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Growing land plants with their roots in the aquarium. How Stan does it...

Stan510

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What you see are Syngoniums growing in the 920 liter aquarium and the 230 litres Goldfish aquarium- in the backyard. I've tried MANY plants this way over the decades and Syngonium works best. Better than even Pothos. The problem I had with Pothos is that the plant wanted to climb the wall to the left and in doing so grew large 12" leaves that did look nice,but and much worse- the roots of Pothos will cement on to your walls. I had to scrape and sand and repaint. Syngonium roots will not do that and it also makes a denser vine as you can see.
Now this plant was a houseplant that I years ago put outside in a pot. They are hardy here in California. So near two years ago I took some cuttings and put them into the cutout in the big aquarium and lo and behold they grew,grew fast as well. In fact I took extra of those indoor grown cuttings and put them in the Goldfish aquarium OUTDOORS..and what happened is that outdoors,it became the variegated lemon color it had been. Indoors the leaves are larger because I add iron to the aquarium. Outdoors I add nothing. I also want you to see that the tiny "waterfall" of some kind of lava rock has been naturalized by the tropical maidenhair fern and the moe tropical Indian Brake Fern- variegated. Really cool to see nature help.
btw- If you have questions on other plants grown this way I MIGHT have already tried those too.
 

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Stan510

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Also,I've had this aquarium since the 80's and this is the first time I've ever grown plants in it. Also the first time I tried Rainbows like this. As you can see Melanotaenia boesemani become larger than I thought. I sort of expected them to be like on the internet only to now see most photos are of young fish or if they are full grown,in some public aquarium and the scale is off. But they are very hardy and low demands fish. Combine that with color and peacefulness,I wont be changing the population.
 

kayjo

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Looking good! How do you access the tank in the first pic?

Syngonium is on my ever growing list of plants to try. We have as house plants in pots, so I have a source of cuttings.

I know what you mean about pothos attaching to the wall...
 

Stan510

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Its an old Truview Acrylic 920 litres/240 gallon aquarium and has 3, 16" openings on top.
Always go acrylic when you go large. This aquarium has been moved many times,even stored standing up on it side in a shed for a few years and -no lie- I once was moving it alone (empty!) and since I have a bad back..its just hit that nerve of intense pain and I DROPPED IT-lol..it fell from knee or waist level to the floor ( carpeting really saved me). Never cracked or leaked when I did the setting up.

As for plant roots in water that are not true water plants? Lemongrass,Alocasia African Mask,Philodendrons of a few types. Even a palm,Chamaedorea elegans was doing well in the Goldfish tank. Then,one day I noticed it was gone. No idea what happened.
Again much better if you add something like Seachem's Iron glutamate. Makes a huge difference for them.
 

tiger15

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I am big on outdoor gardening, but never much into indoor plants until recently I experiment growing emergence plants in my planted tanks. I post a thread on my experience.


I know pathos will do well but it is too common looking and resembles Anubias that are already filling up my underwater space. I like growing emergent plants that offer something different and contrast from aquatic plants, and lucky bamboo is one. My lucky bamboo has been growing well and to my surprise, it suddenly sent out a submerged leaf after 4 years. Coleus is another one that offers infinite color and several foliage variations. I am trying out Colleus now and while they root easily in water, they seem to grow slowly, leaves smaller and less colorful. My hydroponic grown Coleus under the same light condition are more vigorous and colorful. I will wait and see if my aquatic grown Coleus will work out.
 

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Stan510

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It also depends on how much light you have that will determine what plants thrive. IF,I had more light I could grow Alocasia and Colocasia like Taro..but I don't so plants known to thrive indoors in low light are best. I can also tell you that whatever you grow? Will do MUCH better if you add liquid iron glutamate to the water. I've seen plants go from pale to dark green in days.
Coleus is a difficult plant to over winter indoors..they get pests. The Dracaenas are great..they work with roots in water. Same for Schefflera arboricola and its variegated version. Philodendrons of all types and sizes. I mean there must be hundreds of types of houseplants that can be grown roots in water.
 

tiger15

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I have decades of experience in outdoor gardening, several years aquascaping, but know next to nothing about indoor house plants which is another hobby by itself that takes time to learn. I have several bowls by the window that get afternoon sunlight, and two big tanks that get dim ambient light. I don’t have openings nor plan to grow emerged plants in my big tanks except at the corners, but I am searching for the right house plants or herb to grow by the window. Light is no constraint, in fact, too much killed my former lucky bamboo. Neither are there constraints in nutrients or iron, as I regularly do partial water exchange with big tank dosed water. Something small, colorful, unusual shape or edible foliage will be ideal.
 

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MichaelJ

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I have decades of experience in outdoor gardening, several years aquascaping, but know next to nothing about indoor house plants which is another hobby by itself that takes time to learn. I have several bowls by the window that get afternoon sunlight, and two big tanks that get dim ambient light. I don’t have openings nor plan to grow emerged plants in my big tanks except at the corners, but I am searching for the right house plants or herb to grow by the window. Light is no constraint, in fact, too much killed my former lucky bamboo. Neither are there constraints in nutrients or iron, as I regularly do partial water exchange with big tank dosed water. Something small, colorful, unusual shape or edible foliage will be ideal.
Super nice setups! Love the binocular to view fish from couch bit! :)
 

MichaelJ

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I use the binocular to view all setups from one view point and also to spy on fish that often behave differently when they don’t notice I was watching.
Yeah I noticed that myself with my Angles... behaving a bit different when they don't know I am looking... btw. what are those big orange ones in there Devils or Red-parrot Cichlids?
 

tiger15

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Yeah I noticed that myself with my Angles... behaving a bit different when they don't know I am looking... btw. what are those big orange ones in there Devils or Red-parrot Cichlids?
Those are red spot severum. I will soon introduce angles, growing some blue strains in another tank.
 

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MichaelJ

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Those are red spot severum. I will soon introduce angles, growing some blue strains in another tank.
Hi @tiger15 Beautiful specimens! I had a pair of Green Banded Severums back in the day. Very peaceful actually and relatively community-tank savvy (except when breeding).

Cheers,
Michael
 

Stan510

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I think it a Severum. But- mark my words on the iron..it seems like your plants are doing well. Mine started the first year just on fishwater in the 240 only. When I went to iron G. the Syngonium exploded. Now Bamboo Dracaena is a slow grower no matter what. But it will be faster and bigger leafed on I.G.
I've tried plenty to gobs of plants like this over the years. You could even grow a palm with roots in water and the rest out. Chamaedorea elegans is one that's also a good indoor plant. Adds interest.
 

tiger15

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Hi @tiger15 Beautiful specimens! I had a pair of Green Banded Severums back in the day. Very peaceful actually and relatively community-tank savvy (except when breeding).

Cheers,
Michael
I think it a Severum. But- mark my words on the iron..it seems like your plants are doing well. Mine started the first year just on fishwater in the 240 only. When I went to iron G. the Syngonium exploded. Now Bamboo Dracaena is a slow grower no matter what. But it will be faster and bigger leafed on I.G.
I've tried plenty to gobs of plants like this over the years. You could even grow a palm with roots in water and the rest out. Chamaedorea elegans is one that's also a good indoor plant. Adds interest.
Yes, iron is critIcal. Oxydized form of iron in fish tank is biologically unavailable to plants. I dose macros and Flourish after weekly water change in addition to DTPA iron every other day in my big tanks. Fishwater alone does not provide balanced nutrients. Do you dose anything else besides iron.

Pairing small cichlids are fine, but no pairing large cichlids as they are powerful and will make nests and destroy plants. This is why I split the pair of severum in two tanks. I have never come across fish that eat my plants, even though severum are herbivores in the wild. I guess herbivoirs prefer fish food to plants in captive environment.
 

Stan510

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Only Potassium glutamate from Walgreens in pill form. Allows Java ferns to keep a good color.
I was thinking that since I added an air pump to the venturi..no water changes and carbon? Well the last two have been tried but I wonder if somebody has used a strong air pump to make very fine bubbles and told the world the results on aquarium plants? Most people would do that if it's proven. No cylinders to be refilled,no possible Co2 overdose.
btw Tiger- interesting to see Peacock Cichlids with plants. I think that's something more people should try.
 

MichaelJ

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Yes, iron is critIcal.
Definitely! I've had my tanks on a regime now for a couple of weeks where I supplement my biweekly trace dosing (containing EDTA Fe) with Fe Gluconate just to hedge my bets on Fe supplements to see if it makes a difference. My plants showed no signs of a Fe deficiency before, but I do think after doing this for a couple of weeks now it has added some spark to my plants... Too early to tell conclusively, as these things seems to be a bit cyclic in nature and is tainted with a good portion of wishful, if not magical thinking, but hey, the Big Shots seems to endorse the idea as well ... so why not!

Cheers,
Michael
 
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Stan510

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I would say most plants react fast to I.G. Fastest? Sword plants. As Tom Barr once said "They will eat all you give them". Crypts!..oh boy. Its said that red plants in general thrive on I.G. Now,I cant list all the plants because I can only grow so many now. But,I wouldn't doubt some plants said to be very fussy in low tech like Monte Carlo? might do well with iron. If you know you have enough light.
 

MichaelJ

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I would say most plants react fast to I.G. Fastest? Sword plants. As Tom Barr once said "They will eat all you give them". Crypts!..oh boy. Its said that red plants in general thrive on I.G. Now,I cant list all the plants because I can only grow so many now. But,I wouldn't doubt some plants said to be very fussy in low tech like Monte Carlo? might do well with iron. If you know you have enough light.
Confused.... Stan, What is I.G ? I guess you mean Iron Gluconate, but please spell it out, otherwise it will be lost.... Just a friendly reminder... be more specific because you have a lot of valuable insights that otherwise gets lost. And between the two of us, this is predominantly a UK/EU Forum, not the buddies at happy hour down at Applebee's, so lets up our game a bit shall we? :)

Cheers,
Michael
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
Confused.... Stan, What is I.G ?
Because of mention of Tom Barr @plantbrain I'm going to guess <"iron gluconate"> as well.

As @MichaelJ says I don't think there is anything wrong with using more than one compound to supply iron (Fe) ions if it helps. For me FeEDTA works fine, if I had harder water I would use the <"pink tint method and FeEDDHA">. If I couldn't get FeEDTA? I'd use <"iron gluconate">.

How effective a chelator is going to be for iron is <"pH dependent"> and as long as plants can take up the trace amounts of Fe++(+) they require "an ion is an ion is an ion" in solution and it doesn't really matter where it comes from, even for our <"special case">.

cheers Darrel
 
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