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Soda bottle crypts?

7255 Views 20 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  HeyPK
Has anyone ever tried to grow crypts in green 2 liter bottles? What do you think would happen?
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I like the clear ones. Green bottles absorb some of the red and blue light and not the green. That is why they look green. Plants also absorb red and blue, but not green. That is why they look green. Basically, a green bottle absorbs the wavelengths that plants use and let through the ones they don't use. Who needs that?
Thanks! Thats the opposite of what I had thought. Thank you for clarifying :) I guess no more ginger ale for me, ill have to switch to dr pepper!
V8 comes in a handy size bottle also :) I think they are about one quart )+?) and a little wider than a pop bottle.

What about apple juice or cranberry juice bottles that are one gallon size? any reason not to use those?
No reason at all other than if you have limited windowsill space. I tend to use soda pop bottles to keep species alive with little care time needed, rather than to propagate them.

racking up points like crazy this morning---

Paul K.
The 3 liter soda bottles are luxury greenhouses!

Most of the cheaper grocery stores sell inexpensive soda/seltzer water in 2-3L bottles. I just stocked up on the seltzer and drank that until I floated for a few days and voila, a plethora of planting containers. I tried growing some balansae in one of the larger juice bottles and it worked well. I can only imagine how well one of those 1gallon juice jugs would work.

So this is going to sound dumb but I have two questions.

First, How do you use the soda bottles. Do you cut off the top and then stick it back on wiht your oalnts in the bottom, pu tthe top of th ebottle over a regular pot (clay or something) or do you plant them inside the bottle with tweezers :lol:

Second, are you all growing these plants emersed for use later in aquariums? Also, what about using those peat starting pots? Peat is good right, plus I think they have other good nutrients in them?
Hey Dennis,

HeyPK should chime in on this, since its his idea.

This is one of his explanations.
You cut the top off a half inch below the curved part.
Put in the soil.
Put in the plant.
Put in the water usually up to the soil.
Put the top back on with the top inside the seam so the condensation water drips back into the bottle.
Put the cap on.
Tape the seam with clear packing tape.

This is a maintenance free biosphere type of greenhouse. Just leave it on your windowsill. Its great for crypts.

Use a piece of oatmeal for co2 once a month and a piece of liver for nitrogen once a month.

Paul has had many other good ideas. He developed bleaching to get rid of hair algae. You really should ask him about his self sustaining co2 machine. It is an incredible invention! When I first heard about it I just couldn't believe it.

Steve Pituch
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Oatmeal? Self sustaining CO2? I'm all ears. WHere can I learn more?
Oatmeal? Self sustaining CO2? I'm all ears. WHere can I learn more?

These will get you started on the co2 idea.

This is the thread on the soda bottle greenhouses started by Paul Krombholz, and mentions oatmeal, and liver. He has these things all over his house and office and classroom.


Steve Pituch
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Self-sustaining CO2 machine?? I guess from my plants' point of view, that is what I am. I discovered that the air I or anyone else exhales is about 3.5% CO2. I collect it in a large bag and pump it into my tanks. With a tight-fitting glass cover, I only have to do this every two days.
Paul, you exhale into your 2 liter bottle setup?
No, I put in a flake or two of oatmeal every week. This provides enough CO2. The emersed leaves get most of it from the air in the bottle.
HeyPK said:
Self-sustaining CO2 machine?? I guess from my plants' point of view, that is what I am. I discovered that the air I or anyone else exhales is about 3.5% CO2. I collect it in a large bag and pump it into my tanks. With a tight-fitting glass cover, I only have to do this every two days.
then what do you mean by this quote?

<----confused person ova hea
Im pretty sure he was just kidding around. :)
Thanks for posting this thread. It gave me a way to put all my plants in there own growing space where I could give each plant the ideal growing conditions. I have been using this system only for a few days but got a massive explosion of growth. I use lava on the bottom,then peat,then mirical grow potting soil, then gravel and sand on top to keep water clean. I have about 50 of these made up. It is easier to maintain then having alot of tanks packed full of plants. No smothering of slow growers. This is also a perfect way of houseing poision dart frogs and salamanders. Not to good for fish tho. Anubius is easy to grow this way. As is ricca one of my problem plants. Pella grows very fast under these conditions too. My sags went nuts overnight. Thanks again for posting this knowledge. It is worth its weight in gold. I will send pics to anyone who wants to see my set-up just pm me
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A word of caution about using plastic

A word of caution about growing plants in soda pop bottles. The plastic gives off some substances that interfere somewhat with the growth and health of the plants. Most plants are not so seriously affected that they die or fail to grow. They will, however, do better in glass bottles or jars. I still keep many of my crypts in soda pop bottles and they stay alive, and even grow a little, but they definitely do better and bloom more often in glass jars. The glass jars are covered to keep the humidity high, and, thus, the difference in growth is not due to a difference in the amount of ventilation. The plastic does not seem to bother my crypts very much. In general, they seem a little deficient in nutrients and they do not respond to the adding of mineral nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.

Many stem plants are similarly affected by the plastic, They don't get killed, but they do seem somewhat unhealthy looking. A few stem plants---Hygrophila corymbosa compacta and Didiplis diandra are more adversely affected. The Hygrophila corymobsa comapcta started growing, but had no internodes. I thought it was supposed to be like that, and so I did not think anything was wrong with it, but the plants began to shrink in size, until they were about the size and appearance of duckweeds. At that point, I transferred the plants, soil and water to a glass jar, and the plants recovered quickly. At first they had normal internodes, but after they got about 10 to 15 centimeters tall, they got that 'compact' look with the internodes very short. The fact that the plants started growing normally when I transferred the soil and water to a glass jar indicates that the harmful substances from the plastic do not persist in the soil or water for a long time. That is encouraging.
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Interesting. I wonder if the same hold true of the plastic buckets/barrels that are used to hold/transfer water for our aquariums?

I think that's usually a different plastic but could it also have an effect?
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