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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On Sept 28 2015, I dismantled the river. It has been replaced it with planters watered through water mat wicks. It starts at post #47
7 Jul 2015 : it's now up and running.

This was original plants.
List of current plants:
-Polka Dots
-Fittonia
-Wandering Jew
-Pothos
-Croton
-Alternanthera reineckii
-Hymenocallis lirisome
-Glossos
-African Violet, added 9 ul 2015
[STRIKE]-Spider Plant[/STRIKE], added 9 Jul 2015 - Dead 29 Jul 2015
-Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia) [in bulbs as of 9 Jul 2015]
-Rumex sangioneus, added 11 Jul 2015
-Equisetum scirpoides, added 11 Jul 2015
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That would be my first journal here. I have no clue how disciplined I will be at updating this, but let me give it a shot.

This little river will be installed atop my 75 gallon tank. The river is the same length as the tank; 48 inches. It is about 5 inches wide and just over 1.5 inches high. It's not high, it will be low flow river with of course plants in it. Bed will be lavarock with maybe some pieces of drift wood.

This is the barebone box without the ends. Because it's dadoes, just wanted to do a dry fit before glueing the parts together.





This is the outflow. Water will return to the tanks through this small opening.


This is some arrangements in progress. I seived all the lava rock I have to get some smaller ones. I am a little short in rocks. I will throw some larger ones int. I painted and varnished the outside of the wooden box. The inside is line with a PVC pond liner. Then I place a layer of geotextile then the rocks.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Interesting beginning. You might want to build in an overflow near where the water
enters the box. Never know when plants may block it somewhere. I presume it to be filled by a mechanical pump. That pump won't know it's blocked. Come home to a floor full
of water.
Good idea. I guess I will make an opening like the one I did but in the other end. And just a little higher so the primary is the one at the opposite end.

River will be alimented through the output of the Eheim 2215. I will have a better idea of the flow when I try it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Seems a little shallow, think about how much water level changes in a track with an overflow... My vote would've been for 2.5 inch sides... Gives you more root space for plants, as well as more space between the top of the trough and the water level... As was already mentioned a flooded for would suck
Noted, that would be mod no 2. Considering I probably have an average of 2 inches of substrate in the tank, it's prbably reasonable to have that in the river. I will make it higher and probably angle it toward the outside
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There has been some modifications. I did not like the outflows. They take too much real estate over the tank. It would have been perfect if the river had been sitting further back but I wanted it right on top. I installed two bulkheads instead. I lined the inside of the bulkheads with some textile to kill the sound and eliminate splashes.

I did a leak test overnight. All seem ok. I added some raiser blocks to give place for the filter intake.
Now I need more plants. May have to go shopping soon.

One of the bulkhead.


These empty pill containers fit perfectly in the bulkhead. Just need to cut to length to get some water level in the river bed.
This is the leak test.


Checking how things go from the filter output.


Bulkhead fitted with a piece of geotextile to smooth the flow. And allow snails to climb in :).


Some lava rock in the river bed. Will adjust the amount as plants are placed in.


And finally some plants stolen from other tanks. I need more plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is the same as a aquaponics set up. Not sure if you've heard of that or not. If you haven't you should look into them, perhaps you can find some of their ideas useful and decide to incorporate them into your project (substrate and designs of planter box).

I've been wanting to do a aquaponic set up on my tank for some time now to grow vegetables, but haven't made the effort yet.

From the title I thought it was going to be a over-tank sloped (to get the downstream river current effect), skinny 4ft long tank with hillstream fish :)
Great project nonetheless Mario
I heard of the term aquaponic recently. But I was mostly inspired by people that use similar set up here. Some use planters some use plastic tool boxes. I decided to customize mine.

The title is misleading a bit but it draws curiosity . It's work in progress. I can/will eventually make it bigger. It's a journey. interestingly enough I have hillstream loaches in the tank lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Nice!

I always had the same type of concept but with a deeper plexi/acrylic box, mounted high on the wall next to the tank, with fish, rocks and some sort of wet/dry rhizome plants! Maybe some LED lights along it...

But Ive never done it... LOL

Awesome to see something so close and functioning! Inspiring!
Thank you.

Grrr. I was just thinking I need to see pictures of your setup as I was reading the first paragraph. Then I saw your second paragraph. Really...? What are you waiting for. :)

I hope it inspires you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
i was gonna say that my bet was the lily should do very well, and viola! it is :)
I was curious to try it because quite a few time I read about people asking if anyone has ever tried cala lillies in such an environment. It's only rooting for now, but roots almost get longer by the hour lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
haha great idea, very creative. Try to take some more pics from further away so we can get a good shot of the tank + the river above!
Thank you.
I tried to take a few last night, I gave up frustrated. Can't balance the lightning between the tank and the plants and the black river box. I will try again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Quick update.
--One of the Cala Lilly is over 14 inches high!! That's is growing too fast to my liking. One leaf has holes in it. Definitely not mechanical not snail problem lol.
--Spider plant is not doing well at all. Not sure it likes being submerged that much.
--The Fittonia not doing so well either. Roots are dying. Leave were all hanging down. divided it as much as I could, cut off all the roots and put it back in. Leave raised up a bit.
--I am surprised about the American Violet. Did not loose a single flower. Some new growth appearing.
--Crotton doing fine. Looks like it's growing an offspring at the base.
--Rumex sanguineus showing some new growth at base.
--Equisetum scirpoides getting taller and has new off shoots at base.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Another update. Will post picture this w-end.
-Spider plant is dead, gone. Seem like it did not like feet wet.
-Growth of Cala Lilly slowed. There are actually 3 scenarios in the different tanks. In my 29 gal, the longest growth died suddenly. In the 15 gal, growth is accelerating. Seem like two flowers will open soon.
-Added a very small Arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia) from the backyard pond. Three original leave died, but 2 small leave are now growing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Some update on the Cala Lillies for both 75 and 15 gal tanks. I will post about other plants tomorrow...

A somewhat dark overview of the 75 gal tank


The 24 inches long Cala lilly. This has to stop.


This on has a more decent growth rate.


These 2 picture are from my 15 gal. I have to raise the light. It's kind of ridiculous now.


 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Black Calla Lily.

It seem like one of tha Calla Lily will be black flowers. This one grows much slower. I prefer that.
One section of the creek seem to have lots of aphids. That's what I seem to see under the leave of the Rumex. It's also covered with lots of small white things. No idea what it is, it's not moving.
 
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