Riparium How-to: High-Humidity Setups - Page 2
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:41 PM   #16
hydrophyte
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2. Plant Selection

There are three main groups of plants, classified by position and planting method, to consider in the high-humidity riparium layout:
  1. Emersed Background Plants
  2. Emersed Midground Plants
  3. Underwater Foreground Plants

Emersed Background Plants: This category includes a large number of possibilities. The broadest ranges of shapes and foliage colors are to be found among the crypts (Cryptocoryne), most of which can be adapted to grow emersed and thrive in a riparium display. many very good riparium crypt choices are easy to find in the aquarium hobby. It is generally best to select the larger-growing species and varieties. Very short crypts (such as C. parva) may grow well enough in the riparium, but will tend to get lost in the whole planting. Among the crypts that I have tried, the following have performed the best as riparium plants:
  • Cryptocoryne wendtii (any of various varieties_
  • C. pontederiifolia
  • C. lutea
  • C. moehlmannii
  • C. ciliata
  • C. cordata (certain varities)
  • one that I think might be C. undulata (?)

Aside from being good-sized, these crypts are also relativelly sturdy and stand up well in the emersed state. There are a few others (e.g., C. balansae) that are very soft and flaccid when grown emersed and better kept as underwater plants.

Cryptocoryne ciliata is an unusual case. Unlike the other crypts that I have tried, C. ciliata does not require very humid air and will grow just fine in an open-top riparium setup. It will also thrive in a high-humidity riparium, but the tank should be relatively tall (preferably >24") because it is a fast grower and reaches a large size. This plant is also unusual in that it will grow in brackish water; in the wild it uses river estuaries and mangrove swamps as habitats. I have heard that because of its differences plant taxonomists have actually considered splitting C. ciliata off into its own genus, but as far as I know it is still considered to be a Cryptocoryne. I highly recommend growing it if you have a largish tank. When grown emersed it blooms readily with these fantastic spathes.



When I had these plants I noticed that the spathe had a strong pumpkin odor while open.

The easiest way to grow crypts in a riparium is to pot them up in a riparium hanging planter. This picture shows a very robust C. wendtii (maybe var. 'Red' (?)) rooted in a hanging planter.



It is generally best to hang a number of these planters + plants on the rear pane of glass in the riparium in order to make a nice, full planted layout. To reiterate an earlier point, an especially appealing bonus of growing crypts in a riparium is that their spathes, their unusual floral structures, can be enjoyed along with the rest of the planted layout. The next picture shows the spathe of C. pontederiifolia. This species is easy to bloom in a riparium.



In addition to crypts, another popular group of aquarium plants, the Anubias species, can also function well as emersed riparium background plants. The several varieties of A. barteri are not so suitable for the riparium background because they grow in a horizontal manner with creeping rhizomes. Much better options for the background are larger, more erect Anubias such as A. hastifolia.



That particular specimen is also rooted in a hanging planter. This and other tall Anubias, such as A. frazeri, A. gigantea and A. afzelli, also grow from rhizomes, but their rhizomes are tighter and do not "run" as fast as those of A. barteri, so they can grow well in a hanging planter for some time. Emersed riparium Anubias will also reward you with spathes. The spathes of these plants are less pretty than those of crypts, but interesting nonetheless. Here is the spathe of A. hastifolia.



There are several other groups of plants that deserve mention as high-humidity riparium background subjects. Most others that I have tried in these setups are used most often as houseplants, but grow very well in high-humidity and "look right" planted among crypts. Here is one that I have used because of its unusual pink coloration, a Syngonium hybrid cultivar.



There are many other possibilities among Syngonium with variations in leaf pattern and color. Many (but not all) will grow well in a riparium.

One of the most useful groups of riparium plants are the Spathiphyllum peace lilies. In the wild, most Spathiphyllum grow in very moist soil, such as along the edges of rainforest streams and the margins of swamps, so they are preadapted for riparium conditions. Peace lilies are sold very often as houseplants and they are easy to find. They will also bloom in the riparium with bright white spathes.



One last kind of plant that deserves mention as a companion for crypts in a high-humidity riparium is Dieffenbachia. Some varieties of Dieffenbachia will grow well in riparium culture and most offer the unusual option of white-variegated leaves. The best cultivar that I have found so far is 'Camille'. This one grows well in ripariums and stays relatively small.



If you do try growing Dieffenbachia in your riparium be aware that it has highly toxic sap. It can cause serious damage including chemical burns if ingested or if it contacts the skin. I ahve never had any trouble with toxicity to fish, but do not use this plant if you have children or plants that might be able to reach it. Be very careful with the cut tissue while repotting or pruning your Dieffenbachia plant.

This post has run long. I will finish this section with the discussion of emersed midground and underwater foreground plants in another entry.

(to be continued)
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:56 AM   #17
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I have a fun update for another good high-humidity riparium plant. The A. hastifolia that I have going in a 56 Column sent up a second spathe and I got a shot of this one still open. It was beautiful.



This plant gets tall and big. It would be a good choice for a riparium in a 75 or a 90.

I started a "Bloom Report" thread about it too...

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...ml#post1159003
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:48 AM   #18
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I don't have a new entry ready yet, but here is a quick video of two real good plant selections for high-humidity ripariums, Windelov Java fern and Crypt. pontederiifolia. The video is also a good demonstration of how the plants are planted with the hanging and floating riparium planters.

12-X-10 Riparium Planters Demo Scratch II

That Windelov is an especially handy riparium foreground plant. Unlike regular Java fern it stays small, so it's a perfect choice for planting on the Nano Trellis Raft. It has grown well, but slowly, on the raft and looks real good in the tank.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:08 PM   #19
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I have gotten a couple of inquiries about this thread and I might try to finish it if I can find time.

I might also just turn it into a magazine article.

I do have an article on another theme coming out in a print publication in a couple of months. I'll post a link with details when it is published.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:35 AM   #20
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I have just seen this for the first time... please finish it
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:30 AM   #21
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I will try to add some more. I might just work on the magazine article to get something more polished.

Which hobby magazines do you gat there in Australia? DO you have any published right there?
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:36 PM   #22
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I have only ever seen one magazine here. It was supposedly a quarterly publication but i have never seen it again.

I rely on the internet almost entirely for any and all information relating to the hobby.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #23
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Wow I haven't been back into here in a while.

I am working on a couple of high-humidity setups and I hope to have some new pictures, so I am resurrecting this thread.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:27 AM   #24
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This is my first time here and it was very informative and the photos are awesome!
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:40 AM   #25
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I really like this kind of setup. I don't know why I haven't seen many other people start a high-humidity riparium. It is a great way to keep a collection of emersed crypts and other collector stuff as a real display with fish, rather than as a growout tank with shallow water. I wish that I hadn't gotten rid of that 55G that I had.
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:07 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrophyte View Post
I really like this kind of setup. I don't know why I haven't seen many other people start a high-humidity riparium. It is a great way to keep a collection of emersed crypts and other collector stuff as a real display with fish, rather than as a growout tank with shallow water. I wish that I hadn't gotten rid of that 55G that I had.

My 150 was a blast when it was setup as a high humidity riparium.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:01 AM   #27
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That setup that Craig had really was cool. It isn't necessary for maintaining humdity, but that tank had a misting slystem which made a cool effect. Do you still have nay pictures of that setup Craig?
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:02 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrophyte View Post
That setup that Craig had really was cool. It isn't necessary for maintaining humdity, but that tank had a misting slystem which made a cool effect. Do you still have nay pictures of that setup Craig?
My full journal should still be around here somewhere I try not to delete pictures so if I ever want to go back and revisit ideas I can still see them.
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:24 AM   #29
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I will try to quote a few if I can find the entries.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:50 PM   #30
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Here is a recent shot of the high-humidity planting that I have going in a 20 High.

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anubias, cryptocoryne, emersed, riparium, riparium supply

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