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Dave Spencer`s Attempt.

aaronnorth said:
looking good Dave 🙂 looking forward to hopefullt seeing some progression. 😉 😀

Cheers Aaron. I sincerely hope there will be some progression to report. Even if the plants hold their own I will be happy. I should be able to keep a small stock of all my favourites and save myself a fortune.

I have a thermometer in there now, and it is at 22C.

I have an outdoor mini grow thing which I might be able to stick some smaller trays into. It's one of those plastic shelf things covered in plastc, with a zip front. Anyone think this'd be OK? Not sure on night time temps...
Here is a quick update, but with no photos just yet. The temperature has been getting up to around 35C during the recent weather, and the stems have wilted a bit.

L. arcuata: A lot of die off of the immersed growth, but some good emersed growth had started after a week. I`ll be able to make one pot out of the three and start to take some cuttings.

HM: One pot is dying, one is absolutely thriving, and two are doing OK. The thriving pot is the cuttings I took of one overgrown pot before I started.

Rotala sp "green": I took some cuttings from my 120cm the other day. These are just dying off at the moment. I don`t think they liked the heat.

HC: Starting to show signs of holding its own, but no major growth.

Marsilae sp: Another new addition from the 120cm. It was a tiny amount, but looks like it is going to thrive.

Staurogyne sp: This was already emersed when I put it in, but it is growing, which is good news.

L. brasiliensis: This didn`t do anything for a while, but is now starting to grow.

I have also added a little Fissidens fontanus on a small piece of wood, but it is hard to tell what it is doing when it is just waterlogged. The plant just likes like green slime, but it is still alive.

It looks as if stem plants show the most activity, both in terms of dying and thriving.

Stu, the Fissidens is just out of the water (it is what you gave me) on a small piece of wood. I suspect it will do well, but it is hard to see its shape when it is not under water. When it attaches properly I will just dip it under water in one of my tanks to see how it is doing.

Hi dave realy interesting thread it seems you are having some results,if I get time I would to try something like this,well done mate regards john.
Are you aerating the water at all Dave?
A way of getting oxygen to the roots, but it will also replace the CO2 within the frame...

For the heat, maybe try a spare PC fan or blow a desktop fan across one of the vents (separating it from the second vent)

Another one to try if you want to see increased growth (and can afford it nowadays)- ramp the light right up...16, 18, 20hrs?
I had some "time lapse" pics of HC I did like that under 2 x 3ft tubes and the growth was visible by per day....

The heat is one problem of the 'natural sunlight' method. The heat generated by the sun through a window can be pretty impressive in the propogator. You may be better finding a spot in a greenhouse/shed that is not in direct sunlight. You will still get enough light that way but not so much heat from the direct sunlight.

My setup is using T8s and in a cupboard which gets no sunlight at all. This cupboard remains at whatever the house thermo is plus a little so about 21-23 all year round.

Good to see you're not panicking over plants dying back. They will virtually all come back as long as they can be grown emersed.

Here is an update now that I have had time to make a few observations on my failures and successes.

My current formula, which is working quite well, and is easy to maintain and algae free is this:

Light: sunlight through a patio door. I sometimes move the propogator back a bit on sunny days.

Heat: sunlight and a heater cable. I did switch the cable heater off at one point, but the humidity dropped right down, says it now stays on all the time.

Substrate: fine gravel.

Dosing: the plants are sat on the gravel which is kept wet to its full depth with tap water. The rockwool soaks up the water to the roots, although a lot of plants are now rooting in the gravel. Once a day ther plants are misted with EI water from my 120cm tank.

So far, I have seen no algae. I think keeping the water down in the gravel has really hepled.

All the openings in the lid are open 100% of the time, and the lid is moved ajar on particularly hot days.

Here is a pic of some of the plants I am currently growing on.


Staurogyne sp: this stuff is really growing on. It looks a little under the weather because I have cut it back and repotted some. It flowers regularly. Very easy

Eleocharis parvula: I am growing this on for my nexy 120cm scape. It is doing well and chucking out runners. Easy

HC: doing well, but slowly. I now have three pots. Easy

HM: has huge growth bursts followed by a die back. All my stems do this. Difficult

Ludwigia arcuata: I think I have finally cracked it with this stem, and have finally managed to get one healthy pot together after a lot of die off. Medium

Microsorum pteropus "narrow": slow growth, but it is healthy and going in the right direction. Easy

Bolbitis heudelotii: same as above. I should be able to flood the market with this stuff when I break down the 120cm. Easy

Lilaeopsis brasiliensis: slow, healthy growth. Easy

Marsilea sp: throwing out runners and looks healthy. Easy

I haven`t really got any Crypts on the go as my rescape has been delayed due to a two week holiday and moving house.

Overall, growth is slower in my propogator than it is in my tanks.

He doesn`t know it yet, but Stu W is going to babysit this for me when I go away in September. 😀

All questions are welcome, and I will answer them as best I can in my limited experience.

Cheers, Dave.
Dave Spencer said:
He doesn`t know it yet, but Stu W is going to babysit this for me when I go away in September. 😀
lol, no probs dave. It will tkae pride of place on my windowsill in the utility!

Glad to see its coming along nicely. howmuch growth are you getting out of rthe grass? ie do you put a little bit in the pot and the pot eventually fills up?

didnt know youd moved house already!
stuworrall said:
lol, no probs dave. It will tkae pride of place on my windowsill in the utility!

Cheers dude. 😀
stuworrall said:
Glad to see its coming along nicely. howmuch growth are you getting out of rthe grass? ie do you put a little bit in the pot and the pot eventually fills up?

I split two pots in to four, and all are chucking out runners. I`ve got a lot of growing on to do yet to get enough for my next project.

stuworrall said:
didnt know youd moved house already!

They haven`t laid the first brick yet. :? Hopefully we will move in in time for a Christmas house warming. 😀

Nice one Dave 🙂 Great looking plants!

I've spent the last few evenings prepping to get something started. I'm going down the potting compost route, using an small clearseal tank I've got kicking about. I'm going to give a few things a try 🙂 I've got a lot of crypts I need to pull from a tank I'm shutting down, along with some other stuff!

Can't wait to get started!
Plants look good Dave! Are you propogating to put in a larger tank? Or to send to me? :lol:
Cheers Tony and Steve. It is well worth giving it a go as it is quite interesting, and not too difficult, although success with plants does vary.

Hiya Llj, I am mostly doing this to save money. I have lost count of the number of times I have thrown or given plants away, only to have to buy some more at a later date. I am hoping to keep my Crypts from my 120cm when I break it down. I am also growing on some E. parvula for my next project. If I could get them to the US in good nick, you would be welcome to some. 😀

If there is anything I understand, Dave, it's saving money. Is it actually saving you money right now?
It`s early days yet, but I have given a few bits and bobs away and plan to give away some more as a UKAPS donation. Start up and running costs are minimal, and if I can keep all my more expensive plants ticking over, then I should make a reasonable saving.