This is like a pre-journal at this point, but I do have most of the things that I will need for this project. The idea for this display originated with a couple of new riparium setups that other members have posted, londonloco's 75-gallon Rift Valley cichlid riparium
and Hoppy's 10-gallon experiment
When planning riparium displays I have generally used tanks filled to only about 40% with water, using the golden section as a guide for a setup that will leave plenty above-water space for the growth of emersed aquatic plants and marginals. These other variations mentioned above have instead involved aquariums filled almost to the top, with the plants growing in the air space above. There are a few compelling features of this kind of riparium. For one, the aquarium will have substantially more habitat for fish. The emergent plant growth grown in this way might also have more of a presence in the room than foliage contained behind glass and lend more of a garden pond atmosphere to the setup.
With the idea of enhancing the faunal aspects of this new setup, while also creating a convincing riparium plant display, I am selecting fish with more care. I have always liked catfish a lot and I think that a small shoal of cats or a good-sized specimen would be a perfect choice as dominant fetures for this tank. I really want to emphasize the gravel, stone and/or driftwood substrates with the use of a tank having a large footprint and a relatively sparse emersed planted area. The 75-gallon riparium
gives a good impression of the general look that I am after.
I have been having fun asking around for stocking suggestions. My preference is currently gravitating toward the pictus catfish (Pimelodus pictus
), although I haven't quite settled with this species. The pictus cat is a pretty common LFS offering but a good choice for my new idea. Here are some of the useful features of this species:
- relatively small at adulhood (~4" in length)
- active shoaler
- fairly active during the daytime (but primarily nocturnal)
- attractive and with classic catfish appearance
- relatively peaceful
I have a few more thoughts, but close down this post because it has already run long...more later.