Havanese Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
LOl! Thanks!

So, for those who don’t know... this is what I do in my “other life”! ;)
 

Attachments

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
Karen, how did you get started with these gardens and how long have you been creating them? Are they difficult to maintain?
I've been involved with aquariums all my life, since my parents ALSO had aquariums even as kids! But I had my first, very own, tank when I was 10. Ummm... so that make it... 56 years? LOL!

It depends. Some of the ones I posted above are quite complicated. Something like one of these below is pretty easy, IF they are set up RIGHT. And THAT is the important part, and what my book is for. There is a lot of TERRIBLE "advice" out there!
 

Attachments

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
About 10 years ago I was into low tech planted tanks. When I retired and started travelling south in the winter, I gave up the aquarium hobby and focused on outdoor ponds that I could leave on their own for a few months at a time.
Now, I am staying home year round and want to get back into planted tanks, and am interested in trying high tech. I'm going to take my time and spread the build out over the coming cold and rainy months (PacNW winter). Perfect Pandemic Project!
I remembered from some post here that Karen had written a book on the subject - I love just absorbing information in a new hobby, the book should be here tomorrow from Amazon. So excited! Maybe I will chronicle my build here, if anyone is interested.

As for grooming, well... again, I retired 10 years ago. I had become very jaded about dogs (and owners) at the time. Just the amount of bad health, poor care, matted, abscessed and flea ridden messes, lax and ignorant attitudes ... I'm probably not the one to give advice to potential groomers! The dog I choose to own when i retired was a MinPin who needed the least amount of grooming possible and I vowed to never own a dog with 'hair' again!

But, now, of course there is my Bingo boy - enough time has gone by and I take great pride in his beautiful coat and am grateful that I have the knowhow to keep it up.
The funny thing is that I've pretty much gone in the other direction. I don't really love the term "high tech" because I'm never sure what people mean by it. The only SURE dividing line I see is whether people use supplemental CO2 or not. And plants need EXACTLY the same "stuff" to grow no matter how you set up the tank. It's just a matter of amplitude. If you are going to use supplemental CO2, especially with a steady, high-pressure system, you have the POSSIBILITY of using high light, more fertilizers and therefore growing fast growing, colorful stems. It also means that you are now slave to the tank. LOL! The faster the plants grow, the more work the tank is, because you are CONSTANTLY trimming, removing plants, re-shaping, etc.

The Direction I've gone is to use supplemental CO2 with moderate light and slower growth plants. This gives you the best of both worlds. Tanks that are beautiful, easy to manage and maintain, and always look beautiful. Like my female Betta tank. This is all easy, slow-growth shade plants, but I run the tank with CO2. I do a big water change, wipe down the glass and clean the filter once every 3-4 weeks, and hack a bunch of plants out at the same time. Otherwise, I top up the water, and feed the fish. And it ALWAYS looks good. And I can go away for 3 weeks, have someone feed twice a week for me, and it STILL looks good when I get home. THAT'S the kind of tank I want in my life these days.

The tanks below that was my 6' Dutch style tank. This tank needed a 50% water change every week-10 days, which, on that size tank, took about 2 hours with a Python. While that was happening, I cleaned the glass, trimmed the plants, which NEEDED it EVERY week, and re-arranged whatever was getting out of hand. It was a TON of work. I ran that tank for about 6 years, it was gorgeous, but when we remodeled and that wall was knocked out (so there was no place for a 6' tank) I really didn't miss it! And the Dutch tank always looked AWFUL when I got back from a long trip, which was very discouraging. Of course, I could clean it up and recover it pretty quickly, but it was a lot of work when I came back home from an exhausting research trip.
 

Attachments

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
Oh, and I just found your website, Karen. Someone on The Planted Tank forum mentioned an article from your blog. And scrolling through, I found some info that is very timely and helpful for me - the one on your storing system for emersed plants.
I am finding that here, in Canada, most of the online aquatic plant sources are out of stock of most plants. My aquascape idea includes dark coloured bucephalandra, which I found at one dealer, so I ordered them even though I am not close to planting the tank yet. I will use your ideas to set up a basement 'nursery'.

https://www.sunkengardens.net/about

Are you active on any aquatic forums?
On the AGA FB page and on another FB page called Planted Nano and Betta Tanks. No forums.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JaJa

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
:jaw: I am forever amazed by people who keep any plant alive. My sister-in-law comes to our house and whispers to our dying succulents, "I am so sorry that you are trapped here. I will rescue you when they aren't looking."

Your stuff is brilliant.
LOL! Actually, though, I do REALLY POORLY with succulents. Maybe I can't help myself from over-watering them because I'm so used to aquatic and jungle plants? LOL! I've killed every jade plant and Christmas Cactus I've had, and they are SUPPOSED to be almost idiot proof! This is my "indoor tropics", though.
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: JaJa

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
I tried succulents once a few years ago. I thought it would be better because I wouldn't have to remember to water them as often. NOPE. It was way worse, lol. I think I watered them one time ever. They all died.
The nice thing about planted aquariums is that you have to go a REALLY LONG TIME before they run out of water! :pound:
 

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
Wow these are absolutely beautiful! I've had a lot of fish tanks over the years. From salt water to fresh water tanks, but I've never seen anything like these water gardens! I'm amazed that the plants will grow submerged in the water. Especially what looks like an African violet. Or is that an orchid? Gorgeous!
Oh, if you are talking about the BiOrb, there is no water in that! It is a terrarium! LOL!

The aquariums have aquatic plants in them. You can't keep terrestrial plants under water.... at least not for very long!
 
  • Like
Reactions: JaJa

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
I had many aquariums as a kid and used to save my allowance to buy new fish but I have never seen anything as gorgeous as the tanks you have created. I can't wait to show my son these pictures as he is getting started in fish as a hobby.
Thank you!
 
  • Like
Reactions: JaJa

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
Well, now I know who I can bug with mine. Lol. I'm debating doing a complete tear down and start over on my 26g tank. I had a huge Cyanobacteria bloom that hurt. I'm left with my blue-eyed yellow pleco, kuhlii loaches, and snails. Previously I had a large school of rasboras in there as well. Most of my plants did not survive except the moss, Java ferns, and the handfuls of duckweed I take out daily. Lol.

I've never had a tank that I can't balance, but this one is giving me grief. I think my bioload was way too small, so need to figure that one out. I have an amazing LFS though, so I really just need to plan it out and figure out what I want (I like livebearers). I just wish they'd make a prefilter sponge for my canister filter so I could throw a pile of shrimp in there too. Lol.

Itll probably cost $300 to replant it and another $100 - $200 to restock it. *cry*. But I need to get it going again.
Be best advice I can give you is plant heavily and stock lightly. :)
 

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
Here is my tank, so far - 68g Fluval Osaka 260 with hardscape and substrate in, plants on order, and my new step by step guide : )
LOVE it!!! i
I'm saving this picture, but when you get the tank going, and it's looking lovely, I want a photo of THAT with my book. I collect photos of my reader's tanks with my books!!! <3
 

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
LOL! My publisher was mad at me for responding at all. But at the time, the book had only recently come out, and it took my straight 5 start review and dropped it WAY down. (Because of percentages... it would have no weight now) and it seemed so unfair and petty. The “complaints were about things the book was never meant to be. I never SAID it was a biological text. It was SUPPOSED to hep BEGINNERS get started. Wasn’t my fault if he couldn’t read the cover! LOL! It just felt like a troll and hurt my feelings.

Ah well, I’ve learned to get a thicker skin. At that point, the book was still very much like a “first born child”! LOL!
 

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
Probably Egeria, although the one that is the biggest problem as an invasive non-native is Eurasian Milfoil, which has mostly come in via shipping, not the aquarium hobby. But invasive non-natives from ANY source, whether they come from aquarists, pond people, gardeners or boaters are a HUGE threat to the natural environment, and everyone should do their best to avoid letting it happen. It really isn’t hard to avoid letting things escape from an aquarium inside the house... it just takes thinking about it and disposing of plant material appropriately. Pond and garden foks need to be MUCH more thoughtful and careful about what plants they use and how they use them.
 

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
I Googled both and I do believe what we used was Egeria by the pictures I found. Yes, we have milfoil here too and lakes have had to be treated to control it. Not good.
The very first chapter of my book is "Biology of Aquatic Plants" and addresses the need to protect the natural places that NATIVE aquatic plants grow while protecting AGAINST invasive non-natives. It's very important, and a world-wide problem, not just here in the US. I've seen Asian plants in South America and South American plants in Asia and Australia. :(
 

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
Agreed about being careful! I use duckweed in mine which is invasive and as I said, I pull out habdfuls, but I'm so careful about disposing of it because of that. It doesn't go down the drain because our water ends up back in the river.
Well, duckweed (Lemna minor) is native in every state in the continental US and most of Canada. It's very aggressive, that's true. But people are not responsible for that. Birds do a GRET job of carrying that around. :) Good for you for being careful of ANYTHING from your aquarium. But duckweed was here before humans were.
 

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
Hi Karen, I can't find the post where you mentioned the supplement you and a couple others use. Berfore I open this I want to check again and make sure I ordered the right product.
No, it's Proviable DC. There are tons of different probiotics, and a lot of them are fine as probiotics. but that's the only one that has any track record in terms of eye stains.
 

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
Karen, I love your book! It was heavier than I was expecting and I like all the pictures. We had an aquarium over 20 years ago so I don't remember much. The only thing that's missing is words in all caps&#128523; I'm teasing you, I do admire your accomplishments.
I have Proviable DC in my cart for Chewy so I'll order that. I think I was remembering wrong. Did you post something about a supplement for joints? I think you mentioned that the vet recommended giving it to your dogs because you show them. I need to close some of my tabs and narrow my research.
I'm off to read a little bit about Sunken Gardens before I get ready for bed. Nice work Karen!
My vet recommends Glycoflex for all working dogs. Mine get Glycoflex 2, which is made from green mussels, because of Kodi's beef allergy. Regular Glycoflex is made of bovine trachea. Regular Glycoflex is fine for most dogs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JaJa

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
Just amazing! Congrats on the book, Krandall :)
Thanks! It's not new though... it's just "newly discovered" here on the forum. ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: JaJa

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
I had duckweed in a koi pond I had before we moved. Oh my gosh, I would scoop out buckets of the stuff (and put it in the compost pile). My corgi that I had at the time loved to eat it. Yuck!
What I am finding kind of interesting (and annoying!) is that it is showing up inside my totally enclosed paludarium (vivarium with a pond inside it). I have NO duckweed in any of my aquariums, and have never put any into the pauldarium. The aquatic plants that were plated in that tank were tissue culture plants, so were grown in sterile cultures. I did get some tropical terrestrial mosses from a couple of different places and I didn't SEE any duckweed on any of them, but it has to have come from SOMEPLACE. I will see three or four pieces, and carefully remove them with a teaspoon, because I do NOT want it to get started. For a few weeks, I won't see any, and then... POP! I see three or four pieces again! Evil stuff! LOL!
 

· Metrowest, MA
Joined
·
32,695 Posts
Thanks!
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top