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Old 11-15-2012, 07:48 AM   #1 
SpookyTooth's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: England
Overgrown: Dealing With Excess Plants

Iíve had a look around the forums and have been unable to find a topic similar to this so I apologize if I was mistaken and another is already around.

Iím not sure about the rest of you but I feel as though more and more people are looking to fill their aquariums with live plants, I think itís absolutely fantastic! There are so many health benefits to keeping live plants as opposed to artificial and they just look so lovely, especially contrasted against a brightly coloured and active betta (or whatever inhabits your aquarium). But while live plants are wonderful and have scores of benefits, they are also constantly growing (when provided with the right conditions) so itís important that you know how to deal with the excess.

When you have to prune your plants it can be a double-edged sword in terms of happiness; for one, you're ecstatic that the plants have taken to your source water and that the care you have provided them have allowed them to flourish but at the same time theyíre flourishing to such a degree that you have too much plant matter left over after a good pruning and nowhere to put it! This article is designed to offer you multiple ways in which you can safely deal with extra plants.

To start with Iíd like to cover the two doníts; these are very important and should be considered before all elseÖ
  • Donít under any circumstance flush live plants down the toilet Ė especially duckweed! While the plants may be subjected to various treatments and sewage there is still a risk of them getting into local waterways and this can cause environmental damage!
  • Donít throw them into local streams, rivers, ponds or other such Ďwildí and Ďpublicí bodies of water for the same reasons as above. If a plant isnít native to your local area donít let it out of your home unless it's being mailed to another person.
With those two things considered letís move on to the different ways in which you can utilize your excess plant matter:
  • Trading, Selling or Giving Away your extra plant matter can benefit both you and another person; you may be surprised to learn just how many people are after your plants so itís definitely a route worth exploring. If trading, it is important that you recognize which plants are legal in your home country/county/state and which are not as some are banned due to being considered pests.
  • Setting Up Another Aquarium can be a great way to store excess plants! Whoops... did I really say that? Setting up another aquarium just so you can keep growing your plants? Yes, yes I did. Sometimes it's useful to have a second 'grow out' aquarium in case you wish to either grow specific plants to sell in large quanities or if you are hoping to grow lots of plants for other aquariums that you haven't purchased yet. The joy of live plants is that, if conditions are right, once you buy a species the first time you will likely not have to buy it again unless you really need more urgently!
  • Feeding Goldfish some types of extra plant matter can be a lovely way to 'share the love'. If you keep goldfish (or know someone who does) and know what species of plants they like to snack on then it may be worth having a go and seeing what these beauties of the carp family think. Please do your research first.
If you find yourself unable to rehome the extra plants you can dispose of them safely in a few different ways...
  • Composting is a great way to recycle those extra plants; compost is used as a nutrient rich soil for plants and is great for vegetable gardens. Many households have them but sometimes government-run ones will accept local waste, too.
  • The 'Dry and Bin' Approach can work, too. If you don't have access to a composter then let your plants dry out either in the sun or in a place that is relatively warm; leave them for a day or two and you'll find the plants shrivelled, this means that they are dead. You can safely dispose of dead plants with the food waste of your household. Ensuring the plants are dried out and dead means that they won't infest local waterways if, by some twist of fate, they find their way there.
And that's that. If you have any other ideas please post them below!
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:47 AM   #2 
ao's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NYC
Originally Posted by SpookyTooth View Post
  • Donít throw them into local streams, rivers, ponds or other such Ďwildí and Ďpublicí bodies of water for the same reasons as above. If a plant isnít native to your local area donít let it out of your home unless it's being mailed to another person.
Yes ^ especially that. disposing of plants properly also protects the hobby. there are many plants such as limnophila sessiliflora (cabomba like plnt, really pretty) that are banned because some irresponsible individual dumped it in native US waterways. Now it's a weed, and banned from crossing state lines.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:41 PM   #3 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Las Vegas
Excellent advice, and setting up another aquarium is so satisfying when all of the plants are homegrown!
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