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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of evenings ago I got a box in the post with some Bolbitis heudelotii from Aqua Botanic. I used a few Epi-Trellis Rafts to plant it up for emersed riparium culture and I also shot a few pictures. Epi-Trellis Rafts wrok really well for emersed growing of emersed aquatics that grow "epiphytically", with the rhizomes and roots developing mostly on top of hard substrates such as wood or stones, in contrast to most other aquatics that root in gravels, sands or silts.

My 55-gallon riparium setup uses Anubias barteri var. nana plants, all mounted to Epi-Trellis Rafts as midground elements floated in front of the taller background Cryptocoryne and Spathiphyllum. There is also a single Bolbitis planted in this way just to the left of center in the photograph.



This first picture shows how I attached the Bolbitis to the raft. I held the fern in the upright position, then secured the rhizomes with plastic zip ties. These ties were only 4" long and did not quite reach around the raft segments and the thick fern rhizomes, but I was able to lengthen them by linking two together for each attachment. This shot shows the raft with two rhizomes. I added a third after shooting the picture.



Here's more detail. The zip ties (arrow) were only tightened enough to hold the rhizomes in place. If squeezed hard against the raft, the rhizomes will dies. Note the long tag ends of zip tie. I trimmed these off to get them out of the way.



The next picture shows the raft planted with all three fern rhizomes. The emersed (above water) and immersed (underwater) leaves of Bolbitis heudelotii have distinct forms. The immersed leaves usually grow to just 6-8" long, with short petioles and fine, translucent foliage. The emersed foliage, on the other hand, grow taller--these were about 16" tall--with stiff petioles, and opaque, relatively coarse leaves.



I have been growing a Bolbitis plant that I acquired some time ago on Epi-Trellis Rafts, but it has always retained its immersed form foliage, even after several months of emersed culture. It seems that Bolbitis is reluctant to make this switch or perhaps it requires some specific cue that I have not provided. The emersed-form foliage is more attractive for growing in this way and I hope that this plant will prosper and retain this growth habit.

The addition of strands of long-fire spagnum moss is important as a means of retaining moisture around the plant roots and rhizomes. The moss also helps to obscure the foam raft and hide it from view.

 

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That looks like a good way to handle anubias and Java ferns. Will the beautiful anubias shown here http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/plants/96163-prettiest-plant-my-collection.html also grow on one of those rafts as well as in a planter cup? I keep wondering if I have gotten over my disgust with anubias and its attraction for BBA enough to try one in my riparium. I can see Anubias nano petite looking awful nice as a foreground riparium plant, if this would work well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Certain anubias really grow well on these these things too. Here is a shot with what I believe to be A. barteri var. nana on the Epi-Trellis Raft.



This little plant has great leaf and root development. They are rather conspicuous in this photo, but in the tank the foam raft segments are hidden in shadows and you can't really see them unless you look for them.



I don't think that that the plant from that other post would be such a good choice for the Epi-Trellis Raft. I get the impression that some of the tall, sagittate-leaved Anubias are more likely to grow in soil substrates than on stones and wood, the way that A. barteri does. I have seen some biotope pictures form West Africa that seemed to support this idea. That A. hastifolia is growing really well with its roots right in that finer gravel. I think that it would also be too tall to grow on the Epi-Trellis Raft. It has such long leaf petioles and it would probably just tip the raft over.

 

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That is just what I wanted to see, emersed Bolbitis. I had a thought it would look beautiful in a Riparium. Thanks for the info, and nice pics.

I wasn't sure- was the bottom picture A. hastifolia?

Do you know of any other fern-like plants that would do well in riparium conditions? Ferns are generally pretty water loving, but I guess I would have no idea about preferences. I also wanted to try sticking some Syngonium sp. in my tank to see if it would live, I read they do well in pauldarium setups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I understand that the plant in that last picture is Anubias hasitfolia.

Java fern is excellent. If you start out with plants growing underwater it takes them a while (~2 months) to adapt to growing emersed, but once they do the grow vigorously. Here is a shot of a nice big clump that I have, also growing on an Epi-Trellis Raft.

 

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As I see it, planting on a raft like this works primarily to get medium tall plants in a riparium other than back against the glass. You can float the plant, growing it hydroponically, in front of the tall background plants. Or, you could use one of these as a center plant of an "island" near the middle of the tank, perhaps with background planters on the back to either side, but with the center clear of plants - a river island, so to speak. These, I find, are big enough to hold up a pretty sturdy plant, without toppling over. When I experimented with a nano trellis raft, much smaller, I had problems because taller plants were unstable in the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes that design is quite a bit more foam than the other two Trellis Rafts and it has a good -sized footprint too. There are a few different ways that you can use them. Those Anubias barteri var. nana in the 55-gallon riparium shown above are all planted onto these rafts and function perfectly as midground foliage. It was a tight squeeze to get this larger raft with plants into the 12" of depth for that tank, so I sliced off a couple of the segment extensions of each raft to narrow them somewhat.

The plants really like that flat foam surface with holes on top of the Epi-Trellis Raft. The Anubias, Java fern and Bolbitis that I tried have all grown into nice healthy plants with this kind of culture.
 

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Guys sorry to dig up this old thread. How do you place your anubias nad bolbitis for emersed growth. Do you let water run over the rhizome? Or do you guys just place the rhizome on a wet bed of fertile substrate? Need elaborate info as I am planning to start a emersed setup for both these plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Te real important thing is that the air humidity needs to be maintained very high. You can usually achieve this just be maintaining a tight canopy covering on the tank. The plant rhizomes should also be right down next to the water so that they will remain constantly wet. You can also drape some strands of ling-fibre spagnum moss around them to wick moisture up around the rhizomes. If the plants were growing underwater you might see the plants to loose some or all of their leaves, but the new ones that grow in will be emersed-adapted.
 
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