Pre-journal: Nano/Smallish Riparium, Nature Aquarium Style
I think I have a pretty solid concept for a new display. I don't have the tank in place yet, so I start this pre-journal thread to jot down some ideas and get some feedback. As I get it rolling I might just continue with this thread, or start a new one in the Planted Nano Tanks
I had a lot of fun with the latest layout
that I have been working on in a 50-gallon tank. Here's one recent shot of that one.
Here are a few features that characterize this one pretty well:
- A tank filled with water to about 2/3 of total depth
- Erect, tidy, "grassy" background plant (Cyperus) that throws relatively little shade
- Fine-leaved sprawling stem plants (Bacopa, Limnophila, and others) growing on trellis rafts and forming dense floating carpet.
- Underwater scape lacking plants, but with an artistically-rendered stone layout, and a pleasing, natural gravel
- Relatively large and showy fish
- A striking centerpiece plant (Cyrtosperma)
This new project will use some of the same elements, with important variations. I'll start out here by organizing the general plan by sub-heading.
Tank & Other Hardware
I intend for it to also include a mostly-full tank, but I will use a smaller enclosure. My best idea right now is to use a regular Aqueon 15-gallon--I have several of these laying around--with the top rim plastic rim removed. I like the shape of the 15-gallon (24" wide X 12" deep" X 12" tall). This is a smaller tank than any that I have tried for an actual riaprium layout, but I think that it should work well with the right configuration of equipment an plant selection. As for the 50-gallon, I will probably fill this tank with water to only about 2/3 of total depth so that stress on the seems (intended to be supported in part by the plastic aquarium frame) will be lessened. The tank will thus contain only about 10 gallons of water.
I will figure out some kind of canister filter for filtration and circulation.
I want to put this tank on a stand built in the raw industrial
style that I have used several times before. This type of stand will look perfect with this light fixture...
Sunleaves Pioneer JR II Grow, 2-2ft
As I mentioned above, I hope to draw on Nature Aquarium design principals for this layout. I intend for the underwater area to lack plants, or include just a few, and feature a well-rendered hardscape with rocks, and possibly also manzanita driftwood. I have enjoyed the effect of the rounded river stones in the 50-gallon setup.
While it is pretty easy to situate these rounded stones in a convincing layout, I think that I will try to use angular pieces for this new layout, which might be more challenging. I need to go back and study some of the general ideas, but I will plan to use the same design principles that inform iwagumi style stone layouts.
I think that I will also encourage the development of an algae crust or patina for these rocks. So long as filaments of hair algae are scraped away from the rocks and the gravel is maintained clean with frequent stirring, a scape with rocks like these maintains a neat, yet natural appearance.
Management of algae would become more difficult in such a system if very many plants were grown in the underwater area, as algae would tend to accumulate on the foliage and would be difficult to remove.
This thread has run long. I'll return later on with another post and an explanation of what I have in mind for plants and livestock.