Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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The Game 09-22-2010 11:06 PM

Growing Rice in the Aquarium
Ok I was just wondering if anyone has ever done this before so I could get some advice. I'm doing a year-long school project and I chose to try to recreate the habitat of the Betta Splendens. So I want to recreate a miniature rice paddy field in an aquarium. The main project will be in a 3ft tank that will have around 5 females but I currently have a smaller version on my desk with one female. The female is thriving and rice were growing very well too but lately, I think they have died because they are no long green and no longer and any structural integrity. I'm using a tabletop lamp as a light source and it is a yellow light, not sure what kind exactly. I'm going to be using a two tube incandescant light in the actual tank. Does anyone know if this will help with the rice growth? I also have a heater in the tank too.

TxFrog 09-24-2010 10:03 AM

No idea if it'll work since I've never tried growing rice but I'm very interested in following the outcome! Good luck!

SinCrisis 09-24-2010 10:41 AM

same as TxFrog, I have no idea if this would work, but it sounds super interesting, will definitely be following this thread, please keep it updated

The Game 09-24-2010 11:47 AM

ok ill try to keep this updated, hopefully i remember :P lol dont expect results anytime soon people, i still havent finished washing the sand for the substrate yet... urgh back-breaking work

redchigh 09-25-2010 10:28 AM

I grow terrestrial and aquatic plants indoors, so maybe I can help...

As long as you have no interest in having the rice set fruit, you can use lots of 6500k bulbs. Terrestrial plants need a LOT more light than aquatic, especially rice since it doesn't typically grow in the shade.

An incandescent hood might not work, since it doesn't give the rice much room to grow emersed... Maybe I'm just not understanding your setup... I plan on thinning this tank down and using it as a betta splendens biotope-

The hard part is keeping the temperature of the air close to the water (so the labyrinth organ isn't damaged when the fish breathe)

Emersed plants use lots of nutrients, so if you wanted to use some small aquatic plant for in the water (ceratopteris is also in their native habitat) with the emersed plants, you shouldn't have any problems with algae no matter how much light you use. (In the picture, it's a 5 gallon, gets a lot of sunlight, and has 23W of CFL lighting... Perhaps consider a soil substrate if you decide you have to start over? Look in my sig, I'm going to build it in a week or two.)

The Game 09-25-2010 10:50 AM

I was advised to use sandy loam by my LFS but when i put some water with it, the whole thing turned a really really dark murky brown disgusting looking substance. So i just kept washing and i ended up with just sand. The light im goin to use isnt a hood, just going to be a light that goes over the top, not sure how to describe it but its not fixed into a hood but i can buy a hood to cover the whole top, which im not goin to do. Hopefully the rice plants look healthy when the project needs to be graded. They seem like really fussy plants. Thanks for your advice though. :)

redchigh 09-25-2010 11:11 AM

Sandy loam (basically potting soil) is a good idea, just don't wash it and cover it with sand or gravel.

You will need something to cover the glass so the Betta remains healthy... Is the tank heated?
If you don't heat it then there's no need for a lid..

The Game 09-25-2010 11:16 AM

Im just really really afraid of a whole lot of water turning really cloudy. Maybe ill give one part like lesser rinses so that theres still a bit of the brown bits in it and then just cover it up with the sand that was washed much better. Would you reccommend any sorts of fertilisers that wont harm the fish? Lol when i asked the guy at my LFS, he just said that the only fertiliser he could think of that would occur in rice paddy fields was probably an ox takin a dump in the middle of the field and i dont exactly plan on getting an animal to crap in a tank for me.

redchigh 09-25-2010 04:35 PM

That's why I would reccomend soil, or sandy loam.

NO RINSING! I'll know!!!

Just put an inch of gravel or sand on top of 1 inch of sandy loam.. Your water will be clear in a couple days.

The Game 09-25-2010 10:34 PM

aw man im really really scared of this... have you ever tried adding water to sandy loam? the thing looks like really really thick milo with white bubbles... ok ill have a thinner layer of UNRINSED soil at the bottom, another layer of slightly rinsed soil followed by another layer of completely washed soil (which is basically sand) and then i may add a layer of pebbles after that. I just dont really like the pebbles cause it makes it harder to plant new seeds.

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