#52: 284L Paludarium
Rick Dotson, Vienna VA USA
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Awards and Judge Comments

Second Place

Aquascape Details

Tank Size
122 x 46 x 51 cm (48 x 18 x 20 in)
Volume
284L (75 gallons)
Background
Dark Blue
Lighting
2ea. 175 watt metal halide pendants 2 ea. 4? strips w/compact PC?s - 110w over orchid 80w over aquarium
Filtration
Fluval 404 and Fluval 303. I have a home made automatic water change system. I use a power head to pump out 10gals and a solenoid to refill the tank. I use a programmable relay to do a weekly water change and daily top off. I also do a manual water change once a week
Additional Information

I decided to go topless because I could not see the flowers or the floating plants. I have always had houseplants siting on and around my aquarium so I decided to combine them. The orchids tend to bloom in late winter and spring, and the carnivorous plants bloom in the summer.

This is my idea of a small creek bank. The plants and fish were chosen for compatible growing conditions. The cave and tree roots (left) represent a creek bank with many hiding places. As you move away from the bank the creek becomes more open with grasses and a tree stump (right). The land section shows the transition from water to bog to land with epiphytes growing on the trees. Driftwood (left) serves as a waterfall providing growing space for mosses and phrags. A tree stump (middle) has a Nepenthes growing out of the middle. Carnivorous plants and phrags grow in the small bog on the right. The back wall in covered with cork and Spanish moss. Several orchids are mounted to the back wall on cork.

I use CO2 to maintain pH at 6.2 with a KH of 4dH (for the orchids). I also have installed a 70w dupla cable with a home made power supply. I use a programmable relay to do my weekly water change and daily top off.

I made a plexiglass box to house the bog garden with a plexiglass backsplash to protect the wall from the overspray. I used eggcrate to mount the orchids. This project was more challenging than I had expected. The bog required a lot of custom work, i.e. lots of trail and error. The tank has been running for about seven months. I am very happy with the results.

Plants
Water Plants Sagittaria, Red Tiger Lotus, Amazon Sword Plant, , Hygrophilia difformis, Riccia, Duckweed, Java Fern, Hygrophilia polysperma, Vallisneria gigantea, Cryptocoryne wendtii
Bog Plants Lizard?s Tail, Pygmy Chain Sword, Java Moss, 3 types of locally collected moss, dragon flame, Bacopa Carolinaiana
Orchids 3 type of Phragmipedium, Bulbophyllum, Oncidium, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, Philodola ruba
Carnivorous Plants Nepenthes (tropical pitcher plant) , Drosera capensis (narrow red leaf), Drosera nitidula x pulchella,
Others Tillandsias and Bromeliads
Fish/Animals
Corydoras aeneus, Pterophyllum scalare, Aequidens maronii, Botia macracantha, Apistogramma trifasciata, Nannostomus sp. "Coral Red"??, Paracheirodon innesi, Hyphessobrycon serpae, Flying fox, Rivulus, Ameca Splendens, Red Fire Loricara
Materials
Driftwood, rocks, cork