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Re: [APD] Plants for OUTSIDE the aquarium?

Matt wrote:

> Can someone suggest something tall, leafy and hardy
> that will do well with some indirect sunlight? Does such a thing even
> exist?

My largest tank is flanked by a Ficus benjamina on one side and a large 
Schefflera on the other.  Both of the plants are in large pots on the floor 
and grow up over the aquarium.  Both have been more than 8 feet tall at 
times.  There's also a 6 foot Draecena in the area, and I'm trying to figure 
out how to move a Clivia into the space.

Hanging plants can be used around an aquarium for good effect.  Some people 
put shelves behind or beside their tanks and grow smaller plants to frame the 
tank.  Orchids are very good that way but they are not beginner plants.  Some 
plants can be planted in the aquarium and grown outside the tank.  Check out 
http://www.pbase.com/image/22528278 to see how Oliver Knott used Ficus 
pumilus (creeping fig), pothos and a few other plants for a great effect.

Wandering jews (Tradescantia fluminensis), Arrowhead vines (Syngonium 
podophyllum), pothos (Epipremnum aureum) and small Philodendrons are good 
beginner plants that can vine around an aquarium.  Larger Philodendrons and 
Swiss cheese plants (Monstera deliciosa -- something I used to call 
"split-leafed philodendron") are also pretty forgiving and can be very showy 
in pots beside a tank.  Parlor palms (Chamaedorea elegans) are hardy palms 
that can also make nice large tank-side plants.

There are really a kabillion or two different indoor plants that can be used 
around a tank.  Light is a little limiting, but it can help a lot if your 
tank is open-topped and lit either with metal halide pendants or hanging 
fluorescents.  Find a good shop near your home (probably not Home Depot, 
Lowes or Walmart) that handles good plants and has knowledgable employees.  
Then ask them questions and listen to the answers.  House plants can get 
fairly expensive if you do it wrong.

If you haven't grown potted plants before then having them around an aquarium 
should be helpful.  Not only can you transfer a lot of your aquarium plant 
knowledge to help you keep potted plants, but since the plants are part of 
your aquarium display you can give your potted plants the attention they need 
while you're enjoying your tank.

Roger Miller
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