• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Converting aquarium to terranium

Tom Michael

Member
Joined
16 Nov 2014
Messages
257
Hi all

I’m thinking of repurposing an old 120 L aquarium for emersed growing.

is there a good reference point- I’m not sure what type of misting I would need / whether I can somehow diy a water fall /drip with canister.

thanks!
 

X3NiTH

Member
Joined
13 Apr 2014
Messages
1,298
It’s all about keeping up relative humidity if leaving open top you’ll need to look for misting systems, search Aeroponics for a start to give you a foray into either low pressure or high pressure pumped water systems, for passive systems like waterfalls there’s lots of info to be found out there. SerpaDesign on YouTube does some great videos on the subject.

:)
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,006
Location
Netherlands
When it comes to spraying and misting you need to feed it from a separate canister containing demi water or rainwater.
Using tap water or fertilized water will leave a lot of staining and salt build-up.. Thus doing this with tank water is a nono... :) And it will also clog the spray nozzles rather soon.

A waterfall from tank water will actually do the same thing everything in its splash zone will be stained... This might require regularly spraying demi water several times a day to flush it off and prevent staining. Could be quite a labor intensive.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,185
Location
Nottingham
I've been looking into this myself. My own plan was possibly to use Epiweb - or Epiweb faced with Hyrgolon sheet - and use a spraybar drip system at the top of the Epiweb, attached to a small pump, to keep it constantly wet.

That said I have no idea if that is sufficient in an open topped tank, or if misting is still required?
 

Tom Michael

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Nov 2014
Messages
257
I've been looking into this myself. My own plan was possibly to use Epiweb - or Epiweb faced with Hyrgolon sheet - and use a spraybar drip system at the top of the Epiweb, attached to a small pump, to keep it constantly wet.

That said I have no idea if that is sufficient in an open topped tank, or if misting is still required?
Exactly what I was wondering! I’m using a tank with lid so this will help humidity somewhat
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,006
Location
Netherlands
If you keep the tank open-top then you could keep e number of regular houseplants in it. The small Ficus sp. could do very well on Epiweb... Some Bromelia sp. and Peperomia sp. also and a couple of undemanding ferns... What you need in relative wet substrate conditions is sufficient light.

But it will significantly limit your choices in tropical bog plants. Read the Emersed Growing forum section to find some inspirations. :)
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,185
Location
Nottingham
If you keep the tank open-top then you could keep e number of regular houseplants in it. The small Ficus sp. could do very well on Epiweb... Some Bromelia sp. and Peperomia sp. also and a couple of undemanding ferns... What you need in relative wet substrate conditions is sufficient light.

But it will significantly limit your choices in tropical bog plants. Read the Emersed Growing forum section to find some inspirations. :)

@zozo how do mosses cope in an open top situation on continuously watered Epiweb?
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,006
Location
Netherlands
@zozo how do mosses cope in an open top situation on continuously watered Epiweb?

Hard to say mosses are stubborn and sensitive but also a very versatile lifeform and there are just too many moss sp. And very few people know how to propperly id them... They can flourish for a long time and then suddenly for whatever mysterious reason decide to go to sleep and turn brown or even completely disappear. For me experienced personally, the hardiest moss to grow emersed indoors is a Liverwort and I can't identify which one it truly is. I only know it came from a friend that bought it in some terrarium shop. All other mosses gave inconclusive results in the long term.

I can advise you not to spend too much money on mosses, but look around in nature and gather whatever you find and like and give it a try. Each house and believe it or not even each corner in this house has its own micro-climate. In one corner they can do fine, move it to another corner and they can be gone in no time.

And if you have potted plants in the house put the mosses you find also on the soil at the plant's base. If it likes to grow there you're already halfway and always have a moss supply... :)

A tip you could use in nature is look at what wind direction the moss grows, for example on a tree. Northside then it's a moss that likely prefers low light conditions. In any other direction, it prefers more light. This could be an indication how well it might do in an artificially rather relatively strong lit environment.
 
Last edited:

Tom Michael

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Nov 2014
Messages
257
Does anyone have the options available for the background material- something I can attach various plants?
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,185
Location
Nottingham
There are a number of options Tom, I think traditionally a material called Xaxim made from dried fern was used in panels. You can also get panels made from coco fibres. As I understand these, being natural products, do leach some substances (acids and tannins etc), and do biodegrade over time.

There are now man made alternatives, the main ones I have come across are EpiWeb (Epiweb) which looks to be a thick fibrous material similar in structure to the Xaxim panels which is supposed to be good for plants to root in but don't biodegrade over time, and Hygrolon (EpiWeb - A Better Xaxim!) which appears to be a thinner woven nylon material that is supposed to be very good at wicking and retaining water. As I understand it, both materials can be used together to combined the benefits of each.

I ordered a couple of pieces of each yesterday for my own projects, so I will have a better idea of how they work soon, however I'm sure there must be people on this forum who have used them.
 

Tom Michael

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Nov 2014
Messages
257
There are a number of options Tom, I think traditionally a material called Xaxim made from dried fern was used in panels. You can also get panels made from coco fibres. As I understand these, being natural products, do leach some substances (acids and tannins etc), and do biodegrade over time.

There are now man made alternatives, the main ones I have come across are EpiWeb (Epiweb) which looks to be a thick fibrous material similar in structure to the Xaxim panels which is supposed to be good for plants to root in but don't biodegrade over time, and Hygrolon (EpiWeb - A Better Xaxim!) which appears to be a thinner woven nylon material that is supposed to be very good at wicking and retaining water. As I understand it, both materials can be used together to combined the benefits of each.

I ordered a couple of pieces of each yesterday for my own projects, so I will have a better idea of how they work soon, however I'm sure there must be people on this forum who have used them.
Thanks that’s really helpful, I will do some research on these options. would be great if anyone has experience on pros and cons!?
 

mort

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
1,706
If you are creating a drip wall back then you can also just use a coarse sponge material. Serpa design has shown this and it seems to work very well if you cover it with moss. It might not be the best looking solution but it's very easy to plant by cutting slits in it.
I think this is how the dooa paluda tanks work but they likely have a fancy name for the sponge sections.
 
Top