I have this El Niño fern in my aquarium and it's not doing so well, so I'm hoping it will help if I can get its leaves to stick up out of the water a bit as it acclimates to being fully aquatic. It's not looking horrible yet, just losing some of the green in its leaves. I really should have learned more about caring for ferns before I got it, and I should know better, but it was an impulse buy on a trip to the Pestmart. As it is, the rhizome is buried in the substrate, which is a no-no with ferns.
Here's a picture of the fern. It's the dense green fern behind the cave on the right.
My original plan was as follows:
Thankfully a member on a request for help at Tropical Fishkeeping mentioned that placing a fern in a flower pot would probably not allow enough water flow around the rhizome, so the idea morphed into this:
This is what it looked like after I set the hole in. I've seen a lot of people using a hammer and chisel on flower pots, even soaking them in water for days in an attempt to "soften" them. I have not had any luck whatsoever with this method, so I pulled out my trusty Makita angle grinder and Bosch diamond blade and went to work. I did have to file the edges smooth by hand. Note, I also used a masonry drill bit to place a hole in the dish above the flower pot. The hole mates with the hole already in the flower pot so later I will be able to tie a piece of driftwood above without having to soak it for days on end before it sinks naturally. The two pieces are held together with aquarium sealant.
I will be sure to post pics once I get the driftwood and fern tied on and the final product in place in the aquarium.
Here's a picture of what it looks like almost done. It has gone through several revisions by now. All I need to do is finally rinse some more gravel and place it in the top tray. The el niño fern has been tied to the driftwood with fishing line.