Ideas about creek above tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Ideas about creek above tank

I am considering the idea of setting up some emersed plants (or plants that like to have their feet wet) is some sort of gentle creek atop of the tank.

Questions that comes to mind are:
--How deep the substrate in the stream should be? (plant specific maybe?)
--What typical flow rate going through the stream should be? Gentle stream and assume total width of setup be somewhere between 8-10 inches
--What would the substrate be?

This would be addition to dirt tanks.

Any other thought, ideas, things to consider?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 01:32 PM
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Slow water flow through the creek, or else it may wash out whatever soil you use for the plants. Perhaps the plant pockets are not in the stream itself, but off to one side where a little water splashes in, not the full flow. I have had ferns to really well this way.

Many people use house plants for this. Many house plants come from tropical jungles, and are OK with a shallow substrate that does not have much soil in it. You might try the coarser lava rock (3/8") or orchid bark (also about 3/8-1/2"), and coir or whole sphagnum moss for epiphytes.
Another option is to prepare planting pockets then slip a mesh pot into them, and disguise it with whole sphagnum moss. Again, the substrate would be fairly coarse so as not to escape through the mesh pot. Get mesh pots in pond supply stores or on line. Clay (terra cotta) pots work well, too.
Depending on the base material, you could drill holes through wood or bark and make a basket sort of thing for epiphytes. Just enough whole sphagnum to hold them in place, then fishing line or polyester or nylon thread (cotton rots) threaded through the holes to secure it all to the wall.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Diana.

The base material I am thinking to use as prototype would likely be a paint roller tray (new of course). Thare are some heavy duty ones made of black plastic with a solid base. Widthwise is ok and as you can see there would be very little substrate. To exit the tray, I would make a hole in the lower section of the tray and use a small tube to make an overflow just like in bottom drilled tanks. So the tiny creek would have a more stagnant area at the bottom.

I like the bark and coarse lava rock idea. I have to look about epiphytes. No idea what that is.

I bought a small pump that is rated 70 gal/hour. I wonder if that is too much.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 08:32 PM
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I used a 3 foot planter box. My powerhead is rated at 345GPH, but I divert about half the flow back into the tank. I'm using LECA/Hydroton as media in ~2" deep baskets. I also have a lot of sponge/foam filter media underneath my planting media baskets, as this is the only filter in the whole tank. It sits on a shelf behind the tank.



Old pic from when I first started with the idea:



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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanish View Post
I used a 3 foot planter box. My powerhead is rated at 345GPH, but I divert about half the flow back into the tank. I'm using LECA/Hydroton as media in ~2" deep baskets. I also have a lot of sponge/foam filter media underneath my planting media baskets, as this is the only filter in the whole tank. It sits on a shelf behind the tank.
Wow. I just browsed your 75 gal tank link on your signature. I love that.
--Those 2 light sources at the ceiling are all there is for the whole setup. i.e. plants in the tank and filter plants?
--did you move the heater in the filter area?
--Does the filter requires lots of maintenance? I know you like to keep your hands wet...
--Not sure I saw anything about tank substrate you use? Dirt?
--I think I saw you add fertilizers or something? Correct?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 12:52 PM
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I had a tank set up like Vanish's. Window box on the back behind the tank, one line going in, 2 going out.
Mine is filled with 3/8 lava rock and currently has hearleaf philodendron in it.

Right at the entrance is a bit of mesh, sponge and coarse floss but I almost never have to clean it.

I have moved it to several tanks. It is currently just sitting next to my greenhouse pond.

I have had quite a few house plants grow in it though the years.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
I had a tank set up like Vanish's. Window box on the back behind the tank, one line going in, 2 going out.
Mine is filled with 3/8 lava rock and currently has hearleaf philodendron in it.

Right at the entrance is a bit of mesh, sponge and coarse floss but I almost never have to clean it.

I have moved it to several tanks. It is currently just sitting next to my greenhouse pond.

I have had quite a few house plants grow in it though the years.
Bought a 35 liters bag of lava rock, a roller paint tray, and some plumbing items, already have some planters. Looked at some of the household plant stores around here for ideas. It's getting out of season arounf here, but I should be able to get prototype started soon.

Idea of being able able to move the setup around is interesting. I suppose it must be a good way to cycle a new tank.

I would be interested to know if there is a change in parameters between the input and outpt. That would give a rather good idea of the efficiency of the filter.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2014, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guck View Post
Wow. I just browsed your 75 gal tank link on your signature. I love that.
--Those 2 light sources at the ceiling are all there is for the whole setup. i.e. plants in the tank and filter plants?
--did you move the heater in the filter area?
--Does the filter requires lots of maintenance? I know you like to keep your hands wet...
--Not sure I saw anything about tank substrate you use? Dirt?
--I think I saw you add fertilizers or something? Correct?
1.) No, there is a 48" Current Satellite Plus over the tank, just in front of the photo.

2.) I could, but I did not because I didn't have a great way to route the power cord. Right now its in the back left behind the powerhead.

3.) I've had it running for four or five months. I rinse the filter floss at the inlet when I do a water change. Once, I cleaned out the tubes and siphoned the water near the outlet of the box. There is about a inch of access near the outlet where I placed a needlepoint screen to make sure the outlets didn't get blocked and some gunk builds up there.

4.) I'm using Safe-T-Sorb in the tank. No reason you can't do dirt.

5.) I just started dry ferts about 2 weeks ago. Things grew fine before but certain plants grow better now. The only algae I get is GSA and the extra phosphates help with that.

One thing to note is to make sure your outlets are much larger than your input. I have 3/4" tube coming in and double 1" tubes going out. This is just enough to guard against a flood if one gets blocked. I also wish I could have had my outlets lower, but the area below my outlets was not smooth and thus would have been impossible to seal.

One of my inspirations was this project, where they used a shallower toolbox: http://diyfishkeepers.com/forum/show...th-a-Tool-Box-!


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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vanish, thanks for the anwers and the link.
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