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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?
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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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?
I think that the problem arises either when the roots of the plants are in close contact with the plastic or when soil is in contact with the plastic. I think that the soil bacteria slowly break the plastic down and release the harmful compounds. I also had problems growing plants in plastic trays from microwave dinners. I am quite sure that when I used the plastic trays all plants in the aquarium were affected, even floating plants not in contact with the trays. As with the soda pop bottles, some plants, such as swords and C. walkeri were hardly affected by the trays and grew well. Other plants, such as C. crispatula var. balansae, C. moehlmannii and Rotala macandra died on me, and they were easy to grow before I tried plastic trays. Also, pond snails were affected and died out, while ramshorn snails continued to survive. I suppose I should do an experiment with some empty plastic trays in a tank and a control tank without the trays, but I don't have the time or the tank space. I use glass trays now---custard dishes and pyrex baking trays---and get much better growth.

My thinking right now is that plastic trays in the aquarium are to be avoided, but keeping plants emersed in soda pop bottles still works reasonably well as a way to keep a lot of species alive with minimal care. Glass would be better, though. Gallon pickle jars take up a lot more room than soda pop bottles, and most glass jars are not as tall as I would like them. I've heard that there is a way to cut off the tops of wine bottles using a glass cutter and a candle flame. You score the bottle and then repeatedly heat the score and cool with a wet cloth until the score finally cracks all the way through. If I can find a good source of discarded wine bottles, I will have to try that sometime.

I really don't know about substances from plastic buckets, barrels or garbage containers. They probably give off something to the water, but, whether or not they give off enough to affect plants and whether or not whatever they give off persists in the water, I don't know. My experience with the H. corymbosa compacta indicates that whatever comes from the soda pop bottles isn't persistent. Right now I still use a plastic garbage can to collect rain water. If I were Amano, I would have specially made 100 gallon ceramic containers, no doubt, as well as ceramic roof tiles. If it is going to rain, I will dump out the garbage can, rinse it out and then try to get the newly collected water out of the garbage can and into my tanks soon after the rain.
 
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