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Old 02-11-2014, 08:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DFWAPC expansion project of rare aquatic plants

I have this idea in my head for a while. Some input would be appreciated.
My idea is to get members to volunteer, this is not a experiment , the volunteer has to have the right tank to ensure that the plant will survive and propagate. Later on the clippings will be distribute between the members.
What do you guys think?
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: DFWAPC expansion project of rare aquatic plants

The DFW Marine Aquarium Society has a co-op program like what you described but for corals. When the coral gets large enough, it gets propagated and spread to others waiting to host. The host does get to keep a frag for their collection since they hosted. It keeps the corals in the metroplex. I could see this working for plants.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: DFWAPC expansion project of rare aquatic plants

I thought about the same thing when I saw the COOP stuff that dfwMAS does. It seems stems are easy to trade and get free since they're trimmed so often, but things like carpet plants, and slow growers aren't typically shared as much. I think it's a great idea to help make them more available to the community.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: DFWAPC expansion project of rare aquatic plants

That may sound like too much involvement with something new but the best way to propagate aquatic plants, especially carpet plants, is hydroponics. Completely hands off. Algae are absolutely no issue and the only other issue (Blue Green Algae) is very easy to solve. I have experience growing HC hydroponically and even still have the original trays/plumbing in the attic.

Thing is - the trays do not take a lot of room. Not sure if it can be done in a garage (maybe too hot in summer).

The main problem I see with a hydroponic setup is who would want the plants? They grow unbelievably fast. Alex, what plants do you have in mind? I assume you are talking about Bucephalandra and such - rare plants that are expensive to get but not impossible to grow out if you can/know.

And a bit of history - back in about 2004 I wanted to do the exact same thing with the club. To have a big tank in which we grow all kinds of plants and always have them available. No one was interested and I can easily see why (who wants a 200 gal. tank to take care of? Who wants even more plants?). I'm talking about this funny early club fact because I think today things have changed - there are enough rare plants that everyone would want AND the mentality seems different now too - more dynamic in some way.

And by the way - not only rare plants are good candidates for something like that. Plants that seem to have been forgotten are good too. One example is Cyperus helferi - a plant considered very cool more than 10 years ago. It is the tall grassy plant in this 2003 aquascape by Ricky Cain (one of the original people in the club):
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: DFWAPC expansion project of rare aquatic plants

http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2003/show43.html here's ricky's old aqua scape. so simple but so nice.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: DFWAPC expansion project of rare aquatic plants

Quote:
Originally Posted by niko View Post
That may sound like too much involvement with something new but the best way to propagate aquatic plants, especially carpet plants, is hydroponics. Completely hands off. Algae are absolutely no issue and the only other issue (Blue Green Algae) is very easy to solve. I have experience growing HC hydroponically and even still have the original trays/plumbing in the attic.

Thing is - the trays do not take a lot of room. Not sure if it can be done in a garage (maybe too hot in summer).

The main problem I see with a hydroponic setup is who would want the plants? They grow unbelievably fast. Alex, what plants do you have in mind? I assume you are talking about Bucephalandra and such - rare plants that are expensive to get but not impossible to grow out if you can/know.

And a bit of history - back in about 2004 I wanted to do the exact same thing with the club. To have a big tank in which we grow all kinds of plants and always have them available. No one was interested and I can easily see why (who wants a 200 gal. tank to take care of? Who wants even more plants?). I'm talking about this funny early club fact because I think today things have changed - there are enough rare plants that everyone would want AND the mentality seems different now too - more dynamic in some way.

And by the way - not only rare plants are good candidates for something like that. Plants that seem to have been forgotten are good too. One example is Cyperus helferi - a plant considered very cool more than 10 years ago. It is the tall grassy plant in this 2003 aquascape by Ricky Cain (one of the original people in the club):

Niko what I have in mind is having the members or host to have it in their own tanks, they of course would have to dedicate that tank for it. Buchepalandra, the requirements are very similar to anubias, so I think that experienced members can propagate it.

It would be really nice to do a hydroponic setup, but I'm thinking to do it on a very convenient way, using what we already have, all the host has to do is make sure that the plant has enough light, fertilization and "space", make sure the host jungle is not covering the plant.

By the way, I have been trying to get Cyperus helferi myself, I did get one from a member once but it melted and never came back. It was a very popular plant on ADA tanks.

So, Why do I want to do this?... The hobby gets a bit boring when you don't have a mission or goal.
We can trade all the plants we want, but I haven't seen in the last 2 years any new plant, We trade the same plant over and over, so it gets a bit old. I want to club members to have the opportunity to raise any plants, also that way we save money too, we don't have to pay top dollar for a small sample.

Last edited by alexopolus; 02-11-2014 at 10:24 PM..
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: DFWAPC expansion project of rare aquatic plants

So this is how it may work:

- We will recruit 5 members, I would like the more experienced ones.

- That members has to post once month how is the plant doing (pics will be appreciated)

- When The host (members) think that the plants are ready for trimming, The club will have it available for other members, a wait list will be posted.

Sounds very simple...
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: DFWAPC expansion project of rare aquatic plants

That's way more reasonable than trying to get people to setup new tanks or funky setups.

As an insurance against loss of single plants it would make sense to have at least 2 people propagate the same plant. Tanks go bad, life gets in the way, and the plants will suffer.

And really you don't need to dedicate a tank to one or a few "special" plants. Some years ago I had a tank with more than 60 species of plants in it. And since it was a 6' tank I had a lot of each plant. Such a tank can easily host 80-100 species. Lately here we have been talking and admiring Dutch tanks and getting a bit crazy with the number of species in your tank can be a fun "new" trend.

Also a few years back we did a count of the species of plants that all the members combined have in their tanks. We counted 108! I think it is time to do such a count again. Start a new thread, it is fun!
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: DFWAPC expansion project of rare aquatic plants

Let us know how it turns out, this might be a good idea for our club if it works out! Especially since spring/summer are coming up soon (I hope).
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: DFWAPC expansion project of rare aquatic plants

Now, all we need is a list of plants that we want to propagate:

I was thinking on:

1- Bucephalandra. This is a plant that for me is very similar to anubias, a sllow grow plant but hardy. I'm fascinated with this plant, unlike anubias it has diferents colors and shapes. There is a lot of varieties.

2- Eriocaulon. I really need to study this one, This plant has a lots o varieties, but suposibly very demanding. Soft water and CO2 is supposed to be a must. This may be a issue for some members.

3- Cyperus helferi. I don't see any issues on trying this. It seens to be very tolerating. Sllow grower.
I wonder why in a heck I melted mine? Probably water was too warm.

So the next step is to find a reliable and reasonable($$$) source. I know someone locally, that can sell us some plants, but its very limited.

On our next meeting, we will discuss more about this and of course It needs to be approved by the members.
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