An underwater garden

For a while I’ve wanted to try my hand at a planted aquarium. I’ve seen photos of lush underwater landscapes that support an entire ecosystem of fish and about two months ago I set out to set up my very first planted tank. I think some folks call this aquascaping and since it’s plants in a type of container, I think I’ll keep up with my progress here. I waited before I posted just in case I was a failure and all the plants died off, but they are still going strong, and I have fish and shrimp (…and snails).


I’ll start with the set up. I have a 20 gallon tank with a basic filtration system, heater, and lights. I added a substrate specifically for planting-a mix of fine and larger gravel and some RO water about 3 inches from the bottom. This allowed me to landscape. Into the tank went a couple pieces of driftwood (already soaked and ready to go) and a variety of plants. Fill her up with more RO water and turn on the filter and stare eagerly through the glass. Not too bad.

Maintenance hasn’t been too bad…similar to the containers on the balcony. Trim and remove dead leaves as needed. I have 4 cardinal tetras and 2 zebra danios, ghost shrimp, and some snails that hitched a ride in on something. I’ll have to keep an eye on them since they eat plants, so far they seem to be eating only the dead stuff.

The bulbs I planted a month ago are sprouting-a water lily and an aponogeton are coming up.

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