumps, clean off the dirt, and plant it into tanks.

Has anyone done this before on the forum? Can anyone think of anything else I should do to make my life easier? I'm not anticpating this being a difficult one to do since I am literally just growing bog grass outdoors in dirt with sunlight. But you know... its the problems we don't expect that tend to bite us the hardest ;P

Thanks folks.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 06:20 PM
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I'm trying the same thing now. I bought some Eleocharis acicularis seeds from a place that sells native plants (starts with a P). I did the cold stratification for 60 days in the fridge and germinated after placing it on a seedling heat mat. It's in regular potting soil that's very wet and under a T5HO LED light. However growth has halted, I think it either needs higher soil temperature (70F not enough?) and/or higher air humidity.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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We got our seeds at the same place. I didn't know I needed to do a cold stratification... is that required? Definitely going to mess with my schedule heh.


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 08:41 PM
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It's recommended, some plants need a cold period before germinating. I have some seed left over that I can try skipping stratification but these have been in dry storage in the fridge so that might skew it.


If it doesn't work then gibberellic acid might work. Maybe soak it in <50ppm of that for a few hours then sow. Tried using it before with higher concentration for 24hrs on different plant seeds, the sprouts were lanky and later died.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Looking at the nursery's website I see they do recommend the cold stratification process. I decided to try two different approaches. It still is getting cold at nights here (tonight we have a freeze warning, probably last of the season, more typically 40s to 50s). So I took a large clear sterlite storage container (about 40 gallons I think) and put some garden and potting soil mix on the bottom. Sprinkled seeds overtop and wet it down pretty thoroughly. Will leave that out for the next few weeks and wait and see if it works. Meanwhile will likely employ a wet papertowel method for another batch in the fridge.

Picture of my storage container for giggles:

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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After looking into cold stratification methods, the quickest I found was 2 weeks, but its the most labor intensive. You take seeds and soak them in a cup of water in your fridge. Every day you need to change the water.

These seeds are TINY. So... yea I needed some help.

I am currently redoing my 40 breeder and as part of that build I purchased some nut milk bags from amazon. Specifically these guys. Since these bags were purchased to stick rocks in they are kind of large. But they also have a VERY fine mesh. I chose the smallest size bag which is unused and poured some seeds in. Then put it in an old ice cream container filled with water in my fridge. I'll change the water each day by simply removing the bag, dumping the water and refilling. Hopefully this works. I'll need to start a separate tub for these seeds when done but that shouldn't be a big deal.





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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 06:45 PM
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Suggestion... If your plan is to transplant them into your tank. It might be worth it to just grow them submerged... That way you avoid the transition period from emerged to submerged (which can be a pain in the ass with hair grass I'm struggling atm think itsy lighting)...but the big reason nurseries grow it emerged is due to shipping reasons so if your just going from a tubaware to your tank might make sense.

Just a thought.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarey04 View Post
Suggestion... If your plan is to transplant them into your tank. It might be worth it to just grow them submerged... That way you avoid the transition period from emerged to submerged (which can be a pain in the ass with hair grass I'm struggling atm think itsy lighting)...but the big reason nurseries grow it emerged is due to shipping reasons so if your just going from a tubaware to your tank might make sense.

Just a thought.
I definitely want to grow them emerged. For one thing the tank where I plan to put them is not ready for a rescape and currently is housing fish, so I don't want to plant seeds in that tank and do a dry start or similar. The other reason is that I plan to put them in a low tech tank so growing them emerged and having access to the co2 in the air is pretty important. They will grow a LOT faster growing emerged then they will in my tank, faster even then if I were running co2 submerged.


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 02:15 AM
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I've thought about growing by seed myself, so definitely following this. Have you considered using a seedling heat mat under the container?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 01:50 PM
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we've been telling our clients to start planting seeds, since everyone it's under "lock down" better do something useful

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hygropunk View Post
I've thought about growing by seed myself, so definitely following this. Have you considered using a seedling heat mat under the container?
I have not, my container will be outside so I do not plan to be heating them at all. The sun can do that or not as the weather permits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherylNelson740 View Post
we've been telling our clients to start planting seeds, since everyone it's under "lock down" better do something useful

Cheryl - Sioux Falls Tree Service
It seems like everyone is doing a Victory Garden. I created a raised bed a month ago and have quite a few seeds sprouting now.


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Update:

So looking back I can see about a month ago I planted my container outside. I definitely have had some progress in that container before now but only from a few shoots. With the weather warming up I all of sudden have substantially more growth coming in. Here is a picture:



Far from every seed germinated, but enough is there that if it continues to grow it will eventually fill in over the next month, maybe 2 to a point where I can harvest. If it goes well I am thinking I will use these guys to fully plant my Spec V as a low tech iwagumi.

Meanwhile I used the seeds I cold stratified in water to plant my dart frog tank. I wasn't sure if these seeds would work since instead of changing the water every single day I definitely missed a few... sometimes as much as week... But lo and behold today, only a week after seeding, I see green shoots coming up all over. I will wait for a few more to sprout and grow in to get a good picture but the seeds definitely are germinating!
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 12:30 AM
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 04:36 PM
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Growing Hairgrass by seed?

Hello, where do you purchase aquatic seeds from? Many years ago I purchased seeds from amazon and they definitely were not aquatic seeds.
Thank you and good luck!


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kookyxogirl View Post
Hello, where do you purchase aquatic seeds from? Many years ago I purchased seeds from amazon and they definitely were not aquatic seeds.
Thank you and good luck!


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prairie moon nursery if I remember right. They have a bunch of native plant seeds but they don't list them as "aquatic" you just need to know what you are buying.


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