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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey, everyone -- I'm starting a 25 liter (6.6 gallon) long Walstad tank. It's just 9 inches (23 cm) high, and my original plan was to allow the plants to emerse past the top of the tank. I've since learned that some plants (ie crypts) won't survive emersed if the air around the tank isn't humid enough.

I can't imagine that the tank will succeed without air advantage plants, but it's so shallow that if I cover it and lower the water level to allow for emersion, I'll only have about 5 inches of water to work with. Should I abandon my plan and cover the tank? Is it possible for an open tank to thrive in air-conditioned, dry air?

VAL
 

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Yes, you can have emersed growth in a relatively dry, air conditioned house.

The Cryptocoryne x willisii 'Lucens' in my 3.5 gallon nano tank grew out the top all the time. (I finally got annoyed with them because they were too big for the tank.) In my 40 gallon, Bacopa caroliniana grows above the surface and flowers. Not every plant capable of emersed growth can take low humidity, but many can. And don't forget the floaters!

What are the dimensions of your tank? I love those long, shallow tanks. Please post a photo when you get it up and running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's a Mr Aqua tank, 23.6″ x 6.7″ x 9.4″. I've ordered a cute little piece of manzanita for it that should be here soon. It's going to be a biotope-fusion of central Thailand roadside ditch and Orinoco drainage river (with a dash of California Dry Slope) - one male betta or a pair of wild bettas, 5-6 C. habrosus, and orb shells (Sphaerium corneum), maybe a shoal of wee rasboras or tetras if the betta is laid back. It's shallow enough that I can add a few almond leaves and allow some tannins. I'll post pictures when everything's up and running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Michael and HOC, for the plant suggestions. It looks like I'll be able to have emersed plants in A.C.

Everyone, keep the suggestions coming! What plants have emersed well for you in a dry, air-conditioned environment? What floating plants have worked? :)

VAL
 

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Most Hydrocotyles, Persicaria, Bacopa and some Ludwigias can work. Lobelia cardinalis I can grow in my garden in Holland. Lindernia rotundifolia grows well as well.
 

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Ludwigia Repens will grow out happily and get little yellow flowers, but it will grow lots of roots on the stems that are underwater. If you trim the roots off early, maybe they won't be so much of a problem. I have a small grow-out tank with Dwarf Chocolate Gourami, they like having the roots to hang out in.
Hydrocotyles, in my experience, tend to get really leggy when they grow out, but if you get a lot bunched together it can look very nice and lush. It grows so quickly, it's easy to get a nice bunch. It's without a doubt the fastest grower I have.
Marsilea is interesting when it grows out of the tank because the emersed growth looks like four leaf clovers. Somewhat of a slow grower though.
 
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