My container pond journal

Joshaeus

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Hi everyone! I set up a container water garden Monday. Here are the specs;
Container; A 17 gallon round storage tote, with drainage holes added. I covered it with a lid of hardware cloth and PVC pipes.
Electrical equipment; A 400 watt titanium aquarium heater. Currently it is set to 72 degrees, which it is maintaining handily in spite of nights in the high 30's/low 40's fahrenheit; I may set it a bit higher during summer.
Plants; None yet, but I have an Indiana hardy water lily and some hornwort coming in the mail. The water lily will be planted in a 2 gallon oil drip pan (already in the water garden) that was filled with 6 cups topsoil and 12 cups pool filter sand.
Animals; Again, none yet, but I am planning on raising some Betta smaragdina fry in this water garden. I am going to add some Moina (a cladoceran related to daphnia, but smaller and more prolific) about a week before the fry go in so that they have a food source they can immediately exploit.
Care regime; I am going to top off the water garden whenever the water level dips below the thermometer in the container, and do weekly 5 gallon water changes; the water lily will receive a root tab the same day to ensure I do not forget to fertilize it. Of course, the bettas will need to be fed as well...
When the plants arrive, I will place a piece of 50% shade cloth over them for the first week, then remove half of it for the next week, then take it off after that.

No pictures yet, but I will post one tomorrow. Thanks for looking :)
 
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Joshaeus

Joshaeus

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Hi everyone! I realized I failed to post a picture yesterday as I promised, so here are some pictures of the water garden;
Water garden 5 8 2020.jpeg

Water garden closeup.jpeg

Not much to report yet, just wanted to post the pictures. I happened to catch my hydroponics setup in one of the pictures, so I went ahead and took a picture of it;
Hydroponics setup.jpeg

Thanks for looking :)
 
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Joshaeus

Joshaeus

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Hi everyone! My Indiana water lily has not shipped yet...the label was printed, but the lily has not gone anywhere. Thus, I took one of the water lilies growing off of the tuber in Azure's tank and potted it up in a 12 ounce betty crocker container filled with pool filter sand and (in the bottom half) some fertilizer. I based my method of planting it off of this article;

Time will tell if that works...
 
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Joshaeus

Joshaeus

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Hi everyone! The indiana water lily arrived today after being in the mail four days...as expected, it looked rough, with the floating pads and some of the roots being dry. The new pads (the ones that were still folded up) and some of the other roots looked OK, so I trimmed the dead floating pads and planted the lily in the oil pan; I also broke up two fertilizer tabs and placed them in various spots in the substrate near the lily. Time will tell if it pulls through...
 
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Joshaeus

Joshaeus

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Hi everyone! I have bad news and I have good news. The bad news is that the seller of the Indiana water lily has not contacted me yet about my concerns regarding that lily's health on arrival. The good news is that the lily is growing! It just opened two new (albeit deformed) pads today, and several more are in the process of growing towards the water surface; the newest looks like it will be a normal looking lily pad.
 
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Joshaeus

Joshaeus

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Hi everyone! Today was an unseasonably warm 87 fahrenheit (almost as warm as it ever gets...even in July, highs above 89 are rare), and I thus got an opportunity to see how warm the water garden got on my concrete patio. The top of the water garden reached 88 degrees; however, the bottom was a significantly cooler 84 degrees - still quite warm, but perfectly hospitable to the tropical or warm temperate fishes I would likely keep in it (in all probability my Betta smaragdina pair, which would be quite happy with 84); nighttime air temps are almost never warmer than the low 70's here, even in summer, and are often quite a bit lower (thus the heater will not be unplugged during the summer). I may purchase some 4*4's to elevate the water garden off the patio, as suggested on a thread I posted regarding this water garden's temperature on another forum.
 
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Joshaeus

Joshaeus

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Thanks! And that is what I will do.

Speaking of which, the water garden is a tad unsightly currently...has a substantial amount of algae, both filamentous and free floating, and I am not quite sure what to do about it (I removed the hornwort because it fell apart in my water garden). In more positive news, the Indiana water lily is growing rapidly and is shooting up several new pads a week.
 
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Joshaeus

Joshaeus

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Thanks! I should get a new picture soon...I purchased some water lettuce to shade the water garden and aid with algae control, and will add some star grass from my indoor aquariums as an oxygenator.
 

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