if you start looking around for new stock it is important to be mindful of pest prevention and control
(another article i need to write!). riparium displays might be somewhat lower maintenance than most traditional planted tank setups, but what you gain in relatively fewer algae problems is made up for with the extra diligence required to keep out and control insect pests. the ones that i have run into include the following: aphids, spider mites, mealy-bugs.
the most important measure to take in keeping these out is proper treatment of new plants to avoid new pest introductions into your riparium display. here are the steps that i take with all new marginal/emergent plants that i acquire:
- pull plant from pot and shake potting media away from roots. trim long roots and rinse off remaining potting media.
- dunk plants in water in a container such as an unoccupied aquarium or 5-gallon pail. sink plants all the way to bottom and keep down with small terra cotta pot or similar weight.
- be mindful of bugs that might float to top alive. remove any floating leaves or other bits of debris. rinse or wipe down rim of container in order to wash away and squash bugs.
- keep plants underwater for ~12 hours.
- certain kinds of plants will soften underwater and become susceptible to drying with re-exposure to non-humid air. keep treated plants in covered, high-humidity enclosure for a few days, gradually expose to increased air circulation.
- some plants might also sustain some leaf damage while underwater. trim away any dead or badly damaged leaves.
this treatment has always worked for me.
i also have recommendations for controlling pests for cases where they might find their way into a display. in general, bad infestations can be wiped out with thorough dunking of all plants and cleaning of the tank glass panels, while minor outbreaks can often be eradicated with careful and repeated spot-treating. i should start a thread and also a more formal article about this.