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kingfisherfleshy 08-17-2012 01:32 AM

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:

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:

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!

Geniusdudekiran 08-17-2012 01:51 AM

I've been waiting for someone to do this for a long time -- can't wait to see this unfold.

kingfisherfleshy 08-17-2012 03:41 AM


Originally Posted by Geniusdudekiran (Post 1981638)
I've been waiting for someone to do this for a long time -- can't wait to see this unfold.

Thanks - do you have any comments or suggestions?

This is pretty bold I feel.

Its either going to look corny, or its going to be exactly what I want I feel.

We will see.

SpecGrrl 08-17-2012 04:04 AM


Originally Posted by kingfisherfleshy (Post 1981772)
Thanks - do you have any comments or suggestions?

This is pretty bold I feel.

Its either going to look corny, or its going to be exactly what I want I feel.

We will see.

Corny isn't necessarily bad it can be endearing.

kingfisherfleshy 08-17-2012 04:41 AM


Originally Posted by SpecGrrl (Post 1981804)
Corny isn't necessarily bad it can be endearing.

Haha thank you.

That is very sweet of you - endearing isnt really what Im going for, but this may be over ambitious.

We will see.

Ive convinced myself that I may go buy a THING or TWO tomorrow...just to tide myself over...after all they are on sale, right? :D

Follow my lighting discussion here!

Im going to go with the aragonite - unless someone comes up with a really good reason not to.

In addition Ive also decided that I will use that small aqua lifter pump for filtration - Ill see if I can go back and edit the original post...if not...its been decided.

kingfisherfleshy 08-18-2012 05:55 AM

Pulled out the "background sump" - now tank is soaking with vinegar to get it really clean...will finish scraping any last things out tomorrow.

Also went to petco today and picked up the fake barnacles and coral piece that I intend to cut up for this display.

Dont worry - the coral piece is white...its meant to look like its bleached.

Only reason I went fake and didnt use one of mine is that I figure that the plastic ones are easier to clean.

Possibility of pictures tomorrow - I might even go get my substrate!

kingfisherfleshy 08-20-2012 12:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
So just an update -

The tank is cleaned out, and the background removed with a razor.

Im bumping this thread up so that Hydrophyte can see the tank - he is going to help me make the drop in feature.

The circles are rocks, blue line across is approximate water level.

You can see a crudely drawn drop in manzanita feature, and the green squares are planters that will be built into the great stuff background.

The rocks will have those very small plastic coral cuttings and barnacles on them.

Let me know what you all think.

kingfisherfleshy 10-25-2012 05:29 PM

This has been completed...its not yet fully planted, but I have pictures from initial setup with a few plants in it.

Sd760 10-25-2012 05:31 PM

Looking forward I updates! Sounds awesome

SpecGrrl 10-25-2012 05:37 PM

*want pics!*

kingfisherfleshy 10-25-2012 05:42 PM

Here are some pics - not the best just from my cell phone and definitely dont do it justice. Im thinking about doing one small sparkling gourami in here...they are air breathers, I do regular h2o changes, and the water temp is high enough.

Going to add some anubias nana petite, some pygmy crypts, some moss (spanish and tree most likely) and maybe another epiphytic plant growing on the wood.

kingfisherfleshy 10-25-2012 05:54 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Whoops - trying again!

Aben314 10-25-2012 06:18 PM

This looks really cool!

Seems like it's way too small for fish though.

AwkwardShrimp 10-25-2012 10:37 PM

what type of light did you decide to go with?

kingfisherfleshy 10-25-2012 10:55 PM


Originally Posted by Sd760 (Post 2056336)
Looking forward I updates! Sounds awesome

Let me know what you think...far from done...I hope.


Originally Posted by SpecGrrl (Post 2056341)
*want pics!*

Your wish is my command - sorry for the delay!


Originally Posted by Aben314 (Post 2056399)
This looks really cool!

Seems like it's way too small for fish though.

Thanks! Not exactly what I had in mind when I started, but I like the end result. Like I said earlier, there is still work to be done!

You are probably right. These gouramis are tiny though, less than an inch. Water quality is fine though, and as air breathers volume doesnt matter so much. I will try it out and if it doesnt work they can go to a bigger tank easily.


Originally Posted by AwkwardShrimp (Post 2056711)
what type of light did you decide to go with?

Anti climatic here - just an 18w spiral CFL.

Think that is too much light? I had my doubts, but I just had it around.

As the floaters and stuff grow out I think it will be fine.

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