Simple DIY Planter

  • Nina_W
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Nina_W created the topic: Simple DIY Planter

If, like me, you want lush growth in a tank without a suitable plant substrate, you need to make a planter. Luckily, it's dead simple.

You will need:

One waterproof, non-toxic container for your plants.
Terracotta pots work wonderfully, glass jars too, in my case I used:

A small ceramic pot made by Justin in preschool, glazed and fired.

Inside this container you will need a plant-friendly growing medium, filled up to about a cm from the top.
Inside my little pot you can see mom's garden soil(patent pending) , but any growing medium will do. If you want, stick a root tab in there as well :)

Then, you will need a selection of plants (in my case cuttings) that you would like to grow.

Here, I have mostly anacharis, plus some hygro and some wisteria. Wicket tends to murder the hygro, but I will keep trying!

Finally, you need some substrate to cap your soil.

Lovely Johannesburg pink granite.
It does two things: anchors plants and prevents muddy water.

The next step requires that you basically stick your plants into the soil, then, once they're all in there, you cover the base of the whole lot with your substrate, making it look like so:


Gently place in the tank, in your desired spot:


here's one I did a month or more ago, the round leafed hygro in there has been murdered, but the wisteria is growing nicely, and the sunset hygro is nearly touching the surface!

you can just make out the little heart-tulips on the pot I planted them in.

Happy planting :)
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tehmole replied the topic: Simple DIY Planter

awesome idea ... but how would you keep your O away from pulling the plants apart???

i love your planted tank .. but the maintenance and cleaning ... is it tough?
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Simple DIY Planter

Good idea... tried that but when my Butch decides a plant has to go.. it goes. Like a contest with him, how many times do I pull these up till Dad gives up? He hasnt won yet but is getting the upper hand on me!


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  • Nina_W
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Nina_W replied the topic: Simple DIY Planter

tehmole wrote: awesome idea ... but how would you keep your O away from pulling the plants apart???

i love your planted tank .. but the maintenance and cleaning ... is it tough?


I don't. Wicket pulls some apart, but others manage to stay, root, and grow well.

My little planted tank is seriously low maintenance. Once a week a small water change, prune a bit, and that's it really. Every two months or so I wipe the glass.
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  • ehall67
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ehall67 replied the topic: Simple DIY Planter

Nice diy lol IDK about the hearts tho lol! you give me a hard time about fake plants so I SOOOO have to give you a hard time about heart tulips lmao!

it is nice tho I wonder if I could get some more shallow and wider dishes and do it maybe make it seem more hidden

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  • JasonR
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JasonR replied the topic: Simple DIY Planter

Very nice Nina! Thanks.:). My black nasty doesn't seem to bother the plastic plants too much so I might try live in his tank some time.
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ML replied the topic: Simple DIY Planter

That a great idea, looks fantastic.
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  • Richardb1976
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Richardb1976 replied the topic: Simple DIY Planter

1994 pre school I was 18 lol
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Nina_W replied the topic: Simple DIY Planter

ehall67 wrote: Nice diy lol IDK about the hearts tho lol! you give me a hard time about fake plants so I SOOOO have to give you a hard time about heart tulips lmao!

it is nice tho I wonder if I could get some more shallow and wider dishes and do it maybe make it seem more hidden


Thanks Eddie.

Be respectful, that pot is older than either of us - my dad gave it to my mom on their first valentine's day when they were dating. The plant that was in it (an african violet) is still growing but in a much bigger pot. Fifteen years later it became my very first fishtank decoration ... it seems fitting to still have an aquatic use for it.

And the little cup, well that's fairly sentimental too, as you can imagine :)

But yes, a longer, shallower tray will allow you to hide it more easily ... except that it would limit the depth of your soil quite a bit. I've been wondering if you couldn't do this with hollowed out driftwoods/hollow rocks for a much more natural planter. If you turn a 'cichlid stone' (those weird fake white rocks they sell for malawi cichlids mostly) upside down, this could work too.

This mostly saves the plants from being dug up, and gives them a chance with a good substrate. It doesn't help with them being shredded, and a much bigger planter would let your fish dig in it, which negates the usefulness.
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  • ehall67
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ehall67 replied the topic: Simple DIY Planter

OHHH OK I see the whole purpose now DUH thanks for enlightening me... and I really like the driftwood and rock idea something for sure to look into now ..

hell never thought of it pet smart drills in driftwood and will put some Java fern in it to grow!

you may be on to something good!



no where am I going to find a rock drill :dry: .... :whistle:

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