Idea for anchoring plants....

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sick-lid boy

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I have an 80 gallon tank for my Discus fish and would like to have it planted... the problem is, I don't have, nor do I want, much gravel in the tank. I have about a half inch of pea gravel.

The trouble I had with a lot of plants in my small tank was they were becoming uprooted and floating to the top until I finally managed to bury them deep enough so they'd stay put... and I have about 2 inches of gravel to work with in that tank, and also it's very easy to simply reach down and replant the plants if they come up. But my 80 gallon tank is over 30 inches deep, I can't even reach the bottom with my hands, and using a tool to try and plant plants in a half inch of gravel probably won't work very well.

I found some nylon mesh/netting material and was thinking about making sort of a little beanbag to hold the plants in. I would just cut about a 4 or 5 inch circle of mesh, put some gravel in the center, then the plant, then tie the mesh around the stem of the plant to form a little beanbag. The netting has big enough holes to let the roots grow through, but not big enough to let the gravel out. I figure I could just drop the plant with the bag attached into my tank, then just barely cover the beanbag with a layer of gravel to hide it.

I haven't heard about anyone trying or mentioning this idea, so I'm wondering if there's any reason why it wouldn't work.
 

Tom

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You could also use some aquarium safe lead weights that the stores use to bunch their plants together with. It is great to keep even thin stem plants in big pieces of gravel.
Tom
 

Jimold

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I'm not sure your plants would do good without more gravel. I think they have to have something for the roots to grow in. You might want to check out plantgeek and see what they say about it.
 

SHPEPoser

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You might want to think about going from shallow rock in the front to a deeper rock in the back. It makes the tank look nicer and it allows for planting in the back ground and you can always find dwarf plants to put in front that dont require anchoring or deep rock. Maybe vary your rock from 1/4" to maybe an 1".
 

Jimold

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SHPEPoser, good idea, I've seen people do that and make it look really good.
 

Eskielvr

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Tom said:
You could also use some aquarium safe lead weights that the stores use to bunch their plants together with. It is great to keep even thin stem plants in big pieces of gravel.
Tom
Where do you get those? Petsmart said they didn't sell them, but they have them on their plants.
 
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sick-lid boy

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Well, I used my bean-bag idea on a few Amazon Swords and it worked perfectly. I just cleared a spot in the gravel, dropped the weighted plant in the tank, and put a little more gravel over the bag. If they are still doing fine in a couple weeks, I'll post exactly how I did it. Took a little bit of trial and error before I found a way to bind up the bag so that it would lay fairly flat and hold the plant in place, but I can tell you this... those plants aren't going anywhere until I move them.
 

SHPEPoser

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This might help. I dont know anything about the seller but who knows. There might be other places.
 

griffin

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if you ask at pet smart, usually they'll give you a few of the ones they use for free.
 

hamstermann

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sick-lid boy said:
Well, I used my bean-bag idea on a few Amazon Swords and it worked perfectly. I just cleared a spot in the gravel, dropped the weighted plant in the tank, and put a little more gravel over the bag. If they are still doing fine in a couple weeks, I'll post exactly how I did it. Took a little bit of trial and error before I found a way to bind up the bag so that it would lay fairly flat and hold the plant in place, but I can tell you this... those plants aren't going anywhere until I move them.
so what's the report? Did it work?
 

VertigoXLR8R222

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fellow fish friend, have you given thought to using small clay flowerpots? i've seen them from 2 to 6 inches in diameter. groupings of them would provide cover for your fish. you could fill them with plain gravel or use them as places to keep plant specific substrate and still have very little gravel across the bottom of your tank. and, its such a distance to reach to the bottom that each plant having its own flower pot would make removal and replacement really easy. its just a suggestion i couldn't help but share. my idea is placing two end to end and standing the up. one is now upside-down, and a Dremmel will cut a nice doorway. so you now have a cave with a plant growing out the top, resembling an hourglass volcano. and you have you plants closer to the surface to increase their light. and the groupings would become a social place above a group of hiding spots below a group of hiding spots and feeding grounds. what do you think? Lee
 

armadillo

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That's... verrrry clever. Nice idea.

Where do you buy the clay pots, though, to make sure they're aquarium-safe? Didn't see them in pet shops.
 

VertigoXLR8R222

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i personally am going to use molded plastic flowerpots since i already have a few and they're actually kinda nice looking and they sell at three for a dollar at the local "cheap" store so i can evolve the idea with no serious capital i think i mite ring the base with rocks to lower the center of gravity drill a small hole and attach it with silicone and speaking of that where can i get some cheap silicone thats safe to use? the lfs wants my first born for a lil tube i break my own stone and search thru looking for just the right pieces there and will someone tell me if red lightbulbs will grow a plant? thanks Lee
 

griffin

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you can get cheaper silicone at places like lowe's or home depot. just look for the kind that doesn't have any additivies such as mold/mildew preventers.
 

capekate

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I have found that having on hand a set of grill tongs work well for grabbing and holding onto plants that need to be planted or moved from a deep tank. The beanbag method sounds like a great idea. For my live plants Im just using an elastic band to hold them together in the gravel. They are all growing nicely. I love all the suggestions here on what to use and may have to check out the clay pot idea myself. it would be a great place for fish to hide under as well. ;D
 
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sick-lid boy

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LOL.. I forgot all about this post. Yes, it worked perfectly. All four Amazon Swords are growing nicely and haven't been uprooted or moved since I put them in the tank a few months ago.

Just to recap what I did: I cut a 4 or 5 inch circle of nylon mesh, set the plant on the circle, and then added a scoop of gravel on top. Then I wrapped the roots of the plants along with the gravel in the mesh to form a golf-ball sized beanbag. Then I sort of threaded the bag closed with fishing line, kind of going in and out between the stems of the plant to ensure it couldn't escape the beanbag. Then dropped it in the tank and covered the bag with gravel. The plants have stayed put and have grown quite a bit ever since.

Again, I needed something like this because my tank is so tall, I can't even reach the bottom of the tank. Placing plants in the gravel is virtually impossible.

The clay pot method is fine, but it tends to ruin the natural look I'm after when plants are in clay pots...
 

nicole

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VertigoXLR8R222 said:
fellow fish friend, have you given thought to using small clay flowerpots? i've seen them from 2 to 6 inches in diameter. groupings of them would provide cover for your fish. you could fill them with plain gravel or use them as places to keep plant specific substrate and still have very little gravel across the bottom of your tank. and, its such a distance to reach to the bottom that each plant having its own flower pot would make removal and replacement really easy.
I use the clay flower pots mine are small but they are good and I have seen some nice tanks set up with larger ones in them,so yeah I like this idea.You can also get ties to anchor plants to pieces of driftood .
 

Butterfly

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I know I'm late with this but saw it and thought it was interesting

Carol
 

zeddy

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i know ther are some plants that will root to driftwood
 

Butterfly

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