Questions for Kyler
How did you start growing plants? How long have you been keeping and growing plants?
I started growing aquarium plants last year around this time. My interest in growing aquatic plants started with a seasonal job I had with a company that helped to restore native plant communities throughout Minnesota. During the winter months, I missed not being able to identify or work with terrestrial plants, and I wanted to continue to expand my knowledge on plants of all varieties. This combined with my natural admiration for fish, I decided to start growing aquatic plants and it’s been a passion of mine ever since.
Regarding aquatic plants, where do you place yourself with regard to knowledge and skill?
Even though I’ve only been an aquatic horticulturist for a year, my interest in the hobby runs very deep, I’ve done extensive research and learned a lot in a short period of time. I wouldn’t say I’m a beginner but I also wouldn’t say I’m an expert either. It’s important to realize that’s there’s always more to be learned in this hobby.
What motivated you to submit plants to the HAP program and start participating in it?
I decided to start submitting plants to the HAP program for a few reasons:
- – I want to meet fellow aquarists and aquatic horticulturists in the region who share a similar passion for the hobby.
- – I would like to be recognized for my achievements of propagating aquatic plants should I decide to be a reputable seller in the future.
- – I want to learn more about propagation of aquatic plants.
Tell us a little about your fishroom and the tanks and set-up you have for propagating plants?
I currently have 4 tanks in my fish room: a 13 gallon red cherry shrimp tank, a 14 gallon honey gourami tank, and two 6 gallon betta tanks, all 4 tanks are heavily planted. All 4 of my tanks utilize CO2 injection to help promote growth. I use easy green all in one fertilizer once or twice a week on my tanks depending on their needs. I also try to use high intensive lighting with high lumen value on my tanks which have more light demanding plant species. I currently use Coralife lights on my bigger tanks and aqueon planted tank lights on my betta tanks. I put quite a bit of effort into the plants (and fish of course) to make sure they thrive, if they look sickly I try to diagnose the problem as quickly as possible.
Do you have plans to work with more species of plants?
I most definitely want to work with more species of plants. There are many, many species of aquatic plants and I have only scratched the surface of aquatic plants I’ve successfully propagated. As I grow my fish room and obtain more tanks, some plants I’m interested in growing yet are: bucephalandra, red tiger lotus, red root floaters, rotala rotundifolia etc. I like the idea of choosing a few plants I’ve never had before and designing a tank around those specific plants. For example, one of my betta tanks theme is centered around Java ferns. I’m always looking to acquire more plants even if some of them can be challenging to keep alive let alone propagate.