Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Plant Box for Semi-Aquatics (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/diy-aquarium/plant-box-semi-aquatics-91795/)

ZeeZ 01-27-2012 05:44 PM

Plant Box for Semi-Aquatics
 
Have you ever been bamboozled into purchasing an "aquatic" plant from a store? It's completely submerged in the water, so you think, okay, it'll work in my tank. It has what I want or need.

But then you find out it's not aquatic at all. It likes water but it needs air. It's a bog plant, semi-aquatic. For example, Dracena. It will be fine in a tank as long as its leaves are exposed to the air. Which is usually the case with most other plants like it. So you have three options:

Take it back.

Take it out and plant it in a pot in your house.

Just let it drown in the tank. It'll live a couple months. It'll be cool. Just a plant.

But I wanted my plants still IN the aquarium. I saw how to make Moss Walls, which I intend to do at a later date but I'm leaving my Java Moss alone for the juvenile shrimp to hide in until they grow larger. Anyway, this inspired me to have an idea: create a plant box.

So I did.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...-03-48_197.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...-17-41_358.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...-50-36_476.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...-01-38_177.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...-12-45_585.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...-12-55_841.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...-34-46_254.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...-34-57_763.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...8-35-10_28.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...-36-57_713.jpg

My plants kept falling over each other in the box so I LOOSELY secured them via zip ties.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...-05-56_605.jpg

coydog429 01-27-2012 07:56 PM

Ok I do have to say I like the idea!! I also have the same verigated grass plant, have 3 actually, and I like them in the tank but I also want them to servive... I will try your idea :-D

zof 01-27-2012 08:34 PM

neat little way to accent the top of your tank. Now a little expansion, what if you did the same thing all along the back of your tank, I think that would look pretty cool and accent the plain looking wall above your tank. Of course would require some hood modifications.

ZeeZ 01-28-2012 02:47 AM

I have a HOB filter, so I wouldn't be able to do the entire rear of the tank, but it is a good idea.

I've also been thinking about adding some substrate to the box so the plants can grow more rapidly since it'd be getting more direct nutrients than just what's in the water. However, I don't know what kind of substrate I could put in there... It needs to be something light, not heavy, and able to allow water to pass through. I feel dirt would just seep out of the box and cloud up the water.

Any ideas?

zof 01-28-2012 03:11 PM

Most people just grow the small bamboo in water and rocks, so you could probably throw some gravel in there which would help keep all the shoots in place, but be careful not to make it to heavy.

MinaMinaMina 02-03-2012 02:06 AM

Rock wool? Polyester batting?
Hmmm... intriguing idea ya have there! Good work! :thumbsup:

redchigh 02-03-2012 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZeeZ (Post 965581)
I have a HOB filter, so I wouldn't be able to do the entire rear of the tank, but it is a good idea.

Why not place a box inside of the HOB filter?


Quote:

Originally Posted by ZeeZ (Post 965581)
I've also been thinking about adding some substrate to the box so the plants can grow more rapidly since it'd be getting more direct nutrients than just what's in the water. However, I don't know what kind of substrate I could put in there... It needs to be something light, not heavy, and able to allow water to pass through. I feel dirt would just seep out of the box and cloud up the water.

Any ideas?

I'd avoid rockwool. Vermiculite or perlite/vermiculite mixture could work... They don't hold nutrients, but they'd help stabilise the plants.
For a cheaper alternative, go to wal-mart automotive and look for this product-
http://i.walmartimages.com/i/p/00/04...25_500X500.jpg

Looks sorta like this-
http://i1127.photobucket.com/albums/...f/DSC08623.jpg

To proccess, Add dry material to container.
Add fertilizer/water mixture (2x strength) to cover dry oil-dri, and stir.
After 24 hours, rinse well. (really well. I use a strainer, but a screen and a hose works better) and add to tank. (or in your case, box.)

Also works as a substrate. I've used it that way for about two years now in a few tanks. It MAY lower ph slightly at first.


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