I’ve moved the plant wall into the sun porch for the next two months. Terry wants to change his tank to a larger one and I need to solve my recurring aphid problem, so the wall’s out!
When I move the plant wall back in I’m going to make a couple changes. I am going to mount the gutter on the room’s wall instead of attaching it to the plant wall. Moving the plant wall with the gutter attached was not a productive act. The way I’d built it, the gutter couldn’t be removed from the plant wall without taking the plant wall off the room wall. The only way to set the wall down was on the gutter. Yeah, it was ugly. There was no permanent damage done but it was beyond messy.
The mounting system is a success. The plant wall was easy to lift off the mounting bracket. I’d definitely recommend using that scheme. To hang the plant wall in the sun porch Terry used deck screws to fasten a beveled 2×4 to the horizontal support beam in the sun porch. The wall slipped right on it with no fuss.
I’m using a temporary gutter right now made out of billboard vinyl. It’s not bad! The hydroton is light and takes up enough room so when the gutter is full of water it isn’t too heavy for the quick and dirty support assembly I build using 2 sticks screwed to the ends of the wall frame holding up a metal rod taped and rolled into the vinyl at the front. The vinyl trough ends are folded up and stapled to the wall frame. It doesn’t leak and it doesn’t add to the weight of the wall. It’s not a permanent solution but it is a quick and dirty temporary one that works. The drain is a threaded bulkhead fitting with a piece of plastic water pipe inserted in the top. The water pipe has holes drilled to allow the water to drain. The closer to the top of the pipe, the more holes I drilled. It’s just enough to let the gutter flood to the right depth and slowly drain when the pump shuts off.
I’ve got the pipe for the new gutter ready to cut and mount but I’ll wait until the new aquarium is in so I know where to place my drain hole. The new aquarium is 18″ longer so I have some good options. I won’t be able to use a hard plastic threaded bulkhead because of the curve of the pipe but I have some Uniseal bulkhead fittings. If I don’t have the right size I’ll order some more.
To keep the fish in the aquarium happy and healthy, I’m doing the water changes via buckets. I siphon 5 gallons of water out of the 25 gallon wall receptacle and I siphon 5 gallons of water out of the aquarium. Then I dump the aquarium water into the plant wall receptacle and the plant wall water into the aquarium. It doesn’t take long, isn’t messy and isn’t very tedious so I’ll continue to do that twice a week until Terry gets the tanks swapped and I can move my plant wall back in. We’ve got lots of baby fish right now and the catfish has just laid eggs again so I don’t know how he’s going to manage the swap without disturbing everyone.