Finished the paludarium last night...

CAMBYSES(6 / PA)December 1, 2004

I finally finished the paludarium last night. I still havent decided on the arrangement of the plants and it needs gravel and some aquatic plants as well as more water. there are a few accent pieces I would like to get but Im not completely sure about those either. but I will post the pics please let me know what you think.

I want to say thanks to everyone on this forum for sharing their experience and ideas.

I would like to especially thank sahoyaref and garyfla for answering so many of my questions and showing off their work.

once again thank you


PS. I will post better quality pics later today, my batteries were dying and I just snapped off 3 before they quit completely.

Image link:

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here is the left side

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 11:35AM
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sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)

Your first pic doesn't come up at all, but I say so far, so good for the shot of the left side! Don't use gravel for your substrate if you want aquatic plants though. Use sand. Play sand is fine, and it comes already sterilized, though you might want to go with a horticultural sand, which is more gritty, instead. It will allow for a more aerated substrate. I know that gravel would seem to be even better for aeration, but for some reason that I don't know, when my husband had his planted discus tank and he switched from a gravel substrate to a sand substrate (he used play sand), the plants loved it! They grew way more roots, and just took off in terms of growth rate and health. We couldn't believe it! Also, make sure you have enough light for your aquatics. Any that are totally submerged in the water should be tolerant of low light, like anubias or java moss. Some amazon swords would be sweet, because they will emerge from the water, which will nicely tie your land and water areas together visually. What size is your tank again?

Nice plants, too. That maranta/calathea/I'm not sure which plant in the far right of the left side pic will get much too big quite quickly though. It's not the sort of thing that you can just keep trimming back either, and as it grows the new the leaves will just keep getting bigger. It looks very nice though. i wanted one in my terr. as well. =) If you really love it, I think that there are some smaller species around if you look really hard. Not something you'd find at Home Depot though. Anyways, I look forward to pics of the finished masterpiece! =)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 4:17PM
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here we go I will try the first pic again...

Thanl you Sahoyaref for the nice comments and the info. as far as the sand goes, should I add anything to the sand for nutrients? and is a c02 system necessary, I really only want the floating variety and emmergent types of aquatic plants. duckweed and maybe some dwarf lilly pads if I can find some that stay small enough. if I do get anything else it will probably be some variant of Cobamba or java fern something like that and ofcourse java moss just because it is hardy and will grow all over.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 4:56PM
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Im sorry i didnt answer your question on my last post, the tank is 29 gal. and I will have roughly 6 1/2" of water equaling about 8 gal of water in the tank. I am on the look out right now for different plants. I really like the china doll, the pink fittonia and the calatheas I have. I would like to find some hardy epiphytes to grow on the log and walls and I would also like to find some nice small ferns to place in there, I would really like to get rid of the maranta as it is too big already for that spot. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
thank you

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 5:38PM
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ladybug_guam(z11 Guam)

Hi Robert!
Congratulations! It looks very nice!
For the plants you are looking for, you should try Black Jungle, they have the best variety of plants, and all the accessories you need and nice pics. The prices are also reasonable. I could not get them from them, because they don't ship to Guam (they don't have access to a plant inspector to certify them) but I got the 'dry goods' like cork, drift wood, etc. Take a look at it, you'll enjoy it!
Ana :)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2004 at 12:40AM
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sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)

You don't need to add anything to the sand. Personally, I think fertlizing is over-rated, and since aquatic plants are actually designed to take more nutrients out of the water than out of the substrate, those fertlizer pellets that you can buy and bury in the substrate are a waste of money. Cambomba is a good choice, as are java ferns, though I think they actually look better and do better out of water, on land. Same as java moss. They like it extremely humid, not neccessarily totally submerged, though they do survive and even grow this way in many aquariums. Duckweed is a bad idea. It will very quickly cover the entire surface of your water, blocking the light to the plants below, and be exceedingly difficult to get rid of. As for dwarf lilies, they need serious lighting and serious CO2. If you're new to aquatic gardening, I would start simple, like with the cabomba, and perhaps an echinodorus (mini amazon sword). You will likely need to add some fertlizers, especially iron. SeaChem has an excellent line of aquatic plant products. Oh yeah, and even if you don't choose more demanding plants, CO2 works wonders on aquatic plants. Just be carefull about adding too much if you will also have a fish or two in there (a betta would love it! they really like that soft, tea-coloured water). At night the plants will switch, giving off CO2 and using oxygen, which can leave not enough O2 for the fish, suffocating them. This makes a betta an even betta' (ha ha!) choice though, because they can breathe air from the surface of the water if need be.

As for more plants, ditto on the Black Jungle suggestion. Tillandsias and cryptanthus would be some great plants for attaching to your walls and the log. T. cyanea gets huge though, so pick smaller ones if you can. =) Oh, and choose the green ones, not the silver ones. And the china doll will also outgrow the tank very quickly. And you will need to trim the fittonia back a lot, but I do that too, and it's really not a big deal. Oh, Black Jungle has the most awesome mini calathea! It's a species, and I don't remember the name right now. Get it! But save one for me. =) I'm going to order from them very soon, because I'll be in Georgia for two weeks this Christmas! That's only 3 weeks away! Woohoo! =)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 3:33AM
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