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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

Setting up a tray/dome setup similar to Carlos's!! I got the tray and the dome, but I didn't get pots or a substrate.

Wondering to those who keep the emersed setups, what substrate are you using, pots or no pots? What would you reccomend? I want to grow crypts primarily. I am not sure if I will fertilize yet, as not sure what substrate I will use....

I bought a heating pad to heat my tray, and plan to use 1x65W CF per tray as lighting, as I don't have acess to warm temps or a nice source of sunlight here at home.

Thanks all!
 

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propagation trays

Carlos had a 48 pot tray. He said he'd go with 32 pot trays next time. I guess they have more room. That comes out to 2.5 inch square pots; 32 will fit in a 10 x 20 tray.

I picked up 96 2.5 inch square deep pots from the nursery for 7 cents each. 32 fit in a flat propagation tray. I have been cutting about 5/8 inch off of the top of them because they are so deep, still plenty of room.

I have been using 1/3 each of top soil, sphagnum moss and sand. I also made my own hydroponics fertilizer at:
http://users.ev1.net/~spituch/Chemicals/chemicals.html#A Hydroponic Fertilizer Formula

Steve Pituch
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I wonder how much water Carlos had in the tray, if he even kept the pots covered with water, or just kept the soil moist....

I found a recipe from Australia for a Crypt substrate..

7parts Fine rinsed Sand
1part Peat
1part Laterite
1part Potting Soil
1 handfull slow release ferts

Opinions?
 

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Hydroponics

I think the whole idea of hydroponics is to have the bottom of the pot soaking up fertilized fluid. I think I remember Carlos saying his tray was Styrofoam so it floated on the water. Three-quarters inch of water with the pot sitting in it should be fine. I have seen more complicated setups where the fluid is pumped into the pots and then drips out into a recirculating tray. My mix is quite peat-like and it is quite moist.

I would skip the slow release fertilizer and the laterite. Once the water hits the fertiizer pellets I think it will activate. I think the Iron should be in the water so I would also skip the laterite. Is that formula for dry pots?

Don't forget HeyPK's soda bottles. Hopefully he should pop in soon and make some comments on this.

Steve Pituch
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just have not figured out who is using hydroponics, and who is using hydroponic products in an emerged setup. Maybe that is the confusion?

Or is it everyone is growing the plants in thier emerged form, by whatever means they prefer, so what they do is inconsequential?

I think the whole idea of hydroponics is soiless growing. I could be wrong though. There are a couple products that use soil, so who knows! Either way, I think the amount of water has a lot to do with the nutrient delivery system. If you use a nutrient rich media to grow, you don't need a nutrient delivery system. If you use a media that only supports root growth, you need the water to deliver nutrients, hence the recirculation systems.

The recipe I quoted above is said to be effective in providing all nutrients the Crypts require in either submerged or emersed conditions.

I guess the question of the day is, can crypts be grown with only thier roots in the water? I was under the impression they need some type of water covering, perhaps an inch in the bottom of the tray is enough, maybe they need thier rhizome needs to be covered as well...
 

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Pots serve the function of separating your different plant species, especially with often similar looking emmersed cryptocorynes. I use a white, plastic label for each pot in use with the name of the plant and the date I added it to the setup.

I used Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil to fill up the pots (relatively cheap, inert media). I then placed the pot sheets into the tray. I slowly poured in water (containing recommended doses of hydroponics fertilizer) until it just barely covered the top surface of the media.

I changed 100% of the water every two weeks to prevent any nutrient build up and "reset" the nutrient levels in the water.

I successfully grow (in the summer):
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green'
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Red'
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Rose'
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Tropica'
Cryptocoryne walkeri
Cryptocoryne undulata

I actually grew all of these to a sellable size, about 4-6" tall, which were very robust and healthy using this method. I think most of the more common Cryptocorynes should do well. However, I wouldn't try growing any of the rarer or more specialized crypts in such a general setup as this one.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Carlos,

Why do you feel this setup is inadequate to grow anything but the common types of crypts?

I want to grow the C. albida I have in a friends tank, as well as try my hand at flowering a few species I have to ID them. My setup would be hopefully simple but not so simple as to limit what I could grow....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What if I covered the bottom 1/8th of the pot with peat, and Flourite in the rest, then kept the water stocked with all the appropriate nutrients, and change the water to reset the level as often as needed....
 

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Guess it means what you think is common. C. albida should do fine. I was referring more toward really exotic species such as, say, C. uenoi.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter #10
lol, well aren't you bling bling!

Tell me what you would do differently to accomodate the more exotic species please.

What do you think of the Flourite idea?
 

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If you're growing hydroponically it doesn't really matter what your substrate is. I'd go with Carlos' recommendation of Shultz APS or get a cheap bag of pearlite at your local garden center to use as media. I doubt you'd have trouble growing any kind of crypt, except for the most sensitive and finicky species, in a true hydroponic setup.

Water levels aren't as much of an issue as long as you're not letting your roots dry out. I've had crypts grow well with the water 1/4" below the crown to 1/4" above the crown. If your container is tight and has a high humidity you should be fine either way. I feel good circulation and nutrient transport to the roots is more important in this case.

You can also grow crypts in a regular pot under humid conditions with daily/bi-daily watering.

I'll post pics of my emersed setup when I get home if I can get my FTP program to work properly.

Best,
Phil
 

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Justin,

For the more finicky species, I really don't know. I don't plan on getting really exotic cryptocorynes (not that I would be able to, anyways). :)

I would just research on the particular species, making a substrate mixture just for that plant. I would probably grow it in a pot separate from the other more common crypts and keep the humidity high.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the info guys. I am gonna go with what I have easy acess to, sand and peat.

The lights are 2x65W CF and a heat mat over a 20x10 tray with High lid. Pics to come as I make the box to hold it all.
 

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hey guys is the styrofoam for the tray -like styrofoam cups - inert?
 

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Steve wrote:
Don't forget HeyPK's soda bottles. Hopefully he should pop in soon and make some comments on this.
Glass is better than plastic. Some species do all right in soda pop bottles, others not. I think that even those that do all right might do better in glass or some other truly inert pots. I don't know about styrofoam cups, but I wouldn't trust 'em. I have been burned twice now by man made polymers in my tanks, and, both times, it took me a long time to find out that they were harming the plants. With the plastic trays I just had this vague feeling that the plants ought to be doing better and that they ought to respond to fertilizing better. Earlier, when I was trying to maintain Daphnia cages in my tanks, using nylon curtain material, the poisoning was a little more clear- cut, and eventually all my plants would die, but still the symptoms came on gradually, and it took me two years to finally pin the blame on the curtain material.
 
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