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From what I read rooting medias (solutions or gels) have proven to be effective when replanting terrestrial plants. They are commonly used in mass propagation of terrestrial plants.

Why is it that we never use any kind of rooting media when planting an aquatic plant?

--Nikolay
 

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Hey Niko,

I use rooting hormone when planting certain plants (e.g., stem plants). In the past, it has worked well for me. I think what you need to watch out for is the use of too much. Remember that it will be washed into the substrate solution.
 

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What is in these rooting medias and might that effect our bait?

What do they do, accelerate the rate at which new roots are created? I can picture how this would be beneficial, but has root growth from cuttings been a real issue. I don't know if I had a problem or not. Just wondering out loud how rooting media would help.
 

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Nathan,

Rooting hormones have been around for quite some time and are used extensively in tissue culture. Roots are especially important in tissue culture and emersed growth as they provide the uptake channel for plant nutrition.

In an underwater environment, cuttings can and do take up nutrients through their stems/leaves as has been previously discussed. Does this mean that roots are not an important factor? I'm not so sure especially in plants that prefer nutrient uptake via roots. Whenever I've focused on getting good root growth quickly, the plants have shown very good health and less necrosis.

Auxins are the group of phytohormones that influence cell enlargment, root initiation and adventitious bud formation. It is not a nutrient but a growth regulator. They are naturally produced by plants.

I use IAA (indole-2-acetic-acid). It tends to be rather unstable. Also used is IBA.
 

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From Musser Forests .com on their water gel

"Musser Water Gel is designed to increase the moisture of plants and soil. It is gelatinized starch-hydrolyzed polyacrylonitrile graft copolymer (non-toxic). It comes in the form of small, dry flakes, which when mixed with water, absorb and retain 200 times their weight in water, as swollen gel particles. Acting like hundreds of tiny sponges, Musser Water Gel has the ability to absorb, release and re-absorb water again and again for several months. The dry gel should be mixed with water to create a thick slurry. Plant roots should be dipped in and out of the mix immediately prior to planting or carried to the planting site in a bucket of the mix. Musser Water Gel will retain the moisture around the roots at planting time and for several months. It will continue to attract and retain moisture at the root zone every time it rains or plants are artificially watered. Dry water gel is also used to coat seeds prior to planting. As adequate moisture is the important key factor to plant survival; combined with the drought conditions of the 1990's, we strongly recommend this product. BENEFITS: 1. Fewer losses in new plantings. 2. Faster growth rate. 3. Better moisture retention."

And on the Root Dip

"Musser Root Dip is a combination of: five live spores of Endo and Ectomycorrhizal fungi found in nature to promote root growth; Terra-Sorb Water Gel-absorbs 200 times its weight in water; Dry, Soluble Yucca Plant extract; and Soluble Sea Kelp extract and Humic Acids. The spores in this product are natural and environmentally safe. MUSSER ROOT DIP CANNOT BE FOUND AT YOUR LOCAL GARDEN CENTER, HARDWARE, OR DISCOUNT STORE."

It seems the biggest benefit is keeping terrestial roots wet more evenly.
 

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My local Hydroponics Store lists this product as well as many others, this one was the only one that had the listed ingredient IBA, none listed IAA. All the others are to be mixed in the rooting media, soils were recommended.

Rootech Cloning Gel
by TechnaFlora
A high quality hormone, Rootech is a thick and tenacious gel for the propagation of new plants from stem and leaf cuttings. Contains 0.55 percent Indole-3 Butyric Acid. For optimum effect, completely coat with Rootech the portion of the cutting to be submerged in rooting medium. For ornamental and non-food plant use only.
What concerns me in a product such as this is the warning "For ornamental and non-food plant use only". With a tank full of prized fish I wold be leery of it's effects.

Is this better served using a non fish grow out tank, and then transplanting when desired root structure is achieved, or am I being overly cautious?
 

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I haven't had a problem with fish when I used it in an aquarium. I got my IAA from a tissue culture house. However, when I used it, I would grow out my cuttings emersed and then transplant to the aquarium when the roots where developed.
 
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