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I am planting a brand new tank for the first time in my life and I have received a lot of nice plants from members here. However, many of them just keep floating up and out of the ADA AS substrate. I know I am not supposed to bury stems, only roots, but what do I do when the stems have no (or very little) roots?
 

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Plant Clown
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You're supposed to bury stems. There are only a few plants (and all mosses) that you shouldn't bury - ferns and anubias come to mind. Plant each stem a couple inches into the substrate.
 

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Yup - stem plants don't "need" roots to grow, i pull off the bottom 2 nodes worth of leaves (from which roots may sprout) and bury it at least that deep if not deeper into substrate with some planting tweezers.
 

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1000% use some sort of tool to plant stems!

Love the chopstick idea, have to try it sometime. Maybe even sneak eyebrow tweezers from the bathroom, I always have an annoying pair that won't pull hair anymore laying around. The tip of the tool holds the end of the stem with the top of the stem running up your hand. Push stem into soil, release and scoop the tool out rather than pulling it straight out so your substrate falls back around the stem. Leaving leaves on the stem helps hold it down as well.

When I have super fast growing stems that need to be pulled and trimmed weekly [like pennywort and hornwort] I wrapped a rubber band loosely around a good sized pebble and inserted stems 1" apart around the pebble. Much easier to locate than a small bit of metal and a 2" pebble could comfortably hold 4-6 stems.
 

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With my really light floaty stem plants I like to take 3-5 stems and ziptie them lightly onto a decent sized pebble. Zip ties are completely aquarium safe I use em for everything
 

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Yup - stem plants don't "need" roots to grow
I think I know what you are trying to say, but just to clarify: Stem plants do need roots in order to grow. Cuttings are the top portion of a rooted stem. When you plant a cutting, roots will develop. If roots do not develop it means your light is too weak, and the bottom portion of the stem will rot instead of forming roots.

As the stem takes root in the substrate, the roots will firmly anchor it. Bury it as deep as you need to to keep it in place. You could put some larger pebbles, stones around the stems until they take root to weigh them down
 

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Plant Clown
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Over time, I've figured out how deep to bury stems to keep them in place. It's a learning experience, albeit one that's complicated by [email protected]#$%e plecos. And I don't keep PetSmart mystery snails anymore specifically for this reason.

Just bury them deep. Too deep isn't an issue - the very bottoms will rot away and provide nutrients for the roots. You will always have the occasional floater for one reason or another, especially if you plant a bunch at once. Not a big deal, just replant. Patience is key in regards to every plant-related aspect of this hobby.
 
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