Total (excluding plants and substrate): $54.
The tank and plants are nestled by a windowsill, with 3 hanging clamp lights suspended above the substrate. Over the course of 9 months this small space has gone through many changes.
In the filter are zebrina pendula clippings, the fastest growing of the plants. Nestled behind the tank are planters filled with birds of paradise, coleus, an orchid, and a hawaiian portuluca. High light plants began to wilt in the area, but shade terrestrials seemed to do very well.
A small carnivorous terrarium was at one time growing in the back, containing venus flytrap, sundew, pitcher plant, with some moss and riccia ground cover.
But that experiment failed, so a lower maintenance cacti area soon followed.
Setup and Maintenance
The substrate is simply top soil capped with black sand. The plants have thrived under the three lights and the dirt alone for the first few months. Regular pruning has been required. This was what the tank looked like on the first few days of planting
Left unchecked, the persistent growth can transform the space into a mangled mess, blocking light to the plants below. An example a few months after the initial setup:
Below is a latest FTS shot, after a recent trimming:
The tank itself features a wide array of both submersed and emergent plants. Over the course of 9 months this little tank has gone through many changes. A large variety of plant species have found its way into the tank:
- Dwarf Baby Tears (HC)
- Red Cabomba
- Purple Fanwort
- Golden Nesea (Nesea Pedicellata)
- Alternathera Reineckii
- Ludwigia Arcuata
- Rotala Wallichi
- Lobelia Cardinalis
- Peace Lily (emergent)
- Limnophilla Aromatic
When the aquatic plants hit the surface their emergent growth take off like rockets. Over time the tank has seen its fair share of sporous hitchikers (see mushroom and green plant below). Emergent plants shown below, the purple queen and the spider lily, shoots out massive roots in the water. With roots like these, ammonia and nitrates simply don't have a chance to buildup in the water column.
Several species have been tenants of this beautiful tank, including:
- Dwarf Gourami
- Black Tetras
- Von Rio Tetras
BlueJack has never lost any fish to disease in this tank, thanks to the numerous plants that are able to keep the water pristine. For more pictures of BlueJack's flora and fauna, tank and setup, check out his thread on TPT.
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