Does it take time to learn how to not struggling when planting? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Does it take time to learn how to not struggling when planting?

I just put tons of plants in my 8 gallon tank and felt like I was fighting an uphill battle. The anubias went in first and dear god, their roots did not want to stay in the substrate (eco-complete). Then came the bulbs... oops there goes an anubias! Whew, now for the carpet plants.... and everything else comes out of the substrate. I am sitting here glaring at the plants and ordering the betta to keep an eye on all of them.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 06:43 PM
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In time you get better and learn tricks like burying them deep then slowly pull them up till you get them how you want them or plant them at an angle. Sometimes I still have times that I plant one and dig up another by mistake but you learn to have more patience.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 06:46 PM
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lol. Using tweezers/forceps makes the job much easier. Also, heavier substrate is easier to plant in compared to loose or lighter substrate. Haven't tried training betta to do the planting though...

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
lol. Using tweezers/forceps makes the job much easier. Also, heavier substrate is easier to plant in compared to loose or lighter substrate. Haven't tried training betta to do the planting though...
Do forceps/tweezers help because they are more nimble than clumsy, fat human fingers? Merlin (the betta) actually acted like a damn dog running through the newly planted carpet plants. He is definitely happy with the new plants.

Just started working with planted tanks
8g tank starring Merlin the betta (planted)
15g tall tank containing tetras and corys (planted)
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 07:53 PM
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I just planted a 3 gallon tank and had the same experience , and the four letter words were flying . Tweezers, no tweezers, angled approach, burying deep, aarrgghhhh!!!.

I think it just takes a bit of practice to get the hang of it. I used rubber bands to bundle a few stems together and they tended to stay put in the Eco Complete.
Wedging some plants between 2 stones also worked. A rubber band used to secure the Anubias nanas to smooth river rocks succeeded.

I was thinking of buying stainless steel washers to use a anchors. Whatever works. It was hard working in the confined space of a 3 gallon tank. Thread or plastic tie wraps are an option.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 08:35 PM
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I find it is easier to put about 1/4 of the water in the tank and then plant.

Bamboo chop sticks with a rubber band around the end tends to work better than tweezers for me. Tweezers seem to always break or bend the end of the stem when I plant, the chops sticks do not.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 10:03 PM
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Those sound like great ideas... Thanks
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
lol. Using tweezers/forceps makes the job much easier. Also, heavier substrate is easier to plant in compared to loose or lighter substrate. Haven't tried training betta to do the planting though...
I'm terrible with tweezers, I don't even bother anymore. I lightly grip the plant with the tweezers then push it down in the substrate and as soon as I loosen my grip on the tweezer's it seems to put the substrate around the stem away from the stem and the plant floats. If someone put a gun to my head and said plant this tank with tweezers, I'd say go ahead a shoot me now.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-12-2014, 11:57 PM
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If someone put a gun to my head and said plant this tank with tweezers, I'd say go ahead a shoot me now.
+1 I agree. Tweezers are good for some things but I can't plant with them. I can't wear gloves in the tank either. I have to feel what I'm doing.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 12:23 AM
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lol. I once planted HC strand by strand in a 2ft deep tank using tweezers (was on budget and bought a couple of pots for a 50gal). Should have taken a video of that.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 12:44 AM
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That's the irony by the time you get good at it you are finished planting your tank. Anubis is tough to plant in soil, I would use cotton thread and tie it to wood or rock instead.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 02:20 AM
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That's the irony by the time you get good at it you are finished planting your tank. Anubis is tough to plant in soil, I would use cotton thread and tie it to wood or rock instead.
Agreed. Anubias doesn't seem to do well in substrate. It's more like an underwater epiphyte. Tie it to a rock or to driftwood.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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I am tempted to tie the anubias to rocks and smoosh those rocks into the substrate. However that may disrupt the foreground plants.

Just started working with planted tanks
8g tank starring Merlin the betta (planted)
15g tall tank containing tetras and corys (planted)
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 01:12 PM
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First, if you plant anubias in substrate, make sure you have the rhizome exposed. If the rhizome is buried in substrate the anubias will die.

When it comes to planting, I have found that a two handed operation works best. I plant with long handled aquarium tweezers, and shove the stem/root/whatever down into the substrate. Once it's at the right depth, I use my other hand to hold it in place. If it's too tight of a space, I'll use another long tweezers or scissors to hold it instead, generally just putting downward pressure on it. From there I open the planting tweezers and slowly move and wiggle them a little bit to get the substrate to fill in where the tweezers were. Then I remove the planting tweezers and finally let go with the other hand.

I replant many of my stems every single week. I do it in ADA aquasoil, which is fairly light substrate, and I have found this works very well most of the time.


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 01:26 PM
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it's really just a matter of learning how to prepare your plants and plant them.

Most often, when planting, you can trim a large portion of the plant's root system off. With anubias, you're better off trimming the roots off and tying the rhizome to something w/ some fabric thread.

You'll also, typically, want to plant "front to back." put the small stuff in first so you're not fighting with the leaves of the larger plants.

Another tip is not to plant with only an inch or two of water. Plants are pretty hardy, and they'll be fine out of water for a bit.


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