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Old 01-29-2012, 05:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 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.

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

I've had this in my 20 High shrimp breeder tank for about a year now and it still works just as good as the day I created it. I've been thinking about using AKADAMA, which is bonsai soil, or hydroponics substrate with root tabs so I can grow emersed plants such as the lucky bamboo or pothos or something like that.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plant Box for Semi-Aquatics

Very nice I like it.
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plant Box for Semi-Aquatics

You can add lava rock to stabilize the plants. (Heavier- might need to fix up some hooks to attach it over the rim of the tank) I have a similar set up in a small plastic box sold as a window box. It is above the tank and a small pump sends the water up into it. Then some tubing allows the water to fall back into the tank. The lava rock traps some debris, but not very much. I finally have to clean it out after several years running.
I currently have Philodendron cordatum (Heartleaf Philodendron) growing there. In the past I had one of those incredible purple and multi-colored Marantas, and a Dracaena marginata in there.

I like your box idea; normal water movement in the tank, without a separate pump will keep them watered.

Another house plant that will grow like this is Epipremnum, the Golden Pothos. I have some with leaves almost a foot in diameter. It needs support outside the tank, I have hooks in the wall to grow it all around a window.
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