Re: Stem Plants

>From:  (Dirk)
>Date: Fri, 2 Feb 1996 15:18:29 -0600
>Subject: Stem Plants
>This question will reveal the depths of my ignorance about aquatic plants,
>but does anyone have an effective way of keeping non-rooting stem plants,
>like hornwort, from getting loose and floating to the top of the aquarium.


I have not planted hornwort but I have planted stem plant cuttings with no
root quite a few times.A few suggestions that worked well with my stem plants:

1. get a blunt tip stainless stell tweezer and use this to plant your
   stem plants. This helps to plant the stem deep in the gravel and keep
   the plant stay there. When I pushed the plant into the gravel with my 
   fingers, the plant tend to come out as I pulled out my fingers. The blunt
   tip would prevent scratching your plexiglass tank/fish by accident. Also,
   look for the ones with anti-slip tip. This tweezer would have horizontal
   lines on the inside near the tip.
2. plant the stem on an angle instead of straight down to the gravel.
   Technically speaking, ~ 75 degree from your tank bottom instead of 
   90 degree. Initially the plant would look like Pisa tower but it will
   turn towards the light source.

3. leave some of the leaves on the bottom of the plants. The leaves would
   hold on to the gravel and prevent the plant to float. However, I've seen
   advice somewhere (don't know exactly where) that Rotala macrandra would
   rot if you plant it this way (ie. only the stems should be buried
   under the gravel).

4. thicker gravel bed. 2-3 inches should work.

Hope that helps.