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Planting Stem plants

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Tried numerous times to plant and grow Scarlet Temple, but one of two things happen every time..... they melt and/or won't stay planted. So I give up but I have been brain storming ideas to secure stem plants in the gravel. So here goes.... 

#1 Create a small faux/clay rock type formation that is cut in half with  tiny magnets inside to attach the two sides. It could be removed easily once the plant roots anchor. (If anybody makes one.... let me know!)

#2 I purchased plastic bobby pins and it can hold anything from 1 to 4 stems, but more importantly is can be shoved down in the gravel and hold the roots. Later I could just slide them out.  I actually tried this today to plant my Pogo Octopus and it worked really well too. 

Any thoughts?



Edited by Fresh Princess
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Posted (edited)

We'll see if the Pogo is still there tommorrow! Fingers crossed.... they felt pretty secure in the gravel. I tried weight for my Amazons but the weights didn't work for me with stems.

If it does work maybe I will try Scarlet again, now that I have a new lighting.


Edited by Fresh Princess
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Would adding another inch of gravel be an option?


Some substrates are more difficult than others to plant into. And extra depth of substrate can help.  Ie going deeper can help.

Also, using one set of angled tweezers to insert the stem into the substrate, and a pair of straight tweezers to nudge some gravel up to the base of the stem followed by holding the stem just above the area where the angled tweezers to hold the stem put as you loosen the grip with the angled an extract them from the substrate, and nudge the gravel a bit to the stem base..

sounds involved reading it above, but it quickly becomes automatic.

I dont use plant weights or such.

Safe T Sorb fired clay is the easiest substrate I have ever planted in.  It is a joy.


Scarlet Temple is one of the harder plants I have dealt with.  It has only started to thrive for me since I went with pressurized CO2.  Note, I am not saying you need pressurized CO2 to grow it well, just that once I got it dialed in it started to take off.  People have managed it without CO2, but the ability to balance the tank to do so eluded me…


Edited by Pepere
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Adding another inch or two of substrate will definitely help the plants stay. 

Regarding the scarlet temple, it's a very finnicky plant and I suggest to get a different plant to save you the headache of trying to get that plant to thrive. They prefer tanks with high light, good nutrient levels and pressurized co2.

They are doable with medium lighting and without co2 but you'd really have to find that perfect balance which can invite algae in the process. 

There are other stem plants that aren't sensitive and can still give you a nice shade of red. Ludwigia palustris super red and rotala h'ra turns red/orange without co2 and high light.

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