I love plants, but I have allergies, and over/underwater, any plants I’ve ever had, so I have a problem. You might think this isn’t a problem. There are tones of plants without pollen, but soil (that holds water for your plants) can also create a mold (which is a common allergy). But what about succulent plants or air plants? No soil needed, no mold, problem solved! Yes, but I seem to under or overwater them. So my solution to this problem is an underwater garden, no soil, just rocks, and you can’t overwater an aqua plant.
The next problem is how to create an aqua garden?
I have a 20-gallon freshwater tank with normal gravel and plants purchased from Amazon and PetSmart/PetCo. I have an LED light with white, red, green, and blue lights; and some decor made from resin. I have snails, shrimp, and fish in my tank to provide fertilizer for my plants, and they add some color to my view. I had time during the pandemic to think about this garden and research what I needed. You can go smaller, maybe have a mason jar with marimo moss balls and miniature decor from Michaels.
If you want your own underwater garden, below are questions you ask yourself and some helpful tips.
The photo above is a 20-gallon tank, each gallon weighs 8.34 (lb) or 3.785 (kg) for a total water weight of 166.8 (lb), and that doesn’t include the weight of the tank and any decor you might add. Make sure you place the tank on something that can support that weight. It doesn’t have to be a tank stand but make sure to check the support weight limit; it should be in the item’s description along with its size.
Is the spot near an electrical outlet, you will need a nearby outlet for the light, filter, a/o heater.
Plants need light, so you might think I can use sunlight, but aqua plants do not receive direct sunlight in nature. The direct sunlight will create algae everywhere, so keep the tank away from any windows.
Think about the light and noise from the tank before placing it in your bedroom. The filter might be whisper quiet, but water hitting water creates noise.
Plan you tank makes, snails can clean up algae, dead plants and provide natural fertilizer, but some also eat plants. I have Nerite snails, and they don’t breed in freshwater, don’t eat live plants, and have neat patterns/colors on their shells.
Is this too much work? Then go smaller! I started with a mason jar and some Marimo moss balls with glass beads. I went bigger because I also wanted a pet, and fish don’t require walking, and they don’t cough up hairballs on my bed.