Transferring established plant to new diggs - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-15-2011, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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Transferring established plant to new diggs

I have 7 rubbermaid 20 gal containers planted with emersed aquatic plants. One is HC, another Glosso, as well as bacopa, etc. 3 tanks with submersed plants as well. In several months I'll have two very big aquariums ready to go. I am planning to transfer most of the plants to the big tanks.
Here is where I need creative help. I want to transfer strips or sections of plants including their substrate to the large tank and lay the strips down into the big tank intact. I plan to have an inch or so of fertilized substrate already in the tanks. What I've thought of so far is to remove the planted strips and transfer them using a thin, flat piece of metal and then lower the planted strips gently down and into place. Then I'll slid the metal spatula out and use it to transfer another strip.
Does anyone have ideas about this? Refinements, suggestions?
So far one thing seems evident, I'll need side strips, vertical pieces as deep as the substrate being transferred to prevent the substrate from falling off the sides of the metal transfer piece.

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post #2 of 7 Old 06-15-2011, 09:49 AM
why? just pull them up and replant IMO. It will be far easier. Your method is not going to work for any heavy rooter like sword or crypt unless you want to lop off the roots in the process.

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post #3 of 7 Old 06-15-2011, 06:48 PM
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My thinking too. Perhaps you are thinking of the setback that some terrestrial plants often go through when transplanted, but for most aquarium plants other than crypts, transplanting is usually not detrimental and may in some cases benefit.

Going from emersed to submersed cultivation will cause a reaction in (as far as I know) all aquarium plants regardless of how they get there. Many have different leaf forms between emersed and submersed, and the existing emersed leaves will usually die off as new submersed forms appear.

By the way, Paul, it's nice to see you back online.


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The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-16-2011, 10:08 AM
Actually, i think its a good idea, although the number of pros may not be worth the effort, the concept is good in terms of aquascpaing and matting down whole section quickly. Plants like HC when you pull them up and replant, is extremely messy, same with glosso and other ground cover plants. If done properly, i think it would look excellent. May not avoid the melt from changes in environment, but it will be less messy and easier to work with in terms of replanting. For plants like swords and crypts, replanting may be better, but for ground cover, this is a good idea.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-16-2011, 02:10 PM
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I'd transfer the HC your way, but without worrying about the substrate being carried over. As long as they're more or less 'clumps', it shouldn't be too bad.

The rest should probably just be moved an easier way.

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius

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post #6 of 7 Old 06-17-2011, 05:06 PM
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I've seen them sell a stiff plastic grating that resembles a hair net. You might be able to grow the plants in this mesh and then just move the mesh over and bury under the new substrate. I don't know if it would hinder the growth in the long run.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-18-2011, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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I really appreciate the feedback. It's good to know so many creative folks populate this great site. The tank that will receive the transplants will be 12' x 3' x 25" high. That is almost 36 sq ft of mostly planted terrain that will require bending over. If I do it one plant at a time, my 65 y o back will never recover. I've considered putting a removable piece (of some thin flat material) on the bottom of my last three- not yet set up- containers, with glued on styrofoam sides and adding the substrate to be planted on top. The bottom piece will have wires attached to all four corners thru holes. When I'm ready to transplant I'll find the wires and pull the bottom up.
I'll take this to the tank, pull off one of the end rails and lower it into place. Then I can either push the mat off and into place or simply leave the planted substrate sitting on the bottom piece, put the whole thing down and pull the side rails off.
So far, this is what I have. I will be able to practice on a smaller scale however so that when the big day comes, I won't be nearly as clueless as I am now. Thanks again for the support and the ideas
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transferring plants , transplanting

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