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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you have read my blog, you know that the bog above our 240g tank has gone through multiple re-builds. While it isn't leaking this time, I think it's time to tear up the substrate and redo it.

This is more or less what it looks like today:
https://flic.kr/p/3092094622
The original idea behind it was to simply pump tank water up into the bog, let it flow through the substrate there and back into the tank. Unfortunately, most of the neat plants on the terrarium sites, etc. need "well drained soil" and this doesn't qualify. At the same time, terrestrial plants in my house don't survive due to the lack of water (ironic considering the 800 gallons of water in containers throughout the apt.)

So my current line of thinking is to build terraces so I can heap the substrate up fairly high (12-18") in the back and slope toward the front. I would start with a coarse stone for drainage purposes then follow with either plain top soil or perhaps this sterilized soil from the sunshine miniature trees place which doesn't have any real nutrients I don't think. I would plumb in water lines for drip irrigation and connect it to a solenoid valve on a timer so I could water them automatically but not have to keep track myself. Separately, I would create a water feature like I have now of constant flowing water that goes into the tank, but doesn't actively water the plants. Ideally I would water the plants with tank water (fertilized using EI) since I have a ready source of it and don't have to worry about other fertilizers contaminating the tank.

So my questions are:

- Does this sound like it will work long term? Think it will drain ok and watering all plants more or less equally often (though possibly at different rates via mini-valves) will be ok?

- I don't have good access for pruning to that space as the tank itself is 30" deep and then the bog consumes another 24" to the wall. I have access on the ends, but not to the middle of the 6 foot span. So I can climb up on a stool and carefully lean over the tank to work, but it's not something I like to do often. Given that, what plants should I consider that would be interesting, and mostly self-managing? Plants I have now either take over/strangle other plants/suffocate themselves/etc.

- Any ideas on how I can tie the bog to the tank somewhat? I'm not going for a biotope and the aquascape is ever changing as it is, but the judges comment from the AGA contest was that it was a "nice dish garden behind a tank" not really a vivarium which was sort of what I was going for.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do have an arrow root plant that I got from the last big auction that is slowly taking over the bog. It looks nice, but is pretty aggressive.

I'm originally from upstate NY so parks often looked like this:
https://flic.kr/p/2857164193
But most of those environments are heavily shaded, cooler places. They're not the tropical stuff I need to grow in the environments I'm going to have. Still, inspirationally, these were of interest:

https://flic.kr/p/2838014327 https://flic.kr/p/2873003422 https://flic.kr/p/3001031266 https://flic.kr/p/3154414895 https://flic.kr/p/3106884118 https://flic.kr/p/2672784312 https://flic.kr/p/2966436050 https://flic.kr/p/2946186930
 
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