What is the significance of a "potted plant"

Jan Cavalieri

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I order my fish and plants online. The plants are always in amazing perfect condition since they are pulled directly from the water and shipped 1-2 day shipping.. But some come in little pots (sometimes the pots are a basket, sometimes solid sides) while other just come loose in the bag. Am I supposed to leave the potted plants in the pot and try to bury them in the aquarium substrate or do I remove them from the pot and then plant them?
 

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I order my fish and plants online. The plants are always in amazing perfect condition since they are pulled directly from the water and shipped 1-2 day shipping.. But some come in little pots (sometimes the pots are a basket, sometimes solid sides) while other just come loose in the bag. Am I supposed to leave the potted plants in the pot and try to bury them in the aquarium substrate or do I remove them from the pot and then plant them?
Remove them from the pots, the bury them. What kind of plants are you getting? :)
 

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I think they do that to protect the roots. That rock wool type stuff they have them in doesn't really do anything. Separate it out very carefully and don't worry about getting it all. Rooted plants in an aquarium should be afforded all the care any plant aquatic or terrestrial deserves. So, your substrate should be pretty good. Something I've done is put rooted plants in small clay pots filled with aquatic potting soil, such as Schultz. I then could use root tab fertilizer. Then I put a shallow layer of gravel over the aquatic potting soil to hold it in place as it is very lightweight and swirls around if disturbed by fish. The pots got disguised with rocks or driftwood to blend them into my aquascaping. This is a good solution if you can't go hog wild with a full blown plant tank. The pots push the plants up closer to the light also.
 

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Substrate-rooting plants like swords, crypts, etc, are normally sold in plastic pots with the rock wool; sometimes now they have a lead band wrapped around the rock wool rather than an actual pot/basket. Either method is because they have extensive root systems and should be kept undisturbed while growing and until the aquarist plants them. At that point you can remove the basket/port, and carefully remove most of the rock wool, as post #3 said. Sometimes if I am not certain where I want the plant to be, I leave it in the basket/pot and push that gently into the sand and leave it for a few days. When I am certain of the planting position, I remove the pot and plant the plant. You do not want to disturb the root mass more than necessary, so this aids in that.

I prefer plants to be planted directly in the substrate. This is because the roots of most of these are fairly significant, and as they spread throughout the substrate they are performing some very beneficial work by aerating the substrate, releasing oxygen through all those roots, and of course taking in organic nutrients. Having the plant confined to a pot loses this benefit, and it is considerable. Some of these plants have very extensive root systems; I have pulled up swords after a couple years and the roots extended for 2+ feet out from the crown; that is a major component of a healthy substrate.
 

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Substrate-rooting plants like swords, crypts, etc, are normally sold in plastic pots with the rock wool; sometimes now they have a lead band wrapped around the rock wool rather than an actual pot/basket. Either method is because they have extensive root systems and should be kept undisturbed while growing and until the aquarist plants them. At that point you can remove the basket/port, and carefully remove most of the rock wool, as post #3 said. Sometimes if I am not certain where I want the plant to be, I leave it in the basket/pot and push that gently into the sand and leave it for a few days. When I am certain of the planting position, I remove the pot and plant the plant. You do not want to disturb the root mass more than necessary, so this aids in that.

I prefer plants to be planted directly in the substrate. This is because the roots of most of these are fairly significant, and as they spread throughout the substrate they are performing some very beneficial work by aerating the substrate, releasing oxygen through all those roots, and of course taking in organic nutrients. Having the plant confined to a pot loses this benefit, and it is considerable. Some of these plants have very extensive root systems; I have pulled up swords after a couple years and the roots extended for 2+ feet out from the crown; that is a major component of a healthy substrate.
This was all explained very well. Thank you. But what you stated about that extensive root system of the Swordplant really shocked me. I had no idea at all that could happen to that extent. Certainly does give food for thought. Why deprive yourself of a benefit like that ?
 

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Just recently I have gone old school on this. I take the plant out and wrap a piece of lead tape near the crown to stop it from floating up while the roots establish on the substrate. Only its not made of lead anymore.
 

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This was all explained very well. Thank you. But what you stated about that extensive root system of the Swordplant really shocked me. I had no idea at all that could happen to that extent. Certainly does give food for thought. Why deprive yourself of a benefit like that ?
Swords have one of if not the most extensive root systems. Crypts do not have such masses of roots, but I have seen a single root reach over a foot from the plant, with tiny hair roots along it. And of course crypts will also send out runner roots and new plants spring up, so another benefit. I now have a 30g tank full of Cyrptocoryne balansae all from a single plant I acquired some five years ago.
 

PheonixKingZ

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This was the tank at the end of June, a month after I moved and re-set it. The C. balansae plants are the tall strap-shaped leaves. I would have even more but when I moved I did cull this plant a bit.
Are they easy to grow? They look beautiful! ;)
 

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Are they easy to grow? They look beautiful! ;)
Crypts are easy for some and the oppsite for others. For one thing they do not tolerate unstable water parameters/conditions. It was interesting for me to note that after my recent move, these plants did not melt into a pile of mush as so often happens (some species are less inclined, others don't take any minimal change to melt). When I first acquired the single plant, it was three years before the first daughter plant poked up from the sand, about four inches from the parent plant. I moved them into the 90g and after a couple months, runners started appearing everywhere.
 

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That tank is amazing Byron :hooray: natural aquascaping at its best. Whats the floating plants you have with the big roots coming down?
 

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That tank is amazing Byron :hooray: natural aquascaping at its best. Whats the floating plants you have with the big roots coming down?
Ceratopteris cornuta, Water Sprite. This species is the best for floating, and it is a beauty. I acquired one plant back in 1997 or 8, and I still have it in several tanks, and I toss out plants every water change. It is prolific once it settles in, producing daughter plants on alternate fronds (it is a true fern).
 

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I think they do that to protect the roots. That rock wool type stuff they have them in doesn't really do anything. Separate it out very carefully and don't worry about getting it all. Rooted plants in an aquarium should be afforded all the care any plant aquatic or terrestrial deserves. So, your substrate should be pretty good. Something I've done is put rooted plants in small clay pots filled with aquatic potting soil, such as Schultz. I then could use root tab fertilizer. Then I put a shallow layer of gravel over the aquatic potting soil to hold it in place as it is very lightweight and swirls around if disturbed by fish. The pots got disguised with rocks or driftwood to blend them into my aquascaping. This is a good solution if you can't go hog wild with a full blown plant tank. The pots push the plants up closer to the light also.
I love that idea. I prefer gravel (I know, but let’s stick to the subject). I would like to put some of my plants in dirt though. Love, love, love this!!! I can believe I didn’t think of this. Lol!
 

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