PLANT BANK: journal of my emersed collection of plants... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Talking PLANT BANK: journal of my emersed collection of plants...

so since i have numerous tanks and i will be starting a shrimp rack, breeding some fish, ect once i move, i will overrun an unfinished basement with planted tanks..... so i decided i need to start what i call a "plant bank" an emersed collection of grown plants, cheap, effective, and easy to maintain and with the help of the members on here hopefully it will be a success, i will use it for mainly my tanks, as well as sell other plants on here and for friends tanks and such...

so im starting it today, so far these are the items that are purchased

substrate

By cakenutz at 2012-08-05

By cakenutz at 2012-08-05

fert dosed with, along with some of the bowls i will use for swords, anubis, ect

By cakenutz at 2012-08-05

and one of the main tubs going to be used for forground growth, including mosses, hc, riccia, grass of sorts, plants that wont grow extremely tall will be hosted in this container

By cakenutz at 2012-08-05

the way the setup will run, is the main larger container will have approx 2-3 inches of tap water in it, the little plastic shoe boxes will have holes in the bottom, soil/fert mixed in capped with play sand most likely, and each one will be labeled, most likely these containers will each have two strains of plants in them and the lid will be cut out at the top, with plexi glass or cheap glass some sort of cheap clear material on the top to seal and keep it humid

i have another larger bin i will use for plants that are grown taller

i will post pictures of the light fixture, im running, its a built reflector with plant bulbs in an unfinished basement, i will be starting this project this afternoon and will post pics, just wanted to get a head start and get some feedback and comments

any help is welcome, i have posted in the WTB/ROAK section and am looking for any help, donations are especially welcome of plants of any type, or cheap plants too please pm me

i look forward to any comments, questions, and fastening my knowledge on emersed plant growing techniques please PM me if you want to donate or have plants to sell for this operation

thanks for looking!!


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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 07:49 PM
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I would still dechlorinate your tap water
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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i was thinking about using distilled since i dont have RO water, but then i thought tap with the minerals in it would be a good idea, i swear someone told me not to dechlorinate it for emersed.... but it sounds smart to and i think i plan on dechlorination


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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 11:58 PM
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Other option for water would be "spring" water. The mineral content will vary depending on the spring its drawn from. Spring water isn't chlorinated, but may be run through UV or high-temp to kill pathogens.

We can get gallon-size bottles of spring water for just under a buck-a-gallon. Of course, that's $55 for a 55G tank... That's the downside.

Anyone living near a hot spring would have some heavily mineralized water.

At some locales you can get your hot spring or cold spring water for free.

-----

American Fork, Utah is a stone's throw from Mt Timpanogos. Surely you can get some nice ice melt water from the mountains snow caps. What parks run through there?

Last edited by KlintZquarium; 08-06-2012 at 12:31 AM. Reason: Found Am. Fork, UT on map
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 12:42 AM
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Hi wetbizquit,

The Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice® Garden Soil is actually made for use in the garden with plants put into the soil. It carries the following warning:
Quote:
Where Not to Use
For growing plants, vegetables or flowers in pots or containers.
The Miracle-Gro Potting Mix is good and what I use:
Quote:
Where to Use
Container Plants
However the potting mix contains time release fertilizer so I would not add any additional Osmocote for fear of overfeeding and burning the delicate new roots.
Quote:
Fertilizer Analysis
0.21 - 0.07 - 0.14
Quote:
Benefits
Feeds plants up to 6 months. No mixing, no measuring! Enriched with MicroMax® nutrients for more blooms and more color! Rich, organic materials help improve drainage and airflow. Wetting agent disperses water to prevent dry spots. Ideal for all kinds of container or potted plants.
To minimize fungus growth on the surface of the potting mix I top the potting mix with 1/4" of cheap, non-clumping, Walmart kitty litter. It also makes it easy to spot cyanobacteria (BGA) outbreaks which sometimes happens with emersed growth. I do water with a very, very, dilute solution of Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food (3/4 teaspoon per gallon).

As for bulbs, I found that using just plant bulbs caused my plants become 'leggy'. I now use 1 "cool white" bulb (5000K) and 1 "daylight" bulb (6500K) from Home Depot with much better results. If your growth is 'leggy' replace one plant bulb with a cool white bulb and see if you get better results.

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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1X 59W Fluval Plant (3.0); 45 Gallon Tall, 1X 46W Fluval Plant (3.0); 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 & (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay

Last edited by Seattle_Aquarist; 08-07-2012 at 01:56 PM. Reason: grammer
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your input I will be setting up the project tomorrow, going to take back the mg organic to exchange with more potting soil, so I won't need to add any ferts? Since it's already in the soil I assume? Also decided to use kitty litter in place of the sand cap because it's thicker I'll take a closer look at the light fixture tomorrow


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi wetbizquit,


The Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice® Garden Soil is actually made for use in the garden with plants put into the soil. It carries the following warning:


The Miracle-Gro Potting Mix is good and what I use:

However the potting mix contains time release fertilizer so I would not add any additional Osmocote for fear of overfeeding and burning the delicate new roots.



To minimize fungus growth on the surface of the potting mix I top the potting mix with 1/4" of cheap, non-clumping, Walmart kitty litter. It also makes it easy to spot cyanobacteria (BGA) outbreaks which sometimes happens with emersed growth. I do water with a very, very, dilute solution of Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food (3/4 teaspoon per gallon).

As for bulbs, I found that using just plant bulbs caused my plants become 'leggy'. I now use 1 "cool white" bulb (5000K) and 1 "daylight" bulb (6500K) from Home Depot with much better results. If you grow is 'leggy' replace one plant bulb with a cool white bulb and see if you get better results.

subscribed!


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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 02:00 PM
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Hi wetbizquit,

That's correct, the Miracle-Gro Potting Mix contains fertilizer (Osmocote) so for the first six months the only additional fertilizer that I use is a very, very, dilute solution of Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food (3/4 teaspoon per gallon). I watch the growth of my plants and when they slow down I re-pot with fresh potting mix.

Roy_________
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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1X 59W Fluval Plant (3.0); 45 Gallon Tall, 1X 46W Fluval Plant (3.0); 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 & (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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sweet, sounds easy enough, i will be taking back the organic stuff today to get another bag of just regular potting soil, and get some non clumping kitty litter as well i will post pics up later today of my lighting fixture and setup..... already have some plants ready to go in to be my guini pigs


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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 05:09 PM
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Hi wetbizquit,

Get the cheapest kitty litter you can find, no scents, not the clumping type, you want just the clay.

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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1X 59W Fluval Plant (3.0); 45 Gallon Tall, 1X 46W Fluval Plant (3.0); 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 & (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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perfect will do, thanks for all your help Roy, its been tremendous! i dont have enough in my fund to get the second bin started but will start with my first and the supplies i have since i dont have a ton of plants to add to it yet.... but will be adding soon, still accepting donations


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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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quick pics more later


By cakenutz at 2012-08-08

By cakenutz at 2012-08-08

By cakenutz at 2012-08-08

By cakenutz at 2012-08-08

By cakenutz at 2012-08-08

By cakenutz at 2012-08-08


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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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moved the plants a little closer to the light, cut hole out of lid, dont have a sheet of plexiglass or glass/plastic to glue on the lid yet, so i just used good ol' saran wrap for now, pain in the a$$ but will be there tomorrow fixing stuff up, adding a second tub soon, getting another fixture, more bulbs


By cakenutz at 2012-08-08

this is the fixture im using now, i think they are 48'' two bulbs, GE's plant grow/aquarium bulbs but i think their only around 5,000K, do you know what cheap bulbs that will fit are labeled that are around 6,700k and 10,000k?? soft white, and daylight? just want to get them at home depot


By cakenutz at 2012-08-08


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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 03:37 AM
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Hi wetbizquit,

Looking good! I keep my H2O level just below the substrate because it seems to help minimize algae formation. I don't let the surface 'dry out' but you can't see any water either. You'll like growing Ludwigia sp. 'Red', HC and HC 'Cuba'; you can almost watch the leaves sprout they grow that quickly if they like the conditions.

Roy_________
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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1X 59W Fluval Plant (3.0); 45 Gallon Tall, 1X 46W Fluval Plant (3.0); 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 & (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 04:05 AM
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Quote:
this is the fixture im using now, i think they are 48'' two bulbs, GE's plant grow/aquarium bulbs but i think their only around 5,000K, do you know what cheap bulbs that will fit are labeled that are around 6,700k and 10,000k?? soft white, and daylight? just want to get them at home depot
Hi wetbizquit,

I use a 'Daylight' bulb (approx 6500K) in conjunction with a 'Cool White' bulb which is about 5000K. If your 'Plant Bulb' has a "blueish" look it is probably about 8500K or so I would use a 'cool white' bulb to help add light in the lower part of the spectrum.

Roy_________
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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ok sounds good, thanks Roy, the water line was below the surface but since i had filled the larger countainer, their all in, for water to soak up into the soil from the bottom (poked holes in the bottoms of the smaller containers) i guess too much got in the containers, i came back after filling about 2'' of water and the containers were a bit flooded, i will remove water tomorrow and cap with more special kitty clay litter, do i need to rinse this cat litter? it says its 100% natural clay gathered, so i figured i didnt.... so far im not getting off to a great start since i dont have enough time invested into this project, come tomorrow once i get a plastic led and a more sealed humid environment i will have it cleaned up a bit more, and i'll be adding my second tub which will be taller for stem plants to have more room to grow... do you know the names of the bulbs i should look for at home depot? they arent so great at listing K ratings, just lumens or watts used is usually the only thing on the box, and can i just use the cheapest ones that say "cool white" and "daylight" or should i look for specific kinds.... also im planning on building another fixture, do you have recommendations for a cheap source through home depot on a nice one that might reflect more light??


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