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Old 11-01-2009, 05:26 PM   #31
MrJG
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Yea I have to agree the reversed proportions just don't quite gel.

The purple waffle is awesome... hadn't thought about trying target yet! At least I got room in the growout tank for trips like that now.
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:09 PM   #32
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I added some more plants today, some rocks on the substrate, and removed and washed the PFS substrate much more thoroughly. The water is still cloudy, so I have a jury rigged sponge filter going to try to get rid of the fine silt that is still left.

This concept of a deep water, shallow air section is growing on me. It allows me to use my little 10 gallon tank much more effectively as a riparium. And, if I can clear up the water it will allow more room for fish too. I'm really enjoying having the plants extending far out of the glass box, actually making the top edge of the tank disappear visually. If I had this many plants with the water down low like a "normal" riiparium it would look very crowded, but doesn't look crowded at all to me now. This opens up the riparium concept to a lot more shapes of tanks.
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:32 PM   #33
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That really is successful. I had my doubts, but I think it looks real nice.

This idea could be especially good for a tank with a broad footprint and short height relative to depth and length. This is most definitely going to be my next project.

I wonder how that Croton is doing(?).
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:48 PM   #34
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It has a very nice bouquet effect. I am not sold on the very "open" look underneath it though. But I think that is just my taste. It is certainly a very catchy little tank.

Just a side thought: I wonder if a nice thicket of anubia would tidy this up. Kind of creeping its way from the depths of the tank to the underside of the planters...
Perhaps some really dense driftwood underneath, like an uber mass of it?? Have it penetrating with finer branches up through the planter baskets slightly...Give it the undeside root appearance of a plant that has no foliage underwater, but has bloomed above? Just spit balling here...
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:07 AM   #35
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Fish would also help to develop the vertical part of the underwater area.
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:09 AM   #36
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Really inspiring\awsome tank Hoppy! Do you think the high water level idea would work for my 20g soon to be riparium (no plants yet)? I need to give my Convicts some more room! Thanks, Jake
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Old 11-06-2009, 02:16 AM   #37
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Really inspiring\awsome tank Hoppy! Do you think the high water level idea would work for my 20g soon to be riparium (no plants yet)? I need to give my Convicts some more room! Thanks, Jake
I think the high water level idea will work with any rimless tank, but not when there is a thick rim delineating the top of the box. When I look at my tank I just don't see the top of the glass at all, without searching for it.

As far as the underwater portion of the tank goes, I'm still working on that part. My cloudy water problem has to be solved first, and it doesn't look like the sponge filter is doing it for me. My next idea is to get a flocculant material at the LFS to clump the particles so the sponge will hold them better. That will be tomorrows experiment.

I'm also thinking about using 2-3 bigger fish, perhaps barbs (I know 3 barbs soon become 1 barb, but something that size-maybe just platys.) Part of my goal is to have sufficient swimming room for the fish, which eliminates having lots of wood there. And, I haven't yet decided about submersed plants. One thing at a time!
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:42 AM   #38
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I love it. Once you get your water clear and fish in the bottom of that tank, it's going to be one beautiful tank, actually, it already is. My tank is not rimless, I'm hoping that thick black stripe I have to deal with doesn't detract from the tank too much. Hmmm, wonder where I can get a 18"x48" footprint rimless tank...
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:50 AM   #39
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So that Hypoestes is still looking good? Has it grown new roots in the water?
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:40 PM   #40
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Since the first time I've seen one of these I've had this thought of trying to recreate a small bank with the underwater portion looking like mangrove roots to further create the illusion of the riverside. It seems like with the additional depth that this would be something that is totally possible. Only problem is finding wood that would work to create this effect.


As far as fish what about a nice little school of cherry barbs?
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:38 PM   #41
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I decided to use a RFUG to filter the water, because of the low maintenance they need, and the very clear water I'm getting in my 65 gallon riparium using one. This one will have no pre-filter, so it will get gunked up under the substrate sooner, but I doubt keeping this tank going that long anyway.

Today I installed 26 watt, GE 6500K light bulbs in the two reflectors, and measured the PAR they produce. To my surprise I get less PAR than measured with 23 watt bulbs by AirSong, in his stickie in the Lighting forum. It didn't take long to figure that out - my reflectors are 8.5 inches in diameter, and not great quality, while his were smaller, and probably of better surface quality. Still, I am getting over 100 micromols of PAR at the top of the tank, with the lights a foot above the tank, and the light is very uniform over the whole tank area. This is a good 10 gallon lighting method, if the appearance doesn't turn you off.

Plants: Are there any Crotons, Codiaeum Variegatum, that are miniature, and not 6 foot trees when mature? That's another nice looking varigated leaf plant, that looks like it would do well in a riparium. (No luck finding caladiums yet.)

EDIT: I was wrong above about the reason for the reduced intensity vs AirSong's data. The real reason is that his data is taken in water, in a very small tank, where the glass walls of the tank reflect light to the bottom, and the water tends to focus the light slightly, both of which increase the intensity a bit. My data is in air above the tank.
What is an RFUG?
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:50 PM   #42
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So that Hypoestes is still looking good? Has it grown new roots in the water?
Yes, both in the planter cup and those that are just suspended in a raft now have roots hanging down in the water. And, the plants look very healthy. It's a winner!

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What is an RFUG?
Reverse Flow Under Gravel filter, which is a conventional under gravel filter, except that the powerhead is reversed so it pumps water back down under the substrate, to flow up through the substrate.

My water is still cloudy this morning, so the flocculant is next. I really suspect that I just don't have sufficient substrate thickness to make this work right now. I may need to go buy another bag of PFS.
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Old 11-07-2009, 01:34 AM   #43
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The miracle of modern chemistry! Not that Tetra Water Clarifier is anything like new. I dosed the water with it, and an hour later the water was clear. So, I remved the filter sponge and washed it, smoothed the substrate a bit, making the water cloudy again. Back went the sponge, but it didn't clear more, so I dosed it again. Another 30 minutes and it was clear again.

I found I still had a little PFS left, so I washed it many, many times, added it to the tank, and again had cloudy water. Back came the sponge plus another dose of clarifier. This time it cleared up quickly and stayed that way when I replaced the stones on the substrate. Now it looks great, but I suspect I should do a 50% water change before adding any fish, to remove most of the left over clarifier.

I'm settling towards 3-4 Male Sunset Platys plus a couple of otocinclus to keep down any brown diatom algae.
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Old 11-07-2009, 01:10 PM   #44
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are those planter cups diy ?
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:57 PM   #45
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The planter cups and the raft sponges come from http://www.ripariumsupply.com/, the only source for things like this that I know of. They work very well and make a nice integrated setup for a riparium.
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