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Old 10-18-2006, 07:35 PM   #1
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An Experiment with Emersed Growth - New Pics 5/12/2007

As some of you may know I've been toying with the idea of putting together and emersed growth setup. Well, I finally went from toying with the idea to starting to put things together. The last two days I've been working with the supplies that I gathered and have completed the necessary construction.

I'm going to be using a large plastic container to hold everything. Inside of that I'll be placing three shoebox sized containers which have holes in the bottom and slits in the sides to allow for water and nutrient movement. This will also allow for easier water changing as I can remove the small containers quickly draining the water, dump out the old water, replace the small containers, and refill with fresh water. Over the top I've made a humidity dome out of vinyl to help keep the humidity up for the plants. The dome is fastened to the large container using small binder clip and paper clips on the corners to minimize the gapping. This setup fits perfectly on one of the shelves in my indoor greenhouse which is in a nice sunny window.

By the end of the weekend I plan to have rinsed and added Turface MVP to the containers, filled it with water, and added plants. I'm planning to try Anubias, Crypts, and HC to start. Depending on how things go I may try some more varieties of plants. My main goals are to get the Anubias and Crypts to bloom, and to get better growth out of the HC to give myself more to work with and share.
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Old 10-18-2006, 07:49 PM   #2
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Looks nice. Very creative design. I will be looking forward to updates as you progress.
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:32 PM   #3
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Not bad at all. It looks really good. I did think of someting that mgiht beckfire after time. The vinyl might start to get brittle over time from the light and the heat. It may not because of the humidity but who knows.

I really like it, I might have to make myself one but I will probabaly use flower pots that fit 2x3 in the sweater box just for more species and depth for the roots.

Keep us updated, I want to get seed from my plants in the long run also. Very easy to transport and should provide healthier plants than sister plants or cloning.

Are you going to use anything for circulation?
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:49 PM   #4
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Very cool, looking forward to updates.
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:55 AM   #5
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The vinyl is pretty inexpensive, so other than the time involved in constructing the dome it wouldn't be too bad to replace. Further the indoor greenhouse is made with vinyl, and I've had for several years with no signs of problems.

For right now there is no external heat source or extra circulation. I'm trying to keep this as low tech as possible, partially because there aren't any outlets near the indoor greenhouse. I doubt that a heater will be necessary between the humidity dome and being in the indoor green house. If needed I could always lift each container and the set it back into the main container to let the water drain and refill for some circulation.
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:08 AM   #6
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I will have to try the vinyl as it would be the easiest way to create a cover for any size or shape container. And if it works that well for that long then maybe I will try to make a small greenhouse of my own when ever I have ahouse with enough room.

Keep us up to date with your success, I have failed once and really want to see a succesful attempt that I can replicate.

I did come up with a possible way to drain the setup. There are simple lever or screw type taps that can be put in most anything. If you cut a hole to put it in and silicone it tight it might make draining really easy.
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Old 10-21-2006, 09:42 AM   #7
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Thanks for the idea on draining the setup. I might try that depending on how much water ends up being in there, and as a result how unweildy the larger container is to take to the sink. I'll probably do some tests with this onces I've filled the small containers with substrate.

As it turns out I'm going to have to find a way to support the dome as it's slowly slumped over the last few days. Probably end up with a simple wire structure creating an X across the top and the ends resting on the corners of the large container.

Unfortunately this probably means it's probably going to be at least another week before things get completely set up.
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Old 10-22-2006, 02:38 PM   #8
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See if you can find the rails that they sell for file drawers. They are about 12 inches long and 6 inches tall so thye may work really well. I use them for crab traps but a vinyl tent might be perfect out of them.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:28 PM   #9
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Well I finally found some materials that I liked for building the frame to support the humidity dome. I ended up using a pair of 14" plant supports. These have a 14" ring with three posts made out of heavy duty wire that's plastic coated.

I opened up the rings and reshaped them to form the rectangle at the top. Took a pair of the posts to form a cross between the corners. Used the remaining four posts as the support in the four corners. Turned out pretty well in my opinion. Now I just need some time to finish getting it set up.
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:15 PM   #10
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very nice.

are you going to inject this with CO2 also?
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Old 11-07-2006, 06:42 PM   #11
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Looks great.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:53 PM   #12
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Nicely done, should work very well. That can also be used with the plant rings left whole with large planters if someone wanted use them. Just have to attach the vinyl to it and off you go. Put a heat lamp type dome lamp over the top and a very easy setup.

Can't wait to see how well it works. I need to improve on mine as I don't think I have enough humidity yet. Although I have finally gotten my HC to grow a little bit with a loose cover.
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:00 PM   #13
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The plan is for this to be a very low maintainance setup. This means no CO2, no Water Pump, no Heater, and no Artificial Light Source. Just substrate, water, ferts, and plants.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:17 PM   #14
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So far I've got Hemianthus Callitrichoides, Cryptocoryne Pygmaea, and Cryptocoryne Willisii in the emersed setup. They all seem to be adapting quite well.
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File Type: jpg hc20061213_957.jpg (182.4 KB, 34 views)
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:44 PM   #15
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Looks great! I have to try an emersed set up. I am moving soon and will have the room...
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:51 PM   #16
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Very nice Joy I think you're going to have a ton of HC before you know it.

I've been growing some plants emersed for the last few months and am totally surprised at how easy it is. I've got a few Crypts I'm trying to get to bloom too so we'll have to compare notes on how things go
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:34 PM   #17
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Well it looks like you have a better idea than I have. I think my main issue is lighting because I can't get much growth out of anything. My HC takes off for a while but stunts and gets slime on it after about every 3 weeks. My crypt Lucens is doing ok and might be the best success I have had yet. Maybe I just can't grow HC in my emersed setup nor my tanks, I think the stuff hates me.

Hopefully my crypt will do good and I can transfer more of them to get seeds going also.
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:30 PM   #18
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Today I receive and box containing some brand new square pots. They weren't quite as heavy duty as I'd like, but they should work just fine. So this evening I sat down to the task of replacing the modified plastic shoe boxes with the pots. Each pot was lined with some polyfiber or polyester batting on the bottom to keep the substrate in the pot, and then filled with some of the Turface from the existing containers. Each plant got it's own pot and a label identifying it.

In total I was able to fit twelve 4" pots and four 3" pots in the original container. Less than half of these actually have plants occupying them, even after adding a couple of new Crypts to the setup. New additions are some more Cryptocoryne x willisii (which was bought under the name of Cryptocoryne lucens) and a Cryptocoryne wendtii.

The Cryptocoryne pygmaea is currently floating in my 10 gallon after completely melting away to just the rhyzome. Thankfully one has already started sprouting some new leaves. The problem was like due to the fact that C. pygmaea prefers an acidic substrate and would be much better off in a blackwater setup. As a result I may end up going on a leaf litter collection expidition before long. While it's unlikely that I'll find any Beech trees in my area, there's descent chance that leaves from some of the other trees that are here may work just as well.

There is also some Cryptocoryne Parva, Anubias nana, and Anubias nana 'petite' which were added since the last time I updated this thread.

I promise to get some new pictures taken soon, but definately not tonight.

I'm also considering redoing the frame that supports the vinyl humidity dome. If I do, I'll be replacing it with some 1/2" cpvc. This should give a bit more rigid structure and hopefully will be easier to take off and put back on the container.
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:07 AM   #19
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Well at least yours is growing, my HC failed miserably and my crypts melted to the rhizome. Had to rescue the crypts in my tanks and they have come back to a state that ican recognize them again.

Not sure what i am doing wrong but I hope for pictures of your soon. I have to see something that I might try to get this to work. Until then I am looking at getting a 10 gallon tank to grow just crypts and Primrose since they thrive for me in Submerged settings.
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:52 PM   #20
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Okay here is the picture I promised.

Bottom Row from Left to Right:
Cryptocoryne x willisi, Cryptocoryne x willisii 'lucens', Cryptocoryne parva, Cryptocoryne wendtii, Hemianthus Callitrichoides
Second Row from Left to Right:
Anubias nana, Anubias nana 'petite'

My HC really isn't doing that well in the emersed setup. It continues to grow, but isn't getting nice and beautifully dense. I've got a few ideas that I may try with it, but for now I'm going to leave it alone.

The C. x willisi absolutely loves the setup and is spreading like mad. It's sent out tons of plantlets, and I expect it to fill up it's pot soon. It's currently my best hope for a Crypt flower.
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