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Re: not damaging the roots

Karen Randall wrote:
> [snip]
> I don't disagree with anything you said.  But it misses the point of the
> original post.  The original poster seemed to be looking for a way to get

Did I say I was aiming at the original post? ;-)

> the plants into the substrate in the tank.  If you are going to move and
> re-plant the plant, whether you put it directly into the substrate, or put
> it in a peat pot, or attach it to a tooth pick, insert it with tweezers, or
> just use your hands, as I do except in the smallest tanks with the smallest
> plants, the plant is going to experience some amount of set back.  That's
> why we suggest waiting a while before adding fish to a newly set up tank.  
> I _still_ think the biggest factor is whether the substrate and growing
> conditions _in the tank_ are conducive to allowing the plant to recover
> from the transplant as quickly as possible.  (as you point out, those
> conditions are not necessarily the same for every plant)  If growing
> gconditions are favorable, the plant needs no special treatment for it to
> set roots and begin to grow.  If conditions are NOT favorable, any special
> technique used in planting is, at best, a stop-gap measure.  

I think I was discussing the effects of transplanting aquatic plants. I
agree that special techniques for planting are unlikely to make any
difference if the gross conditions are not satisfactory. If on the other
hand, the gross conditions are satisfactory, then transplanting
techniques may very well make a big difference in both the time it takes
the plant to recover and in many cases for specific species, the ability
of the plant to survive the ordeal. This is because planting techniques
can affect the integrity of the plant organism (roots, stem, leaves,
vascular system). You should not break the stem and you should preserve
a suitable amount of the main root stem without damage. That's basic
planting technique. Special planting technique probably means root mass

I guess I really want to make the point that because planting techniques
do not make much difference in the survival of the majority of common
species found in aquariums, it would be misleading folks to extrapolate
that planting techniques will not make a difference for ALL aquatic
plant species. With most plants, you just need to follow basic planting

When I say planting techniques, I'm not talking about the difference
between using tweezers, forceps, fingers or back hoe. I mean
transferring the root ball intact [in a pot] especially where the
substrate in the pot is a good one for that particular plant. You could
call that special treatment but for terrestrial plants, that's basic

I'm not sure you can make a distinction between "when growing conditions
are favourable" and the condition of the plant, its stem, its roots, its
root hairs and the availability of nutrients at the roots. These are
just part of the overall factors involved in growth success to which you
would add: availability of light and availability of nutrients found in
the water. So the biggest factor is the cumulative effect of all factors
("conditions are favourable"), not any single factor, just as you say!
But isn't a factor supposed to be a single orthogonal input to a system,
rather than the total inputs?? That's like saying that ALL of the inputs
are more important than any single input: kind of a tautology.

To tie back to a previous posting about peat pots: a peat, plastic or
ceramic pot is probably a handy container to ensure that you can
transplant the root mass relatively intact. It would be an excellent
idea for Aponogetons and other sensitive plants with rhizomes like
Barclaya. I wouldn't bother doing that for fast growing stem plants;
waste of time. The common varieties of Crypt wendtii seem to be pretty
resiliant; many less common Cryptocoryne are not.

On the subject of Madagascar lace plants, Aponogeton madagascariensis,
if I had the choice of buying a lace plant shoved into the gravel of an
LFS, or a specimen with a large, viable tuber already planted in a large
ceramic pot with a suitable medium, I would certainly go for the latter.
The chances of success are higher (assuming that other growing
conditions are fine). 

If you asked me to pay the typical price of $10-$20 for a small lace
plant bulb shoved in the gravel (with or without leaves) I'd say its not
worth it. A viable specimen in a large pot is worth at least $10 to me. 

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!