Starting Emersed Plant Setup: Need Your Thoughts! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow Starting Emersed Plant Setup: Need Your Thoughts!

Caton (Da Plant Man) has convinced be to start an emersed plant growth setup(s). Well, he convinced me to look into them atleast. I am always low on spending cash for my aquariums, and I would really like to experience growing emergent plants, so an emersed setup will kill two birds with one stone!

Since I have very little room in my bedroom, I am going to have to locate these things in my unfinished basement (which is a little problem...).

I think I am going to go the "Zappins" route, with the plants in Rubbermaid containers planted in potting soil. I am still not sure on what plants to grow, but I would like them to be easy to sell and profitable.

Here is a diagram of what I have in mind.

Here is a quick equipment list.

  • 24" Hydroponics light fixture, 24w 6,700k bulb (2x)
  • larger plastic containers (2x)
  • small, shoe sized containers (8x)
  • stand from 40 gallon breeder
  • potting soil w/Osmocote(?)
How does that sound? I am not sure how large the containers I get will be. The stand that they have to fit on is probably about 44"(?) or so. If I get larger containers, I can probably purchase larger light fixtures.

As far as plants go, I am not really sure. As long as they are "cool" and profitable!

This leads me to a couple of questions...

  • The setups will be in my cold basement (upper 50's* F). Will I need to add a heater to the tanks?
  • Are the light's powerful enough? Or are they too much? Any ideas on better light fixtures for a good price?
  • What plants should I grow?
  • Should I add a small pump to keep the water moving?
I may add more questions later...

So, thoughts? Ideas?

"My next hobby is going to be tearing up $100 bills while simultaneously banging my head against a wall and flooding my basement."
"Ask not what the hobby can do for you, but what you can do the the hobby" - ScapeFu

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 11:28 AM
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While I only have about 3 weeks of experience with an emersed set up I will try and answer a question or two.
Pump- I say that you don't really need any water movement at all since there shouldn't be more than 2 - 3 inches of water.

Lights- I think you should probably shoot for a bigger fixture maybe a 30-36 inch one. From what ive seen on the prices of some light fixtures a single T5HO can cost you about the same as a dual T5HO fixture so maybe shoot for that instead

Plants- that is a tough one as there are alot of plants people want. I say check the SnS for plants people are looking for most and narrow it down to 4 or 5 species. I personally say staurogyne repens 049 and other type of foreground plants. Maybe some of those rare crypts too

Heater- I Would think since you are covering the containers up that the heat produced by the light should be enough but I'm not sure
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 12:44 PM
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I have my emersed 20Ls in an unfinished basement.

My best growth is in my 2.0 version.

Plants in 4" clay pots* 4" water, heater, Air stone opposite end from heater, Saran wrap sealed "lids". My 4 tanks are side by side. I run two Home depot 4'
shop lights $10 each with T-12 tubes. I buy in the contractor 20 pack for $20.

I bought these 24 tanks from a guy closing down his fish room of $5 a tank. Every week on Trash day i drive around the neighborhood and I pretty much see a tank a week that can be recycled.

Don't waste money on Osmacote or any frets for a emersed set up. If you have "clean" yard dirt (no Chemlawn) you can just use that. If not any potting soil will work.

I have 80degree air temp and 90% humidity my basement is about 65degrees. You can get a sheet of insulation foam and set the tanks on it. Them build a box around it with foam & duck tape. Or if you really want to hold cost, recycle packing foam from boxes in the trash. I saw a hyproponic site were the guy used packing styro peanuts in trash bags are insulation. Be creative this doesn't have to coast a lot of $$$ to grow plants.

*** Crypts don't like to touch roots of other crypts. Plus you can remove one pot without disturbing the other plants.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-05-2011, 01:52 PM
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Here is how I have my 40B setup. It's different from most peoples, but it has worked great for me!

Tank: 40B

Soil: Miracle Gro Potting Soil (Standard stuff, not the organic)

Lighting: 2x 96 PC's

Misting: I use tank water and try to mist once a day, but a lot of times I forget.

I add 1 cup per 5gallons of soil of DR Earth Fertilizer when I set my emersed tanks up. ( I just mix it into the soil. Then I take water from my aquarium so soak the dirt till it's spongy with now water on top.

I can get pictures sometime if you'd like.

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