sword grow out setup?
so I have probably 15-20 mini swords from my biggest plant, all of them have super long roots running across the tank. however im thinking what if I were to setup each sword in its own 2 liter bottle filled with soil at bottom and a air stone and a flouro strip across them all. they would grow fine right?
As long as they are fully under water, getting ferts and set lighting I would think so. The water should not go stagnant with the sword in it. What a great way, if it works to grow plants for sale in your area... Hey maybe you are on to something here!! Please let us know how this works. I certainly want to follow. Post a pic too if you decide to set it up.
I'm going to try growing some in jars with shrimp as part of an experiment, I'll just have them set in sunlight. We'll see what happens.
Good luck with it, sounds like it will work well.
The swords will grow a great deal faster if you can transition them to emersed (out of the water) growth. There is a lot more CO2 available in air than gets dissolved in the water, resulting in much faster plant growth.
The major downside is the transition to emersed (they can dry out and die) and the leaf loss/shape changes. Emersed swords have different leaf shapes (more oval). Then, when the plants get submerged again, the leaves have to shift back to a submerged growth form (it doesn't need the thick, water-loss preventing cuticle to prevent water loss when it's under water!).
Also, with shrimp, make sure they don't get too hot in the sun.
don't plan on having them in the sun, I have a indoor garden room where we grow our veggies through the winter and some spare t8 fixtures laying around. I want to avoid the immersed to reduce any transition shock when I sell them. happy plants = happy people. I was going to try and avoid fgerting which is why I was wondering if the soil would do all I need as far as ferting goes.
I am betting in such a small area the roots would get root bound. Swords have massive root systems. Plus I am betting with what little soil you will have in there you will have to supplement fertilizer. Wouldn't be a bad idea as some nutrients are taken up by the leaves no matter the plant.
The main issue I see is algae, and nutrients.
Swords are heavy feeders, mainly via the roots. Soil has to have nutrients added to it at some point. Fish foods and fish waste help achieve this but in single jars, where will the nutrients come from? A shallow old aquarium, say a 20g long, would work better. You could plant in soil, and add liquid fertilizers as needed.
And watch the light. A 4-foot T8 tube emits a lot of light. With minimal nutrients, algae will have a field day. And you know what that means.
I grow out swords (daughter plants from my large Echinodorus bleherae which is what you have) in my 20g new fish tank. I QT new fish acquisitions in this tank, but for most of the year it is without fish. The plants thrive, somewhat to my amazement. I dose liquid ferts same as my display tanks, Flourish Comp once a week (now), and Flourish Trace. [Plants did fine before I started the Trace.] This 20g tall has two 10w Daylight CFL bulbs. I have never had algae issues in this tank, also somewhat surprising to me.
Since you intend to sell these plants, I think the soil and a few drops of Flourish Comp weekly would work out for you. The soil will last as long as it takes to get the plants to size and a handful of that is way cheaper than root tabs. The size they'll get in a 2 liter should not cause them to get root bound. This advice is based on turn around and expense so that you realize a profit. Sounds like you have a good setup in mind for your plan.
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