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swift

Plant Experiment

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I often root cuttings of house plants in water in vases. From avalon's posts about her planted filters, I thought I might do my tank some good by suspending my cuttings in the tank water. I'm hoping that the cuttings will grow faster with the available nutrients as well. I tried floating a very small cutting, unprotected, in the tank, but my fishies immediately began picking at it. I decided to protect the plant stems and roots with a piece cut from black tights. This appears to work well, in that it is inconspicuous in the tank, protects the roots, allows water in, and is hopefully inert in the water. I placed the plants in the small space between the back wall of my tank and the back edge of my glass canopy. The plants are suspended by a plastic disc cut from the lid of a gladware container. This prevents the plant from falling completely into the tank and being demolished by my ever-hungry fish. I currently have one set of ficus tree cuttings that have some roots already and a group of just-cut pothos cuttings. I'm going to add another set of ficus cuttings soon. I'm not expecting this small amount of plants to make much difference in my nitrate readings, but I thought, what the heck. Plus, it will look cool when the pothos starts growing down the side of the tank towards the floor. I'm super excited about it. Here are some pictures!

Ficus:

DSCN0964.jpg

Bag from tights:

DSCN0963.jpg

Pothos:

DSCN0958.jpg

Tank, as it stands now:

DSCN0971.jpg

The whole shabang:

DSCN0988.jpg

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That's really kinda cool! It combines the pet element of an aquarium and the art/decoration element of an aquarium.... very neat! Hope the pothos will start sprawling, that'll look awesome.

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Great idea. Pretty tank and fish :) Looking forward to see how this works out.

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Here's an update! The ficus did well, and the original cuttings have been rehomed. I have 2 new ones in the tank now that don't have roots yet. The pothos is doing really well. There is significant growth both of the plant itself, as well as the roots. I had to remove the bag about 1.5-2 months after placement into the tank because the roots were poking their way out. Since then, they've really spread out and lengthened, and the goldies don't seem to bother them. I also now have an amazon sword plant in the tank, but, unfortunately, most of it is covered in brown algae. The algae actually seems to grow preferentially on this plant compared to the glass. Go figure.

A crummy picture of the tank as a whole:

DSCN1357.jpg

Roots:

DSCN1366.jpg

Pothos:

DSCN1363.jpg

Amazon sword:

DSCN1364.jpg

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I really like this idea! I love my fish and I love gardening and this way, you get to enjoy both at the same time!!! I am going to try this, too! Question: Do you have to set the plants in the filter, or could you just float them in the tank inside the little top you cut from the Rubbermade lid?

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That looks pretty neat. I've got a pothos (I previously had no idea what it was) and I think I'll try that. It's been growing hydroponically (No soil) for about 3 years now, so it should be an easy switch.

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Neato! I wish I had a ficus... I've always liked those. I could do that with whatever this is: 000-1.jpg

It's been in that whiskey bottle for almost year. Anyone know what it is?

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I have been doing a little of that, and wanted more information on it. Swift, those were some great ideas - protecting the roots with black tights, and the cutout plastic disc to keep the leaves above the water!

One reason I have wanted to do it, is that plants with their leaves sticking up out of the tank do not affect the oxygen and carbon-dioxide in the water. So while they do their work of getting the nitrates out, they are not using up the oxygen that the fish or beneficial bacteria want. I do not know a lot about this, and I want to know a lot more.

Right now I have one of those "lucky bamboo" plants sticking out the top, as well as some philodendron. I also have some water plants. I am convinced that the plants do help with the nitrates, and I need to do some experiments to know if it's a lot or a little, but I don't think I've ever had nitrates above 10 except in my fishless-cycle tank.

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Hi Anic, I think you may have a "Peace Lily" in that whiskey bottle. They are great indoor plants for low light, and you practically can't kill them. They're from the rain forest, and apparently they don't need much in the way of nutrients, so the water alone seems to be working for your plant. I have one that a friend gave me as a tiny plant, and now it's huge, so if you did pot yours up, I suspect you'd also get a large plant.

Here's a link where I got the above information: http://www.peacelily.net/peace_lily_care.html

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Thanks for the link! I thought that it was a Peace Lilly, but someone had told me differently. They called it "Spath", and told me that they were two different plants.

The only reason I had put it in the whiskey bottle was because I would always forget to water it. So now I don't forget! lol

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