A little background. I have always liked the look of planted aquariums where the plants are allowed to grow out of the tank; as well as planted filters. I attempted to plant a HOB filter in another tank, and while the plants grew they never really took off the way I wanted them to; and being impatient I really didn't feel like waiting ages for my stem plants to breach the surface.
After looking around, I saw that most of the riparium setups where either shower basket type setups, or half flooded tanks, neither or which I was terribly fond of. Then I found the look I was looking for with Vanish's 75 Gallon Wisteria and Sunset Jungle
and I figured I'd try and build something similar. Vanish was incredibly helpful, taking and posting additional equipment pictures and answering my questions THANK YOU!
Finnex Planted+ 24"
200gph fountain pump from harborfreight (already there driving the HMF filter with spraybar)
Assorted PVC pipe and fittings
Open Cell foam sheet
1/2 and 3/4 inch liquid tight electrical fittings
1/4 inch birch plywood
24" window planter box
Some vinyl tubing
So now on to the pictures
The box as it sits on my tank. It rests on a piece of 1/4 plywood that sits in the rim of the tank.It has 2 holes drilled in it for inflow and outflow. Due to space concerns it sits over the top of the tank instead of behind.
The box, 3/4 inch overflow in the front 1/2 inch inflow in the back, the tubing sticking out of the elbow quiets the flow a little bit. The elbows set the water level about 1/2 way full and prevent more than a small of water to flow back into the main tank should the power go out.
The plumbing. The "T" on the left (overflow) distributes the water so it doesn't blast my substrate. The "T" on the right splits the flow between my DIY spray bar and the inflow on the box. ATM it looks like 1/3 or so of the water goes into the planter the rest through the spray bar. More flow into the box was too much for the overflow to handle and caused circulation issues in the tank without the spray bar. The spray bar and the and overflow "T" are not connected. they just happen to conveniently support each other.
FTS shot. The black rectangle on the right is my maten filter which conceals the pump and my heater behind it. This is also my primary filtration and acts as a guard against anything getting into the pump (small tetras and shrimp could easily get chopped up if it wasn't there)
From left to right Golden Pothos, dracaena godseffiana (Florida Beauty), Peace Lily, and Croton (Bold Star). The only one I'm not sure will grow is the croton.
-I am presently waiting for the 3 feet of snow to disappear so I can get some pea gravel from work (landscaping company) that I plan on using as my grow media. Since I already have a primary filter I'm forgoing vanish's pot scrubbers.
-Find either a colander or some small plastic baskets to use to contain the stone. I may also use some open cell foam instead If I can find a good deal on small pieces.
-Figure out lighting, I'm hoping the ambient light is enough for the plants to grow, if not I may add some track lighting or a "gooseneck" lamp for supplemental light.
-Paint the plywood back, possibly the pvc though It doesn't really bother me.
Long term goals and dreams:
-I would love to try spider plants, tiger lily's, ferns, and other flowering plants if space allows in the box.I'd also like to set up some lower growing plants that look like a lawn under the plants, just to make it a bit more green (things like glosso, micro sword, etc)
-If space allows I would like to try and do a tiered setup down the wall of several planters, IF i can manage to not take up a huge amount of space.
-I would like to grow herbs at some point as well, though I realize I'm quickly running out of space.
-Lastly an indoor fairy garden. Why? The tank was originally setup with a Hobbit them (I tried making bag end) and it never really worked out the way I wanted, I had flow issues and my DIY scenery fell apart. SO if I can find the right ceramic pieces, I could make it out of the water this time around and hopefully end up with something cool (my g/f keeps asking me if I'm ever going to redo the look so if I ever want additional tanks in the future I should probably appease her).
-Add a second "emergency drain" I don't expect anything to clog the overflow but anything is possible. As it currently is installed should it ever overflow the box, it would run right into the top of the tank, so atm it's not an immediate concern.
I think that about covers everything . Any questions/comments are greatly appreciated, and again a big shout out to VANISH!