Growing emersed aquatic plants

Discussion in 'Emersed Aquatic Plants' started by Cameron, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Cameron
    Offline

    Cameron Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    37%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Growing aquatic plants emersed (out of water) can be good fun, and of course you don't have to worry about algae problems ;)

    Most aquatic plants bought in our pet shops begin life this way, that's why the plants in pet shops look so good, as they've only been under water for a few days at most! The plants can be bought and grown emersed as is or you can take small clippings from your tank and plant them in a pot with some normal potting soil and they will grow quite well for you. The plants need a humid environment to thrive so placing them in an old covered fish tank or plastic coke bottle will be fine. Why would one want to do this you may ask, well there are a few reasons:

    1. They are much easier to propogate this way (either vegetatively or by seeds), so it saves you some money.
    2. Plants like Cryptocoryne can only be 100% positively ID'd by their flower, you may have 2 Crypts that look very alike but when they flower you discover that they're different species.
    3. Very low maintenance, as long as they're kept wet they'll thrive. Do not give them direct sunlight, they prefer shadey places out of the hot South African sunshine. Bring them in during winter, most species do not like the cold (there are many exceptions).

    Most folks like to experiment with different soils, trying to give the plants the same environment as you would find in nature, for instance some Crypts prefer clay substrates while others don't seem to mind, you too will need to experiment and see what gives best results. So far I've been using clay mixes (Laterite), normal potting soil and various trace additives all bought from local nurseries.

    Here are some shots of plants I have grown in this manner:

    Cryptocoryne wendtii
    with small flower, taken last spring (2005). I was expecting a bigger flower but it was really tiny.
    [​IMG]

    Another Cryptocoryne wendtii
    [​IMG]

    Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia, this is my favourite Crypt, it gets nice flowers, I'm hoping to get one this spring :) This was given to me in a swop with another hobbiest about 2 years ago, thank you Louwrens :)
    [​IMG]

    Various Crypts (and mosses) growing in an old fish tank
    [​IMG]

    Bacopa Flower, this is an easy plant to grow like this, it's a weed of note and needs regular trimming.
    [​IMG]

    Nymphae species flowering in the pond, it took a bit of a knock this winter but hopefully will survive
    [​IMG]

    Up to date shot of various Crypts brought inside for the winter
    [​IMG]

    This is Cryptocoryne affinis, it melted in my fish tank so I decided to save it and grow it emmersed, it seems like it's going to make it :) This is another plant obtained through a plant swop with a hobbiest in Nelspruit, thanks Ray :)
    [​IMG]

    I hope you will try your own emersed setup aswell, Happy gardening ;)
     
  2. timebomb
    Offline

    timebomb Noob

    • APSA Member
    80%
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Somewhere in Sunny Singapore
    Re: Growing emmersed aquatic plants

    Great post, Cameron. The pictures are lovely too.

    But you may like to take note that emersed should be spelled with only one "m" ;)

    Loh K L
     
  3. Cameron
    Offline

    Cameron Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    37%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Re: Growing emmersed aquatic plants

    Hey Timebomb, I actually pride myself on good spelling so that is rather embarassing :)

    I will make the correction right away :)

    Did you notice your handwriting on the stickers on the glass bottles? :) That pic was taken just after I received your moss gift, they have since been moved to a CO2 tank and they're going bonkers for it now, I even managed to send another hobbiest some of your moss! So you see, your moss is really getting around South Africa these days :)
     
  4. timebomb
    Offline

    timebomb Noob

    • APSA Member
    80%
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Somewhere in Sunny Singapore
    Oh yes, I see the stickers now, Cameron. I didn't notice they were there earlier. By the way, if you're really serious about taking pride with your spelling, perhaps it would be a good idea to include a spellchecker in the forum. Killies.com has one, you know.

    I'm suggesting this because you made another mistake ;D It should be "hobbyist" and not "hobbiest" ;)

    Loh K L
     
  5. Cameron
    Offline

    Cameron Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    37%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Well, timebomb, who needs a spell checker when you're around :)

    Unfortunatley the server I am on does not support the spellchecker of the forum! I will have to look for an alternative.

    Emmersed Hobbiests r hrd 2 fnd theez dayz :)
     
  6. Cameron
    Offline

    Cameron Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    37%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Kwek Leong, thanks for actually bringing this to my attention, it appears that there's a certain package that my host does not yet have installed, I have asked them to install it for me, hopefully we should have the functionality of a spell checker fairly soon. Thanks for that :)

    You will now be alleviated of your spell check duties :)

    Cheers
     
  7. timebomb
    Offline

    timebomb Noob

    • APSA Member
    80%
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Somewhere in Sunny Singapore
    That's a relief. I wouldn't like to keep wounding your pride, you know ;D

    Loh K L
     
  8. Cameron
    Offline

    Cameron Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    37%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Limps away, licking wounds......... don't worry, I'll survive :)
     
  9. R.C.
    Offline

    R.C. Moderator Staff Member

    • Global moderator
    23%
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    4,399
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Loh, the first thing I noticed about you, was the fluency in English.
    You speak and/or write English fluently and so grammatically correct too.
    It's almost as if you find pride in it even though not your first language.  
    Am I correct?    
     
  10. Cameron
    Offline

    Cameron Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    37%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Kwek Leong has actually explained this to me already so i just wanted to let you know that you are calling KL by his last name, Loh. You should rather use Kwek Leong, I hope I got that right, please correct me if I'm wrong KL.

    If you visit Killies.com you will see that they have good high values at that site, good spelling is a pre-requisite as it is an international website and thus should be understood by all English speakers. So no sms English, slang and bad spelling is tolerated, it took a while to get used to the rules but i think they're well placed and obviously it all works as the site is thriving. If you have an interest in Killies and plants then you should also poke your head in and say hello. Its a marvellous resource.
     
  11. R.C.
    Offline

    R.C. Moderator Staff Member

    • Global moderator
    23%
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    4,399
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Thanks for pointing that out, Cam.

    Maybe we should just stick to calling by the nick.

    Or whichever Kwek Leong (timebomb) prefers.


    Yeah I've noticed.   I've been lurking around there, reading through the moss articles and posts.   8)
     
  12. timebomb
    Offline

    timebomb Noob

    • APSA Member
    80%
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Somewhere in Sunny Singapore
    Well, I'm not particular about how I'm addressed as I can understand my Chinese name can be quite confusing to folks who are unfamiliar with them. If only my parents had christened me John or something, then there wouldn't be any confusion at all ;D

    But if you like to know.....

    The Chinese always put their family names right in front. Loh, therefore, is my family name. My daughters are Loh Pei Si and Loh Pei Ying. The Chinese don't really have middle names although there's a name in the middle ;D In other words, Kwek Leong is my given name. Kwek and Leong has to go together. Kwek is a generation name. In other words, my brothers all are Kwek something. My brothers are Kwek Keong and Kwek Khim. Their daughters are Pei Yan, Pei San and Pei Hong. Can you see how the generation name works? Each generation from the same family shares the same middle name. It's to remind them that we're family.

    Some Chinese who migrated to the West chose to put their family names behind their given names because they think that by doing so, it makes it easier for Westerners to understand their names. But this practice only serves to add more confusion.

    I hope I'm not departing too far from the thread but if you like to hear a funny story...

    I have a brother-in-law who goes by the name of Cheng Yew Fatt. Nothing unusual, it's a run-of-the-mill Chinese name. Cheng is his family name and Yew, the generation name. Fatt is a popular last name among the Chinese because it means "prosperity". In almost all cases, Fatt is spelled as F.A.T.T. However, in my brother-in-law's case, it's spelled as F.U.C.K.

    Now, don't ask me how he ended up with such a name. As far as I know, you can't register such a name these days as it's considered obscene. It could be his father offended the clerk at the registry of births. In those days, many people were illiterate and they were at the mercy of the clerks at the registry. They can only give the Chinese name of their child and hope the clerk translates it into a good English name.

    My brother-in-law never went to school so he never knew his English name in his birth certificate carried an unprintable word. He was a Malaysian and as a young man, he came to Singapore to seek his fortune. That's when he thought he must be named after some sort of celebrity because he kept seeing his last name scrawled on the walls of public lavatories.

    He only found out his name was a vulgarity when he walked into a bank one day to open a savings account. The lady teller took one look at his identity card and turned red in the face. She called her colleagues over to take a look and they all roared with laughter.

    I only found out about his name when he asked me for help to fill in an application form for a name change. My sister, the woman he wanted to marry, said no way she's going to live with such a name in her marriage certificate.

    The poor fella actually went through a lot of trauma before the name change. But I've always told him to look on the bright side. Imagine if his father had called him "Fatt Yew" instead of "Yew Fatt". That would really be hilarious.

    Loh K L
     
  13. R.C.
    Offline

    R.C. Moderator Staff Member

    • Global moderator
    23%
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    4,399
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Cape Town
    OMW, that was funny.   :D

    Shame, poor guy.   ;D
     
  14. Ryan
    Offline

    Ryan Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    37%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    25°52'43.48"S 28°11'14.33"E
    That's a very funny story, Kwek Leong. Thanks for explaining how Chinese names work. I really like the combination of the generation name with the first name.

    Now to get the thread back on topic... :p

    Is there any advantage/disadvantage to growing mosses emersed? Is this even possible?
     
  15. timebomb
    Offline

    timebomb Noob

    • APSA Member
    80%
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Somewhere in Sunny Singapore
    It's more than possible, Ryan. The aquarium mosses we know are usually found in emersed forms in their natural habitats. And the professor has always insisted that hobbyists like us are being very cruel when we grow them in submersed conditions.

    If you noticed, I've always described the mosses as "aquarium mosses" and not "aquatic mosses". This is because, according to the professor, the only true aquatic moss in the hobby now is the Fontinalis antipyretica AKA Willow Moss. All the others, including Java Moss are actually semi-aquatic mosses, in that, part of their life-cycles should be above water.

    There are advantages to growing the mosses emersed. The first advantage, as Cameron has pointed out, is you don't have to deal with algae. There's also no necessity for CO2. In emersed conditions, however, you won't get as much moss as when you grow them submersed. This is because in our tanks, the lighting is more intense than ambient lighting so the moss grows thicker. The fronds overlap each other and those below can still survive although there's less light. In emersed conditions, the lower fronds die. I suspect the Spiky Moss I sent to you and Fire Eel were actually grown emersed by Freddy but I can't be certain. If I'm correct, however, it would explain why there were many brown parts.

    Grown emersed, mosses look completely different. They lose their shapes altogether. It actually becomes quite hard to differentiate one from the other.

    By the way, FireEel wanted to know if I take pride in the language although it isn't my first. Well, you could say it's actually my first language because I think, feel and write in English. Chinese is supposed to be my mother-tongue but I was educated in English. I still speak Mandarin at home though because my wife isn't comfortable with English. In Singapore, most are bi-lingual and many are multi-lingual so I'm by no means, unusual.

    I try to stick to my Chinese heritage although I'm more proficient in English than in Chinese. That's one reason I refuse to adopt an English name for myself. At home, I insist my daughters call me "papa" and not "dad". And at the dinner table, I still use chopsticks instead of forks and spoons ;D It may not seem like a lot but over here, many Chinese can't use chopsticks. It may seem strange but it's true.

    Loh K L
     
  16. Cameron
    Offline

    Cameron Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    37%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Hehehe. Your poor brother, to have to go through all that.
     
  17. Rattail
    Offline

    Rattail Algae harvester

    • APSA Member
    40%
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    880
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Hi Cameron,
    Interesting start to this topic. I want to start collecting plants for a biotope (valisneria, tenelus, Amazons) that I want to start in about a year (lots research to do, and money to be saved first). Obviously I can't have tanks all over the place and growing plants emersed seems like a good idea. I enjoy gardening, so this could be interesting.

    Any advice you can give me besides take the plant, put it in a container, keep in in th eshade, and keep it wet?

    cheers.
    Richard
     
  18. Cameron
    Offline

    Cameron Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    37%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Hi Richard

    You can get as technical as you like or you can keep it as simple as you like, it's up to you. It can be as easy as just potting them and making sure they're in a very humid environment and out of direct sunlight. Water them every now and then and just forget about them.

    Or you could study the localities of the plants and mess around with different soil combinations etc, set up expensive misters on timers.... so you see it's up to you how technical you want to get.

    My small collection of emersed plants are sitting outside in a big fishtank that has been insulated with polystyrene on the sides, shade cloth over the top so only diffused light enters. The plants are in pots and the pots sit in a tray that has about a 10cm depth of water. All the Crypts are flowering at the moment and doing fine. I have a mixture of various soils, leaf mould and traces added, volcanic dust and tobacco etc.

    Here are some good links to more of this subject:

    http://www.greenchapter.com/article.php?id=31

    http://www.nationaalherbarium.nl/Crypto ... howto.html

    http://www.tropica.com/article.asp?type ... tic&id=537

    http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/foru ... t=pictures

    http://www.rva.ne.jp/gallary2/cryptocor ... aarden.htm

    Kind Regards
    Cameron
     
  19. Rattail
    Offline

    Rattail Algae harvester

    • APSA Member
    40%
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    880
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Thanks! simple sounds good. (It does mean that I need to get another tank though). What happens when I want to plant these emerse-grown plants into an aquarium at a later stage? Simply just plant them?
     
  20. Cameron
    Offline

    Cameron Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    37%
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    You don't need another tank Richard, you can use any sort of container or make a makeshift greenhouse out of plastic sheeting. Did you look at the links I posted?
     

Share This Page