My water garden journal


Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
44
Location
New England
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
United States
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 :)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
10,032
Reaction score
5,735
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Sounds like you have it all figured out! Is the overall size the 17 gallon tote, or is that going inside something larger — I couldn’t tell from the description.
 

Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
44
Location
New England
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
United States
Sounds like you have it all figured out! Is the overall size the 17 gallon tote, or is that going inside something larger — I couldn’t tell from the description.
The 17 gallon tote is the overall size. Thanks!
 

Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
44
Location
New England
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
United States
Hi everyone! I realized that I forgot to post pictures of my water garden, so I just went out and took some. Here you go;
Water garden closeup.jpeg

Water garden 5 8 2020.jpeg

Not much to report yet, just wanted to hold to my word. Also, I got a picture of my hydroponic setup (which appeared in one of my water garden pictures anyway);
Hydroponics setup.jpeg

Thanks for looking :)
 

Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
44
Location
New England
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
United States
Hi everyone! I got the hornwort in the mail since the above pictures were taken, though I am still waiting on the water lily (which has not shipped yet, though its label has been printed). In preparation for the (eventual) arrival of the water lily, I used some plastic planters to raise the oil pan above the bottom of the water garden, such that the water lily will be submerged only 6 inches when first planted. I will replace the plastic planters with 2.5 inch clay pots after the first few weeks, and a few weeks after that I may put the water lily directly on the floor of the water garden (entailing about 12-13 inches of water over the top of the soil in the oil pan).
 

Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
44
Location
New England
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
United States
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 one of my fish tanks (evidently Nymphaea pubescens, a nightbloomer commonly referred to as Nymphaea rubra in the aquarium hobby) and potted it up in a 12 ounce betty crocker container filled with pool filter sand and (in the bottom half) some fertilizer (I was going to use top soil for the bottom half...but my topsoil bag had a snake in it! I was quite startled, but once I calmed down I gently put the topsoil with the snake in it back where it was and just opted to use sand). I based my method of planting it off of this article; Growing Waterlilies In Dixie Cups

Time will tell if that works...the temperature is holding in the low to mid 70's, so I don't think temperature will be an issue. Some research showed that N. pubescens has 56 chromosomes...the same number as N. mexicana, which is semi-hardy. If I succeed at growing water lilies, I may try to hybridize the two in the future to create a semi-hardy nightblooming lily, as their equal chromosome counts should ease the process and might even leave the resulting hybrid(s) fertile.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
44
Location
New England
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
United States
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...
 
  • Like
Reactions: j.w

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
37,379
Reaction score
21,797
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
I had one I left laying by the pond, totally forgot about it. Many sunny days later I found it, looking bad, tossed it back into the water it came back. Lilies are tough.
 

Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
44
Location
New England
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
United States
I had one I left laying by the pond, totally forgot about it. Many sunny days later I found it, looking bad, tossed it back into the water it came back. Lilies are tough.
Fortunately, this lily was cut from the same cloth as yours...it is already growing again :) Two new (if somewhat deformed) floating pads have come up since I planted it Monday and several more are on the way; the youngest looks like it will be a normal lily pad. Let's hope it does well enough to bloom this year.
 

Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
44
Location
New England
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
United States
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 still 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.
 

Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
44
Location
New England
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
United States
Hi everyone! Here's an update. The good news; the Indiana water lily is growing quickly, shooting up at least several new pads a week (I haven't been counting, so I don't know the exact number) with no sign of slowing down. The bad news? The water garden is algae infested :( The water is decidedly green and there is also a large amount of filamentous algae in the water garden. I also had to remove the hornwort because it turned to mush...will need a replacement (have any ideas?). Would it be helpful to add moina, scuds, or some other small invert that eats algae? I have been adding seachem stability to help cycle the water garden.
 
Ad

Advertisements

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
37,379
Reaction score
21,797
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Anacharis is a good submerged water plant. Hornwort, does seem to mush when you first toss it in. Mine did then came back and is now a forest in our deep end.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joshaeus

Water hawthorn, Aponogeton Distachyos
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
221
Reaction score
44
Location
New England
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
United States
Thanks! Standard anacharis, Egeria densa, is a banned noxious weed in my state...are there any similar alternatives?
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top