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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can never get the stems to stay down! Its driving me crazy!

The substrate is flourite gravel.

I thought that eventually the stem plants would grow roots and stay down but every day I have to replant. So far no substantial roots. Any ideas on to keep planted?
I know you can buy the mettle clamp things but I don't get how they work. Does each stem get a clamp? Or each bunch?

Thanks for your help

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When its an option I do like to use 2 hands to bury stems, otherwise pulling the tweezers out they tend to get pulled with them. This is worse for gravel then in sand. I wouldn't want to leave metal plant ties in my tank all the time. I don't have any information that says its bad... I just wouldn't want to do it incase it is.
 

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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." Gandalf: Lord of the Rings
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Its been a little more than a week and no roots so I guess I will wait more. What size rocks do you suggest? Like oversize pieces of gravel or pebbles? Every time I replant I place as far as I can down. So I don't think that's the problem. The gravel is 2.5in high.

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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." Gandalf: Lord of the Rings
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes I have 2.5in I will try all the ideas and see which works best.

thanks everyone,

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I use plumbing solder to weight down bunches (usually pretty big punches) of stemmed plants. I just happened to have some laying around when I was trimming my Super red ludwiga and had WAY too many stems to plant each one individually. I wrapped a bunch of stems in plumbing solder and viola! they sunk to the bottom. A quick push into the gravel and they stayed there.

Plumping solder is safe for human potable water so it has no heavy metals and no lead in it. I like it a lot better than using lead and it is a lot cheaper than the aquarium plant specific weights.

For a few stems I use the shove it deep in the substrate and jiggle the tweezers when pulling them out to let the substrate fall in around the stem without adding any weight, as described above, technique.
 

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I like the suggestions here. I just got some Alternanthera Reineckii Rosanervig. I bought them online in pots because I was hoping they would have roots. No such luck. Many of the stems broke into 2-4 pieces even with very gentle handling. Now I find out that the rosanervig has VERY delicate stem (reading on BUCE plants website), well at least more so the other Alternanthera. I actually still have about 4 or 5 little pieces floating around in the tank. I planted what I could with angled tweezers and had to do that about 3 times. Bentley Pascoe gave me, what I think is a great tip. Buy stem plants loose, not potted" Just leave them with the foam and metal wrap sinker. And let them stay about where you want them and wait for roots to start growing. I have found no success with stem plants that have no roots and very little issue getting them to stay if they do have roots. I also bout a Ludwigia Repens Rubin Red potted but it had roots and just stayed put fine. I like the idea of maybe using a rubber band to group stems together. And using plumbing solder and the one using a pencil and not using tweezers. It can take what seems like forever for some stems to grow roots, so I'll be patient but if that doesn't work I will try these ideas.
 

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Just so you know, most "stem plants" come without roots, roots have zero to do with growing them and/or the health of the plant when you receive them. What are you using as a substrate? There shouldn't be any real problem planting them in most substrates that are made for a planted aquariums.

Fun fact: If I do receive stem plants with roots, I usually cut them off. It's much easier to plant just the stem.
 

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Yes most bunches come with no stems but I thought a potted one might have roots. The only thing I meant was the roots seem to hold them down. I have a 10 year old establed tank but neglected it for many of the last months. So, I wish I had aquarium soil, it is small inert substrate. I had too much going on in the tank to swap out substrates, NOW I wished I had.
 

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Yes most bunches come with no stems but I thought a potted one might have roots. The only thing I meant was the roots seem to hold them down. I have a 10 year old establed tank but neglected it for many of the last months. So, I wish I had aquarium soil, it is small inert substrate. I had too much going on in the tank to swap out substrates, NOW I wished I had.
You could always replace the substrate "slowly" by removing some it a section at a time with pool filter sand. PFS is a perfect grain size and very easy to plant in. Just suction out an area of gravel and then replace with the PFS. If you do a section at a time and change water there is minimal risk to livestock.
 

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I cut the bottom 2 leaves in half and bury them so it usually stays put , or I take a small piece of filter sponge , cut a hole in the middle . Push a straw through the hole then put stem roots and all in the end of the straw . Pull the straw out while holding the plant in place . Bury the sponge and it will like not come out .
 
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I was wondering if anyone has ever tried the flourish glue aquascapers use to attach plants to rocks/stones.. Use it to glue a pebble on the side of the stem, then plant that?
That's an interesting idea if your really having trouble. BTW you could use any glue that's cyanoacrylate. I typically use the Gorilla or Loctite brands. All the plants in my scapes were attached that way.
 
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