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Introducing The Floating Garden

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by Flower Council • Friday February 6, 2015

Like plants, aquariums breathe life and beauty into a home. But while fish can make colourful and relatively low-maintenance pets, keeping their water clean can be a messy and time-consuming job. This is where the ‘Floating Garden’ comes in. 

The brainchild of Benjamin Graindorge and Duende Studios, this garden-cum-aquarium unites two life forms in one beautiful design.

Essentially a garden that floats on the surface of a fish tank, Graindorge’s design is also a microcosm that supports the cycle of life – and does away with the need to change the fish water! In a mutually beneficial relationship, the fish waste acts as a fertiliser for the plants, while the garden serves as a natural filtering system for the water, by absorbing nitrate pollutants.

 

How does the floating garden work?

The design uses two techniques for eliminating nitrate wastes:

  1. Gravel-bed filtration: Tank water moves over a tray where it seeps through a 5cm-layer of river-sand. The sand bed traps suspended waste particles and forms a host environment for the aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that transform Nitrogen into nitrates.
  2. Aquaponics: Nitrate-enriched water pours over a layer of plant-life. The plant roots extract the nitrates to sustain plant growth, which means that water returning to the tank is pure. 

 

Which plants work best?

Vegetation that is adapted to wet environments is essential to thrive in these conditions. Tomatoes or Amazon-basin plants, such as philodendrons and forest ferns are the ideal floating garden plants, while plants from an arid environment, such as cacti and succulents are a no-go. 

 

Create your own indoor garden

If the Floating Garden sounds a little elaborate for your tastes, why not create a simple indoor garden of your own, such as this easy DIY fern terrarium or air plant display?

Read more on The Joy of Plants ยป

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