New project | planted tank ppl unite

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New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-03-06, 23:57

I am thinking about doing a emersed project in my sump.
Here it is...

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Here's the idea. Remove all sponge filter from the first two compartments after the trickle compartment. I'll move them to the last compartment next to the intake. This will stop any leaves or debris entering the return pump. Then fill those compartments with plants.

What would you experienced emersed plant growing people use to hold in the plants? Should I pickup plastic pots and rock wool (if so, any ideas where to get them?)? Any suggestions for a non dirt substrate ? Should I just let the roots dangle free? Really I have no idea what to use...
Also I would appreciate any added ideas from anyone even without immersed plant growing experience. Whatever I use to hold the plants in would have to endure current and not make a mess by being loose substrate or fall apart.

Lighting above is a 6,500 or 7,000k AquaTop .

Any suggestions on plants? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Stem, ground covers, whatever.


Last edited by fishNAbowl on 2014-03-18, 23:13; edited 1 time in total
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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  hobbyorobsession on 2014-03-07, 00:32

That's a tricky one. If you are going to grow emersed plants there I think you might have some other issues, possibly root structure clogging your water flow, or not enough humidity during new leaf growth when transitioning from submersed to emersed leaf structure. If you are going with immersed or emergent plants you might fair better and could just treat it as you a standard aquarium. As far as container options for emersed plants, I have used coco fiber pots, they hold up well over time but may tint your water with tannins initially. You can get plastic grow pots from hydroponic shops / online. Or get free plastic pots from a nursery and drill holes in them, really any container that allows water to pass through will work (but I think they would reduce the flow in that area). I've also planted into burlap sheeting and it hold small rooted plants like HC very will. You can also use a coarse heavy substrate like eco complete or a simple pea gravel that wont move in significant current. Just my quick rambling of thoughts at the moment.
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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-03-07, 01:02

I appreciate the input. Whatever is used I will make sure water flows smoothly. There is a hole (can see it in picture) in the sumps trickle compartment for just incase of a clog.

I just purchased some rock wool and those round aquarium pots off Amazon for some ideas such as starting tomatoes and possibly corn. I have a few stem plants I can start tinkering with.  I'll start checking out coco fiber.

As for humidity couldn't I use Saran Wrap to cover the sump top to hold in humidity? Will I need to spray leaves with water?


Last edited by fishNAbowl on 2014-03-07, 09:33; edited 1 time in total
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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-03-07, 01:54

Oooh, this will be a fun thread to follow! I'm excited to see what you come up with, fishNAbowl! Very Happy
 Spot On 

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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  jrygel on 2014-03-07, 12:38

Not sure what you need regarding the plants, as I'm a total newbie, but my first thought when talking about needing additional humiditiy was [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]- it'd be a pretty simple matter to hook up a series of these to a pump on a timer.  Obviously you'd want it to be a good, water resistant area.

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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  Gizmo on 2014-03-07, 13:05

I know many marine enthusiasts who use large sumps with live sand and macroalgae like chaeto, but I've never heard of an emersed sump. You might want to consider a low-flow hydroponics-type setup as mentioned above, with a secondary (and/or tertiary) method of filtration like a canister.

I know people who use bamboo, which requires very little in the way of substrate, in their tanks.

Here's a link to a planted Hang-On-Back thread on TPT, it's not exactly a sump, but might have some good ideas for emersed plant types:
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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  dleblanc on 2014-03-07, 13:32

I'm about to set up a sump/refugium, never done this before, so it is a new adventure. My thinking is that if I direct the entire flow through the refugium, that would be between 2.5 and 3 feet/minute across the 1 square foot refugium, or it would be turning over a bit more than once a minute. I doubt plants would be amused by that flow rate. So the plan (not yet implemented) is to bring the water across into a 4 way, then to a valve I can use to regulate flow, and then what doesn't go into the refugium just goes to the end where the returns are.

Don't know if this idea helps, also welcome to feedback from people who have done something similar.
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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-03-07, 16:09

jrygel wrote:Not sure what you need regarding the plants, as I'm a total newbie, but my first thought when talking about needing additional humiditiy was [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]- it'd be a pretty simple matter to hook up a series of these to a pump on a timer.  Obviously you'd want it to be a good, water resistant area.
This system has an auto water changer. So, water is plumbed to the tank using refrigerator water line tubing. So a mist/ spray type set up is possible. I ha e no issue going to the hardware store amd checking out Rainbird solenoids and irrigation sprayers . In fact, this is a neatO idea. Thank you.

Gizmo wrote:I know many marine enthusiasts who use large sumps with live sand and macroalgae like chaeto, but I've never heard of an emersed sump.  You might want to consider a low-flow hydroponics-type setup as mentioned above, with a secondary (and/or tertiary) method of filtration like a canister.

I know people who use bamboo, which requires very little in the way of substrate, in their tanks.

Here's a link to a planted Hang-On-Back thread on TPT, it's not exactly a sump, but might have some good ideas for emersed plant types:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
I have been contemplating hydroponic type set ups. Also have a HOB breeder box that I have used for growing plants in. Haven't thought about this yet but I could hang it in my sump. Nice idea!

dleblanc wrote:I'm about to set up a sump/refugium, never done this before, so it is a new adventure. My thinking is that if I direct the entire flow through the refugium, that would be between 2.5 and 3 feet/minute across the 1 square foot refugium, or it would be turning over a bit more than once a minute. I doubt plants would be amused by that flow rate. So the plan (not yet implemented) is to bring the water across into a 4 way, then to a valve I can use to regulate flow, and then what doesn't go into the refugium just goes to the end where the returns are.

Don't know if this idea helps, also welcome to feedback from people who have done something similar.

Well, for my system the plants will not be under water. Only the roots would be submerged. The rest of the plant will be in the air. So flow shouldn't be an issue in regards to bothering plants.

For your set up, flow through the sump is a balancing act between what's syphoned from the tank to what goes back into the tank. Lessing flow is determined by adjusting flow at the return pump. Trying to figure out some sort of bypass is possible but doesn't seem practical. I would just adjust flow in the sump where to not damage the plants you are trying to grow then add another filtration type if needed.
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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  hobbyorobsession on 2014-03-12, 23:00

Yeah, you can use any cover that allows light through, its good to mist initially during the conversion from one leaf structure to another and then let the plant harden off, or you can develop enough plant mass that it creates it's own little climate and you don't have to mist much at all anymore (more so in a closed system though).
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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-03-12, 23:46

hobbyorobsession wrote:Yeah, you can use any cover that allows light through, its good to mist initially during the conversion from one leaf structure to another and then let the plant harden off, or you can develop enough plant mass that it creates it's own little climate and you don't have to mist much at all anymore (more so in a closed system though).

Good stuff Daniel. Today I received the 2nd of my 2 orders. I now have plastic aquarium plant pots and rock wool. Granted, really I'm just farting around here and don't know what I am doing. I've read very little about growing aquarium plants out of the water and am relying solely on what I have seen and read here on Washington Fish Box.

Daniel, out of these plants what do you think would be the best for me to try to grow in rock wool pots. A small start off Florida Sunset crypt? Pogostemon Stellatus , limnophila aromatica? A stem plant I got from you , limnophila sp wavy. It's growing straight out of my 30 gallon.

It would actually be nice to know the best way to propagate limnophila sp wavy. I've clipped one stem about half way up but not sure if this is proper, the stem bottom hasn't grown any. I regress...


Any additional input from anyone greatly appreciated!
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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  hobbyorobsession on 2014-03-13, 12:36

I think you would be successful with most of those plants. I've grown all except pogostemon stellatus and L-aromatic emersed. I grow limnophilia wavy im most my tanks like any other stem plant. It does well with cuttings and replanting the top portion back in to the tank. The base will still continue to grow and branch out from the cut area but takes a while to rebound. It grows much faster once it breaks the waters surface like most plants. I offer it no ferts except minimal co2. you can grow it with out co2, and under minimal light.
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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-03-13, 16:44

Okay great Daniel. Thanks for jumping in. I'm going to give this a shot!
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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-03-18, 23:22

Okay, here it is. My 1st attempt.

4X mats of Pheonex moss
1X peacock moss
(I know not emersed but just giving it a shot to grow moss mats)

1X Florida sunset crypt
2X small leafed Anubias species (nana 'mini' I think)
1X Anubias barteri var nana
2X hygrophila pinnatifida

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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  hyp3rcrav3 on 2014-03-18, 23:51

All of those plants will grow emmersed and if they get enough light they will be fine. I have a question. I have had trouble keeping hygrophila pinnatifida alive and I can't figure it out. Is it simply the wrong time of season to introduce them. I have found that to be ture sometimes. They were getting ferts and nutrient. they just kept melting. Tried it twice. Though I had them once but then they went again. Clues? Too warm? Too acid (low ph)?

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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-03-19, 00:06

This species I am not to familiar with. I had picked up the plant months ago and floated it in my tank and lost track of it until recently. I found it snuggled against my overflow guard amongst a jungle of mosses, floaters, Stargrass and rooted ferns. It looked pretty bad except about 5 heads that had new roots on them. I just pulled 2 heads off, put them in pots and shoved the rest in the substrate.

Sorry , not much help. Is an interesting plant and hope one of the emersed starters takes off.
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Re: New project | planted tank ppl unite

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