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pweifan 06-24-2012 01:09 AM

20 Gallon Water Garden
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.
  • Potamogeton nodosus
  • Polygonum hydropiperoides
  • Pontederia cordata
  • Ludwigia palustrus
  • Ludwigia repens x l. arcuata
  • Ludwigia sp 'Red'
  • Hydrocotyle sp. japan
  • Hygrophila polysperma var 'Sunset'
  • Pistia stratiotes
  • Carex morrowii

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.

pweifan 06-24-2012 01:23 AM

I added some more Potamogeton nodosus today. I am really afraid the plants won't out-compete the algae so I've got them crammed in that pot. I should add some more floaters too.

Can you see the White Cloud in this picture? I've got 6-8 of them in there. I've never gotten egg-layers to breed. I'm hoping this more natural approach will have some success.

Algae Beater 06-24-2012 03:22 AM

i had a half barrel similar to that that yielded hundreds of white clouds! looks like a GREAT start!

pweifan 06-24-2012 07:27 PM

That's good to hear :) I'm hoping to have similar results.

finsNfur 06-25-2012 12:29 PM

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?

pweifan 06-25-2012 12:44 PM

Thanks :) I've got a 15 gallon fish tank in the Living Room and another 20 gallon tub in the basement. I'll overwinter most things in the tub inside.

pweifan 06-30-2012 12:34 AM

I already had to trim out some of the Potamogeton nodosus. It's been a pretty aggressive grower so far, but that means that it's beating the algae :) No pictured due to no light...

xenxes 07-04-2012 04:40 PM

Looking good!

Is the grass looking plant on the back right the Carex morrowii?

Getting a house end of the year and making a plant list for my "real" pond :D

pweifan 07-04-2012 05:41 PM

Thanks xenxes :)

You're exactly right on the Carex morrowii; it's the variegated variety. Be careful though, it's an aggressive grower. I get in from my parent's pond in MI and it grows like mad.

We had some really heavy storms the past few days after a long dry spell. I'm hoping it promotes some the White Clouds spawning.

pweifan 09-28-2012 04:33 AM

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 09-28-2012 11:03 PM

Have you tried carnivorous plants such as butterworts?

pweifan 09-29-2012 01:54 AM

No I never had thought of that approach. I did a quick search, but I haven't spent too much time looking yet. Do you know of any aquatic butterworts offhand? This one looked pretty cool.

AirstoND 09-30-2012 02:14 PM


Originally Posted by pweifan (Post 2026436)
No I never had thought of that approach. I did a quick search, but I haven't spent too much time looking yet. Do you know of any aquatic butterworts offhand? This one looked pretty cool.

That's a type of Pinguicula primuliflora, I have that's green and with a purple flower. The two Im suggesting and haven't kept:

1) Utricularia vulgaris:


pweifan 10-01-2012 05:39 PM

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. :)

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