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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have started work on a new product line and I am looking for some help with consumer testing. The product development is still in its preliminary stages, but I'll do my best to explain how it works. Tomorrow I might try to shoot some better pictures than the ones that I link here with this post.

The product/system is a planter cup that holds the roots of a submerged aquatic plant with a nutrient-rich, topsoil-based rooting media. Here is a shot of one of the planters planted with a Crinum plant.



This design/concept is US Patent Pending.

This is a For Trade offer. In exchange for a pack containing several of the planters I hope that interested respondents will take the time to use them with appropriate plants in their own planted setups, then get back in touch with me to share observations on plant growth and overall impressions of the product concept and design.

Aquarium plants can obviously grow very well rooted directly in the gravel in the bottom of a tank, but this apparently new product offers several potential advantages for aquarium plant growing, including the following:

  • long-term feeding of plant roots that reduces need for careful water column fertilizer dosing
  • enclosed design prevents soil-based rooting media from escaping into aquarium water
  • low-profile design easily buried in aquarium sand or gravel and thus hidden from view
  • can be used with any kind of existing aquarium substrate, including very coarse gravels that offer poor rooting environments for plants
  • easy repositioning of plants within aquarium

The planter is best for aquarium plants with thick crowns that develop sturdy root systems in the bottom substrate, such as Cryptocoryne, Echinodorus, Nymphaea and Aponogeton. It is less suitable for plants that grow adhered to hard substrates (e.g., Anubias, Bolbitis) or stem plants (e.g., Rotala, Ludwigia, Hygrophila).

Serious aquarium plant hobbyists may find limited use for this sort of planter--preferring instead to root plants in plant substrates filling the aquarium floor--but it could prove useful for growing plants in more fish-dedicated setups, such as goldfish or cichlid tanks. Nevertheless, plant enthusiasts might apply it in certain cases. I have observed steady, healthy growth from plants rooted in the planters, but it seems that the limited root run limits the eventual size of the plants, so plants that can grow to large proportions, such as Echinodorus swords, might be more easily managed in smaller tanks. The planter might also work well as a way to accommodate a few bottom-rooted plants in low-tech setups featuring mainly "epiphytic" plats, such as Java fern, growing on driftwood or stones.

Please send me a PM if you might be interested in this offer.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have already gotten two responses. I need to run right now, but I'll be back in touch with PMs later today. For now I will limit the number of offers to six. If I receive a number of additional responses then these first six will go the the first six respondents.
 

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Can't wait to hear from you! I actually tried to make something similar, but not anywhere near as nice looking with a very small canning jar with a ziploc bag around it and a hole for the plant. It worked great and my african clawed frogs didn't bother it at all except stunk like you wouldn't believe after a few months!:eek5:
 

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you should make somthing like this that floats for open top aquariums
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks very much for your interest everybody. I think that I responded to everybody. Now there are three left, so send a PM soon if you want to try these planters. I hope to get these sent out by Wednesday.

I hope that somebody with a high-tech setup might be willing to try the planters. I do not currently have any high light + CO2 tanks set up and I am curious as to how will grow in the planters if driven a bit faster.
 

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Looks cool, how would they work to grow emmersed crypts in an emmersed crypt grow out tank? Has about 1.5-2" of water in it, I've got a few species I could grow side by side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Craig, I haven't tried them that way, but I think that they would work well in an emersed setup, and that could be a good way to get a bunch of nice specimen-size and algae-free plants ready for a whole planted layout.

OK if Craig will take one of these sample packs then that's all six spoken for. However, I'll send out an additional one or two if there is anybody who has a high-tech setup to try them in.

Hey Craig I got your Epi Trellis Rafts in the mail you should see them tomorrow or Tuesday.
 

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Sweet, I'll test out a set of these Devin. I can put some Crypts side by side in my emmersed grow out setup!

Can't wait for hte new rafts my tank was ready for a rework of the rafts.

craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey xJaypex that would be great if you could try these out. Can I send you some?

The only things that I request in exchange for the sample pack are observations on the growth of plants in the planters and general impression of the product design and concept. It would be great if the people testing the planters could also get pictures of their setups and the results that they observe.
 

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Hey xJaypex that would be great if you could try these out. Can I send you some?

The only things that I request in exchange for the sample pack are observations on the growth of plants in the planters and general impression of the product design and concept. It would be great if the people testing the planters could also get pictures of their setups and the results that they observe.
I would love to try these out, so please do. I can do what your asking for in return, ive always wanted to test a prototype of some sort :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well just send me a PM with your shipping address and I'll include yours with the rest.

I'll send out one more to a respondent with a high-tech setup.

I will start offering these for sale from the Riparium Supply site when I can figure out the rest of the packaging and logo design.
 

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I too used to do something similar. I used small clay flowerpots, and sealed the bottom drainage hole with epoxy. Then I covered the top with landscape fabric with an X cut in the top, which held in the soil nicely but flexed to allow the plant to grow out with ease.

Both materials breathe, which helps avoid the soil going anaerobic and causing the stink Frogsandfish observed. I'm wondering if that might be an long-term issue with your product, which appears to be plastic with only a small hole in the top for oxygen to reach the roots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Actually water and gases can diffuse across most of the top surface of the planter. There is a really effective design update that puts a stiff cloth screen below the top inside surface with a void in between. I mean to get a picture of that soon but I have been so busy.

Plus, it appears that some aquatic plants can supply their rooting zones with oxygen via vascular exchange. The planter media that I use in these is mainly comprised of a forest topsoil with natural organic matter. I have observed that for a short while after planting there is sometimes an objectionable rotten-eggs odor in the planter cup, but after the roots have established inside I only detect a sweet humus scent.

One more available for somebody with a high-tech setup.
 

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I hope that somebody with a high-tech setup might be willing to try the planters. I do not currently have any high light + CO2 tanks set up and I am curious as to how will grow in the planters if driven a bit faster.
forgot to tell you in pm I have high light co2 and am using ei ferts on my 54gal and low light no co2 pps pro ferts on my 20 gal
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It looks as though these are all spoken for for now. I'll respond to these last couple of PMs then work on getting the sample packs ready to ship out.
 

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Neat product idea! Those make good sense for lots of situations.

Those are awfully small, though. Any thought given to multiple sizes? A bit taller and much larger diameter makes more sense to me for Apons, Swords, and Lotuses. 6" diameter by 2" height or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks! It may seem simple, but I have been working on it for a long time and it is fun to finally make it public.

There will eventually be larger sizes. I have started out with these two smaller models because they are easier to use in smaller tanks. The height of the container is an important limitation. If one wishes to maintain a natural aesthetic in the aquarium then the planter needs to be short enough that it can still be covered up with gravel or sand.

These planters go along with low-tech methods very well, including ripairum setups. All of the (still not very well arranged) underwater plants that I have going in my 50-gallon are in these planters.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey folks all of the planters that I had ready to go for the consumer testing offer are spoken for.

These things do work pretty well and I am going to offer them for sale just as soon as I can finish resolving the logo and packaging. I want to start out with a reduced-price promotional "TPT exclusive" sale here in the Swap n Shop, so watch out for that if you have been curious about them.

I really hope that this thing can be successful and serve as another handy tool for growing aquarium plants. Thanks everybody for your interest!
 
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