Ripariums are fun - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Ripariums are fun

I have been wanting to do a Riparium, and I have been collecting plants and equipement to start one. I decided on a 20 long as a test tank, it will be one of two, as it is an open top tank. I also want to do a closed top riparium, ultimately in a 90 gallon.

So I just wanted to get some plants in a riparium and see how the maintenance and growth of the plants would work out to be.

I have a number of plants in there from various sources. Much thanks to Devin who supplied several of the specimens.



All the plants are at one end of the tank, because I didn't have enough containers to span the back. I improvised with two containers and netting I bought at the Dollar Store. I had run out and I wanted to get these plants into the water.

Plants left to right in back:
1) Monstera deliciosa I bought this plant as a fruit at Jungle Jim's and I found several seeds inside and couldn't resist trying to grow them
2) Allocasia odora variegated dwarf
3) Ruella species
4) Syngonium wendlandii from Devin
5) Pepperomia sp.from Devin
6) Baby Bamboo from Devin

On Rafts and in water:
1 Bacopa monnieri
2)Pepperomia sp
3) Pepperomia watermelon (red stem)
4) More Ruella and Pepperomia

I have more plants to put in the setup, but I am limited by the number of hangers I have in stock. I should have more early next week.

Much thanks to Devin for assisting me with plants and providing excellent plants technical advice.


Can you tell I like variegated plants LOL. I don't think the final setup will have this many variegated plants. The impact of the variegation seems to get lost when there is too much of it.



A close-up of the odora plant. Some of the suckers at the base of the plant only have white leaves, so I am leaving them alone until I see one with green.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 05:47 PM
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That's looking great Klaus.

One thing I see is that you have a couple of plants in there that can't really grow in the water, the Syngongium wenlandii and the Peperomia. I thought you were planting those in a terrarium(?) These are both tropical climbers/epiphytes, so they need some drainage. They'll just rot in the water.

It looks like you have Ruellia makoyana too(?). That's another one that I tried that would not grow in a riparium. The Ruellia that grows really well ripariums is Mexican petunia (R. brittoniana) and it shoudl be planted in a planter.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help. I will get the Ruella and Peperomia into humid conditions. As well as the syngonium. When I planted it I thought it was a spathiphullum lol. I think i confused peperomia with pilea .... hhmmm

The Ruella and peperomia don't have roots so I may float them until they start to develop. One of the Ruella's is stuck through the raft and the other in gravel. In any case once the roots show up they weill go in a terrarium.

Last edited by klaus07; 03-09-2012 at 06:28 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 06:43 PM
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Yeah Peperomia and Pilea have superficial similarities but they live in different kinds of habitats. If your viv is nice and humid inside you might just stick those cuttings in there on some moist spagnum moss. In the water they might just start to rot.

That A. odora will probably grow well in there. That sort of big and coarse kind of plant looks real good with Cyperus as the main background plant.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I have some king tut at the other house i can bring over. Did you mean the Peperomia odora will grow in the open top riparium as well? I cut the piece you sent me into thirds and put them on NZ peat in a shoebox to get them going.

Thanks again, I can wrap the nodes with NZ moss on the Ruella and Mini Watermelon Peperomia. Do they need high humidity to prosper?
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 07:04 PM
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Yes to root the R. makoyana and both of the the Peperomia I would put the stem bases in spagnum moss and put them in a high-humidity terrarium.

I think that Cyperus 'King Tut' will quickly get too big. Two better choices would be C. 'Baby Tut' and C. alternifolius var gracilis. These two only grow to 12"-24" tall.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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I thought I would share a more recent photo of the riparium and some of the plants I want to test out. I took out the Ruella and Peperomia and put them on damp NZ sphagnum moss where the Ruella is thriving. I added frogbit to take care of new tank syndrome especially since I have MGOC capped with Black Diamond blasting sand.


The dwarf Alocasia odora variegated: one of the two is doing well, but the second turned to mush, even though it had a much larger root system. Perhaps I should have cut the massive root system off and forced it to grow new roots.

I found a great looking Lysimachia and planted it you can see it above between the Pilea and Odora, or in the photo below.


New growth is this nice velvety red color, while old growth turns a bright lime green. I don't know if this plant will work, but so far it is doing extremely well and growing a great root structure.

I am going to add a few more photos in the next post of some new plants I recently purchased.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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New plants for testing: David and Goliath

I just want to warn everyone. This riparium is for testing and is not meant to be a piece of art or showcase aquarium. It is a 20 long and has etched glass. I picked up for a song so it is just the kind of aquarium I like for this type of thing.

I also haven't worked out how to shoot with my off camera flash, so you will see some annoying shadows... my photos should improve over time as I get more comfortable with my new equipment.

I found a dwarf horsetail that only grows a few inches tall. I purchased it mainly for my pond outdoors, but I thought it might also work in riparium planter. Equisetum scirpoides I think:

I hope this plant works and its the David part of the two.

Up next is Goliath. The ultimate size of this plant is somewhere around three meters, but it is so cool with the red veined arrow shaped leaves and the hairy stalks, I couldn't resist trying the suckers in one of the planters. Maybe the size of the planter will dwarf suckers long enough that it won't have to be replaced too often. Cryptosperma is found in SE Asia as well as the South Pacific.


That's all for now. I have more plants I want to test.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 07:32 PM
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Nice plants Klaus. That C. johnstonii is most definitely one of the coolest riparium plants and a great find. It does get tall but so long as you can raise your light up you can manage it. It usually starts growing suckers when it gets to about 18" tall, so you can keep new young plants started. It looks like there is at least one or maybe two little suckers at the base now. This plant suckers pretty tight, so you might have to use a knife to carefully cut out a sucker. So long as the sucker has a bit of its own roots it should restart in a new riparium plants. You might keep the sucker in a higher-humidity situation with light until it grows more of its own roots.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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I agree on the Johnstoneii, I will likely place at least one sucker outside to see how it does as well as one in my test riparium. The Lysimachia grandiflora has decided to bloom.

The other plants are doing pretty well, though the Zephranthes turned yellow and either died or went dormant.

The baby panda bamboo that isn't a bamboo is growing very well at the base and even the long spike is growing nice new lush green leaves. I have some other plants to add to this setup as well. I still need to take cuttings and add them.

I have to say I really enjoy looking at everyone else's ripariums. There are so many ways to create one, I have to say I really like the suction cup planters.

I got 2 plants from Hydrophyte I will be adding to this setup as well. One the C fallax came in with uniformly green leaves. After a few days the pretty pattern seen on the photos of the plant started to show up.

In the photo you can also see a couple of pilea and a strand of Calissa. The Calissa grows well as long as it stays out of the water.

I have two bulbs of t8 6500k over the tank. For the most part it seems to be enough to allow most plants to grow.


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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I just thought I would this photo of a new Schismatoglottis I found on the net. It makes the third species I have. It is supposed to be a rare rose form.


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Last edited by klaus07; 05-03-2012 at 04:37 PM. Reason: changed to larger photo
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 04:43 PM
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good stuff Klaus!


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind comment. It is nice to know someone else is looking at this


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 02:09 PM
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Nice looking growth on those test plants, hows the Equisetum doing?

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Sean,

It is good to hear from you. The Equisetum is doing fine, however it is outside. After I purchased it my mother took a fall and she has needed round the clock care. I hope to be able to take a cutting and get it in a planter soon in my test riparium. I did manage to put a few more plants in the riparium that Hydrophyte sent me. The Colocasia fallax lost one of its two leaves but is growing a new one, and that nice looking pattern in the leaves is beginning to show. Hopefully, it will look like Azkids in no time

I am not too optimistic about the leather fern as it showed no living roots or any budding fronds. It had two mature fronds when I received it and they are beginning to wilt. It too is outside.

The Cryptosperma is doing really well as it is sending up new suckers. I hope to take a few cuttings soon.


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