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Foreceps as an alternative to plant weights
a.. Start with a substrate of adequate depth. The larger and more
smoothly rounded the substrate material, the deeper the substrate will
need to be to hold stem plants. The best substrate for holding stem
plants with the least depth has to be Fluorite.
b.. Next you need a good pair of straight forceps. Curved ones will
work almost as well. But it has to be forceps...NOT TWEEZERS. "Why"
will be explained soon.
c.. With this method you will be planting each stem individually.
They can still be planted very close together. When you plant a group
of stems together there are several factors working against you. The
main one is that if even one stem pulls free it loosens the hold the
rest have and they are all more likely to then float away.
d.. Take a single stem and grasp it with the forceps so that the end
of the stem is at the tip of the forceps. The remainder of the bottom
of the stem should be parallel to, and actually between, the prongs of
the forceps. Imagine a splint on a leg, with the stem being the leg
and the forceps being the splint.
e.. You now have a fragile stem reinforced with solid steel. This
allows for the next step. Take your steel reinforced stem plant and
plunge it with all the force required into the substrate as far as it
will go (i.e., the bottom of the tank) with as much force as is
required. The plant will be fine, just go for it!
f.. Now, the final step. Here is where you will understand why I
say "...NOT TWEEZERS". With the forceps/stem plant fully plunged into
the substrate, SLIGHTLY open and then CLOSE the forceps. Repeat,
opening the forceps slightly more this time, and then close again.
What this does is pack the substrate in around the stem, so that when,
after several quick repetitions, you finally remove the forceps the
stem doesn't come out with them. It would be very hard to do this
g.. 18" stainless steel forceps can be purchased for $8.99 from
Harbor Freight. Some hobbyists expressed concern that the forceps
have tiny teeth, worried I guess that the forceps would eat their
plants. :>) Those tiny teeth will not hurt your plants, and if they
were not there you would have to exert more pressure to hold the
plant, which might be enough to crush the plant. So appreciated and
do not fear the teeth.
h.. I remain totally unapologetic regarding the length of this
i.. I just hopes this helps someone.
"Help stamp out and eradicate superfluous redundancy."
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