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Green Leaf Aquariums 09-05-2009 03:19 PM

Riparium Plants?
Hey Hydrophyte!

Would these make for good Riparium plants?

hydrophyte 09-06-2009 06:17 AM

Hi Orlando,

I have tried several of those plants and they all grew more or less OK in riparium conditions. The only one among them that I like very much is aluminum plant (Pilea cardieri). It has has quite pretty leaves and is hardy. Somehow the small plants that one can find for sale at Home Depot or wherever look really plain and dumpy, but when it grows up it develops a very attractive shape. It is also slow-growing, which is a plus because it it needs that much less attention.

Aluminum plant grows well with its roots in water, but it doesn't like dense, wet media. I potted it as shown below, with the planter cup filled most of the way with Hydroton, then capped with a layer of finer gravel. This ensures more water diffusion around the roots.

Here it is lookin' purdy in among some Colocasia fallax and Acorus gramineus, two other really nice plants.

I have some extra aluminum plant and other stuff too that I can send your way whenever you want.

Green Leaf Aquariums 09-06-2009 04:32 PM

Thanks Hydro!

Im heading over to the nursery soon next week to pick up some plants so I will take a look around. I do have a 50G drum of Hydroton sitting around so it should come in handy for my new project this fall.


hydrophyte 09-06-2009 06:21 PM

I imagine that 50 gallons of Hydroton should be plenty. Do you know what size it is? I found the 4-8mm--I think this is the smallest size--to be the most practical.

Hey I looked around their site some more and spotted a few other good ones in various categories:
  • Anubias congensis plant in Hydroton, requires high humidity to establish
  • Cryptocoryne ciliata
  • Saururus cernuus
  • Ruellia brittoniana
  • Echinodorus cordifolius
  • Echinodorus 'Tropica Marble Queen'

You might also try that "green hedge" and "Joseph's coat". I have had those before and they are kind of plain, but they might be good for planting on a Nano Trellis Raft, like this...

If you do pick up any stuff there be sure to de-bug it before bringing it indoors. I imagine that that nursery grows stuff outside and the plants probably have plenty of pests on them. Here below I quote myself from a post into Hoppy's thread about his riparium describing the "dunk method" that I use remove insect pests--it has worked well so for me.


Originally Posted by hydrophyte (Post 884183)

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:
  1. pull plant from pot and shake potting media away from roots. trim long roots and rinse off remaining potting media.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. keep plants underwater for ~12 hours.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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