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Cryptocorynes are one of the more difficult to grow aquatic plants. Many hardcore Crypt growers develop their substrate mix based on trial and error. For example, I have grown crypts successfully in a mixture of peat, pumice, oak leaf mold and sheep manure.

Share your crypt mix with us!
 

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My cryptocoryne wendtii are going crazy in a substrate of eco complete and flourite mixed 1/2 and 1/2 then covered with gravel that I collected from a local river.Oh and never mind the algae! :oops:
 

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Right now I only have accidental submersed crypts, mainly leftover bits which have grown into plants.

My emersed plants are doing best in a regular pearlite, peat, and vermiculite Potting Mix with water just above the soil line. I've put others in mixtures of peat and granite chicken grit and also some in a peat and sand mix.

Most of my stock right now are leftovers from meltings at the LFS or are transplants from tanks and are taking their sweet time to recover. It's getting addictive though, help, I can't stop!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
John,

Thanks for posting the image. Nice, very nice.

Crypts are deep rooted plants that really benefit from a nutritious substrate. The combination of Eco-complete and flourite will provide a lot of micronutrients that are needed (especially iron).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Phil,

Thanks for coming on board.

You bring up a great point. There is a myth out there that Crypts are difficult to grow. They are not. You find many, many instances where a crypt will die today and a year later you find that it grows back.

What crypts are is very sensitive to environmental changes and very quick to react. Crypt melt is nothing more than a changing of its leaves to adapt to the new environment. If the plant is healthy, there should be no long-term impact.

I love growing crypts emersed. It is VERY addictive. I was mass producing them for a while hydroponically in a home greenhouse. I used a hydroponic raft method similar to Tropica's. For the more difficult to grow ones or ones with submersed growth that I needed to change over to emersed growth, I would use a large aquarium with clay pots. The substrate mixture was peat, oak leaf mold, laterite and carbon. Depending on the species, I would modify the percentages to get more or less acidic.

What emersed set up are you using?
 

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Right now I'm running three different setups in different places.

1. The largest group right now are in the rainforest greenhouse at school growing in clay pots with the peat/chicken grit substrate, all sitting in a salad take-out container with an inch of water in it. The trays are sitting on wood planks on top of the heater so they stay nice and warm, and with an ambient humidity of 80%+ they're starting to settle down and get to business.

I've got two setups at home:
1. Clay pots with the sand/peat mix in an uncovered 10g surrounded by an inch or so of waterlogged soil mix. Lighting is 2x T12 bulbs 12hrs/day. This setup has two tanks side by side under a 40w bulbs so they get about 40w of light per tank.

2. 10g with glass cover and 2" water logged soil (water line right at soil surface) with plants directly in the soil. Lighting is 1x13w PC bulb 12hrs/day. This is my oldest setup and the various pieces of rhizome have finally started putting off something worthwhile. Most of the plants are between .5-1.5" high at the moment.

Both of these setups get sprayed with tap water 2x/day. 2x/week they'll get sprayed with old tank water and 1x/week they'll get a micronutrient spray. Right now I'm curious to see how well the plants do in the normal humidity and temperature of my fishroom/nursery. I may get a few new plants and try growing them both covered and uncovered to see what happens.

Best,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Phil,

Go slowly on the move from high humidity to less. I slowly "trained" mine by increasing the size of the opening until I got to where I wanted to be.
 

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Most of my plants have started out as rhizome and roots only. If I took them out of a tank I've trimmed all but the newest leaves and if I got them from the LFS they're pretty much just rhizome with poor roots and no leaves. That's what's made them so good for my purposes.

I'll be careful with any new/healthy plants I get, thanks for the tip.
 

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I've had smaller crypts growing for varying lengths of time in sand, then Flourite, and right now I'm growing a new, cute little species called C. pygmaea in Eco-Complete.

I had a bunch of generic crypts (some sort of wendtii) that I started off in sand substrate with very little fertilization. The plants quickly recovered from melt just fine and looked okay. They were mostly green and had long petioles (is that what the leaf stemmy thingie is called?). I took a few of these and planted them in Flourite in a tank with a little more lighting. After a few weeks, you couldn't tell that these were the same plants. It tripled (at least) in size and turned a deep reddish-brown color. The petioles were very short, making the plant look "fuller." Very impressive. Every few months, though, I'd notice that the crypts would go through a major melt, which was not pretty to look at.

I have two pieces of C. pygmaea in Eco-Complete and one in a sand-bottomed tank. The two in the Eco-Complete went through *complete* melt and are growing back leaves relatively quickly. The one in the sand-bottomed tank retained maybe two leaves but only one new leaf has sprouted and it's very slow to unfurl. OTOH, it may be a lighting issue. I definitely think that a rich substrate is key in growing out beautiful crypts. Root tabs would probably be a good alternative, though, if the plants are already in sand or gravel. I've never tried it, though. I know they like Jobe's spikes, but they would probably like iron-containing stuff even more.

-Naomi
 

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Ooh! pygmaea! Where did you get it? You aquarists in the SF bay area seem to be plugged in to some kind of plant source that the rest of us can only dream of! :shock:
 

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It's the magical place called Albany Aquarium :) . The owner imports these rare gems from the Far East, many from Oriental Aquarium. He gets plant shipments every two weeks. And every two weeks I go in there, feeling like a little kid on Christmas Day :wink: .

Well, the new leaf that's growing on the C. pygmaea in the sand tank looks terrible. I'm moving it into a Flourite-bottomed tank when I get off my lazy behind. The two in Eco-complete look like something chewed on the leaves before unfurling. They probably need some time to establish themselves where they are. I did trim the roots before planting them.

-Naomi
 

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Yeah the tank gets full blown water column ferts!
Ah Hah! I suspected that. Crypts are pretty good at getting what they need out of the water, including iron.

Now, How much light? Let me guess that this is a medium light or low light tank, probably two watts of fluorescent per gallon or less.
 

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Mike,

You're kidding, right?! I've had your tanks on my desktop for as long as you've been posting them. I had one good discus tank. Every one of yours has been good....:)
 
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