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I've gotten a few questions on this one so here it is. I'll do my best to talk you through it. If I'm unclear ask on instant message me.

The PC term for these is Paludarium. Their main adavantages are that they are designed for indoors and offer a side view of the pond, adding another dimension to the aquatic experience.With plants on top, a waterfall or stream, and perhaps a year round blooming tropical water lily, scenes of the Amazon spring to mind. Add fish, frogs, newt, or a turtle and natures sagas unfold before your eyes.

Materials: glass aquarium, plastic mesh to fit width of aquarium,filter pad media of same size as mesh cloth, very small recycleing pump, support rocks (brick size), aquarium heater (if necessary), air tubing, planting media, small pebbles, pea gravel, aquarium gravel (optional), plants, fish, etc.

1. Cut 1/2" hardware cloth or plastic mesh to fit tank for land area. Cut to create desired shoreline.

2. Cut filter pad to match cloth/mesh with a 1" overhang on all sides to secure a tight fit against the tank walls.

3. Place support rocks such to steadily keep mesh on top. Place pump in corner of tank behind rocks and cut a hold in the mesh for the pump cord and tubing.

4. Cut and place filter pad over mesh, cutting a slit to accomodate pump cord and tube.

5. Use extra filter padding aroung sides and back of tank to keep soil in place. Add planting media to areas where you plan to plant. If you are putting in species that don't like to sit in their water, build up mounds so that they have a drainage area bellow them. Plant bare rooted plants into soil.

6. Use heavy clay soil mix for lillies and other plants to go in water section of tank and plant the bare rooted plants into it.

7. Use pea gravel to cover aquatic soil and bottom of tank. Pea gravel may also be used in marginal area between your plants for you mini stream bed. PLant Azolla to create a mossy ground cover.

8. Add water VERY slowly to keep muddying to a minimum. Soil should settle from the water within a day or 2 though.

9. The roots of the plants will grow down through the filter pad and mesh into the water as the plants gain lushness naturalness. As long you do not fill the tank all the way up to whatever level you set the land your plants will always have a drainage area and not really sit in water to rot, it will always be circulating due to the stream.

10. Use a larger stone to hide to pump outlet. If water is too quickly absorbed use plastis kitchen wrap or scrap plastic to line the desired stream path and cover lightly with pea gravel.

**It is important to keep in mind that you need to cover you soil in some manner or it will get washed away.

**You do not have to build in the stream, it is just a natural way to airate/circulate the water and raise humidity. The height you set your shoreline at with your support rocks determines how deep your water level can be.

**Water level should always be bellow shoreline, this allows your stream to waterfall into your pond which looks very nice if done right.

***************MOST IMPORTANT**************
Hey Flint,
That sounds really cool!

Do you have any pics of a completed one that you've done?
Not right now, but I could track down a digital cam and take some probably. I'll work on it ok. They do look really cool, I've seen some huge absolutly goegeous ones.
This has been getting talked about lately so I thought it was a good idea to resurface my write up for you guys. Hope it helps someone.
Would darlingtonia be good with that running water underneath them? What if it was cool water?
a younger darlingtonia would be ok, keep in mind though that they do get fairly large and are invasive, if left to run amuk they would deffinatly over run anything else in the tank.
You could just cut away runners and stuff like that for something else... Like selling here on the trading post, and just keep the rest in your tank. That'd be kewl...
Ya, one could do that, darlingtonia get tall too though as they age. You can gat away with that only if you have an uncovered tank, which, then almost defeats the purpose of using an aquarium. I don't know, I tried it and the poor thing croaked. Still kinda sad about that.
If there was ANY way for me to have to do very little in order to keep roots cold, i would find having a darlingtonia to be the best thing in the world!!!!
  • #10
Well, darlingtonia would rule out the possibilty of using a heater of Any type for keeping the tank humid, if that's not a concern than I guess go ahead and try it. Ultimately it's your' plant and your tank, I'm just making sudgestions. I don't feel like anything beyond a 6 inch tall darlingtonia would be happy in the tank, after that they try too hard to spread like a plague, which is good, except when you have to hack them back to keep form over running your tank. I think they are much better suited for a more open bog environment. Even a mini bog can very neatly accomodate a cobra lily. In my opinion, the best candidates for a paludarium are...
1. any variation of venus fly trap
2. all temperate butterworts
3. any sundew you don't mind yanking out or can put into dormancy
4. Small Sarr's
5. Almost all bladderworts
6. Byblis are ok

You can also create a tank full of plants that don't need a dormancy, in which case, the sky's the limit really, just keep in mind that someday you may have to remove it if it is a plant that gets big. Sarracenia Flave for example, would be really stupid to put in a 30 gallon tank, it get's WAY too big. Purpurea is perfect, it will never be too tall.
  • #11
Oh, I'm not making a tank.... I was just wondering if there is an easy way to keep Darlingotnia roots cooll..
  • #12
Move to Oregon! lol :biggrin:
  • #13
Havron saves the day again...
Oh, and the answer: NO! CaNaDiAn is the way to stay dude!!!
  • #14
I'm thinking I might try a bog in a jar. Remember those glass water jugs (10 gallon I think) you used to be able to buy? I guess a plastic one would work as well. It might be a little tricky getting the plants in though.
  • #15

I saw something similar to what you mentioned on HGTV. You use one of those glass jars with an airtight lid. You add a layer of gravel, then a layer of charcoal, then some sort of screen (like the kind used in windows) to keep the soil mix from seeping down. I think a good mix for noncarnivores would be 2:1:1:1 peat/perlite/vermiculite/sand with some charcoal.

Plants to use: I think the best noncarnivore for such a terrarium would be Fittonia (nerve plants). They're small, like high humidity, moisture, warmth, and low light.

Carnivores to use: things get difficult here. Because the terrarium is airtight, placing in direct sun (what most carnivores require) would fry the plant within. You couldn't use anything tall, e.g. upright Sarracenia. Because they're so tough and tolerant, Drosera capensis may work. I'd try capensis 'alba.'

Flint, have you visited this site?
Those poison dart frogs are incredible!
And do you think climbing (vining) Nepenthes would do well in one of these paludaria? They'd look very nice climbing up the back wall. I think by far the best plants to use would be tropicals. They look great all year and don't have to be removed for dormancy. It is also easier and cheaper to heat a terrarium than it is to cool one.

Happy Easter!

  • #16
Yes, and I think their prices are outrageous. A climbing Nep over runs the tank too fast for my tastes. I like Neps like Ventricosa Red, and the like, that stay really compact as the grow. Nep. Madagascarenisis is also a great choice. I have seen huge paludariums that were very happily accomidating Sarr. Flava. It was about 4'x8' and went floor to ceiling in this rich guys house! I want to do that someday! He had a sky light above it, god it looked good. He had like some lizards in there and other small animals, it was just really cool.
  • #17
Thanks for the nep suggestions. When I try one of these, I'll use more compact growers. A highland paludarium would be interesting--Sphagnum would grow like crazy and look very nice.

But if I had the money and space, the sky's the limit! :)