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Re: aquarium wall

> Date: Fri, 06 Jun 1997 22:24:06 -0500
> From: Ed Hengel <hengel at computer_net>
> Subject: aquarium wall
> A friend of mine just bought a house on a lake and after seeing my tanks
> has asked me to set up a state of the art planted tank using an entire
> 9' wide by 8' tall wall.  Does anyone know where I can get pictures,
> ideas, for him to look at?  I'm thinking at least a 125 gal. tank
> against a stone wall with terrestrial plants all around with their own
> lighting system, maybe water falling down the stone work into the tank.
> I've got cart blanche and a sizable budget.  Any help or ideas on this
> would be greatly appreciated.

There's a good web page at http://www.vivaria.nl, a Dutch company that
builds large vivaria and "indoor rainforests".  It should give you some

There's a company in Toronto that builds similar systems, mainly in
places like corporate offices and homes of wealthy people.  I saw their
exhibit at the Royal Winter Fair (an annual national agricultural show
in Toronto) and went out to their headquarters for their open house.
They use a lot of bromeliads, orchids and other epiphytic plants on the
walls which they cover with large pieces of natural cork bark.  The water
containing parts are fibreglassed plywood boxes, which they build in
connecting shapes of different depths for the mostly emersed or floating
water plants.

One thing you should bear in mind is how much skill with plants and animals
your friend has and how much time and effort he can put into maintenance. 
E.g. instead of orchids, you might be better off planting the wall with
inexpensive tough houseplants like pothos and ivy and replace them if they
get ratty.

It sounds like a wonderful project.  Report back to us as you go along!

Btw, beware of lime leaching from the mortar in the stone wall if you plan
to run water over it.  You may need to seal it somehow first.  You should
also find out if the climate will cause structural problems if the wall
remains wet in the winter.