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Growing plants in outdoor tanks?

5971 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  jhays79
Have people been successful in growing plants in a tank outdoors in full sunlight?

I have a 75 gallon that I am considering using as an outdoor tank. Last time I tried this, it became a green swamp quickly. I have hygro, guppy grass, floaters, , all sorts of quick growing plants I can use. I also want to throw in a few swords and a few aponogetons.

The tank will get direct sunlight for part of the day. It can face east with a wall behind it, or face south. Either location it will still get hours of direct sunlight.

I am looking for tips and ideas that will help me keep it from turning green. I am happy to use excel, dose with nitrates and ferts, etc.

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I'm currently doing the same in a small 20g long. Just needed a plant quarantine tank and had no room inside so I put it on my porch. All I can say is that I use a filter to help with water circulation and lots of plants to such up the nutrients before algae can take hold. I do have a little algae but it's nothing serious. I use fluorite substrate and don't dose any ferts right now. The fluorite was used in another tank for awhile so it's got a good buildup in it. I'll adjust accordingly but should be alright this way.

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I have a 100 gallon outdoor thank that is in my green house and all my plants thrive in there! Just think its full light at a good spectrum for growing plants and the right amount of light you will most likely see different things on your plant from the suns intensity :)
My hornwort and anacharis are growing like crazy in my goldfish pond. Just one thing, they don't grow as green and lush as my indoor plants do.
I have a container pond, and it grows. But I am talking a tank, where light will be incident from sides as well as the way surface, unlike a pond where it is just the surface.
No filtration or CO2, just natural sunlight. In a vintage SS 5.5 gal tank got E. tenellus, H. glomeratus & G. elatinoides growing w/ wild Neos & a colony of Elassoma.

In racked shallow (<4" deep) opaque plastic storage boxes, I've planted in small plastic pots C.willisii, C. wendtii "Tropica" & "Mi Oya", HC & Glosso, Hydrocotyle "Japan" & M. pteropus "Trident" on driftwood. "Wild" green swordtails & Neos are in the these water filled boxes.

All my tubs & tank are facing west with a wall behind them They get a very short 1-2 hrs of direct sunlight and the rest of the day is shaded. No water changes, just topping off w/tap water or rain. Tank & plastic pots are filled w/leftover AS Amazonia for planting substrate. An interesting observation, the 2 storage boxes that are fully exposed, are "green water" tubs. The other 3 partially covered tubs and the vintage tank remain clear.

I do have one tank (20H) that is placed in a location that gets only shaded light. This tank will be scaped in the future so, will attempt to start a Glosso carpet. This tank is artifically lit w/LED lighting, water circulated by a powerhead & dosed w/Excel for carbon needs.:bounce:
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Does anyone know how low a temp a plant like Amazon Sword would still survive outside? It's just beginning to warm up here, but night temps are low in the 50s.
Many of the aquarium plants we grow are listed (Baench Aquarium Atlas series or other references) to thrive best at temps not lower than 68*F.
I have several that are listed like that, growing just fine in my greenhouse-aquarium room, where it got pretty cold this winter. Some plants died that were growing emersed, but as long as they stayed under water they were fine. No heater in the tanks, just whatever heat is generated by the pumps for filters and power heads.

However, the tanks in the most sun have blanket weed. :-(
I have an amazon sword that's getting really big, but I can't use it when I re-do my current aquascape. I think I'm going to dirt a 15g tall and set it outside where it will get a mix of sun and shade to see how big it will get.
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