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Old 02-13-2013, 12:51 AM   #1 
Saphira101
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Cool Wanting to start an aquatic plant "farm", have some questions

Hey guys, I was just thinking, it'd be pretty cool to have a bunch of tanks exclusively for growing aquatic plants. How would I go about doing this? I have 2 spare 20 gallon tanks, and 2 spare 10 gallon tanks. (as well as a 3 gallon tall that will be open soon) at the moment, I have water sprite, amazon swords, some other type of swords, amazon frogbit, Bacopa monnieri, java fern, and myriophillium simulans. (did I spell that correctly??) I also have access to some local ponds where duckweed grows wild. I plan collect some of this too, during the summer.

So, questions:

1. could I just weigh down the plants with something, (not the floating ones) or do I have to do soil capped with gravel?

2. Do I have to filter the tanks, or will a simple air stone or two work? (I've personally found that my water sprite does well with a HOB filter)

3. How about lighting? Can I just use big incandescent lighting strips and a plexiglass lid? (I have loads of the lighting strips, they hang from chains)

4. Should I heat the tanks? How about fertilizer?

5. Can I put snails in? I've heard some of them eat the plants. I have some pond snails, and two ramshorns. I have had the ramshorns since December, and they haven't bred. I'm starting to think that they're both the same sex. My pond snails, however, are breeding like... um... snails?

6. What would be a decent temp for the tanks? Does temp matter?

7. Is there a specific water level needed for each tank? Would having a low water level for floating plants work, or do they prefer high water levels?

Is there anything else I should know?

Thanks! ~Saphira

Last edited by Saphira101; 02-13-2013 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:19 AM   #2 
aemaki09
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1. could I just weigh down the plants with something, (not the floating ones) or do I have to do soil capped with gravel?
You can get lead strips to weigh down the stem plants.

2. Do I have to filter the tanks, or will a simple air stone or two work? (I've personally found that my water sprite does well with a HOB filter)
Not too sure if you really need filters or not.

3. How about lighting? Can I just use big incandescent lighting strips and a plexiglass lid? (I have loads of the lighting strips, they hang from chains)
You need flourescent lighting. Plants have a hard time growing with incandescent (I have never noticed growth with incandescent actually)

4. Should I heat the tanks? How about fertilizer?
You will need to look at the temperature range of the species. Some will be okay without heat, some wont.
depends on what substrate you go with and if you have any fish in the tanks to help with fertilizing. I would recommend definitely getting some fertilizer to dose if you notice the plants not doing too well, Something like Seachem Flourish Comprehensive

5. Can I put snails in? I've heard some of them eat the plants. I have some pond snails, and two ramshorns. I have had the ramshorns since December, and they haven't bred. I'm starting to think that they're both the same sex. My pond snails, however, are breeding like... um... snails?
You should avoid snails at all costs. Customers will more than likely not be repeat customers if they notice snails on their plants. Also, Ramshorns are asexual meaning they are of both sex's and can even breed with themselves. The babies they have probably had are still too small for you to really notice.

6. What would be a decent temp for the tanks? Does temp matter?
Not sure, depends on the species I'd say 75 would be perfect for all of them
7. Is there a specific water level needed for each tank? Would having a low water level for floating plants work, or do they prefer high water levels?
growing emerged seems to get the best growth rate if you dont do CO2 injected tanks.


Also, you will probably want to do a soil and sand cap for substrate just so the plants get a ton of nutrients in as cheap of way as possible (if you dont want to go the CO2 route
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:17 AM   #3 
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The following answwrs are from personal experience and observation of profession hobbyists who grow aquarium plants for profit
So, questions:

1. could I just weigh down the plants with something, (not the floating ones) or do I have to do soil capped with gravel?

I wouldn't recommend soil for this setup. as it can become very messy with constant uprooting.
I actually would recommend red floramax or flourite.

2. Do I have to filter the tanks, or will a simple air stone or two work? (I've personally found that my water sprite does well with a HOB filter)

An airstone will work just fine, I petsonally prefer filters as airstones are noisy...
to be honest you dont need either of these

3. How about lighting? Can I just use big incandescent lighting strips and a plexiglass lid? (I have loads of the lighting strips, they hang from chains)

use flourescent or professional LEDs. compact flourescent works quite well. you can also look into led flood lights from ebay... what you need is lighting around the 6500k range

4. Should I heat the tanks? How about fertilizer?

heatin isnt absolutely neccessary neccessary... plants prefer cooler temperatures... around 70F is a good temp.

I would recommend stocking the tanks. to make it simple, you can just do snail. as long as you feed the snails... there will be ferts.
if you dont like snails i will opt for a cold water feeder minnow...

5. Can I put snails in? I've heard some of them eat the plants. I have some pond snails, and two ramshorns. I have had the ramshorns since December, and they haven't bred. I'm starting to think that they're both the same sex. My pond snails, however, are breeding like... um... snails?

ramshorns are hermaphrodites, either one can reproduce as long as they have another....partner


6. What would be a decent temp for the tanks? Does temp matter?
yes at a cooler temp plants will grow slower, but at temps too high they will stunt or die off, the low 70s is a goid temperature for growth

7. Is there a specific water level needed for each tank? Would having a low water level for floating plants work, or do they prefer high water levels?
i dont recommend floating plants for your set up...

Is there anything else I should know?
learn how to ship plants!


Thanks! ~Saphira
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:45 PM   #4 
Saphira101
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Hey guys, thanks for the advice.

I suppose I should have explained what I meant by "plant farm" a bit better. I really just meant that I'd like to grow a bunch of my own plants, so I don't have to keep buying them. (I'm terrible with online selling)

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

~Saphira
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:40 PM   #5 
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Another 10g tank just opened up. My mouse got an actual cage.
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