Andys HC propagator step by step

Discussion in 'Emersed Growing' started by Andy Thurston, 25 Aug 2013.

  1. Andy Thurston

    Andy Thurston Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,819
    Hi all

    I recently grew HC in a propagator to cut costs for a tank my friend and I were scaping.

    Juwel 180 first planted tank | UK Aquatic Plant Society

    I posted a few photos in the above journal and other threads. With the amount of interest the few photos I posted generated I thought I'd write a step by step of how I did it, so here goes.

    I got all the things that I needed starting with ordering 1 in vitro pot of hc cuba that cost £5 from ebay (please note that I did the propagator without taking any photos, so the hc in them is what was left over after doing the tank). While waiting for it to arrive I acquired the other things I needed to buy, these were 1 x Sankey Growarm 100 propagator, about £18 from B&Q and bag of John Ines 3, about £4. So for less than £30 I had everything I needed and was ready to start.

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    I filled both trays with John Ines 3 about 2 cm below the top of the tray, breaking up any lumps and removing any big pieces of organic material.

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    Next I filled the tray with water so it was about 1cm below the substrate

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    Now its time to prepare the hc. I washed off all the jelly with water and pulled it into small pieces ready for planting.
    The second time around was different. I took the hc and cut off the yellow bits, which included the roots, with scissors.

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    In the time it took to prepare the water soaked into the John Ines and it now looked like this.

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    I got single stems or clumps and placed them on the surface (Not planted like normal) like this

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    I continued placing stems/clumps until both trays were full

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    Next I placed the propagator on the kitchen window cill which gets direct sunlight from about mid day onwards.

    iphonepictures227_zps7e8e7b26.jpg S5RGBo2.jpg

    I put the lid on with the vent fully closed and plugged it in.(sorry for dark pic, I forgot to take it when I started so have just done it now)
    For the rest of this step by step the photos are my first attempt which I started with more hc in the propagator.

    Week 1, nothing really happened.
    Week 2, The first real sunshine, growth has started and its putting new roots down now.
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    Week 3, 3 days sunshine and 4 days rain.(British weather) Starting to grow well.
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    Week 3 and 4 days, 2 days sun shine and 2 dull days its really taking hold now. you can see growth daily.
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    All the rest of the photos are 1 week apart
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    2 photos this week
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    Week 9 or 10 Ready for planting into tank.
    iphonepictures146_zpsb459a53c.jpg iphonepictures147_zpsd89ee3e3.jpg

    I grew this hc early in the summer and on the hotter days I opened the Vent fully and turned the heater off to avoid very high temperatures within the propagator.

    This took no looking after apart from checking temperature and a couple of water top ups. In 10 weeks I turned 1 pot of hc into 25 pots which easily paid for its self.
    If you are thinking about doing this during autumn and winter additional light will be needed.

    Finally I hope you enjoyed my step by step and if you follow it I hope you get the same results I have.

    Thanks for looking
    Andy
     
    Akmaliano, ojustaboo, dean and 29 others like this.
  2. Andy D

    Andy D Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,487
    Nice one!

    Might give this a try myself in the future.
     
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  3. sa80mark

    sa80mark Member

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    861
    Location:
    Leicester
    Brilliant step by step definitely something to consider doing for next tank :)
     
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  4. Michael W

    Michael W Member

    Messages:
    889
    This looks great! I had an emersed project going on for a few weeks with Staurogyne Repens and just this morning I noticed I forgot to put the cling film back on and the whole thing has dried out. Absolutely gutted!!! It may work better if I had your setup, definitely going to give it a shot.
     
    Andy Thurston likes this.
  5. Lee Sweeting

    Lee Sweeting Member

    Messages:
    678
    Brilliant little step-by-step guide. :)
     
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  6. Ryan Thang To

    Ryan Thang To Member

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    1,472
    Location:
    London. milton keynes
    Great step by step. Just what we need in this hobby. Thanks for sharing andy.

    Cheers
     
    Andy Thurston likes this.
  7. Samjpikey

    Samjpikey Member

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    859
    Location:
    Devon
    Nice guide Mate :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  8. sa80mark

    sa80mark Member

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    861
    Location:
    Leicester
    Are you planning on trying any other plants in it ?
     
  9. Michael W

    Michael W Member

    Messages:
    889
    I'm going to guess that glosso would also do fantastic in the propagator. I may make a Wabi Kusa in the near future and this method would without doubt help to transition some of those smaller plants into an emersed setup.
     
  10. Gary Nelson

    Gary Nelson Member

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    1,297
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Great step by step pics of some lovely very healthy growth... I'm sure you will inspire allot of us on here to give it a go... Thanks for showing us :)
     
    Andy Thurston likes this.
  11. Andy Thurston

    Andy Thurston Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    Cheers Guys:thumbup:
     
  12. Andy Thurston

    Andy Thurston Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,819
    I'm sure it will Gary I was inspired by Foxfish to do it in the first place. Then I was inspired to write step by step by all the questions from lots of people
    Yes mark. I have an idea for multiplying a few stems of rotala rotundifolia and a couple of unknown stems I have to start with. Do I need photos of those too?. I need a half decent camera
    I think this will help many species of plants transition.
    Its quite wet in there as you can see from the photos and the HC went into the tank and got flooded with no melting so I guess it will work both ways.
     
    foxfish likes this.
  13. Michael W

    Michael W Member

    Messages:
    889
    I'm just curious would it be possible after the transition to remove the covers gradually to directly expose the plants to the air inside the house, perhaps the container won't be the propagator at this stage say removing the cling film off the bowl/tank. Since I'm in the process of planning a Wabi Kusa without the ball, instead planting the plants emersed in say cat litter or gravel. If I do get to that stage of removing the cover how big a part does the UK temperature play a part both in the summer and winter? How about how often you mist?

    Sorry this may be a bit off topic?

    Michael.
     
  14. Andy Thurston

    Andy Thurston Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,819
    I don't know Micheal but I read somewhere earlier in the week that you can gradually mist them less and less for a wabi but I cant remember where. I suppose you could start fully sealed with cling film and leave a bigger and bigger gap but it would be an experiment. Try it and see
     
  15. Michael W

    Michael W Member

    Messages:
    889
    I shall indeed, I guess I'll wait until I have a decent amount of each plant emersed then separate some to try. Then I'll know which could handle being exposed fully to the air and how often misting will help.
     
  16. Dan walton

    Dan walton Member

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    281
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Good show Andy
     
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  17. Brian Murphy

    Brian Murphy Member

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    585
    Location:
    Omagh, N.Ireland
    Looks the biz .... great way to create more plants for scaping !
     
    Andy Thurston likes this.
  18. foxfish

    foxfish Member

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    4,371
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Fantastic... what are you going to plant next?
     
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  19. Andy Thurston

    Andy Thurston Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,819
    Its 2 weeks into some more hc but Im going to try rotala rotundifolia next. Laid down flat like the hc. I had a little bit In there after id harvested the hc for the rio180 and it sprouted new growth. Ive got a couple of unknown stems that came in with some shrimp.
     
  20. edmills

    edmills Member

    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    Plymouth/ Dorset
    Fantastic project!! Am hoping to start a similar one up but was wondering what sort of extra lighting would be required?? And with this extra lighting is it till necessary for the sunlight??

    Thanks!!
     

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