is it a good time to plant?

BigD

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I am researching the idea of a low-tech or a tech-free windowsill tank. The current thinking is for a shallow tank which would include some marginal plants growing emersed. I have no specific plants in mind at the moment, but I am leaning towards North American plants.

As autumn is approaching, is now a good time to set up such a low-tech system, especially if no heater is going to be used? Will the herbaceous nature of some of these plants result in die-back as they prepare for winter or will the warmer water temperatures prevent this from occurring? Basically, should I hold off from setting up such a tank until the spring when the plants are more likely to be growing?
 

Tim Harrison

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It all depends on what plants you want to grow. The lack of a heater probably won't matter too much if you have central heating. If however, you'd like to keep tropical fish you may need to buy one. Although, there are a number of temperate species that will be fine at room temp https://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/features/how-to-set-up-a-temperate-tank-that-looks-tropical/

Other than that I think the single most important factor will be lighting, again depending on what you want to grow. Some species won't do so well as the days get shorter photoperiodism can have an influence on life cycles etc. So you may want to consider buying a light, it'll cover most bases and give you greater flexibly. Either way "easy plants" with low light requirements like ferns, crypts, and anubias could be a good option.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
is now a good time to set up such a low-tech system, especially if no heater is going to be used?
I think now is a quite a good time, if you leave it much longer low ambient light levels may effect plant growth.

Have a look at Marcel's (@zozo) outside tanks, it should give you some ideas about which plants are <"likely to survive the winter">.
which would include some marginal plants growing emersed.
Most aquarium plants you can buy are really marginal plants that want to become emersed. In a shallow tank they will just grow out of the water.

Have a look at <"Emersed on a window-sill">.

cheers Darrel
 
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zozo

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Have a look at Marcel's (@zozo) outside tanks
Haven't updated it lately, but i will... But i guess this project bellow is a better example, it stands virtually on a window sil, 30cm from a south-east facing window.


https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/where-the-jungle-meets-red-rock-creek.56867/page-6

Bog plants are rather difficult to keep happy indoors during winter period without artificial light. They can survive but significantly die back and have to start over again in the spring. Fast-growing house plants that don't mind wet feet are a nice addition to keep some green emerged growth the winter over... Cyprus and is a good option, as above shows, currently, its twice the size as the older picture shows. Some are very resilient plants... Other grassy plant sp. might do as well. Out of my head, Anthuriums, Syngoniums, Chamaedorea, Ficus and quite a few more, I have to look up myself again. :) And maturity is a good thing, it might be a slow start and plants get more robust after each summer and suffer less drawback... Thus a late summer start isn't ideal, it's a trial and error.

Actually, about anything that does well as Hydroculture plant indoors could do well...
http://www.hydro-culture.net/plants.html
 

BigD

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Some interesting threads and some beautiful tanks to explore.. Thank you.

Most aquarium plants you can buy are really marginal plants that want to become emersed. In a shallow tank they will just grow out of the water.
This is what I hope to explore. I have tried low-tech setups with house plants before, with some success, but have never used plants sold as aquarium plants emersed. Looking though a number of online retailers, there are a number of plants, e.g. Ludwigia, Limnophila and Persicaria, amongst others that tolerate low temperatures, as low as 4C. I was wandering what effect it would have on such plants if introduced to an aquarium where the temperature did not drop so low, particularly as this period is approaching?

As for fish, I will probably use Heterandria formosa and/or Badis badis. I have kept both of these in unheated aquariums, in a centrally heated room, previously and both spawned successfully.
 

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