Bucephalandra, AKA “Buce” are commonly grown as aquarium plants, but can also be grown above water (emersed). Learn exactly how to do that in this tutorial series. Part 5 shows step-by-step how I created and planted one of my Buce bins, and shows that same bin after 5 months of growth.
All videos in the series
Steps for Making a Buce Bin
See video for more details and demonstration
- Drill a few small ventilation holes in a plastic storage bin
- Add Fluval Stratum or similar aquarium substrate. Depth will depend on the max size of the plants, their root systems, whether you are adding lava rock, etc. See following steps.
- Position your Bucephalandra to plan the layout. Be sure to give plenty of growing space between all of the plants and around the sides of the bin.
- Add substrate so the plant roots are covered, but the rhizomes are a bit above the substrate. If adding lava rock top dressing in next step, plant the rhizomes slightly higher so there is space for the lava rock (to avoid covering the rhizomes).
- Add some distilled or RO water to saturate the substrate
- If desired, add a shallow lava rock top dressing, being careful not to cover the plant rhizomes
- If desired, add fertilizer. I use Osmocote Plus pellets. Use tweezers to individually insert the pellets around the plant roots, below the substrate. This ensures the nutrients are most efficiently delivered and will reduce algae growth on the surface of the substrate.
- If desired, add tropical mosses, liverworts, etc in empty spaces in the bin.
- If desired, add springtails (Collembola sp) to increase the health of the bin and reduce mold
- Put the lid tightly on the bin and put under dim / low light. Here is some info about what lights I use for my plants.
- While planting and working on the bin, mist the plants with distilled water occasionally to keep them from drying out and keep the humidity up.
- It is helpful to use aquascaping tools such as long tweezers, substrate leveler, etc
For detailed info about growing and caring for Buce, see the other videos in this emersed buce series.
Where to buy Bucephalandra
For hobbyists in the USA, I use and highly recommend Buceplant.com.
They carry a huge selection of Bucephalandra, as well as tons of other amphibious and aquatic plants which can be grown emersed for terraria and wabi kusa.