How to keep my 20H going outside?
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:53 AM   #1
VivaDaWolf
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How to keep my 20H going outside?


I like the idea of keeping a 'tub of water plants' like many of you have but Im definitely having trouble keeping them alive.


Back in april
I started with just the 20, barebottom, and floated floaters, pennywort, cabomba, anacharis, hornwort. There are 2 goldfish in there. Not my idea, but the surviving feeders that the family got my for inside tank and...I dont want goldfish in there! I have not been able to find a home for them yet so they just live in there. No filter, no anything and I changed most of the water frequently.
The problems...it turns completely green which I expected but it only takes about 3-4 days... how many plants does it need to not go murky green so fast? Annnd..all my floaters die. Salvinia turns red, which Im not sure if its a sign of dying or high light.


Last month.
Redid the whole thing- added in gravel- fluorite mixed with other stuff. Threw in excess vals I had. A sword. All my floaters are gone except for the surviving DWL (they look quite different outside too) and the vals now seem quite dead too. As well as the sword. Cabomba is not doing well because the goldfish pick at it I think. Pennywort melted.

The tank sits facing east, gets about low 90s here, mid to high 70s at night right now. I try to cover it when it gets crazy sunny/hot. But any suggestions to not get all the plants to just......die? Afraid of transplanting more plants in there because none of them have grew well. The dwl is the only thing that is perking up now. Is it too hot?
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:31 AM   #2
aznartist34
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The sun is very strong and your plants might not be able to transition. I suggest that you put the tank in an area that is shaded and only get little to no direct sun unless its only in the morning.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:24 AM   #3
steven p
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not enough current with that much light maybe? plants burn up all the CO2 and nutes in contact with them, but without a way for water to circulate, they might not do so hot... all my plants outside pretty much ended up growing into one giant floating pad in one of my tubs... i tossed in some flame moss... bad idea in the sunlight... looks so gross... but there are sprouts of ludwigia poppin out, a crypt ended up out there some how, water sprite tries... but never lasts out of water..

in that tub, an airstone moves the water; but, nothing is technically planted, so dissolved CO2 is not an issue, all the plants have access to atmospheric gasses. (bad sentence.. but i'm not a grammar nazi.)
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:28 PM   #4
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The problem with glass sides is the greenhouse effect: you are cooking that tank just a little bit when the sun hits it. Can you cover 2-3 of the sides or put up something removeable when you aren't outside enjoying it?
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven p View Post
not enough current with that much light maybe? plants burn up all the CO2 and nutes in contact with them, but without a way for water to circulate, they might not do so hot... all my plants outside pretty much ended up growing into one giant floating pad in one of my tubs... i tossed in some flame moss... bad idea in the sunlight... looks so gross... but there are sprouts of ludwigia poppin out, a crypt ended up out there some how, water sprite tries... but never lasts out of water..

in that tub, an airstone moves the water; but, nothing is technically planted, so dissolved CO2 is not an issue, all the plants have access to atmospheric gasses. (bad sentence.. but i'm not a grammar nazi.)
+1 . Water movement will help cool things off.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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This tank is going to get major algae soon. Try putting potted plants around the tank to block out most of the sun and insulate it a little. It would be good to build a little solid bench for the tank to move it above the concrete. Concrete is like a frying pan during the summer.

And move the tank in during winter. The glass might crack especially with ice in the tank.

Last edited by mistergreen; 07-06-2012 at 02:16 PM.. Reason: ...
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:05 PM   #7
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You need to cover the glass, or put it in a very very shady area. The sun is intense

Also I would add much more high growth stems in there to outcompete algae. You'll also want some snails to help with control and eat dead plant matter.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:35 PM   #8
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I don't know why anyone hasn't asked what nutrients you're using. We have 5 outdoor basins. Three are emmersed set ups with no circulation, about an inch of water, super high light, nutrient rich substrate and water, and of course beautiful plants. Two are deep water basins. One with a few pumps and one without.

When nutrient levels drop in any of these, algae strikes.

Now, keep in mind that ALL of the basins get full afternoon sun for at least 6hrs. Mind you, we're in Texas so if you want to talk about intense.

So, I ask, what nutrients is it getting?
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:13 AM   #9
VivaDaWolf
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I'm not dosing anything. I want to keep this pretty simple, no pumps no filter, no fertilizer (hooking up anything electrical would be a pain). I stuck in some capsules I filled with plant fertilizer under the gravel. And then..goldfish poop. I want to keep this as simple as possible though, it'll be a summer thing so Im breaking it down once cold sets in, I just wanted it as a place to stick extra plants and trimmings. Of course, nothings survived really once I toss em in. I have an emersed little plastic setup inside, I recall sticking it outside for a bit more light and half of them shriveled up- I keep it covered with plastic wrap, I guess that trapped all the heat in. : ( Whats the best way to even try emersed plants outside without dryingout?

Haven't thought about sunlight going through the sides, doh...but I covered up 3 sides today with black plastic (not sure if that will contribute to heat), 1 side is facing the house. Ill be adding it more floaters to really cover the top.

What plants do you think would be okay in it now? I've got pretty basic non-high light plants like rotala, ludwigia, bacopa. Im just afraid of them dying still. It will be close to 100 degrees tomorrow. Am I better off just covering the top too somehow?

Last edited by VivaDaWolf; 07-07-2012 at 05:19 AM.. Reason: more questions.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:29 PM   #10
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I literally put together an outdoor emersed setup with stuff around the house. Using a clear plastic bin, some old plastic plant pots (or 2L soda bottle cut down with drainage holes), plastic wrap, some organic potting mix and of course some water.

Then I planted some cuttings and left it for a couple weeks. I thought everything was dead but apparently plants go through a dieing off phase when they move, they just need to stay moist. I did play with the amount of light being received by the bin though. It was getting way too much at first, I lowered it so the direct sun only hits it for maybe 60% of daylight hours. I'd say about 80% of the cuttings survived and prospered.

I planted:
Rotala Macrandra (pretty sure but maybe someone can correct me from the photo.)
Dwarf sag
Water sprite
Misc. Moss

The moss didn't survive the transition, but I think it was killed off in the initial heat and would likely survive now. Everything else I planted 1 cutting, 2 for the rotala.

And its been around 100 degrees here, so hopefully all stays well.

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Old 07-07-2012, 02:26 PM   #11
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Plants basically need 3 things to survive, limit one and you will slow/stop plant growth and create favorable conditions for algae. Your basin has high light and access to far greater amounts of co2 than inside a home. For this reason, it is essential to ensure that proper nutrient uptake is met by the plants.

If plants can't grow because they are short on 1 limited nutrient, then algae is likely to be the one to use the rest of the available resources.
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