How to grow aquarium plants emersed: the easy way




June 27, 2016

aquariumplanten kweken

Do you want to grow aquarium plants as a way to save money or because you want a new challenge? I have made a plan for you to easily grow your aquarium plants at home, it’s cheap and fun. 🙂

The difference between growing your aquarium plants emersed and submersed.

Shouldn’t you grow aquarium plants … in water? Well, yes you could. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to grow your aquarium outside of your aquarium. It’s actually even better and easier to grow your aquarium plants like this.

Why? Because it has some very distinct advantages

  • It’s much faster to grow your aquarium plants emersed than submersed due to higher growth rate
  • Those awful algae don’t grow outside of the aquarium so you don’t have to worry about those anymore!
  • No need to dose fertilizers when using a good medium to grow the aquarium plants
  • No need to add CO2 because there’s plenty of CO2 in the air

That’s the theory, now let’s talk practice.

hemianthus callitrichoides emers
Hemianthus callitrichoides kun je gemakkelijk emers kweken. Bron: AquaticQuotient

How to start growing your aquarium plants

Right, so by now you know all the advantages of growing your aquarium plants. Now, let’s start with the setup for a healthy plant growth, to make it easy for you I have divided my plan in different “subchapters”.

The room

  1. Look for a nice and quiet spot or room where you can grow the aquarium plants without them getting in the way
  2. Make sure the temperature is good: not too warm, not too cold. Ideally the temperature should be about 23°

The equipment

Now that you have found your perfect little spot, start collecting the equipment. Remember, this doesn’t have to be expensive, most of this stuff can be found in your kitchen 🙂
Here’s a list:

  • Small container made of glass or plastic in which you will grow your aquarium plants;
  • Potting soil, just enough to cover a few centimeters in the container;
  • Something to cover the container.

Here’s an example of a super easy setup:

aquariumplanten emers kweken
Een kweekopstelling. Bron: AquaticPlantCentral

The setup

Now let’s get growing!

  1. Add the potting soil to the container so it covers a few centimers. You can also use old aquasoil if you have some left from a previous scape, that will work just fine too.
  2. Now, carefully add some water to the container, just enough to slightly cover the soil. Don’t add too much though, remember we want to grow our aquarium plants emersed.
  3. You can add some extra fertilizers to the soil if you want for an extra growth boost but this is not necessary if the soil is “fresh”.
  4. Add the aquarium plants that you want to grow to the soil, make sure they are well rooted and don’t come loose;
  5. Finally, cover the container with a plastic cover or some foil. Make sure there is a small opening on both sides of the container for air circulation.

By the way, you can also take some aquarium plants from your aquascape and plant them straight into your growing container. They will need some extra time though, since they need to convert from their submersed to their emersed form.

How about aquarium lighting?

It’s not that important, really. You can use sunlight by placing the container near a window, some people prefer to use a growing lamp used for ornamental plants and herbs. Whatever works for you. Just make sure that your plants don’t dry out, so make sure the lighting is not too strong and add water regularly to keep the soil moist. Especially in the first days and week!

How to grow aquarium plants emersed: the easy way | PlantedBox

Are there any disadvantages to growing your aquarium plants emersed?

Not that many. The biggest disadvantage in my opinion is that you cannot grow all aquarium plants emersed. Here’s an overview of aquarium plants that you CAN grow emersed.

Ammania Bacopa Cardamine Crassula Didiplis
Eleocharis Eusteralis Glossostigma Gymnocoronis Hemianthus
Heteranthera Hottonia Hydrocotyle Hygrophila Lilaeopsis
Limnophila Lobelia Ludwigia Lysimachia Mayaca
Micranthemum Myriophyllum Nesaea Rotala Saururus

Got any questions or remarks? Let me know in the comments below!

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