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Drilling holes for plants


19 Dec 2015
Just thought I’d share a rough and ready image of how I’m planning on planting the riparium section of an aquarium .

28/32/40 mum holes of varying depths with a 10mm drain hole in each. Plants roots will be wrapped in sphagnum and I guess we’ll see!


So you get an idea of what I’m going for 👍

Also behind the log I’m making a raft to plant moss, and some native bog plants on:


I’ve got some stainless steel screws to attach it to the log and I’m going to add some support across the raft. Also, some fine mesh so that the moss doesn’t seep through too much.

I’ve got another fern to plant back there 😅👍 hoping to fill tomorrow.

Just trying to decide between yellow and black sand.

Tops growing really well, had one loss and I’ve got a couple of concerns but looks alright to me.


Athyrium spicatum
Hydrocotyl Vulgaris
Dryopteris Sieboldii
Eleocharis Palustris
Begonia leopatrae
Monte Carlo
Ficus pumila
Pilea “moon valley”
Alocasia Cucullata
Spathiphyllum sp.
Philodendron Selloum

Plus, I’m going to add Alocasia “Pink Dragon” a littler later today as I think it will work well, and there is space amongst the Eleocharis.

The air is too dry for Monte Carlo, so it’s having a hard time. Philodendron Selloum rotted away.

Dryopteris Sieboldii seems to be alright but it’s not strictly a bog plant and I didn’t realise how delicate it was meaning I snapped half of the leaves of when washing away dirt. Or the leaves snapped in transit. I may remove this and go and plant it in the garden.

Athyrium spicatum is neither happy or sad. Could be dying, slowly. Hard to say, plenty of fronds died off, but lots remain. Some new fronds are unfurling too.

Eleocharis came to me as a lump of mud; with no signs of growth. In a couple of weeks it has laves 15cm tall. It’s the happiest plant by a long way. Possibly invasive.

Pilea is very happy, as is Begonia. Ficus isn’t complaining either. Nor is the peace lily.

The plants receive about 2 hours of sunlight a day. I’m not running any lights on it at the moment, nor is the water heated (no fish!).

I regret not buying any carnivorous plants, so I think this garden will get some tweaks in the summer. I’m slowly transitioning to rain water.

I’ll probably get some neons in a couple of weeks.

Once I get some lights I’ll take a picture of this little dark place.
Added some life, 8 4cm checkers, and 18ish neons.

All looking good and dumped a bag of bloodworm in for good measure. Everyone feeding.

The neons have spawned for the last 3 mornings in a row. It’s a bit crazy. The checkers seem to be going behind them and eating the eggs though 🫣 I thought the neons looked really good in the shop, really healthy fish.

I’ve added a couple of plants, pinguicula weser and drosera aliciae. I was at a garden centre this weekend and took a gamble, as no 4G. I’m loving the colour of the pinguicula, hoping it survives.


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Alocasia Cucullata
Spathiphyllum sp.
I think you could safely plant Alocasia and Spatiphyllum directly in the tank and let it grow out of water. Years ago, I kept S.wallisii that way and it blossomed often and beautifully.
I’ll try and show how they’re planted ☺️

The Alocasia died hard when I first set it up, one leafy remains, but it looks like it’s going to be Ok.


I really didn’t know whether to sink the ‘bulb’ so instead I made a space at the edge and zip tied it to a twig. The roots are all in water and the base of the crown gets wet sometimes. It’s covered in moss (happy moss). You can see from this view that it’s sitting at the water level:


Note the roots bottom right are spreading. Water level is about 10mm less than normal.

The Spatiphyllum is in a similar place, just wedged inbetween some sticks:


I actually planted two, the other is similarly positioned to the Alocasia.

Thanks for the tips, I might reposition the Alocasia one day 😀
Minor updates, as I thought this was nice behaviour.


Every week I top up about 6l, this floods some of the emergent wood and plants; then fish are able to get about ~20mm higher up the tank than normal. When this happens the checkers congregate up the main log which is kind of like a ramp up. Here they go bananas picking at the wood and moss; obviously there is some small buggies in there they love.

There is a resident millipede I’ve been trying to get a picture of 😅

Riccia is very happy, and a bulb of Oxalis has had quite the journey.


I guess I could update this a bit more, as there are some learnings here 👍

Firstly, everything is growing well, including the fish. Not a single loss, feeding a mix of pond dippings and bug bites.

Algae had become more prevalent, i chalk this up to feeding more, and I hadn’t cleaned the filter in a while. Algae had been anround from the start so I’m not too fussed.

Aphids have become a bit of a pain, mainly just the Oxalis taking the brunt of it. Riccia is a weed. Pilea depressa Is also doing very well. I’m slowly removing Eleocharis Palustris, as I don’t think it’s well suited, the grass seems to collapse after a certain height and I don’t like the look.

Anyway, I did a large water change yesterday; Riccia now reminds me of the seaweed attached to a rock when the tide has gone out:


Full tank shot:


As you might guess, this water was almost black before the water change; around 65l.

Finally the top section in a bit more detail:


It’s nice to see the right Alocasia Pink Dragon coming through with a new leaf; and then the central Alocasia cucullata is going bonkers, at least with its roots.

Did I mention that the moss wicked up liquid over the back of the tank, meaning about 15l of water drained on my floor a few weeks ago. That was annoying.
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