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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Forgive my noobishness, but how do you...

Make your carpets and other small plants actually stay in the substrate when planting?

I've managed to kill a couple batches of hairgass and some small stem plants because I can't get the dang things to stay in the sand! I've tried both fingers and tweezers and can stick one in but as soon as I let go it just floats right to the surface 4 out of 5 times! The ones that do stick end up coming un-stuck due to me disturbing the water planting the rest. I've tried planting with a low water level too and they all take off like rockets as soon as I add water.

They make it look so easy on YouTube. What am I doing wrong? Are small plants a dirt-only thing?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 05:33 AM
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After inserting the plant, need to spread the tweezers out just a little before pulling them back up. This creates a gap for sand to fall into and hold the plant, so it doesnt rise up again when you pull the tweezers out. At least that's how I do it in my three tanks with all sand.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 05:48 AM
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What bur said. It's a bit harder with gravel, but with sand it's all about opening slightly and squeezing again and opening again until you have pulled the tweezers out.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 03:10 PM
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+1 on above trick. It also helps to plant at a slight angle. Don't worry if the stems look a little wonky at first becuase of it, they'll figure out which way is up soon enough.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 04:59 PM
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I use a 12?" curved tweezers and up side down. The tip is facing upwards and I grasp the tip of a few of the roots and pull it down into the sub by the roots till it's in the sub farther than it should be. Then I catch it at the very top and pull it back up to where it should be.
A lot easier/w stems. But use either individual plants of the hair grass or just two or three together.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-26-2014, 10:33 PM
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I use long tweezers too. I just wiggle the root in the sand to get it to compact around the base. I have also used the toothpick trick I learned from someone on here. Take two toothpicks and push one in on each side of the plant and cross the top of the toothpicks over the plant. It really does work. Then just wait a week or two and remove.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 12:00 AM
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I use chop sticks and wiggle a little then spread them apart and pull out. Sounds like the same as the previous posters. Takes a little to get it down.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 04:32 PM
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Pincets (spelling?) for small plants.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2014, 05:02 PM
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Straight tweezers. Open, close, open, close. The majority stay put. But there is always a few stubborn ones. The toothpick trick really does work. LOL
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 02:00 AM
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Another trick is to use tweezers in one hand and a long narrow stick (chopstick, another tweezer, etc.) in the other hand: push the plant down in the substrate using the tweezer with one hand and then use the stick in the other hand to keep the plant down there while pulling the tweezers out. Then use the tweezers to fill gravel around the base of the plant and only then pull the stick out. Works every time, and pretty fast too!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 02:09 AM
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Or you can plant in wet substrate. As you refill the tank particles fall around the tiny plant and hold it down better than you would think. Also avoids the fun trying to catch the plant in your tweezers as it slowly rises to the water's surface! My arms don't get cold either.

I plant pretty deep. If you look at the front of the tank you can see that light penetrates into the substrate a bit, depending on what your substrate is. I figure I can pull the plants down to that level and they will still get enough light. Hairgrass is a very tolerant plant, just watch to see how deep the runners grow next to the tank pane!


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