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While we're on the creative tanks thread...

I've got a 55-gallon tank that could use some creative help. ;-)

We got a 55-gallon "high" acrylic tank at a garage sale beofre we thought
through just how I'm supposed to keep plants in it. It's four feet long
maybe a foot and a half deep, and no more than a foot front to back. Not
good dimensions for plants, to say the least.

I've recently gotten an obsession with my inability to keep mollies
alive, so I was thinking I'd try this as a brackish tank to see if they
like that better. I would keep mostly sagiteria and Java ferns in there,
as they're supposed to be salt-tolerant and low-light tolerant.

However, considering this tank's depth, would I need a whole lot of light
for the plants at the bottom? I was beginning to wonder if lowering the
water level to, say, half-way would increase light penetration? I heard
somewhere the air is supposed to be more transparent than water.

If I did this, there would also be some interesting opportunities for
some emersed areas. Perhaps I could use large trays and put the pots with
the terrestrial plants in them on these to keep the plant water out of
the tank water and vice-versa? I could try to hide this with rocks and
such and elevate it above the water with sections of PVC pipe? If I layed
the pipe horizontally, I'd have really neat fish caves, but I would
either need really wide pipe or _lots_ of it.

Any input? Estimates of how much light I'd need?


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