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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I can't do with just two riparium set-ups, when I still have another tank that's empty. So, this time I'm going for a 10 gallon riparium, but with differences. This one will have the water occupying most of the volume, with just a small air space, with the emergent plants largely growing above the tank. The basic setup will be on my desk and will be like this:


Instead of painting the back of the tank black, I will have a wood back painted black. This is primarily to support a light fixture. And, the light fixture will be my attempt to use spiral powersaver PC bulbs, but with flood light type reflectors, so the nose of the bulbs point down to the aquarium. This should give me the intense lighting a riparium seems to need. And, it's a very cheap way to get lighting - about $20 for two clamp on lights, assembled together on a support bar.

I'm thinking of using a caladium or two as the feature plants, with perhaps impatiens as the lower growing plants.
 

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This is going to be one more interesting setup. You and hydrophyte are gradually coaxing me to breakdown one of my tanks and start a riparium but I want to hold back till I get the my current layout to mature.

And till then learn some more about ripariums from you guys.
 

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Sweet. Keep us up to date with more pictures as you progress. Can't wait to see it...
 

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This is a good idea and Hoppy's plan makes me want to try something similar. I think that a 30 Breeder with top rim removed would be a real good option. This could create the same kind of feeling as a planted garden pond. Fish that are suited to being viewed from above, such as goldfish or mollies, would be excellent choices. I gotta watch out for 30 Breeders on Craigslist.

Of course this begs the question of why one wouldn't just do a simple paludarium setup in a shallow tank like that by stacking up driftwood or lava rock to develop the planting area. I have seen setups like that before. I imagine that the riparium planters would make it easier to set everything up and grow a wider variety of plants. The riparium option would also leave more underwater space for the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is a good idea and Hoppy's plan makes me want to try something similar. I think that a 30 Breeder with top rim removed would be a real good option. This could create the same kind of feeling as a planted garden pond. Fish that are suited to being viewed from above, such as goldfish or mollies, would be excellent choices. I gotta watch out for 30 Breeders on Craigslist.

Of course this begs the question of why one wouldn't just do a simple paludarium setup in a shallow tank like that by stacking up driftwood or lava rock to develop the planting area. I have seen setups like that before. I imagine that the riparium planters would make it easier to set everything up and grow a wider variety of plants. The riparium option would also leave more underwater space for the fish.
The reason for chosing the riparium option is the ease of setting it up, the ease of changing the setup, the ability to start the plants growth elsewhere, then move them into the display setup, the lack of additional "stuff" in the water, taking up valuable space that could be used for fish, the ease of cleaning - remove the planters, wipe the biofilm off, replace them - the ability to adjust the amount of "wet feet" the planters get, the ability to customize the "soil" each plant grows in, etc. All of these are reasons I knew I had to try ripariums the moment I read the first post about one by Hydrophyte, and saw the photos of what it could look like.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow! I can nail two boards together! Well, it isn't quite that easy, but almost. Two pieces of scrap 3/4 plywood, butt joined with glue and 3 drywall screws. The Zen Aquarium Stand.:cool: Here it is under the tank:


This will be spray painted black, to make it disappear from view, but serve to support the lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Go Hoppy Go! Man you don't mess around when you get an idea. :)
Actually, I have been looking at that tank on my deck for several weeks, wondering what to do with it next. And, the lighting idea I have been wanting to try out for even longer. All it took was the suggestion about having the plants up near the top to trigger my "knee jerk" response, and get me going on this. Projects like this get me very excited, and ripariums just make the projects more exciting.
 

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I feel ya. I have 2 30 breeders sitting in front of my car in the garage that I look at every morning and evening... its hard not to set them up. I'm seriously considering putting one up in our sun room just to put some hemagraphis sp. and other riparium stuff in to grow out in natural lighting. Think I'd have to do anything about water movement if I kept the water level pretty low but enough to keeps the roots wet?
Sorry to derail. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think we need good water circulation in a riparium because we are relying on the tank water for most of the nutrients, especially for plants on rafts. If we don't keep the water moving, stagnant areas should develop, where the concentration of nutrients will drop way down. Some of these plants have huge masses of roots absorbing nutrients from the water. But, this is such a new field I would hesitate to say anything for certain.
 

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Here is a tank that I think would be great for this two-thirds full idea...

Green Leaf Rimless Aquarium 63-S

I have been looking all over for tanks with a 24" X 18" footprint, and spotted this one when I gave the GLA offerings a second look. Filled to about 2/3 it would hold about 20 gallons. Green Leaf Aquariums will ship this tank delivered right to your door, and the UPS charge isn't bad at all...

A riparium in the 63-S might have to be my next tank project.



.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That would be a great riparium tank! I wish I had that now, not the 63 but the 90, also 18 inches deep and high. The website doesn't state the shipping cost, but that would be a consideration.



Painted black, and it does visibly vanish. The front edge which looks inadequately painted in the photo, looks almost perfect in person. The flash seems to have made the wood pores show up a lot more than they actually do.

And, I visited HD today. They don't have the Hypoestes plants anymore, so I have one of the last ones. Nor do they have any caladiums. It looks like most of their houseplants are out of stock there.

But I did get a couple of these: http://www.homedepot.com/Lighting-F...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053 to use for a light fixture. The price is certainly right.
 

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Discussion Starter #14


My complex, fine woodworking, setup is complete now. The light "fixture" is just 2 boards glued and screwed together to form a "T" so the clamp on lights have a place to clamp onto. This can be done neater, with more aesthics, but this will work fine, I think. Now, to find a couple of 23 or more watt powersaver bulbs, with 6500K rating - not that easy.
 

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That looks great Hoppy this reminds me that I have that cabinet for my 56 Column that I need to finish. I have everything cut and glued, and now I need to sand it, apply finish and put it together.

Back when I was little we had some livestock and poultry on our farm for fun. We used those same lamps to brood new little baby chicks. I remember that we got them mail order a couple of times and they right in the post in a flat cardboard box with round holes in the side. You can order many unusual breeds as day-old chicks right online...

http://www.randallBurkey.com/Chicks/products/443/
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)


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.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Awesome so far. I wish I could offer any type of guidance with the plants but its going to take me a while to catch up.
I cant wait to get things finalized and re-arranged in mine this weekend!
So many different plants that might work, so many to learn about, and so many to enjoy:icon_bigg
 

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That would be a great riparium tank! I wish I had that now, not the 63 but the 90, also 18 inches deep and high. The website doesn't state the shipping cost, but that would be a consideration.
Shipping was $90 for freight. I ordered the tank monday, it was shipped out Tuesday, and arrived today, Thursday.
It sure is a beautiful tank.

This project is really shaping up fast!
 

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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.
I imagine this question has been raised before, but how do you think this might compare watt-per-watt with a T5 lamp or other regular fluorescent?
 
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