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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came across some pretty cool little white bead-things that absorb water, become translucent and increase in size. I think i want to try and grow an emergent plant from them because they will hold water for weeks.

My idea is this...fill a small clear bowl or glass jar with them and only fill with enough water to keep them fully engorged. Then set it on my desk at work. What kind of emergent plant could work for this? Or should I just use a houseplant that will tolerate "wet feet"?

I'll try and take pics when I'm home if my description isn't ringing any bells.
 

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Hi Tbonedawg08,

It's an interesting idea, I like it. The "beads" are a polymer that absorb water and then 'release' it as needed. They are available in multiple colors. Of course, you will need to provide more than room lighting for your planter.

A couple of plant species that do well emersed that come to mind would:

1) Either Micranthemum tweediei (aka 'Monte Carlo) or Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba' would do well for a ground cover / lawn and possibly Hydrocotyle tripartita (aka 'Japan)
2) Ludwigia glandulosa would make a nice 'centerpiece' plant with the red color and strong stems
3) Other plants would be Crytocorynes like 'Florida Sunset', Pogostemon erectus, Hygrophila pinnatifida, Anubias, Bacopa salzmannii, Bacopa madagascariensis,

Micranthemum tweediei


Bacopa salzmannii and Ludwigia glandulosa that were just transferred from emersed


Crytocorynes like 'Florida Sunset'
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Tbonedawg08,

It's an interesting idea, I like it. The "beads" are a polymer that absorb water and then 'release' it as needed. They are available in multiple colors. Of course, you will need to provide more than room lighting for your planter.

A couple of plant species that do well emersed that come to mind would:

1) Either Micranthemum tweediei (aka 'Monte Carlo) or Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba' would do well for a ground cover / lawn and possibly Hydrocotyle tripartita (aka 'Japan)
2) Ludwigia glandulosa would make a nice 'centerpiece' plant with the red color and strong stems
3) Other plants would be Crytocorynes like 'Florida Sunset', Pogostemon erectus, Hygrophila pinnatifida, Anubias, Bacopa salzmannii, Bacopa madagascariensis,

Micranthemum tweediei


Bacopa salzmannii and Ludwigia glandulosa that were just transferred from emersed


Crytocorynes like 'Florida Sunset'
Awesome thanks! Lighting may be the limiting factor here since I won't be able to set up any axillary lighting other than the fluorescents in the ceiling and the evening sunset.

Think any of those might work in that lighting? A plant with a substantial root system is preferable since you'll be able to see them through the pot.
 

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Awesome thanks! Lighting may be the limiting factor here since I won't be able to set up any axillary lighting other than the fluorescent in the ceiling and the evening sunset.

Think any of those might work in that lighting? A plant with a substantial root system is preferable since you'll be able to see them through the pot.
Hi Tbonedawg08,

I doubt if just the ceiling lights would provide sufficient light for most species. Possibly you could add a small desk lamp? This one has a 5 watt LED that you could swing over the top of your pot.

The Cryptocorynes would probably have the most substantial root system.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Tbonedawg08,

I doubt if just the ceiling lights would provide sufficient light for most species. Possibly you could add a small desk lamp? This one has a 5 watt LED that you could swing over the top of your pot.

The Cryptocorynes would probably have the most substantial root system.

Good idea. I'm just surprised that there are so many house plants that don't seem to mind the relatively low lighting. Maybe I'll try both ways and see what happens

Bump:

Bump: My current plants that seem to be thriving
 

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Hi Tbonedawg08,

PM me when you are ready and I will ROAK you some emersed species I grow for the cost of postage. I grow various several species of stems, and maybe I can spare an emersed crypt or anubias as well. Post pictures as your project comes together.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Tbonedawg08,

PM me when you are ready and I will ROAK you some emersed species I grow for the cost of postage. I grow various several species of stems, and maybe I can spare an emersed crypt or anubias as well. Post pictures as your project comes together.

Thanks I will!

Dumb question: do I need to keep the plant covered for the humidity? Or can I get away with spraying it daily? Or do I need to even do that? Sorry I'm pretty new to aquatic plants, and entirely new to emerged aquatic plants.
 

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Thanks I will!

Dumb question: do I need to keep the plant covered for the humidity? Or can I get away with spraying it daily? Or do I need to even do that? Sorry I'm pretty new to aquatic plants, and entirely new to emerged aquatic plants.
Hi Tbonedawg08,

Not a dumb question at all. Keep in mind that most of the plant species we use in our tanks are from tropical areas where higher temperatures and high humidity are typical. You may be able to get by with only having to mist the plants daily (obviously weekends excluded) and keeping the beads well filled so they give off moisture into the surrounding air. If misting isn't sufficient then finding a glass cover or dome for your terrarium may be necessary. Don't worry too much about temperature. I grow my emersed stems in our attached garage, temps in the summer easily reach 90 degrees and temps in the winter in the 40's - during warm periods extra humidity is necessary.

The reason I use the domes over my emersed plants is to keep the humidity very high. Why? By keeping the humidity very high the cuticle layer of the leaves remains very thin and allows me to transition my stems from emersed to submerged with little to no leaf loss....including cryptocorynes. For your application I will 'harden' off the stems and cuttings so they are better able to handle the dryer air found in and office environment.

Don't forget you will need to fertilize as well.

Recently planted (5/28) emersed grown stems and plants in my 30 gallon

5/28/16


6/6/16 (notice no loss of leaves even on the Cryptocoryne)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Tbonedawg08,

Not a dumb question at all. Keep in mind that most of the plant species we use in our tanks are from tropical areas where higher temperatures and high humidity are typical. You may be able to get by with only having to mist the plants daily (obviously weekends excluded) and keeping the beads well filled so they give off moisture into the surrounding air. If misting isn't sufficient then finding a glass cover or dome for your terrarium may be necessary. Don't worry too much about temperature. I grow my emersed stems in our attached garage, temps in the summer easily reach 90 degrees and temps in the winter in the 40's - during warm periods extra humidity is necessary.

The reason I use the domes over my emersed plants is to keep the humidity very high. Why? By keeping the humidity very high the cuticle layer of the leaves remains very thin and allows me to transition my stems from emersed to submerged with little to no leaf loss....including cryptocorynes. For your application I will 'harden' off the stems and cuttings so they are better able to handle the dryer air found in and office environment.

Don't forget you will need to fertilize as well.

Recently planted (5/28) emersed grown stems and plants in my 30 gallon

5/28/16


6/6/16 (notice no loss of leaves even on the Cryptocoryne)
Great information! I'll look in to lights. Something like what you posted or even the kind that clips on to a book may work for this. I'll probably start all of this at home and transition the plant to work once I get a feel for how it's doing. Fortunately I only have 1 day off at a time, so it should never really dry out.

One more question and i should be ready...will food coloring effect any of these plants? I'm considering adding a subtle amount of color to the substrate to contrast with the roots. Think that'll work? It'll probably dye the roots too now that I think of it
 

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Great information! I'll look in to lights. Something like what you posted or even the kind that clips on to a book may work for this. I'll probably start all of this at home and transition the plant to work once I get a feel for how it's doing. Fortunately I only have 1 day off at a time, so it should never really dry out.

One more question and i should be ready...will food coloring effect any of these plants? I'm considering adding a subtle amount of color to the substrate to contrast with the roots. Think that'll work? It'll probably dye the roots too now that I think of it
Hi Tbonedawg08,

As for the light, something that doesn't throw off a lot of heat would be your best choice.

Food coloring shouldn't effect the plants or the roots although it may be possible for the plants to uptake the 'dye' and it will color the leaves? The beads are also available in colors.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice! Mine are clear so I'll be trying those for now, but if it works I'll have a little fun with it

Bump: My coworker had a cool idea. How about an LED base that shines the light UP instead of down? Where could I find a base like that? Maybe one that colors drink glasses??

Im pretty amped now
 

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Bump: My coworker had a cool idea. How about an LED base that shines the light UP instead of down? Where could I find a base like that? Maybe one that colors drink glasses??

Im pretty amped now
Hi Tbonedawg08,

I don't believe the light coming from below will work. Plants by their nature reach for and grow towards the light.....you might end up with a bunch of upside down plants! lol
 
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