I thought some folks here might be interested in seeing this small riparium .
It's actually my wife's tank , and she's the one caring for it .
I did help a little on the initial set up
She's taken really good care of it , with weekly water changes and pruning, and it's been going great for almost a year now .
The tank is a just a standard AGA 20 gal long , that we already had from our dwarf cichlid breeding days.
I de-rimmed it (which took much of an afternoon) , by using a soldering iron with one of those cutting tips on it to cut the top rim into bite-size pieces .This works pretty well , and avoids a lot of prying on the tank to free the rim from the silicone - Of course you still need to clean it up by scraping it with a razor blade , afterward .
The back of the tank is painted with rattle-can Rustoleum black .
The substrate is just washed sand from our very sandy road .
The livestock includes some Panda Corydoras , and this fine sand is easy on them .
All the plants are in planters we bought from Riparium Supply , and they work really well so far .
The Crypts , Swords , and Peace Lilly (blooming at left) are all in the bottom planters from R.S. - One of the benefits , is that they seem to be automatically somewhat root-pruned this way , and although they continuously put out new growth , only increase in total size slowly .
I realize this probably wouldn't make the "big growth" people happy, but so far seems to work well for this small , low-maintenance tank .
There's also a small hollow tree stump
, with some Java Fern growing on it - The Corys' hideout .........
The upper plantings are more in flux - Some of them have been changed over the tank's life, but others have been there from day one - It's an evolution ..........
One thing we changed is to substitute Caribsea Flora Max substrate for the supplied substrate in the hanging planters - This was really only an esthetic choice - The substrate that came with the planters was a light tan color, and the Flora Max was black, which made it "disappear" better against the background . The bottom planters use the original substrate .
The filtration is an Eheim 2211 , which works fine and silently (important), but is a little "touchy" to get re-started after cleaning. It's sitting on the same level as the tank , which may be the reason - It has to "lift" water over the rim , from a lower level - But it works .
The intake is through a little Tom surface skimmer - Also kind of touchy , but it also works .
There is also an air stone, in the back left corner - mainly to provide some extra circulation at the opposite end from the filter .
The lighting might be interesting to some here - It's one of the home-brew LED light fixtures I make for all my tanks .
It's basically some weatherproof LED yard/landscape lights , mounted on a hanging wood light bar, with additional small LED "pod" lights for moon/night lights .
The main lights are 10 watt 6500K floodlights - They work really great for this , as they don't get hot enough to bother the plants that invariably reach to touch them .
They also give quite an intense shimmer effect - more so than some "aquarium" LED's I've seen .The lights are hung about 20" above the substrate
The plants seem happy enough, and there's never been any hint of algae - because of the low intensity , I guess .
Did I mention , they were cheap ...?
Anyway , I hope you enjoy seeing the tank - It's been a real pleasure for us , as it's right next to our dining table .
A little tropical garden , even in the middle of winter.