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Watercress

This is a discussion on Watercress within the Plants for Enclosures and Vivariums forums, part of the Vivaria, Enclosures & Product Reviews category; I don't know if anyone of you thought about trying watercress as a plant in a set-up but it's the ...

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Old 9th February 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Watercress

I don't know if anyone of you thought about trying watercress as a plant in a set-up but it's the easiest thing to grow and multiply. I initially grew some to eat it but it's also very decorative in a tank. Roots must be in the dirt under water, the plant itself (foliage) above it.
Give it a try, if you can't buy a plant look for seeds. Perfect for a swampy effect!!!
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Old 10th February 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

have you eaten the watercress from your newt tank? I'm wondering about that. They say that newts have all sorts of nasty bacteria in their tank, but I'm sure there's all sorts of nasty bacteria in the ponds that watercress normally grow in. Perhaps not as highly concentrated . . .

It would be funny to have a watercress/newt farm. haha!
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Old 10th February 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

Of course I eat the watercress from my newt tanks.... just like Molch showers with newt tanks water...
No seriously, I have pretty much my own watercress "farm", I can harvest and have a delicious salad almost every week in the middle of winter (indoor in a sunroom)!
I would never eat what comes from a newt tank though... it would be quite unsafe like you describe...
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Old 14th February 2011   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

haha, That made me laugh. I may try this watercress growing. I wish i had a sunroom, I would have so many plants!
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Old 14th February 2011   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

Let me know if you have a hard time finding some... maybe I can help.
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Old 15th February 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

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Originally Posted by FRANCOIS View Post
Of course I eat the watercress from my newt tanks.... just like Molch showers with newt tanks water....


I like the idea; watercress is also a really pretty plant. Do you think it'll grow on a partially submerged cork bark?

What do you think? I just ordered this watercress tank ornament - I think that would make a great newt tank decoration and tribute.
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Old 15th February 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Molch View Post


I like the idea; watercress is also a really pretty plant. Do you think it'll grow on a partially submerged cork bark?

What do you think? I just ordered this watercress tank ornament - I think that would make a great newt tank decoration and tribute.
Yes it is very delicate, very nice looking, kinda like a water shamrock ;-) makes me think of Ireland, so green, so lovely. Molch, do you have a pic of you plan on doing? I am not sure I understand...

Oh Lord of the Newts and all Caudata, I just checked your link Molch. You crack me up.... This is the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. Did you really order this? Thanks for the good laugh!!!

Last edited by Jacquie; 15th February 2011 at 07:34.
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Old 15th February 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

yes, I ordered it, only to discover upon paying that ($%#@) they don't ship to Alaska. I'll have to order it from elsewhere I guess, but I am detemined to have my Prez O. Watercress tank ornament oine way or another!

What I meant before is: my newts have islands of floating cork bark and they have moss growing on them where the islands edge against the water. I wonder if water cress would grow in a similar matter. Is it too delicate for fat fire belly newts?
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Old 15th February 2011   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

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yes, I ordered it, only to discover upon paying that ($%#@) they don't ship to Alaska. I'll have to order it from elsewhere I guess, but I am detemined to have my Prez O. Watercress tank ornament oine way or another!

What I meant before is: my newts have islands of floating cork bark and they have moss growing on them where the islands edge against the water. I wonder if water cress would grow in a similar matter. Is it too delicate for fat fire belly newts?
How big are the islands? Can you post a picture?
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Old 15th February 2011   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

Well Francois, you have really got me contemplating watercress and I looked up some articles on growing it in your home and all of them say to rinse the water daily because it cannot deal with stagnant water, what is your experience with this? (my tanks are pretty stagnant) Do you grow yours directly in a bowl of water/tank or in some sort of substrate that is submerged?

also, that is an awesome tank ornament Molch! You will have to post pictures when you finally get it.

Last edited by eldaldo; 15th February 2011 at 23:12.
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Old 16th February 2011   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

Moving water is better but in my experience absolutely not necessary. I read that too but my cress grows just fine in stagnant water, no worries here. Make sure though that the water is changed once in a while if it looks too dirty....
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Old 16th February 2011   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

Pictures! I demand pictures! xDD Pleasee....

Thank you for bringing our attention to this plant, i personally find it very aesthetically pleasing, and for me it creates a strong sense of "natural effect" as i associate it with the natural habitats of many of our species where it is present.
I had never considered this plant as an option and i´m very glad to discover that it is one! But pictures are definitely necessary :P

By the way, to all water cress lovers, be very careful about where your sources come from as it is a plant involved in the life cycles of certain mammal parasites (watercress that grows in proximity of cattle is a risk). If you grow it yourself, though, you are golden...
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Old 16th February 2011   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

I will take some pics tomorrow of one of my cultures (50G tank)... regarding my terrarium, will need to wait a bit as I am doing a major modification, bulding a natural looking waterfall with lime stone that will end in a shallow pool... where whatcress will grow on the edges.

Regarding harvesting watercress in the wild, Azael is absolutely correct.
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Old 16th February 2011   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

I have seen on TV someone running a trout&water cress farm as one, I think it may have even been organic.
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Old 16th February 2011   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

I'm a great fan of watercress, half in and half out of the water it seems to remove ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, I have tanks stuffed with it and the axolotls hide in the roots and underwater forest.

I just used bits from a salad bag at the local supermarket as cuttings. I do not know if salads like this make it to Alaska. Packets of seed are available in the UK.

The main parasite health risk to humans is liver fluke which has a sheep/ snail life cycle. I eat shoots from my tank but would not touch any from the wild locally.
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Old 16th February 2011   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

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I just used bits from a salad bag at the local supermarket as cuttings.
I can feel a trip to Sainsburys coming on...

Do you need to do anything special to make the cuttings grow?
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Old 16th February 2011   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

I have some growing in my Marms tank. I had planted some into a pot, but I left one free floating. The free floating one is flourishing with a healthy root system.
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Old 16th February 2011   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

Free floating, now that´s what i was waiting to hear!
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Old 16th February 2011   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

I tried free floating but it did not work well... maybe was an issue with lighting. Maybe Bella has a trick I don't know
Glad to see I am not the only watercress nut on the block ;-)
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Old 16th February 2011   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watercress

Watercress grows roots from every leaf node. No special rooting tips are needed apart from very wet.

It is reputed to like hard alkaline water but thrives in my acid but calcium rich slightly brackish tanks. It does a lot better if there is an axolotl in the tank. I occasionally use an iron rich fertiliser if it looks yellow.

My tanks are congested and untidy- cluttered a bit like much of my life! There is an axolotl under there somewhere!
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