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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Central Wisconsin
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Fluval Spec - Nano Riparium

First off if you dont know what a Riparium is - you should familiarize yourself with Hydrophyte of this site and MANY more. Heres a little something to get you aquainted with the concept: Persistent Myths about Planted Ripariums

This is a long ways off, but I have decided to start a "build" thread so that as it slowly progresses, or I get ideas, or have questions I can document the whole process here.

Here are the details:

2g Fluval Spec - The spec comes with a background that is partitioned off for a sump, I am removing this. (

The total volume of the tank is 2.15g - however only roughly half of this will be water. Ill have 1.07g of water. I calculated this using the "golden ratio" as is suggested on Hydrophyte's blog for riparia (


This will be a riparium. It will have a background similar to a vivarium however to give it a more natural look. This will be constructed of black "Pond" GS (great stuff) covered in 100% silicone and then covered again in "EcoEarth". Some small vines may be created using rope, silicone and GS in the same method.

The main feature will be manzanita twigs that are all bunched together to look like roots. These will be attached together (nearest to one point as possible) from the top of the enclosure, and they will extend underwater minimally if at all. This idea is from Devin (Hydrophyte)'s "Drop in Manzanita Features". This shows a much larger feature in action: 37G Column Viv for Avicularia

Underneath so that appears as if it is supporting the manzanita "roots" will be either seriyu stone or lace rock broken into small rubble pieces. The same will border the bottom of the background - so that the whole thing gets the feel of a bank where water meets the land.

Not sure what to use for substrate...I am considering a couple different things.

Eco complete - I have used it and liked it in the past, would work well with these plants as far as providing them with some low levels of nutrients as well. (

1-2mm Grain Size Aragonite - I know what you are thinking...but I have a weird Idea in my head. (Ive decided to go with the aragonite - unless someone can think of a reason why it would cause severe detriment.)

This is where this gets weird. My plan is to buy two things.

One is a small (about 4" long x 2" wide) small naturally colored/looking barnical replica. This will be cut in half.

The other purchase is a fake, white branching coral that measures about 7"x7" at its tallest and widest point. Several small 1-3" pieces will be cut off of this. Their bottoms will be weighted so that they can sit in a natural looking position.

I know you are thinking I am crazy, but I saw these two things in the store (and I am a reefer, a planted tank guy, and a biologist - trust me, the non natural stuff drives me crazy) and I just had to have them.

I had an idea in my head that just made sense - not sure if it will look good or not, but I have spent some time diving in mangrove estuaries/swamps and I think with the plants and those decorations I can recreate that sort of environment.


There will be fish.

Here are some of the candidates (Only one of these will be selected):

1 Beta splendens
1 Betta coccina
1 or 2 Elassoma gilberti
1 or 2 Carinotetraodon travancoricus
3 to 5 Brachygobius nunus
2 Neolamprologus similis
2-3 Corydoras pygmaeus
1-2 Laetacara curviceps
3 Trichopsis pumila

Maybe some snails/cheap shrimp. I might also consider included a small mantis if I felt that they would be okay living on the background/manzanita feature but I worry so that probably wont happen.


Anubias nana
Anubias nana var. "petite"
Cryptocoryne pygmaea
Java moss
Some sort of floater

I have rootmedic capsules...think that will be good enough for fertilization? Or will that even be necessary at all? Any input on this matter is welcome.

Some terrestrial and emergent plants will also be included.

1 or 2 planters will be used in the background, and there will also be some of Hydrophytes small riparium planters used right at water level for the emergents. (

The manzanita will have spanish and jungle mosses growing on it, and possibly a small orchid or two.


Dont really know yet - Some options might be:

This wouldnt be attached to the back glass as they suggest. It would be hidden behind the drop in mazanita feature, with rocks around the base of it. The outflow would face towards the back of the tank. Probably my second favorite option.

My favorite option is this. These things come with a small prefilter, and other than an airline running into the tank (easily concealed in the background/behind the drop in manzinita feature) there is nothing in the tank. The outflow would come in through a hole drilled in the lid of the tank - and it would be build into the background to look like a small "tricklefall" (I have decided to go with this option)

This will be used to heat the tank unless someone has a better suggestion.


Any suggestions? The LED that came with this tank is long gone - and I think it would be a tad underpowered for what I want to do here.

I do however want to go LED on this tank.

Maybe one of those low watt, screw in, LED "Light Bulbs"?

I am thinking that I will take a clamp lamp, and trim it down a little to fit this very small bulb.

What does everyone think on that matter? Here's a discussion on lighting this tank:


Thats it for now - dont expect any updates in the near future - Im currently working to finish a dart frog vivarium...but this is next!

Thanks for looking!

Last edited by kingfisherfleshy; 08-17-2012 at 05:54 AM. Reason: Revisions
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