I started to talk about this on xenxes' Balcony Planter 24g thread. diwu13 suggested I start my own journal, and I didn't want to steal xenxes' thunder (not that I really could, his water garden is gorgeous!).
I'm in Cleveland, OH and it can get into the 90s, but it doesn't typically doesn't last too long. I lost my fish last year during a warm spell and I wanted to help prevent that from happening again. That's why I put the water container in a wine barrel surrounded by dirt to help insulate it. I also have some floaters to help block the sun. I successfully bred LOTS of RCS last year, so I have more of those in there as well. There's a submersible pump in there to keep the water circulating.
Unfortunately I have to keep the raccoons out with a grill, so it isn't too attractive all the time.
Here's a look inside:
I've thrown a little of everything in there. Some tropical, some collected locally.
Ludwigia repens x l. arcuata
Ludwigia sp 'Red'
Hydrocotyle sp. japan
Hygrophila polysperma var 'Sunset'
I'm hoping to rush the "filling out" process so I don't have to battle algae all Summer. I also plan on doing some collecting while I'm in FL early August.
It's incredible how the grill fits over it perfectly! It looks great, a few years ago I had a rubbermaid tub on my deck with guppies and platies. Unfortunately we only have a couple of months of reliable warm weather, I'd like to try again one summer with white clouds. But then I'd have to bring them in, and I already have 7 fish tanks. What will you do for the winter?
I finished tearing this down tonight. I never got any baby White Clouds, but I did get baby red cherries and LOTS of dragonfly and damselfly larvae. I'm not sure why so much this year, but the White Clouds didn't do a very good job of keeping the larvae count down.
I'm thinking next year I might try some native fish in the container and see if they can do a better job. If so, I won't bother trying to keep shrimp.
AirstoND, thanks for taking the time to include the links. It helps me understand what's available. Honestly, I don't like either plant looks-wise. I'll have to see what other options are out there. I'm strongly leaning towards native fish. I'll just need to see what's out there and plant-friendly. I've got plenty of time to research before I set things up again.