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Dryland, donuts, and emergent plants
I have been keeping a type of tank I call a swamp tank for many years. It is
my favorite way of keeping an aquarium. I simply build up a small area at the
back of the tank so that the gravel/sand/soil can be about 1/2" above the
water level. On this area I plant plants that like wet soil. Another shelf
like area in front of the dry land area I build up to with in about 4" of the
surface of the water. Here I grow plants that like to grow in shallow water.
On the bottom of the aquarium I grow regular aquarium plants or plants that
grow in deeper water with their leaves out of the water. Cattails,
arrowheads, water tupelo trees and cypress tress do well like this. I use a
strong pendant Metal Halide to light the whole thing or grow it in my
greenhouse where it receives natural light. it works great and the trees grow
great root mats that fish really love. I usually use a thin glass wall in the
back and on the sides of the tank above the water line so any animals won't
use the dry land to crawl out of the tank.