So I have been setting up my Aquaclear HOB to be planted when I came across a bunch of threads about planted hob breeder boxes.
So I went out an grabbed a marina brand "large" hob breeder and a Hagen mini elite filter.
I had started prepare a few aquarium plants for the filter already. So I decided I wanted to do something different with the breeder box.
I have been reading up on paludariums bc I am planning to attempt making one. The idea of a false bottom wicking up moisture to soil caught my attention.
I created the upper "planter" are with a plastic container, cut with a dremel to sit around the back of the box. I sealed/ glued it to the box with silicone.
On the front half of the box-I filled the bottom half with hydroton balls and top half is fluorite.
The back half - hydroton goes all the way up half way into the raised planter. Above that(where ferns are planted) is almost like a bonsai potting mix.
The mix is mostly small bits of volcanic rock, horticultural and filter charcoal, fir bark, and some flourite too. Sorry I didn't keep track of mix rates. the mix wicks moisture well enough to stay damp, but is extremely well aerated.
I modded the Hagen filter output with a dremel and slipped a piece of siphon hose over it. It now pumps water through the siphon hose under the substrate (into hydroton layer)in the planter.
Bought 4 potted ferns,(souther maidenhair, silver brake, leather leaf, and another "brake or table" fern not sure exact variety) and some potted "club moss"( not actually a moss). All the plants require their roots to stay damp at all times, but not sit in water.
i can still plant out the front half of this box with traditional riparium plants. And if the ferns don't acclimate well I can remove the back planter( only siliconed), and put more flourite and riparium plants.
I plan on putting it on a heavily planted 20 gallon with dirt substrate, right beside the HOB filter I was going to plant out . But I am running it in this container with water from the tank for a while to see what the "bonsai soil" will leach.
This is a lil crazy I guess, I just started this just wanting to grow baby tears ontop of my filter. Now I have a mini fern forest getting ready to grow above my tank lol.
If this works or not it has been fun lil project so far. And I have finally come up with a plan for my paludarium... A cypress swamp biotope with a cypress bonsai tree centrepiece... Better start learning how to train bonsai trees lol.
Sry thought I took more photos, but here it is while i was fitting the "planter". More pics too come!!!
Thanks for reading