Matt's emersed setup

Discussion in 'Emersed Growing' started by a1Matt, 10 Jun 2009.

  1. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    I have 25 Crypt Parva that are in emersed form already. I have posted a thread to swap them, but if I get no offers I may try growing them emersed for a little while instead.

    Does this setup look OK?...

    Equipment wise, I would buy this:
    http://www.wilkinsonplus.com/Seed-Trays ... vt/6313240
    and this:
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?Tab ... &U=Strat15

    Method wise...
    Plant Parva in pots and rockwool.
    Fill propagator with water no more than halfway up the pots (so that some of the roots get air and all of the leaves are exposed).
    Sit fogger inside a container inside the propagator, fill container with water thereby completely submerging the fogger.
    Place on windowsill.
    Leave slots on propagator open and Turn fogger on 5min every 30min or so (will take advice\experiment with timing\slots).
    Change water weekly, and dose dry ferts into water column once a week straight after dosing.

    Does this seem sound?
    From scouring the emersed posts here I can see that high temp is likely to be an issue on the windowsill and that aeration is beneficial - hence keeping the slots open and then adding the fogger to stop things drying out.
    I do not want to go the artifical light route as I want to keep costs down.


    I know that Parvas grows incredibly slowly in a tank environment. Do you guys think it will grow any quicker under my proposed emersed conditons? (Bearing in mind I am not ramping up thelighting or CO2, but will have some of the roots exposed.)
     
  2. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    Unless there is a reason for rockwool I would use plain old compost. If you use something inert like rockwool you have to master emersed dosing levels. lol

    I wouldn't bother with the pots either if you are just wanting to grow Crypts. Fill thepropogator with standard compost, let the water go up to the substrate level and plant the crypts. They grow better in compost/soil thanthey do in rockwool ;)

    Need to give Crypts some space too. I wouldn't bother with the fogger, you'll have to replace water anyway so you may as well just mist daily :) The house temperature and a closed lid should get plenty of humidity. In fact you may even need to put something under one side of the lid just to stop the heat getting too high.

    You may need some more height than that propgator allows too. Crypts grown emersed can get much bigger than submersed. Not seen how tall Parva get yet. Not one of the popular Crypts to be grown emersed. People tend to focus on the larger ones.

    AC
     
  3. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    Very helpful indeed, thanks Andy :)

    Compost it is then. I will put some osmocote granules in with it (as I have plenty of these already). I already have a mister so I will use that daily at first. I can always buy a fogger at a later date if I keep the experiment going and get fed up with misting. That drops the initial cost down to just £3 for the propagator. Result!

    I have measured the parva and in their emersed form they are twice the size of submersed, but still low enough to fit in the propagator (Parva being the smallest crypt out there helps :) )

    One last question... do you know what the upper safe temp is likely to be for this setup?
     
  4. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    No idea. lol. I wouldn't worry too much though. As long as it doesn't get too hot. Leave something in between lid and bas to prop it open a little or open a vent slightly if you find it gets too hot.

    AC
     
  5. SO19Firearms

    SO19Firearms Member

    Messages:
    33
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    The ideal nutrient temp is probably about 23 C - Upper limit for the air.....i'd stick to 29 C (from Tropica)
    Whatever you choose for nutrient delivery it might be worth having the pH at the low end (5.5 - 6) if you can too.

    Nigel
     
  6. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    Cheers guys.

    This afternoon I bought a propagator, planted it up (in compost with osmocote granules) and placed it on a windowsill.

    Now I have a really basic question :oops: ... how much do I 'water' the plants? At the moment the compost is so water logged that the plants can only just about stand up in it. Should I keep it at this saturation, or let it dry out to what I would call 'slightly overwatered house plant' saturation? or somewhere inbetween :?

    For those curious, I got the propagator from B&Q for £3.50. It has a smoked plastic lid, so I (slightly frustratingly) can not see in unless I peer though the vents, but I figured that it could be good to help against scorching\overheating from direct sunlight so don't mind too much.
     
  7. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    The substrate should be moist, not dry and not wet.

    Basically using compost you should be able to see it without there being any puddles. Don't be too finicky over the level with stems. rosettes.

    Too much surface water and you will get fungus and all sorts of mucky growth on top of the compost. Err more towards it being level or just below the compost. Therefore if the light glistens on the surface should be about right.

    HC or very low plants the water needs to be kept at a perfect level. It tends to avoid the puddles and grow around them :) You won't have this problem with Crypts :)

    I find a spray a day replaces any lost.

    AC



    AC
     
  8. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    Another cracking post Andy :)

    My plan of action tonight then is...

    Add a little more compost to soak up the excess water (I intentionally underfilled the compost in case I needed to do this).

    To fill up the propagator completely I am going to add the following from my main tank:
    one crypt affinis plantlet
    one crypt wendtii 'green'
    Might also sneak in a sprig of HC and a some clumps of moss inbetween the crypts.
     
  9. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    Hi Matt,

    When the water level in my tank reaches the level of the substrate, I plan to put moss around the base of the plants to stop any fungal growth.

    Good to see a few of us trying different things.

    I can recommend the fogger as in mine it's meant the plants want to grow upwards rather than hugging the water!

    Cheers,
    Clark
     
  10. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    I agree, it is nice that there are people here trying different things. Having the support of this forum has given me the confidence to try it.

    I plan to put moss in simply as I have some and like the look of it more than soil. It is great to hear that it has practical benefits as well :)

    I might add a fogger, but for now am curious to see how well things start off without it, especially as I will have a mix of emersed and submersed plants in there.
     
  11. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    I am currently finding that one spray per day of EI water from one of my tanks is keeping all my plants happy. The humidity levels seem to be naturally high on their own.

    Dave.
     
  12. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    I found an article which also pronounces the importance of a low PH in growing crypts emersed.

    When discussing substrates it mentions moss, not just as ground cover but as a low ph substrate in its own right.

    This gives me another something to play about with in my setup. I might take a big hack out of my main tanks moss wall so that I can plant some of the Parva in moss.

    The article is here: http://www.aquascapingworld.com/magazin ... ersed.html
     
  13. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    I use moss on top of the rockwool on all my pots except HC. Stops the rockwool going green as it blocks out the light.

    I don't use anything on compost though. I just leave the water below the level.

    AC
     
  14. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    got any pics of the set-up? fascinating stuff this plant stuff isn't it :D

    you cultivating any of your mosses like this?
     
  15. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Re: Will this emersed setup work with Crypt Parva?

    I am trying some of the mosses, it is early days, but so far they have grown very healthily and seem to be maintenance free as well. I did not mention this in your thread as I have only had them in for a couple of weeks, so can not confidently recommend it.

    My one problem so far is a bug infestation in the propagator. It turns out that the compost I used already had them in it (was an already opened bag that had been sitting in the garage for a year).

    It was only meant to be an epxeriment to start with, so I have not worried about it.

    But! I have got the bug (pun intentional :rolleyes: ) now, so am moving onto my Mark 2 setup. This uses an old 3 foot tank, everything in individual pots, with akadama and osmocote substrate and moss as a top layer. The individual pots are great as I can now easily label and keep different crypts and mosses and not worry about them getting mixed up. It is also easier to just chop and change things as the fancy takes me.

    I will post pics and species lists at some point in the near future.....
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Sounds great Matt :) The more I read about people's experiences with home propogation, the more I want to give it a try...
     
  17. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    My reason for doing it is to keep hold of plants that I do not want in my main tank right now, but may want in the future. It seems to be the lowest maintnenance way of doing this. As is the way with this planted tank game it will probably evolve into something else (crypt paludarium anyone.... ;) )

    I bet you have all the 'ingredients' to set one up lying around already....
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Got plenty of pots, just looking at cheap propagators. £4 for a basic 38x24" with plastic lid from Homebase is OK. Hey, if I were to buy rockwool plugs, what size would I need? I'm guessing the 1" square ones?
     
  19. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Have you got an old tank with a lid\cover glass? ... if so that is your propagator sorted for free. If not £4 is cheap as chips anyway :)

    I don't know about the rockwool sizing, I guess check out some hydroponic shops\ebay and see what is offered. (I wonder if it is available in a sheet and then you could cut it to size).
     
  20. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Under bed clear storage boxes with Lids from Wilko are £4.50 and approx 60cm x 40cm footprint. they are about 40cm tall too so they are a much more cost effective option than propogators or tanks :)

    I got mine 2 for £8 from instore.

    the good thing about these is you can pick the box up and put it outside during the warmer months and then bring it back inside when the weather starts to cool saving you 4 months of electricity :)

    If you choose the Rockwool route then forget the plugs. You pay for someone else to cut the rockwool up. Buy a 'slab'. they are usually 120cm long by 20cm wide and 7.5cm deep and would cost about a fiver from Hydroponics stores or £9 shipped on the net. Then pull it apart or cut it up yourself to stuff into pots and you will get about 4x the amount that you would've got for the same money with the cubes.

    I personally am changing my whole setup over to standard multipurpose cheapo compost. Its more natural in creating a 'marsh/bog' style habitat, has all the goodies already in it so no need to fertilise and no open water. Open water has a habit of getting Cyano I have found :) The plants seem to grow better too :)

    AC
     

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