adventures of a failed wanna-be rice farmer

WhistlingBadger

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Hi, all. So, I am STILL trying to get some actual rice growing in my rice paddy biotope. (the bamboo canes are better than nothing, but not as nice as the real thing would be) I am, so far, a complete failure at growing rice, so I need some advice.

Here's where I'm at: I got some long-grain white rice seed, variety is called Rex. I scattered a small handful of seed in a tray with about 1/8" of water, and put it on top of my aquarium light where it will stay nice and warm. Got home from work today to find that the seed is all sprouted! Yippee!

So, what now? I eventually want this rice growing in my tank, in about 3" of substrate (sand over soil) and around 8" of water. I'd like to grow it in clumps rather than single plants. How do I get it to grow tall enough that I can plant it in the water, in a way that will make it easy to transplant without pouring a bunch of soil into my tank? Any green thumb appreciated. @Colin_T I remember you having some advice, but I can't find it now.

Thanks, crew!
T
 

Boundava

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Can you temporarily plant them in a taller container with a mix of small gravel/large sand and dirt; then as they grow slowly raise the water? You can gently rinse them off before replantiong them in your tank.
 
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Can you temporarily plant them in a taller container with a mix of small gravel/large sand and dirt; then as they grow slowly raise the water? You can gently rinse them off before replantiong them in your tank.
Maybe sand with a bit of soil in the bottom for nutrients?
 

Myraan

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Would starting off in a dry tank first work? For the unlimited CO2 and stuff? Though I think mould is a risk because you need to keep everything moist and humid. I guess that ship has sailed, and you need the water for fish and the other plants....
 
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Would starting off in a dry tank first work? For the unlimited CO2 and stuff? Though I think mould is a risk because you need to keep everything moist and humid. I guess that ship has sailed, and you need the water for fish and the other plants....
Yeah, too late for that. I'm going to have to grow the rice in another container until it's big enough, then transplant it into the tank...although now that I think of it, all my fish are comfortable in shallow water. Maybe if I draw the water down to three or four inches deep, I could plant the rice earlier, then raise the level again as the rice grows. That might be a good idea.
 

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Maybe sand with a bit of soil in the bottom for nutrients?
I have had phenomenal results from Seachem Advance in getting plants growing. It helps them establish a strong root system. That may help them get started with the sand. Maybe break up a flourish tab or drop a couple osmocote beads in there for fertilizer. Just a bit, you don't want to grow algae too. I find the LED grow lights for plants at local hardware stores work well for aquatic plants. I have four dome lights (2 each) on my 120 and 125 as supplemental lights, and another on my 22 gallon rimless tank. Plants are all thriving.
 

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Put the rice in a shallow container with some sand and use a liquid plant fertiliser on it at half strength, once a week. Use fertiliser for normal garden plants. Keep the sand moist but not wet. The plants will get their nutrients from the fertiliser and when they are about 8-12 inches long, you can put the container of plants in a shallow section of tank. Or you can lift them out of the sand and plant them in the tank. But don't plant them in deep water. Have them in 3-4 inches of water. You can increase that to 6 inches after, if and when the plants have grown a bit more.
 

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Yeah, too late for that. I'm going to have to grow the rice in another container until it's big enough, then transplant it into the tank...although now that I think of it, all my fish are comfortable in shallow water. Maybe if I draw the water down to three or four inches deep, I could plant the rice earlier, then raise the level again as the rice grows. That might be a good idea.
Water quality issues if reducing amount?
 
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WhistlingBadger

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Water quality issues if reducing amount?
I don't think it would get bad. I have a ton of plants in this tank, many of them emergent, so reducing the water level might actually increase plant growth, improving water quality. How's that for counterintuitive? I wouldn't draw it down below 4" though, and that only temporarily. If rice is like most grasses, it grows pretty fast once it gets going, so I don't think I'd have to have it that low for long.
 

itiwhetu

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Start again plant the rice in your tank as it grows slowly lift the water level to match the growth of the plants when you have enough water add fish.
 
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WhistlingBadger

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Start again plant the rice in your tank as it grows slowly lift the water level to match the growth of the plants when you have enough water add fish.
The tank is already stocked, so my fish might not be happy with me if I did this. :)
 

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