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Half-emersed plants

Ackroyd

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21 Oct 2020
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12
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Slovakia
Hello.
For my shallow tank i am looking for plants that would grow half emersed, half submersed. Left back side has a soil aproxiamtely 8cm below water surface. I hoped that rotala Hra would grow that way, and on one place near root it does, but mostly it doesnt.
I think its because it has to be kept wet few times in a week?
What are the plant species that can grow this way? Or do i have to put more soil, if possible to surface level, so the plants will grow emersed?
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tam

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A lot of things won't look good under the water once they hit the surface and put top growth on, as leaves in the air have more access to CO2 so why bother with below the surface ones. Many do grow out the water though, it depends what look you want. Hairgrass would look the same above and below, for example.
 

sparkyweasel

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If you want somthing bigger than Hairgrass, there's Japanese Rush, Acorus gramineus. Green or variegated.
 

Ackroyd

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At that place i dont need submersed plants. So i am open to emersed only options. That Japanese Rush looks quite good. Maybe eleocharis vivipara would look good.
But i would still also like to have something that looks like emersed rotalas, or Bacopas. but i dont know how to grow them emersed.
 

Kezzab

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Hi, hra and all rotalas ive had will grow like this. As will plenty of other things. I've found it only works when the tank is very overgrown and there is a large plants mass beneath. The first few stems that break the surface tend to wither, but then eventually they put on proper emersed growth and it's fine.
Pics of my very neglected nano tank below. Hra and HC Tri Japan and Xmas moss growing emersed.

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zozo

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Lobelia cardinalis would be a nice candidate, then buy one large enough in the pond shop or garden centre. If the conditions favour the plant will grow young runners submerged around its stem. The emerged mother will be dark red and the young submerged plants are green.

Bog Arum also is a very decorative aroid (Resembling Anubias)plant for such application... In some cultures it's called Snakeweed, I guess this is because its stem grows submerged and horizontally over the substrate and its leaves grow emerged with a nice white flower.
Bog Arum (Calla palustris) – Puddleplants (Mind it is toxic if you have children)

In the pond shop, you might find a load of other options of plants that also are sold in the LFS such as Rotala's. In the pond shop, they are larger and more mature nursed to grow on as marginal pond plants. But if placed very shallow partially emerged then the submersed part will happily grow on and produce submerged runners.

Buying in the LFS then the plants are too small and too immature but still in emerged bog form. Then if planted fully submerged it first needs to transition from emerged to submerged and grow bigger and then to the same thing again another way around again. This actually is a waste of time and energy.

Buying young and small bog plants you would be better off the mature them emerged till big enough so they can be planted shallow with sufficient emerged foilage. Then do some research on what you want and avoid the annual herbs that will die back after flowering if kept emerged.

Echinodorus definitively is a nice option. E. uruguayensis, E. cordifolius and most cultivars can do.
 
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Ackroyd

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Thank you all for your advices. They are exactly what i hoped for.
I have one submersed lobelia cardinalis aproximately 40cm tall (but in submersed form).
I never have thought about pond shop. great idea.
And the Kezzab's tank - exactly what i want to achieve :) (maybe some vivipara in between). Do you need to keep them wet (with spray or something)?
Thank you
 

zozo

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maybe some vivipara in between
What do you mean by this? The snails? These are pretty tough to keep because they are very hungry and require quite some detritus in other words dirty substrates. If tidy maintained tanks they will starve to death rather soon.

Do you need to keep them wet (with spray or something)?
This highly depends on the species, I guess the majority of the true tropicals are difficult and require high air humidity or a long time of transition to coop with low humidities. It's often a trial and error to find out what can do good with little effort.

In my personal experience, most Hydrocotyle are quite undemanding and easily grow both ways.
Hydrocotyle leucocephala is about the strongest out there. The H. tripartita also is very easy but is prone to attract and get destroyed by Aphids.

But you have plenty of options...
dscf7314-kopie-jpg.jpg

In this tank except the Echinodorus all is growing on wood placed at the surface, at the left side it's a piece i found shaped like a hollow canoe and it contained a number of plants, such as Rotala indica, bog pimpernel, lilaeopsis brasiliensis, Mazus reptans, HC, MC and Utricularia graminifolia. It never required any spraying at all and they all thrived very well. I tried more sensitive plants that never really worked out and never popped the surface such as Anubias, java fern and Rotala mexicana goias.

Pogestemon erectus en P. stellatus also can do and P. helferi again is quite demanding and more sensitive.
 

shangman

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I have been thinking about trying something like you are, and I'm planning on experimenting with homemade wabikusa balls - covered in moss/hydrocotyle/baby tears, and then with various stem plants and echinodorus shoved in too. They can just be hung on the side off the tank with a bit of wire. <Some inspiration here>, which I was reading yesterday, it looks really intriguing. You can check the UKAPS wabi kusa forum, it has lots of people making very nice DIY versions. I will just use trimmings from other tanks, and maybe will buy a few extra pots, could make it easier as most plants come in their emersed form already.

In my dad's tank (which is basically mine but neglected), I bought an echinodorus and when it was submerged it grew massively and was too big for the nano tank (originally was going for a @zozo echinodorus tank but I think I chose the wrong species as it never emerged!), so I pulled it out and stuck it with some soil in a hole at the top of the driftwood. All the submerged leaves died, and then came back very pretty and nicely small - it is only about 13cm high with nice red leaves. So I think just try different echinodorus, they are always very pretty. At the back of this tank I have a wood and moss shelf, with a soil pocket behind it. The plants grow, but very slowly and I think a wabi kusa technique might be prettier and easier to maintain. I have been a bit lazy with it though!

PXL_20210426_103309358.jpg
 

Ackroyd

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This is what i meant with vivipara Dennerle Eleocharis Vivipara
I have an idea. Maybe stupid. I was thinking about "mist maker" . I never had one, but what if i turn it on (automatically) for few minutes a day. Will it increase humidity sufficiently for plants above surface level?
 

zozo

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I think just try different echinodorus

At the German FLowgrow forum, they have a rather popular thread named The Year of Echinodorus its started in 2018 and still active today. And it is all about growing Echinodorus sp, emersed. :)

It contains pictures and species names that do grow emersed in all kinds of setups... I guess this doesn't really need translation watching the pics and look for the names.

But must admit, tried several ones I found there that seem to thrive with some people but in a way, I still failed to grow them. I guess this is also about with kind of climate can you provide. Each living room seems to have its own climate that may be in favour or not. One swallow does not make a summer?
 

zozo

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I was thinking about "mist maker"
No, it's not stupid :) but from the tank it will mist mineralized water all over the place that lands on surfaces and evaporates leaving stains. In some cases, it might not be very hygienic too if it is tank water littered with bacteria flying around. What do we know is all in there?...

But from a separate container filled with distilled water, it still can work. :) There are terrarium mist makers available to be placed outside the environment with a separate distiled water container and a hose to apply the mist.
 

shangman

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This is what i meant with vivipara Dennerle Eleocharis Vivipara
I have an idea. Maybe stupid. I was thinking about "mist maker" . I never had one, but what if i turn it on (automatically) for few minutes a day. Will it increase humidity sufficiently for plants above surface level?
There are definitely people who use misters in their ripariums/paludariums. I think it would need to be on quite a lot to have an effect, as the humidity in the room would be much lower and so constantly steal it away. I will find some more links for you on pond-style ripariums, because I've been obsessed with them recently and there is a lot you can grow without worrying too much about the humidity.

I have a tall eleocharis growing in my soil behind the echinodorus, it grows totally fine out of the water, and I have also noticed it sending shoots out under the wood into the water which are growing well too (but they have not yet broken the surface).

At the German FLowgrow forum, they have a rather popular thread named The Year of Echinodorus its started in 2018 and still active today. And it is all about growing Echinodorus sp, emersed. :)

It contains pictures and species names that do grow emersed in all kinds of setups... I guess this doesn't really need translation watching the pics and look for the names.

But must admit, tried several ones I found there that seem to thrive with some people but in a way, I still failed to grow them. I guess this is also about with kind of climate can you provide. Each living room seems to have its own climate that may be in favour or not. One swallow does not make a summer?
This is what I really love about aquarium keeping, there are so many amazing forum threads from all over the world about very specific and beautiful topics, sharing all this fascinating knowledge! Thank you very much I will enjoy reading this is seeing which ones to try next!! It's ok that sometimes it doesn't work for us, because of course sometimes things work very well for us that don't work for others. As my dad says, every dead and dying plant is an opportunity for a lovely new one which might thrive. Did you see on aquasabi they are selling a very nice rare echinodorus opacus? I am so sad that I can't order from there any more!!
 

Kezzab

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18 Jan 2016
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Location
Carlisle
Thank you all for your advices. They are exactly what i hoped for.
I have one submersed lobelia cardinalis aproximately 40cm tall (but in submersed form).
I never have thought about pond shop. great idea.
And the Kezzab's tank - exactly what i want to achieve :) (maybe some vivipara in between). Do you need to keep them wet (with spray or something)?
Thank you
Hi - i dont mist or do anything at all. They just grow.
 
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