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Emersed Plants

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Noledoc, May 1, 2011.

  1. Noledoc

    Noledoc Prolific Poster

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    Have 4 quick questions about emersed plantings.
    1. Is high humidity of the air around the plants often critical? I'm thinking of using rubber-made tubs which would be difficult to seal.
    2. If I plan to grow plants in a separate container and transplant them into an aquarium for their submerged life later, would it be necessary or help to use a similar substrate?
    3. Could I use incompletely or non-mineralized topsoil as a substrate, without additional Ferts (for a few months?)
    Different setup below
    4. What if any plants would do well in a topsoil plus sand mix (as you suggest) with 4 to 6 inches of water over the substrate wi shrimps and a few small fish? (sponge filter)
    Thanks mucho
     
  2. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    I can't answer all your questions, but I can tell you #1 is yes. You need high humidity and you need to keep the setup sealed. You can use something as simple as plastic wrap to seal. It doesn't have to be absolutely perfect. But it should prevent that vast majority of humidity from escaping.

    #2. I don't think so. It might help you you use ADA AS or something like that, but really I don't think switching substrate type is that critical. That said, if you're going from say Topsoil/sand to flourite, you might want some root tabs and EI dosing of the water column. My guess is CO2 would immensely help the transition.

    #3. No need to mineralize the substrate, in fact the dry start over a period of time would basically do that.

    #4. I don't think you would be particularly limited with your plant choices
     
  3. Noledoc

    Noledoc Prolific Poster

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    Fred, many tanks! I have 160 lbs of topsoil slowly mineralizing in tubs. I also have a bucket of aquarium plants.com substrate. I'm thinking of laying down an inch of topsoil and covering it with an inch of the turface-like substrate. I have osmocoat and Ferts in pellets I could seed between the layers. What would you recommend?
     
  4. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    I haven't used that substrate. If it is turface, I would be hesitant to use it as a top to MTS, because its very light and hard to plant in from what I understand, again I have no experience using turface, or ap substrate, but that is what I have heard here. If you use mineralized top soil, and follow the recipe out there I do not see a need for substrate ferts. I would just dose the water column to cover my bases. I have used flourite black sand successfully as a cap to soil. 3M used to make a black sand, color quartz type T, that worked well as a cap from what I understand, an equivalent product is now supposedly made by Estes as 3M discontinued. This would be a much cheaper route. I like darker color substrate with the MTS, so if there is a little mixture its not so obvious.

    Hopefully this helps.
     
  5. Noledoc

    Noledoc Prolific Poster

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    Fred thanks again. The Ap substrate isn't that bad regarding being too light. I also like the dark (or black) substrate. The topsoil hasn't fully mineralized but since this is an emersed set up, I'm hoping that I'll be ok. I don't much care if it's ugly since I'm growing plants to later transplant into another, larger tank. ;-)
    Thanks a heap for your thoughts.
    Paul
     

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