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Re: Algae free plants/emersed culture

"Thomas Barr" wrote:

>An idea I came up with is really a fusion of two ideas that may help growing
>emersed plants algae free. It's just an empty tank with pots and some water
>and a clear tight fitting lid. It's kind of like Neil Frank's method of
>using pots in his aquariums, but adding only 2 inches of water on the bottom
>instead of filling the tank up completely. This does several things.

Based on my own recent experience I second with everything Tom listed.
I've been doing the same thing for the past five months or so. Just a 
20 g clear plastic storage box with a plexiglass plate as cover and a
$6.5 Lights of America 15 watt countertop fluorescent lamp as light
source (replaced the cool white bulb by a GE Plant&Aquarium). Water
circulation is provided by an old powerhead and some vinyl hose and
fittings arranged in a dripping configuration. Originally the experiment 
was put in place just to salvage some anubias nana covered with hair 
algae. In time I added more low light plants, mostly Java fern and moss 
on driftwood, and recently some hemianthus and creeping charlie. I use 
just gravel in the pots, and keep the water level at the gravel surface
and covering the wood pieces. Evaporation is nill due to the tight cover. 
I feed the water with my regular PMDD mix plus some KNO3 and 8-14-6 liquid 
fertilizer. There is no visible algae nor other critters, just some bacterial 
film buildup that goes away at the monthly 90% water change. The anubias 
grew so much, with such *huge* new leaves, that I was able to divide some 
of then into new plants. The other plants are also growing very well despite 
the low light. As Tom said, it's a very helpful device for the aquatic plant 
keeper. I can now populate my upcoming 20 g paludarium with grown up 
specimens at no cost !

At spring time I'll move the experiment one step further and place the 
box outdoors under filtered sunligth. Wanna see how these low light plants 

-Ivo Busko
 Baltimore, MD