My attempt at a 90gal Tall Riparium
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
MGap
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My attempt at a 90gal Tall Riparium


I've had an Oscar named King Bubba for about 2 years now. He is a greatly fish, but has desperately outgrown his current 20 gallon long tank. I spotted a 90 gallon tank on sale from CL, and for $90 bucks with stand, I had to check it out. Its a custom made tank, and a bit of a funky size, taller than it is deep, measuring about 4ft wide x 1 ft deep, x 3.5 ft tall. Despite a couple chips on the outside of the tank (no worries tho, each pane is about .95" thick), I got him to drop the price to $70 and I went home with a new beast.


The tank weighs a ton. Just the tank itself has got to be on the heavy side (prob 190lbs - the glass is just soo thick), so after bringing it home and really seeing its size, I began to worry that it would fall through my floor (or bow, crack and leak all over the place). I am on the 6th floor, so reinforcing the floor was a no-go, and I was never able to make it to the city to look at the building plans. So it sat there, empty, for about 4 months while I figured out what to do with it.


Lucky me I stumbled upon Hydrophyte's blog and fell in love. So I decided to fill the tank about half way and turn it into a riparium.



Since I live in Miami by the bay, my air is already pretty humid, averaging at around 80-90% throughout the year. With the ac on, the humidity inside drops to about 60-70% (I'm literally two buildings from the ocean, so its pretty muggy almost always.) With all that in mind, I was thinking of building a low/mid humidity system, open topped, with a higher than average water level to take advantage of the height of the tank and give the oscar (and occasionally his food) some extra room to move around.

As of last night, the tank is scaped, and I received my filter (Fluval u4) and my heater earlier this week and those are in the tank but not running. Today, I get the hose attachment for the sink (yeah, Im not gonna bucket that thing) so I will fill it and start the cycle. I am going to order 'the' stuff from Devin (hydrophyte) today so that hopefully I can be done by the end of the year. lol. The tank is hardscaped because my Oscar hates everything.



I have a pink flamingo Lilly (anthurium) bunch that I was considering using as a centerpiece plant, and I was going to look for aluminum and friendship plants (pileas) for the foreground because I love them, and i think its another pilea strain called baby toes or something that I would also love to use. I have other than that NO IDEA what else to use as background plants. Suggestions please??!?!

This is the tank before I put anything in it. The water level will be a little higher than this in the end, going to about halfway up the tank. (yes my heater is tiny, but this is Miami. Its 86 degrees outside and its October 4th)


What i need is:
-plant suggestions
-light suggestions (I cant afford a new fixture right now, but is there any specific bulb anyone would recommend
-any pro tips you can share because I'm completely new to this live plants in my tank business. Especially the fertilization of the plants. Will one Large Oscar produce enough "waste" to "feed" the plants or will I have to treat them? is it harmful to the fish?


Thanks!!! Progress shots to come. (Im also new at this forum thing, so please forgive me if I did this all wrong)
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:19 AM   #2
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Made some progress today:
-finished the aquascaping
-set up the filter
-installed the background
-started the cycle
-ordered planters and some plants from Devin.
-heading to neighborhood fish farm (LFS) to get some additional plants this weekend.

I will be dying of anticipation until They arrive.
progress shot:
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:23 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. This looks interesting
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:28 AM   #4
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That looks really good! I just added riparium planters to my 75 gallon as well. Good luck with yours and welcome to the forum!
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:06 AM   #5
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Lots of room in there for some nice riparium plants!
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:05 PM   #6
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Too much room! I barely know what to do with it.

I've scrapped the use of the anthurium as a centerpiece, after some research and a discussion with my friend who tends the gardens at Fairchild tropical (it's a giant plant garden here in Miami, a gorgeous place) it seems the anthurium won't do very well in the long run with its roots fully submersed.

So I'm thinking that the peace Lilly will take center stage. I'm going today to a pond supply and aquatic plant nursery. Apparently, they carry several varieties of taro plants that do fairly well in our warmth and are all very pretty.

I want to see this thing planted so damn bad.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:07 AM   #7
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So much more room for activities!!!

Welcome to the forum. I'm jealous of your setup. I started a high humidity riparium over the summer that is blossoming right now. For the planters, definitely look into the cryptocoryne species. There are a zillion varieties so go nuts. They can go above and under water. Hydrophyte helped me out a lot in my setup so a lot of my riparium knowledge comes from him. Check out my 30g tall in my signature. Can't wait to see what you do!
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:26 AM   #8
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Thanks. My mom gave me some taro today that I'm trying to figure out how to get into the tank. They're sort of tall so I'm reading up to see if I can submerse the planter and a portion of the stalk. I'm waiting till I get the driftwood I just won on eBay and my planters to make decisions on plants. There are so many options.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGap View Post
Too much room! I barely know what to do with it.

I've scrapped the use of the anthurium as a centerpiece, after some research and a discussion with my friend who tends the gardens at Fairchild tropical (it's a giant plant garden here in Miami, a gorgeous place) it seems the anthurium won't do very well in the long run with its roots fully submersed.

So I'm thinking that the peace Lilly will take center stage. I'm going today to a pond supply and aquatic plant nursery. Apparently, they carry several varieties of taro plants that do fairly well in our warmth and are all very pretty.

I want to see this thing planted so damn bad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooberfish View Post
So much more room for activities!!!

Welcome to the forum. I'm jealous of your setup. I started a high humidity riparium over the summer that is blossoming right now. For the planters, definitely look into the cryptocoryne species. There are a zillion varieties so go nuts. They can go above and under water. Hydrophyte helped me out a lot in my setup so a lot of my riparium knowledge comes from him. Check out my 30g tall in my signature. Can't wait to see what you do!
Quote:
Originally Posted by MGap View Post
Thanks. My mom gave me some taro today that I'm trying to figure out how to get into the tank. They're sort of tall so I'm reading up to see if I can submerse the planter and a portion of the stalk. I'm waiting till I get the driftwood I just won on eBay and my planters to make decisions on plants. There are so many options.
Peace lilies are real good riparium plants, especially for setups like this one. They are nice neutral green plants, so they look nice if you use them as the main background plant in several planters.

Crypts make awesome riparium plants if you keep the top closed up pretty tight to maintain high humidity. For your big tanks here are three that grow pretty large as emersed plants:
  1. Cryptocoryne ciliata
  2. C. pontederiifolia
  3. C. wendtii 'Mi Oya'
Be careful using taro. While they do really well as marginal aquatics, they tend to have trouble with insect pests. If you want to try a small taro bulb I would recommend chopping off all of the leaves and carfully washing it off before planting it your riparium to make sure that it isn't carrying anything in with it. It will sprout new leaves right away.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:00 PM   #10
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Have you ever considered or tried any Hosta plants? I absolutely love most of them, and think that their veiny, tropical looking leaves will really help the whole "amazon"theme Im going to go with.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:46 PM   #11
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While they do like to grow in moist places, Hosta have a strong winter dormancy cycle and they will not be happy in a tropical setup. They are not a good choice.

Last edited by hydrophyte; 10-08-2012 at 06:47 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:49 PM   #12
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awe thats sad news. Theyre so pretty.
as of now my list for plants is pretty simple:

Background:
- Spathiphyllum Peace Lilly
- Amazon Sword
- Some sort of Taro or elephant ear (Im in love, I can't fight it)

Midground:
- Pilea cadierei
- Pilea Involuctrata
- Bacopa caroliniana or madagascariensis or Pilea depressa if i can find it

Floaters:
- Amazonian Frogbit

The frogbit is just to provide extra cover for the water. The light is pretty bright and the oscar generally prefers a darker tank so I need to be sure a good portion of the water is covered.

Since I've decided to attempt to try to keep the tiger barbs in the tank with the oscar, Im going to be adding dome driftwood and rescaping the rocks to provide some extra hiding spots and planting a few fake plants. I would like to try real ones, but the oscar will probably move them, tear them out or eat them. Ill start by putting in one or two plants just to see if he tries anything funny.

for underwater I'm considering.
- Lobelia cardinalis "Dwarf"
- Amazon Sword or micro sword
- crypts
Not really sure yet, I just need something that provides places for the smaller fish to dart into when Kind Bubba gets into one of his 'moods', and something low maintenance since the bottom of the tank is sort of hard for me to reach.

For now I'm just planning and waiting to receive everything to take any steps forward.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:12 PM   #13
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okay, so my light broke this weekend and rather than buying a new crappy bulb for my old crappy hood, Ive deiced to purchase something that I will be able to use for a little while longer.

My question is, will this be enough to light the plants in the riparian area of the tank, which are about 14-15inches from the top of the tank?:
48" T5 Quad Deluxe 216W Plant Version(4x 54W)
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:30 PM   #14
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That looks like a pretty cheap off-brand light. The light would probably be plenty bright for your plants, but ballasts on fixtures like that one have way of flaking out after about one year.

If you're going to spend a hundred bucks could you spend a bit more and get a somewhat higher quality fixture, such as a Catalina Lights T5 strip. You might also find a pretty good 48" T5 fixture at a local hydroponcs shop.

That tank is shallow front-to-back. I bet it would be enough to light it up with just two T5s with good refelctors.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:00 PM   #15
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Update Time!
Yesterday I picked up my package of planters from Hydrophyte (you da bomb!!) and a new temporary bulb to use on the plants until I can get money to get a better one.

For the light, I just picked up a floramax bulb for my T8 fixture, but I decided to go with the dual T5 fixture from Catalina as per your suggestion, its only $150 so its doable.

Anyways, Im waiting for some additional rafts to fill the foreground but for now, I moved the oscar in and everything is ready to start growing. For now, I only had time for a FTS but ill get some close ups of the plants and a complete list this weekend after I go on my little shopping spree with moms.
I have a corner caddy that I plan on using on the left side of the tank but will probably leave the middle of the tank open so that there is some light that gets through.

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