All Things Gardening forum: Aquascape aquariums

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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Nov 2, 2012 1:04 PM CST
I was wondering if anyone here is interested in aquascaping an aquarium. I've been looking into this for several years. I had an aquarium 45 years ago, but they were nothing like they are today. Last week I bought a small tank to try my hand at this. To do it "right" you need to have the right water, CO2, fertilizers, rocks, plants, substrate etc. The fish are almost secondary to the design and plants.

Here are some examples
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsa8VhLGh2s

This channel has several videos from the 2012 IAPLC - International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siEiEEocFgA&feature=channel&l...
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Nov 8, 2012 2:12 PM CST
I have seen them and thought of doing one but thinking is a far as I have gotten
They are beautiful and do seem like gardening under water

We seem to be limited here on the types of plants available, I would probably have to go to Indy and a ''real'' aquarium shop.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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daylily
Nov 8, 2012 3:44 PM CST
Cinda,
I joined the local club. Yesterday, I met up with a very nice young man from the club, and he gave me starts and divisions of at least 15 different plants. My little 5 gallon is full now! But, he said to expect half to die. We need to see what will survive under the lights that came with my tank, and with my hard water. After a month, the tank will have cycled, and we should know what made it. Then we can figure out fish.

My water tested high PH, high alkalinity and really, really hard. He strongly suggested I get a reverse osmosis filter system to strip everything out of the water, then add minerals back in. As is, no fish would do well in my water, and few plants. For now, he had me use 2 gal. well water and 3 gallon distilled to "water it down"

He uses 40 gallon "breeder" tanks for planting.

The local club has a spring and fall auction. He said it is a great way to get plants, fish, tanks etc.

He regularly sends plants and fish by priority mail. I have seen many places that sell them online.

Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Nov 8, 2012 9:53 PM CST
That is exciting You will have to take a photo and show me what your s looks like.
I also have well water and have not kept an aquarium for many years (20+) At one time I had 17 set ups , but that was when I was young and still lived at home with lots of time on my hands.
I really like the new looks of the aquascapes.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Nov 8, 2012 10:04 PM CST
gardengus said: That is exciting You will have to take a photo and show me what your s looks like.
I also have well water and have not kept an aquarium for many years (20+) At one time I had 17 set ups , but that was when I was young and still lived at home with lots of time on my hands.
I really like the new looks of the aquascapes.

That sounds like me. Back when I had money, I had about 20 tanks in my bedroom. I was almost always at the dealers house on the days he picked up new fish.

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Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
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extranjera
Nov 8, 2012 10:25 PM CST
I love looking at the aquascape aquariums and I've wanted to build one for years. I don't really have the space for the tank although I've often thought I could get one built into one of the bookshelves in the office. It's so tempting. I too hope you post pics of your tank as it progresses.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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daylily
Nov 9, 2012 6:26 PM CST
I am not having any luck taking photos of the tank. They just don't come out well. Thumbs down

The guy gave me a bunch of plants, anticipating some will not make it. I just stuck them in there any old way. Since then, he wrote and said taller plants to the back and sides, and brown leaf plants to the middle area where they will get the most light.

I tested water today and I think the tank is already in good shape. Getting all the plants and gunk from that guy's filter must have really done the trick.

Jonna, the Fluval Spec V is 5 gallons, and it's meant to be in small places. Here is a link to see what it is that I have.
http://www.petsolutions.com/C/Full-Aquarium-Set-Up/I/Fluval-...

Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Nov 9, 2012 10:56 PM CST
Wow! That is a really good price for all of that! I've no idea what something like that would cost here. I may have to look around.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
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Carolyn22
Nov 10, 2012 8:12 AM CST
Wow! Things really seem to have changed over the years. I too had the aquariums with the fish and lights and plants in my younger days. Seems like I would set out old milk jugs full of water and let the water sit for a week to get the water 'aquarium friendly'. Makes me wonder if we are putting 'newer/better' things into our water.

I do love aquariums and have wanted to put one in the house for a number of years - I don't have any room in this house. The next house will have more room!
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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daylily
Nov 10, 2012 4:18 PM CST
I tried to take some photos today. Wow - aquarium photos are hard to take. First image... The digital SLR - Canon took a clear shot, but the color is off. Second image.... My old Nikon point and shoot took good color, but it is blurry and the highlights blown out.

Strange - the Canon sees a natural orangy red rock as BRIGHT red.

I think there are to many different plants in here... but the guy thought a lot would die, so will see what is left in a few weeks.

I'm waiting to hear from him if my water readings are good to get a few fish tomorrow, since I will be in Columbus.

Thumb of 2012-11-10/daylily/4ab9da
Thumb of 2012-11-10/daylily/36a1c3
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Nov 11, 2012 12:50 PM CST
That looks really nice. Are you putting some ammonia in the water or using something else to start the cycle? I don't think that guy realizes you are a gardener, most of the plants may just live Thumbs up

I bought some aquarium plants for my pond a couple years ago, they didn't have enough light in the inside pond but they are growing like weeds in the pond I have on the roof. I think it is the same plant as the grassy looking one in your first picture, in front and to the right of the orange/red rock. In my outside pond, it grows as tall as the water is deep and sends out hundreds of runners that I have to root out of the lilies all the time. I leave it because it is a great spot for the baby fish to hide and I think it is good at cleaning the water. But every few weeks I have to pull the pot out and give it a haircut and get rid of the runners. It's kind of underwater crab grass. It is green when it is deep and the blades get redder as they get more sun near the surface.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Nov 11, 2012 5:05 PM CST
Wow, I have to look into this -- I have an aquarium with plastic plants and about 5 fish, and a lot of algae! And really, a gardener with plastic plants... thanks for posting this, I'm inspired!
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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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daylily
Nov 12, 2012 11:42 AM CST
Jonna, I think you may be right about the guy not thinking about me being gardener -- nodding I was looking this morning, really well, and I don't see any sign of any of them dying. Most have new growth. I just got the plants last Wednesday.

Sandy, if your tank is cycled, as I understand it, the live plants will really help the health of the tank. And, the fish sure enjoy them! You do need to have enough lighting of the right spectrum. Many people add CO2 also, with larger tanks.

Here is a forum that the local tank plant guy told me about. I've been asking questions there, reading a lot and learning! The site is "The Planted Tank"
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/

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