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Old 09-17-2005, 06:23 PM   #1
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Emersed growth advice?

I am constructing a 10g paludarium from styrafoam and concrete following background howtos. The tank will be gravity fed by a drilled 8g and will house the return pump, and I may add another tank inline to increase water volume. I plan on DIY auto top-off to maintain water level.




Water circulation is by waterfalls and rivers. Planting area 1 is fed by a waterfall from 8g drain. Planting areas 1-5 are connected by a river. Planting area 6 is connected to 1 by another waterfall. 6 and 5 drain to submerged area.

Planting area 1 is approx 2.5" in diameter and 2" in depth.
2 is 2.5" x 1.5"
3 is 2" x 2.5"
4 is 2.5" x 1.5"
5 is 2.5" x 2"
6 is 3" x 1"

Water parameters are
10-15ppm NO3
3ppm PO4
>20ppm K
Plantex + extra Fe to .3ppm
Sometimes additional Fe chelate
>40ppm CO2
74-76F

Lid will be drilled to fit piping to minimize gassed off CO2 and keep humidity. I use EI with plants as biofilters.

Of my plants the following can be grown emersed, but I may be wrong:
Alternanthera reineckii
Ammania sp "bonsai"
Anubias afzelli
Anubias nana
Crypt beckettii
Crypt lucens (I think. Traded for C. parva, but it's too big to be parva.)
Crypt wendtii var red
Elatine triandra
Glosso
Hygrophila corymbosa "compact"
Hygrophila polysperma "sunset"
Ludwigia repens
Pogostemon stellata "narrow leaf"
Pogostemon stellata "broad leaf"
Riccia
Rotala macrandra
Rotala rotundifolia
Wisteria
Java moss
X-mas moss

1. Layout: Are the deeper planting areas adequate or am I limited in what plants I can try? Most areas can't be much deeper, but can combine 1 & 2 and/or 3, 4, & 5 if necessary.

2. Lighting: I am leaning towards 3x13w CF or 3x15w NO. Do I need more light to try any of my plants?

3. Substrate: recommendations? Am considering layers of mulm, peat, and Schultz, or planting stems into a mix of mosses and elatine triandra. Ideally the substrate would look good on concrete.

4. Plants: From searches I believe it is best to try the crypts and glosso first, and would like to start with r. rotundifolia and l. repens, too. Since anubias is epiphytic, I would like to try it where there is no water flow but high humidity, but perhaps I am taking the word too literally. Would you recommend I start with other plants? Are any of my other plants especially interesting when grown emersed? I do not mind if I have to trim often.

5. Animals: OT, but do you recommend a particular amphibian? I prefer pets with personality, and it cannot excrete any toxins that would harm fish or inverts in the connected tank.

Thanks.

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Old 09-17-2005, 07:33 PM   #2
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whered you get the huge piece of styrofoam?
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Old 09-17-2005, 07:35 PM   #3
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It's 5 2" layers silconed together.
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Old 09-17-2005, 07:52 PM   #4
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Hey that looks like its going to turn out great.
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Old 09-17-2005, 07:54 PM   #5
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Are you gonna divide it cz or fill the tank 1/2 full with water .. this is gonna be interesting to watch.

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Old 09-17-2005, 08:15 PM   #6
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Nice czcz! Just wondering...where your areas are mentioned, could you identify them in the pics?

I agree, that plan sounds excellent.
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Old 09-17-2005, 08:39 PM   #7
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Thanks fellas. I need the good vibes because I only think I know what I'm doing

The water will be about 4" high, which won't quite cover the cave. The return pump will be in the rear right corner, and I will use fiberglass grating between that chamber and the cave. Water through the foam structure is just manipulated by the waterfalls and the river -- its just the structure for land and water division. I'll be trying the sealed ECS concept for top off, btw Dave.


Still needs smoothing and stuff. Would like to move forward but need to know if planting areas are okay before reaching point of no return with concrete. Dave's success with 2" rock planters submerged is encouraging.
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Old 09-17-2005, 10:08 PM   #8
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Ok, I got it now, so the styrofoam will be act as a "divider."
The water is constantly circulated by the pump, thus the river effect !

On the ECS, I've tested it over and over and to get by without using an on/off valve, the ECS has to be 100% air tight. Just like we talked about, the GatorAde bottle test.

Post pix as you go, this will be a great thread for anyone wanting to learn more about this type of set up. I had to look up the definition of paludarium *lol*

Dave
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Old 09-17-2005, 10:20 PM   #9
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That is looking very nice Joe I can't wait to watch it come together. I think all of your plants are good for emersed growth except for the P. stellata. From what I understand it only grows submersed. Keep the pics coming!
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Old 09-17-2005, 11:02 PM   #10
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Alternanthera reineckii

Alternanthera reineckii ..

I've included 2 pix of it. One is in the clay planter, the other one has just been floating til I decide where to put it and it's doing fine.

As you can see, the one in the planter is doing a lot better.

dave
Attached Images
File Type: jpg redtempleplanter.jpg (134.6 KB, 167 views)
File Type: jpg redtempleroot.jpg (53.9 KB, 123 views)
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Old 09-19-2005, 12:45 AM   #11
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Appreciate it

Water test on styrofoam worked great. I should have done a better job of concealing the waterfall attachment/drain in the top left. First coat of cement is still wet in the planting areas and cave.




I'll take pics of the subsequent coats if anyone wants, but it will probably look the same, just darker
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Old 09-19-2005, 01:02 AM   #12
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Nice! It's going to look awesome in your tank!
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Old 09-19-2005, 01:03 AM   #13
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Wow thats going to be incredible. Keep us posted!
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Old 09-21-2005, 03:23 PM   #14
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So someone apparently stole the paludarium after my third and last coat of cement was drying outside. I also lost my wood frame that acted as a sump in my avatar. I have to start over this weekend. I'll have more pics up in this thread for anyone who may find them helpful.

Hating the hood,
Joe
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Old 09-21-2005, 03:36 PM   #15
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no way Cz !

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Old 09-21-2005, 03:42 PM   #16
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Way I yelled some obscenities but no one responded. Maybe someone just borrowed it and is bringing it back, but probably not. Lesson learned: next time I'm letting the coats dry in the kitchen or garage. I have never had anything like this happen here before, but have many new neighbors. I'm kind of tempted to learn something about woodworking to replace the frame.

If anyone sees the thing on eBay or something, let me know and we can go knock some heads.
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Old 09-21-2005, 03:46 PM   #17
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There nothing I hate more than a thief. For someone to take something that another person worked and paid for.. that's just low.

Sorry CZ.

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Old 09-21-2005, 04:22 PM   #18
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somehow i missed the thread before joe...but this has all the ingredients for an awesome setup.
i really hate your neighbors now (on top of that, the person who stole the paludarium probably would have no clue as it how it should work).

anyway, let me see if i understand this correctly. the water from your 8g comes down the drain in the top left corner, flows through areas 1-5 and is pumped back by the pump located in the back right corner. i'd vote for moss as substrate if the planted areas are not submerged. i have no idea yet about growing plants emersed...but i see no problems with the proposed depths.
hope you do it better the next time...
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Old 09-21-2005, 04:38 PM   #19
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What a crappy thing for someone to do. And I'm sure they have absolutely no use for something so specialized. Sorry man
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Old 09-21-2005, 06:47 PM   #20
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I don't understand why someone else would want it either. Maybe it was the frame they wanted most, but I had only started sanding it (was going to refinish it).

You understand perfectly, Arin. Your vote on the mosses wins. I'm adding the remnants of ET too; a wider river that appears to be made up of mosses and ET might be really cool. The foam and concrete will probably still look like an ugly rock... I want to progress with planting already.

Thanks fellas. Made me feel better before I drink a few beers tonight
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