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Fish tank aka baby planter

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by Renee on January 21, 2004 10:04 PM
Can anyone give me some basics about turning a 20 gallon fish tank into a seed starting tank? for example how would I separate the trays to keep them from "sitting" on eachother? Could I uce card board egg crates and then just plant that straight into the ground? Can I put a light ( what kind ) outside the tank so all the layers will get some light? Or is this not a good idea since there won't be much circulation? Darn gardening bug, drivin me crazy this week! [Wink]
by Jiffymouse on January 21, 2004 11:15 PM
Renee, I like that idea [thumb] If it passes muster, I have a 10 gallon that I could use. not to mention i think that my cooling racks baking would be a good "seperator" or, one of those wire shelves you find in the housewares in wally-world. what ya think [thinker]
by Renee on January 22, 2004 03:26 PM
cooling racks!!! Perfect!!! I have a ton of those. k, i will try and set up some thing this weekend and let you know how it goes. [Wink]
by Bess of the Piedmont on January 23, 2004 08:36 PM
Neat idea!

Last year I had very good luck with just a regular old 2-bulb fluorescent desk lamp. I put it on a timer so it came on at 6 a.m. and went off at 8 p.m. If you had a couple of these, you could shine them in from two sides and try to keep all the plant babies happy.

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by Jiffymouse on January 24, 2004 03:22 AM
good idea bess. i'll have to try that!
by boxmonkey on January 24, 2004 08:46 AM
I think Bess has the right idea. I am doing something similar for the plants in my terrarium and it works like a charm. It's kinda fun because I can make them bend different ways depending on where I have the desk lamp pointing that day.

I have the timer set to go on from 12:30-9:30, so that the light is mostly on while I'm not here (I work a weird schedule), and like I said they follow the light. Not only that but they grow like crazy in there. My aquarium did not have a good lid so I bought a sheet of plastic "glass replacement" stuff, whatever it's called, and cut that to size. It actually works too well at keeping the humidity in and I have to perioditcally take it off to let the plants "breathe".

The kind of light you want to use is Compact Flourescent. Not only do the plants love it but it doesn't use much electricity. I think I'm using a 10 watt one for my little tank.
I have that with a cheap desk lamp with a flexible neck so I can point it wherever I want.

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by Renee on January 27, 2004 04:10 PM
ok, I set it up this weekend, i used those disposable cupcake "tins" they aren't tin, they are card board and the cupcake part can be peeled away when the babies are ready for outside. I don't have much luck when I grow plants in those individual plastic holders that look like ice cube trays, i seem to damage more than I save. so I thought peel them, it doesn't hurt to try! I poked holes in the bottom of them for drainage and I'll let you know how it comes along. When i finish the "layers" I'll send a picture (probably to weezie ) unless somebody else knows how to post them. I'll keep ya updated! [Wink]
by Jiffymouse on January 27, 2004 07:29 PM
renee, if you send the picture to me, i'll post it on my webshots site and post a link so everyone can see it!
by Renee on January 29, 2004 03:35 PM
Thanks Jiffy!!!! That would be wonderful!!! I do love to take pictures! I like the "in progress" ones so you can see the progess! I'll send them to ya as soon as I get them, and thanks again! [Wink]
by Jiffymouse on January 29, 2004 07:16 PM
my pleasure!!
by hisgal2 on February 03, 2004 04:14 PM
I was planning on using cardboard egg crates...the kind that hold 2 1/2 doz...to start my seeds. Can I just cut them apart and put them in the ground when I want to transplant?? Is there a certain soil that I need to use to start my seeds?

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by Jiffymouse on February 04, 2004 06:52 AM
jennifer, the egg crates are a great idea, one i have used in the past. as for as the soil, i usually use the jiffy plant starting mix when i am starting from seeds, although i am sure than any good potting soil would work.
by hisgal2 on February 04, 2004 05:35 PM
Great! I saved LOTS of those cartons! I am addicted to HGTV and yesterday on Tipicall Maryelen they had a tip for starting seeds. The guys said that the plastic "clam shells" that are used to package strawberry or other berries are perfect to start the seeds. The holes on the bottom are great for drainage. You fill it with the soil and then sprinkle the seeds on the top. Cover the seeds if they need to be and then close the lid to make a green house effect. He said the warmest place to put the containers for get the seeds to germinate is on top of the refrigerator!!!! Then, once the seedlings grow a bit, you can take a tweezers and transplant each little seedling into a different container....like the egg carton!!!! I'm soo excited because whreI work, we ship in grape tomatoes and they come in those clam shells. We also get strawberries. I'm going to call my boss tight now to have him save them for me!!!

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by Renee on February 04, 2004 06:10 PM
Well, first attempt didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. I covered the top with celophane to keep the moisture in, and low and behold...........small patches of mold!!!! Ah Nuts!!!! Ok, so I'll try it again this weekend and I'll be sure to leave the celophane off for a few hours when I get home and the ceiling fan on low for circulation. Well, you know what they say, you learn best from your own mistakes....that makes 2034 mistakes so far!!!! [Big Grin] some of them aren't mistakes anymore, I just say they are an alternate solution! [Big Grin]
by Jiffymouse on February 04, 2004 11:18 PM
Renee, [nutz] nuts is right. keep me (us) posted on the progress. I hope to have mine up and running in the next couple of weeks.

Jennifer,
[thinker] hadn't thought about that. good idea!
by hisgal2 on February 05, 2004 02:11 AM
I went to the market today and picked up all of the clam shells that I could...about 47! [Big Grin] I told them that I wanted all of the shells that they empty for set-up...so if anyone wants some, you are more than welcome to them. I'll just send them to you if you want them. Tonight I am going to seed the firstof my plants...I'm VERY excited!

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by Barb H. on February 11, 2004 03:29 AM
Jennifer, Jiffymouse, Rennee and Bess....et al,

Hi there! That's a great idea! Do you mean you start them in those things that berries come in and then transfer them to the egg cartons? I've been saving egg cartons to actually start the seeds...would that work as well, do you think?

Jiffy....when my snow melts do you think I could send a few photos of some sections of my lot? I am working with a blank slate this year and would love to get ideas from people who could see what the plot looks like and can help me pick out things that would look good.

Also, the tank sounds like a really great idea but I'm not sure if I'm understanding the concept....are you saying that you are sort of *layering* the tank with seeds and then putting the lights on them? How many layers can you get in there? I'm sorry if I'm sounding thick....I just would love to get more plants started from seed because of the cost.

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by Renee on February 11, 2004 02:55 PM
Well, I have 3 layers now, in disposable muffin tins, but the cardboard egg cartons are wonderful, I think you can just cut them apart when you are ready to put them in the ground cut each holder, and put right in the ground once the plants are big enough. you don't stack the egg crates right on top of each other, you have to separate them a few inches. The cookie racks can be separated by extending the legs, you can use wooden blocks in each corner of the tank to lift the next level of seeds on the rack. or even wrap a coat hanger on each corner of the rack and suspend it by bending th ecoat hanger over the edge of the tank what ever length you want, that way you can even raise it when the seedlings grow. Just keep shortening the hanger ( or use a thick wire) I don't know if that's any clearer but I tried. [grin]
by hisgal2 on February 12, 2004 02:20 AM
Yeah, the egg cartons work well. I wanted to keep my seed varieties separate, so I'm starting the seeds in the clam shells and then when they are a little larger, will use tweezers and put one seedling into each section of the egg carton. I don't want to start them in the egg cartons because I don't want more than 1 seedling in an egg section.

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by Barb H. on February 14, 2004 03:52 AM
Thanks for the info Jennifer and Renee! It was very clear...Thanks!!

I just bought some seed starters and seeds!! I feel like a kid at Christmas! hehehe!! I bought a LOT of zinnias (I love them!) in deep purple, pale purple and pink, daisys, echinachea, carnations, and asters in purples and pinks. I also bought some morning glory in blue. I want lots of cutting flowers this year! I can't wait to see if they will grow!

What sort of lights should I get to put over my babies? Just a florescent one?

Thanks again for the advice!

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by LBoyce on February 16, 2004 01:06 AM
Barb....Walmart sells Gro-Lites..fluorescent type for $9.96 each. I've had great luck with these..
by Barb H. on February 16, 2004 10:23 PM
quote:
Originally posted by LBoyce:
Barb....Walmart sells Gro-Lites..fluorescent type for $9.96 each. I've had great luck with these..
\

Thanks so much! I'll make a trip out this week and buy some!!!

Also, I see that you are new here....welcome! This a great place to hang out, give and get tips and have a great time!

Barb

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