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hydrophyte 04-13-2009 04:55 AM

55 Gallon Crypts Riparium
Hi All,

I have a pretty good start on a new display and tonight I managed to get some pictures.

This first one shows the tank and some of the plants that I am going to use, but here it is just set up on a fishroom bench as a culture tank. I have a lot of plants stuffed in there.

I plan for this display to be primarily Cryptocoryne, but I have some other stuff in there for now, including some ferns and some Anubias.

The emmersed crypts are going to form the composition background and will be hung on the rear pane of glass. I have a couple of ideas for midground plants.

This Hemigraphis (I haven't been able to figure out species) does well growing hydroponically on a Nano Trellis Raft. I have a few of these in my South America display and I can get some cuttings from these.

This is a little Pilea sp. that I have had half-neglected in with my orchids.

It will provide lots of little cuttings. This plant does OK on a Trellis Raft, but sometimes it starts to run and can get leggy. It helps to have pretty bright light on it and trim it back periodically.

I have a number of big robust crypts already in Hanging Planters. This is a C. wendtii, maybe 'Bronze'. It has flowered for me several times.

The next plant is a Lagenandra idontknowwhichoneitis. I picked this one up at Aquatics Unlimited just a couple of months ago.

This one has done real well and it has already filled its planter with roots.

hydrophyte 04-13-2009 05:58 AM

I have a few more plant pictures. This is a C. ciliata in a Large Hanging Planter. I potted up this one a couple of months ago and it is well-established. Most of the leaves it came with melted as these new ones developed.

I have a few things planted onto Epi-Trellis Rafts.

This Java fern is about the best looking that I have on an Epi-Trellis. It might be too big for this display, and its not a crypt, but I will try it out. It is such a nice plant and I don't really have any other ideas for it right now.

I am going to plant crypts also in the underwater foreground. Here is a nice C. wendtii 'Green Gecko'. I wonder how big these get(?). I need to look for smaller stuff for the underwater portion too because the water will only be ~8" deep.

I'm working on the stand. I plan to build it the same way as the stand I described in a previous post.

The cedar pieces need two more coats varnish and then I can assemble.

kyle3 04-13-2009 06:48 AM

this looks like it will be a fabulous tank!

bibbels 04-13-2009 08:55 AM

Subscribed - interested to see this develop

Good luck.

hydrophyte 04-20-2009 09:33 PM

i just put together the stand for this project last night.

i have some more on the stand build over in DIY.

i hope to get stuff moved around tonight.

ER9 04-21-2009 03:49 AM

i think i like your stand the most :P beautifull

funkyfish 04-21-2009 04:10 AM

Can't wait to see your tank :)
I love industrial style stand. I'm thinking of building one and I might just steal the style of your stand if you don't mind. :D

hydrophyte 04-22-2009 06:39 AM

i got the stand, tank and plants moved into the room where i will set up the display. i don't know why, but somehow this took me all day long. here are some pictures.

i still need to work on hardware, a hardscape and livestock, but this picture gives an idea of how the display will look. i intend to position mostly taller crypt varieties along the rear pane of glass with hanging planter. i hope that most of these plants will grow to at least 2X bigger than they are now, to fill out the composition.

i wish that my camera's white balance functioned better. the auto white balance seems to select a different scheme for every picture and i can never quite tell how the colors are form the quick monitor view. you can see that these colors are sort of screwed up.

hydrophyte 04-22-2009 06:03 PM

here's a shot with the lights turned on.

i still need to put together tank hardware, a hardscape and underwater plants, but this gives an impression of how the display will look. i am putting taller crypts all along the rear pane of glass. i hope that these will all grow to around 2X as big as they are now.

i will fill the tank to about 40% of total height--20 gallons or so of water.

i intend to leave the background for the above-water portion of the tank unpainted--the plant forms are nicely silouetted against the white wall.

hydrophyte 04-28-2009 04:57 AM

i managed to finally get some water into the display. i had to adjust the level of the stand a little bit first. i just described some of that in a thread that i have over in DIY:

i have consistently found that the golden section serves very well as a guide for how much water to add to a riparium display.the golden section of any given dimension can be found by multiplying by 0.618.

considering the front pane of aquarium glass to be like the frame of a picture, i measured the total height of glass--from the bottom of the top plastic rim to the top of the bottom plastic rim--and determined it to be 18" tall. thus, the golden section would found with the following:
  • 18 X 0.618 = 11.12

for a riparium, this would the amount of space occupied by the above-water, emersed portion. the balance (here, 6.88 inches) would be filled with water. i decided to err on the side of having a little more water and round up to 7.

here it is with 10 more gallons of water. at this point i ran out of conditioned water, but it is only short by an inch or so. i need to raise those hanging planters so that they are even with the water surface.

like i mentioned before, i have been using this tank to culture a bunch of crypts and other things. i had to yank some ot make room for the actual aquascape development. i am using tall, erect crypts for the composition background, so i removed a number of planters containing plants that are too small to be of much use.

it is still a mess, but the next picture gives an idea of what the display will look like.

these lights are provisional. i think that i have a pretty good idea for pendant lighting. i hope to start work on the sand substrate and hardscape tomorrow.

hydrophyte 04-28-2009 06:14 AM

here is one of the neatest plants that i have in there.

i bought this one as Anubias gigantea, which might be right(?). i think that its leaves reach up in such a graceful way. i have it planted in a Large Hanging Plnater in a coarse-grained clay gravel. the roots have developed very well.

i had planned for this display to be assembled entirely with crypts, but i think that this one is going to stay for now. it is larger than any of the Cryptocoryne plants that i have in there and it reaches forward into the midground. it is also very happy in this setup. it sprouts one new leaf every six weeks.

mountaindew 04-28-2009 04:58 PM

Hydro, yet another cool aquarium stand! great style
Good job!

hydrophyte 04-28-2009 06:04 PM


Originally Posted by mountaindew (Post 837363)
Hydro, yet another cool aquarium stand! great style
Good job!

thanks very much. i need to work on the shelf. i think that the lighting will look pretty nice with stand too.

Gatekeeper 04-28-2009 06:09 PM

Interesting idea. Will be cool to watch this develope. Subscribed.

hydrophyte 04-29-2009 06:49 AM

i spent a little bit more time with the display tonight. i removed a few more plants, then arranged the aquascape plant material.

this gives a general idea of what the emersed plants will look like. there isn't really much rhyme or reason to this arrangement--i just tried to put plants with neighbors that provide good contrast. these plants will need some time to grow in. i hope that the crypts will grow to about 3X of their current sizes. two of the three C. wendtii are in spathe now. i hope that i will get to see some new blooms before long. the disturbance that i have created might shock a few more crypts into flowering.

here is a view down the length of the tank from the inside.

this demonstrates the midground plants, ferns and Anubias, a little better. you can also see that the corners of the Trellis Rafts are still visible. these will get covered up as those plants grow. the Anubias are happy and they should fill in within a few more months., sand and gravel.

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