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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello again TPT...

Had an old 20 G sitting around collecting dust and picked up a rather large Aglaonema Gemini plant, so decided to use both to put together a "Terraphyte" tank. No water changes necessary, just top offs a couple of times a week. The plant takes in all forms of nitrogen as soon as the roots are emersed, so the cycling process isn't necessary. The tank is fish ready.

No special lighting is needed. The land plant requires only ambient light. I do use a small HOB to filter the water when the lights are off at night.

Unusual planted tank, but nearly maintenance free.

B
 

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I like it! I really love what you do to your tanks :icon_smil

I have a question on how much of the plant roots are in the water when you start. We sell these nice clear plastic suction cup shower caddys where I work, and I think they'd be great for holding plants. Since I'm guessing the plants are put in bare root, I was going to pack bits of leftover Poret foam around the plant until it grows in to fill the caddy. Where do you place your plants? Are they completely above the water line with just the root tips entering the water?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Using Emersed land Plants

I like it! I really love what you do to your tanks :icon_smil

I have a question on how much of the plant roots are in the water when you start. We sell these nice clear plastic suction cup shower caddys where I work, and I think they'd be great for holding plants. Since I'm guessing the plants are put in bare root, I was going to pack bits of leftover Poret foam around the plant until it grows in to fill the caddy. Where do you place your plants? Are they completely above the water line with just the root tips entering the water?

Thanks!
Hello driftwood...

The plants come potted, so you have to rinse off the potting mixture to expose the white roots. If you don't the plant will die. The root ball must be emersed completely in the tank water, with the leaves above to take in CO2 from the air. Any leaves under water will die.

Your idea of the shower caddy is great. The caddy would work best if it was a type of rustproof, wire basket with a hook, so the plant could be inserted into the wire basket and the basket hooked on the inside of the tank. You would have to use something around the plant to keep it from falling over if the caddy was larger than the root ball. Not sure we're on the same page, but I think you've got the right idea.

I ran a wooden dowel through the plant stalks to keep the plant upright in the water.

B
 

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Thanks! So if the crown (where the roots and the leaves meet) stays dry I'm good to go...

this is the kind of caddy I was thinking about; I've used thin velcro strips to hold driftwood down in rocks in the tanks - I could do something similar if the suction cups needed help, but they seem quite strong, able to hold a lot of weight. The bottom is all open slats too. We also have corner units of the same line, and multiple sizes.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/InterDesign-Suction-Bath-Caddy/16478086
 

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This kind of thing is pretty well-developed in the hobby already. Try a search for "planted riparium".

Hydroton expanded clay pellets works well as a rooting substrate for Aglaonema and similar plants.

The best kinds of plants for growing like this are the ones that are true marginal aquatics adapted to root in the mud shoreline areas. Most Aglaonema and other houseplants are more like upland forest plants, but they can often root OK in the water if you give the a real coarse and open substrate, such as hydroton.
 

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That's one of the considerations I had - potential root rot in plants not adapted to constant moisture at their roots. It's a tough balancing act between properly adapted plants and plants not toxic to pets (cats in my case).
 

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Most of the best riparium plants would not be expected to present much ingestion toxicity danger for cats or other pets.

Spathiphyllum peace lily is an exception as a good riparium plant (and true semi-aquatic marginal) that is mildly toxic and not good to keep with cats around. Aglaonema is related to Spathiphyllum--they are both in the arum family--and also mildly toxic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Emersed Land Plants

That's one of the considerations I had - potential root rot in plants not adapted to constant moisture at their roots. It's a tough balancing act between properly adapted plants and plants not toxic to pets (cats in my case).
The "Ag" plants haven't presented a problem for us. We have 8 indoor cats and though they'll damage a leaf once in a while, they don't bother the tanks as a rule. Guess the tanks have been around long enough, that the cats have lost interest in them. We do provide them the small clumps of grass you can pick up at any pet store. They just like to munch on something alive and green once in a while.

If you decide to use the "Ag" plants, the Cutlass variety is the best I've found with Gemini a closed second.

B
 

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I grow organic oat grass for my cats all year, but it doesn't stop them from chewing on every plant I bring into the house (I wish it did!). To them, the tanks are just more furniture to use to get where they want to go. One of my cats - I have two - is a red tabby, but she thinks she's a Bengal. She behaves like one in most ways, including activity/mischievousness. I've had tanks set up here for over ten years, they're still not ignored.

This part I didn't get? I don't know what the Cutlass and Gemini refer to...
If you decide to use the "Ag" plants, the Cutlass variety is the best I've found with Gemini a closed second.
 
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