Nursery & sump nursery

Discussion in 'Plant Help' started by altaaffe, 11 Dec 2008.

  1. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    I've been looking into ways of perhaps having a nursery for plants using the minimum effort.

    I have a 2m tank for mainly SA cichlids which runs with nitrates between 10 & 20 ppm between water changes. The tank is now lit by 2 O/H luminaires each containing 2 x 39W T5.

    I have put a "bed" above the tank (under the perspex cover) and covers 1/4 of the tank, it is fed from one of the filters outlets and has holes in the bottom of the bed to let water return back to the tank. I am using a betta breeding mat as a rooting substance.

    So the plants are effectively getting 39W of light with no water depth but no ferts other than the nitrates from the tank.
    I have taken cuttings of HC cuba, PH, Staurogyne, Blyxa, Sagittaria Subulata and Hygrophila Corymbosa.

    My ultimate hope is that at least one of these plants will take off and help to take nitrates even lower in the cichlid tank, and provide me with free plants.

    Any thoughts anybody ?
     
  2. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    Well 4 days on and the Staurogyne has grown dramatically, the Hygro has been cut into 3 pieces, the PH has new growth, Saggittaria has new leaves and the HC looks to be spreading.

    The blyxa is looking the worse for wear though but has put roots down.

    I also found a single plantlet of Glosso in my main tank and removed it into the nursery, 1 day on and it has 2 new leaves
     
  3. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    how about some pictures mate? like a timeline, day 1.... Day.7... Day 14.....
     
  4. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    Ok so here is the initial set-up
    Start1.jpg Start2.jpg

    and the first few cuttings on Day 2 (along with a couple of anubias that have been decimated by fish in another tank).
    Start3.jpg

    Day 5
    Staurogyne (with a before shot from Day2 alongside), I'm that impressed with the growth I've added another small cutting

    Staurogyne4dys.jpg StaurogyneStart.jpg

    PH showing new growth at the centre & HC filling out
    PH4dys.jpg HC4dys.jpg
     
  5. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    Well, I consider it to be a success so far, I've doubled my cuttings in 12 days and so I have converted the 1 tray into 2 with spray bars from the same filter into both trays. I'm concentrating my efforts on growing Staurogyne emersed just now but have a few clippings from other plants to try them out and try in different areas of the tray.

    Here is the P Helferi at 12 days (not a good pic - I know)
    The crud on the lowest leaves is from the filter but it has increased in size has a side shoot and those roots were non-existant before.

    PH.jpg

    At this 12 day point, I have transferred a cutting I took off the main cutting of Staurogyne back to my main tank to see how it gets on.

    Staurogyne.jpg
     
  6. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    im really interested in how this gets on? how did you make this? can you explain in more details like with a few photos from a distance so i can guage the size etc? what is a betta breeding mat? i wouldnt mind giving this a go.
     
  7. louis_last

    louis_last Member

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    this is sort of like a miniature http://www.aquaponics.com/ system. pretty cool, i think you should run with this and start selling clip on systems for planted aquariums so people can grow their own plants emersed with the obvious increased growth rate and remove some extra waste from the aquarium.
     
  8. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    Had a couple of requests for more info, the tank is my 2 metre Oscar (& friends) tank, coming in just under 700 litres. Filtration is an FX5 and Tetra EX1200.
    I removed the fine media from the tetra filter and have now installed 2 trays under the perspex covers with spray bars from the EX1200 providing a water supply. The original tray has been removed as it proved to have too many holes drilled in it and was letting the water through too quick, the latest setup is allowing the water to "sit" in the tray.

    The nutrient supply:
    2008_1230nursery0001.jpg
     
  9. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    3 Weeks

    I have added some riccia to the matting from the original tray which has taken really well and is spreading.

    2008_1230nursery0004.jpg

    The second tray:

    2008_1230nursery0003.jpg

    The original HC from the first few days, now quite a bit larger (I'll send you this bit Nick). To the side is a Ludwigia cutting as an experiment, emersed they seem to grow very small leaves and branch out in all directions.

    2008_1230nursery0005.jpg

    This is what grew from the Staurogyne base after I cut the top off and planted in my main tank. Alongside is a PH plantlet that I cut the top off and the new emersed growth coming back.

    Staurogyne301208.jpg PH301208.jpg

    and finally the Staurogyne cutting that was placed into the main tank, a minor problem on the lowest leaf, but I have revisited my CO2 flow so hopefully things won't deteriorate further.

    Staurogynesubmersed301208.jpg
     
  10. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    i take it BBA is a sign of low co2? cool looks good, i really want to try something like that, but i dont have an external of anything. where did you get the betta breeding mat from? to me it looks like filter floss!
     
  11. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    You can fit a pipe on the outlet of many internal filters too to pump the water up onto a raised shelf.
     
  12. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    i dont get how it is attached onto the tank? what is a betta breeding mat and where can i get one?
     
  13. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    Inside this tank there are a few rims running around (for strengthening purposes) I have found plastic trays that fit into the area I wanted and 'rest' on the rims and braces of the tank.

    The betta breeding mat is like a filter wool and I get it from my LFS (I actually use it as a filter wool)

    I don't know if this is the same thing, but it does sound like it

    http://www.aquatics-online.co.uk/catalogue/betta-filter-mats.asp#product1556

    could always e-mail and ask if it is like a big sheet of filter wool.
     
  14. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    i have about 7 metres of the stuff so i might give it a try, and then you just have perspex over the top? how far above the plants? 2 inches or so?
     
  15. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    If you look at the first couple of pics on page 1 you can see the initial set-up.

    http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3910&start=0#p43846

    The gap is about 2.5 inches between the tray and the perspex, but that's only because it was the space available to me, the water level is about an inch below the tray - but again that's just the way it worked out on this tank.

    Ultimately, the aim is for some rapid growing "weeds" to fill at least one of the trays (probably the riccia) and act as a nitrate filter for the tank to help keep nitrates as low as possible. That side of the experiment is still open although a test carried out after addition of the riccia is looking favourable.
     
  16. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    i think it is a lot of work, i might try my own spin, and i dont have overhead lighting so i cant fit a tray in anywhere. i might continue with my ice cream tub version. it has 20w of light over it and that should be plenty. instead of using filter wool, i use potting soil as it has the nutrients in it that i cant give as there will be no water flowing through it, every couple of days i will take the bags off and spray it with some tank water to replace and water that is lost and also let some co2 in. i dont know if i could use any filter wool but i doubt i will need it. i could up the lighting but is it worth it? as the light is old as i proably only putting out about 15w and by the time it reaches the plants through 2 clear plastic fish bags it is probably nearer 12w.
     
  17. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    I would have thought if you're going to use an ice-cream tub that putting it next to a window and giving it natural sunlight would do rather than using an artificial light source.

    Could always try your own experiment and have 2 tubs one with natural light and one with artificial, treat them equal in all other ways and ee what the difference is. :D
     
  18. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    i doubt it will get much light, especially in these winter times. i mighht stick to the desk lamp for now. wow that riccia looks good, i might have to get some and give it a try. however i cannot put the riccia in the soil so i may have to use a bit of breeding mat. how did you get your riccia to grow? did you just plonk a pile on the mat and see what happened?
     
  19. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    Exactly !!!
     
  20. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Re: Attempted Nursery

    These have been growing my low plants very well and when I made a mistake with my second tank recently, killing off almost all the plants, the nursery was a god send, replacing almost the entire plantmass for the tank from them.

    However, this doesn't support stems so more as an experiment for a future project (and because I was bored) which will be a low tech set-up, fed from the Oscar tank I set up an overflow system from a design that was provided by Aquarium Life.

    I have used push fit couplings and used Stress Coat as a lubricant for fitting them together which worked a treat.

    Oflow3.jpg

    I have had to fit a tap in-line to reduce the flow from the pump but have achieved a good equilibrium.

    Oflow5.jpg

    The main intention just now is to try and grow out some small cuttings of Bacopa Australis to a useable proportion but have added Hygrophila and Ludwigia to see how they go.
     

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