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Immersive Marginal Areas?

I'm in the process of setting up a new plant tank; it's a 9', 150 gallon
setup with 750 watts of 5500K metal halides suspended around 20 inches above
the surface of the tank (1 250 over each 3' section), to allow for an open
area for plants to grow out of the water.

I'm trying to figure out a way to rig an immersive / bog planting area
around the rim of the tank, on the back and on the sides.  What I'd like to
do is have a margin of around 2" of suspended substrate in some sort of
channel that has holes so that tank water can keep the substrate wet.  I
want to plant some of the shorter pond marginals in this area (I'm thinking
some of the shorter varieties of Taro, and I'm looking for any other
suggestions for plants in the 3 - 12 inch height range).

The only idea I've had thus far was to take and use either plastic rain
gutter, or plastic rain gutter downspout channels (a little narrower and in
a full square) cut in half for this area, and then drill them so that water
can get in.  Unfortunately, I've not come up with an attractive way to
suspend them.  I've thought about using some of the aquarium epoxy (such as
is used to glue coral bases in reef applications), but I'm not sure that it
has the strength to hold these up, particularly since there will be a lot of
unsupported weight during water changes.   I could just do pillers of PVC
sections or something, but this is a display tank in the dining room, and
whatever I do has to be attractive -- part of how I sold the idea to my wife
was that all of the equipment would be concealed :-)

Other minor details include that this area is fully enclosed in a cabinet,
with a removable plexiglass front area and mirrored plexiglass behind the
"open air" area (angled slightly to reflect the surface of the water), and
the whole mess is sealed tight against the cabinet, so a hanger that goes
over the the lip of the tank isn't really an option either...  (yes, I
know -- how tight of a corner can I paint myself into? :-)

Has anybody figured out a simple attractive way to do something like this?
Any gotchas to watch out for?


- Chuck Lawson