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Re: Immersive Marginal Areas? (Moat making)

> From: "Chuck Lawson" <lawson at junglenet_com>
> 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

I've done this with several tanks, both fresh and saltwater for
several years and am very pleased with the results. I started
out using 'tupperware'/'rubbermaid' containers from Kmart and
then built custom 'moats out of plywood, 2x8's and plexiglass
as I got more sophisticated about it and wanted bigger setups.
I typically size it so there is 6" to 8" of margin all around
the tank (mine are viewable from all sides as islands in most
cases). The tank sits on a 1/2" thick sheet of pinkboard foam
in the middle of the moat.  I fill the remaining bottom space
with substrate of my choice (dif for salt vs fresh of course)
to a depth of 2" to 3" and voila -- instant inside out Palludium.
The water overflows from the tank into the moat, around in a
single path (one way action here) and then overflows down to a
sump and then is pumped back up to the tank after any filtering.
The sump can be eliminated if you like although saltwater setups
especially benefit from it, bien sur.

As to plants, for freshwater I use emersed plants I've got or
local plants from out woods and marshes. For the saltwater there
is the macro algae's, turtle grass, marsh grasses, etc. You may
need to trim periodically. Remember, this is a lawn/garden and
not a real wild spot in nature so it does require some attention.


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