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Old 01-04-2013, 08:05 AM   #1
DirtMonkey
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No substrate planted tank


I haven't had any serious planted tanks for years due to traveling and moves... my patience just ran out and I'm itching to grow again. One 5 gallon and 3 common species just won't do it any more. But, I will very likely be moving again before too long, and I don't want to tear down full substrate tanks so soon.

I'm thinking of filling the tanks with only a thin gravel bottom, and keeping plants potted, with the pots disguised by wood, moss/riccia etc., and rocks. Seems to me this might be a good way to keep things more mobile, and still look better than bare tanks full of plastic and clay pots.

Has anyone tried something like this?
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:17 AM   #2
BeastMaster
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Something that I've tried is to attach rhizome type plants like java fern or anubias to small-medium sized rocks or driftwood pieces. When the plants are finally affixed you can move them around for a more natural looking aquascape
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:24 AM   #3
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Moving planted tanks just suck all the way around.. Best bet is to stick to wood and rocks with J. fern and such tied to it until the move is over then go for what ever your want then. Makes you life that much easier..
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:15 PM   #4
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Besides the plants which can be attached to rocks and driftwood, I feel it will become very difficult to hide planting pots. It can be done, but your landscape will be hindered because of pots.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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pots in a tank look... ghetto

stick to rhizome plants and mosses as mentioned
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:29 PM   #6
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If you know you going to move soon maybe just set-up a grow out tank with clay pots and grow a few of the more rare plants for your future Aquascape. Maybe a more practical way to solve the need to grow something.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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Ive got a tank with terra cotta potted swords and crypts....and it's not the best looking. But the plants are doing very well and are growing out of their pots.

I saw a thread with a tank that used these special pots and it looked great. The clear pots have a nice modern look and merge into the gravel.

http://ripariumsupply.com/?page_id=45
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:54 PM   #8
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FWIW I keep a no substrate tank and have for a few years. Right now it is mostly java fern on driftwood with stem plants held in place with strings and wedged in here and there. Persicaria works really well for this. I used to keep some plants in pots but I never really liked the way they looked. They do fine that way however. Everything in that tank is easily removed.

Just as an aside no substrate tanks tend to have high nitrate levels due to the lack of bacteria normally in the substrate.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtMonkey View Post
I haven't had any serious planted tanks for years due to traveling and moves... my patience just ran out and I'm itching to grow again. One 5 gallon and 3 common species just won't do it any more. But, I will very likely be moving again before too long, and I don't want to tear down full substrate tanks so soon.

I'm thinking of filling the tanks with only a thin gravel bottom, and keeping plants potted, with the pots disguised by wood, moss/riccia etc., and rocks. Seems to me this might be a good way to keep things more mobile, and still look better than bare tanks full of plastic and clay pots.

Has anyone tried something like this?
Kept plant's in tank's housing large South American cichlid's for year's in this way.(they tore up anything rooted)
Floating plant's could also work.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:05 AM   #10
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Hey thanks for all your replies: I should have mentioned that I do have Anubias and JF growing on driftwood, I was kind of hoping for ideas to hide the pots better so I could start collecting again as a couple of you mentioned. I might not try to hide them, and just let them be kinda ugly for a while, maybe just a couple pots of Crypts to camouflage. It's not about the landscape so much right now. Or I might try to find more things that can be grown mounted; Bucephalandras are new to me since they weren't around much before. Thanks for the mention of stem plants BruceF, I hadn't thought of leaving them unpotted like that. I was laughing for a minute because my brain translated Persicaria as Persea - which would have been pretty strange!

I just realized I could make some hypertufa trays in more natural shapes, but then they'd have to be leached for so long it might not be worth it. Or maybe foam and silicone coated in sand or whatever as in a vivarium. Hmmm.

I used small algae scrubbers on opposite light schedules so algae and nitrates weren't usually an issue.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtMonkey View Post
Hey thanks for all your replies: I should have mentioned that I do have Anubias and JF growing on driftwood, I was kind of hoping for ideas to hide the pots better so I could start collecting again as a couple of you mentioned. I might not try to hide them, and just let them be kinda ugly for a while, maybe just a couple pots of Crypts to camouflage.
If you really want to hide things like plastic tubing or PVC pipes or terracotta pots, just use a thin layer of silicone on the item in question or spray glue on it then roll the sticky side of the tube, pot, pipe into some dry gravel(placed onto newspaper in a layer) of the type already in the tank they are going into, let it dry for 48 then use. At least it blends into the gravel bed somewhat in coloration then, and pots can be done this way for caves also.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:19 PM   #12
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I have a few clay pots that I've glued java fern to in order to hide them. Works well.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:25 PM   #13
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Seems like a lot of work for not much gain. You can have a really nice planted tank, very lush, using rhizome feeders and mosses not a single substrate plant. When it comes time to move, pull out the driftwood/hardscape with all of your attached plants and move it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:08 PM   #14
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ive tried it... but i didnt exactly try to keep thing hidden. lol
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:23 PM   #15
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These things work pretty nice...

http://ripariumsupply.com/?wpsc-prod...age-kit-5-pack

Some of the responses above are poo-pooing flowers pots, but I think that they can actually look pretty nice and you can incorporate them as part of the tank design. If you try to cover up a flower pot with a sand coating or something like that you might end with something looking more contrived and awkward. Also consider some nice low decorative bonsai pots. You can line the bottom of the bonsai pot with window screen to keep your substrate from spilling through the drainage holes.
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