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Fear the Swamp!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After moving all my plants/fish to my new 125 gal tank, I have an empty 75 gal tank. I have been debating how to use this empty tank or sell it. Well along came Hydrophyte with the riparium idea and I was hooked. I ordered the necessary items and have been tossing ideas around in my head. The first thing that came to mind is that a spraybar return will push the floating trellises around to much. So my plan is to include a waterfall from the filter return. Here's a quick drawing of my idea. The green ovals along the back are the hanging baskets for larger plants. The brown shapes are the floating trellises.

My next idea was to use some large pieces of wood to poke through the plants similar to what we do with aqua scaping. Then I thought, why not combine these two ideas?
I'll be using my XP2 for filtration. For the waterfall, I will bring the return over the back wall with PVC (painted black to match the background). From there it would exit into a tall deep bowl shape, probably just an extra large PVC cap. I figure if it's tall enough, the water will exit near the bottom and as it comes back up, it will spill over the edge like water out of a spring, and instant waterfall. I'll put a ball valve on the filter return so I can adjust the flow accordingly.

I'm planning on some crypts, ferns, moss, & anubias for the shadier areas in the water, maybe some dwarf hairgrass out in the open where it gets more light.
Plants already on the way for the riparium include Cyperus 'Nanus', Zephyranthes candida, Gymnocoronis sp., Acorus 'Ogon', Ruellia brittoninana 'Katie', Avicennia germinans, & Dichromena latifolia. I also want to try a few aquarium plants emmersed, Limnophila aromatica, Pogostemon erectum, and maybe Staurogyne. I may put a few stem plants in the water and just let them naturally grow above the surface like Lamiceae Sp. For lighting I will use my left over Catalina Solar T5HO.
I'll post some pics as this project progresses.
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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2,512 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I decided to scrap the waterfall idea for now. I needed more rocks than what I have on hand and the ride to get more is a PITA. That and I was over anxious to get this thing started. I decided instead to build a spray bar near the substrate in an attempt to keep the effect on the floating trellises minimal from the return flow.

I also had an extra surface skimmer laying around so I decided to put it to use on this build. I ran the pipe for the intake under the gravel.


Here I'm getting the cups ready for planting. The bottom layer is the clay substrate that came with the kit. You could use anything really for the filler, (inert gravel, Flourite). I decided to experiment with some left over AS.


Next, the planters are hung on the back wall. I have no idea right now how these plants will grow so I may rearrange them as they begin to show their potential. I still have a couple planters that I did not use to help fill in the right side. I also have several aquatic plants on the way that I plan on growing emmersed. I'm hoping to see some flowers. :)

Left


Right


FTS - I'm not sure if I like these rocks for this scape. I have some rounded river stones that I may play with tomorrow.
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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Discussion Starter #3
(Shameless plug for Riparium Supply) The packaging was very nice and each pack comes with instructions on the best way to use the material.
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, I'm planning on planting the water portion also. I made a deal tonight to get all kinds of plants for the water portion. Since the water level is so low, I thought I would try some dwarf hairgrass in the front portion where the light will be intense. Once I get all the trellises in, it will get darker the farther back into the tank I try to plant. I'll keep this in mind with plant selection and will probably use crypts and ferns for the midground.
 

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I decided to scrap the waterfall idea for now. I needed more rocks than what I have on hand and the ride to get more is a PITA. That and I was over anxious to get this thing started. I decided instead to build a spray bar near the substrate in an attempt to keep the effect on the floating trellises minimal from the return flow.

I also had an extra surface skimmer laying around so I decided to put it to use on this build. I ran the pipe for the intake under the gravel.


Here I'm getting the cups ready for planting. The bottom layer is the clay substrate that came with the kit. You could use anything really for the filler, (inert gravel, Flourite). I decided to experiment with some left over AS.


Next, the planters are hung on the back wall. I have no idea right now how these plants will grow so I may rearrange them as they begin to show their potential. I still have a couple planters that I did not use to help fill in the right side. I also have several aquatic plants on the way that I plan on growing emmersed. I'm hoping to see some flowers. :)

Left


Right


FTS - I'm not sure if I like these rocks for this scape. I have some rounded river stones that I may play with tomorrow.
That does not look like OG Flourite?
 

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I hope I can remember to keep watching this develop. I have an empty 10 gallon tank my wife keeps asking what I'm going to do with - "not just leave it out on the deck, I hope". My gut feeling is that a Riparium would be even more maintenance work than a regular planted tank, but I should learn more about that by watching this one develop.
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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Discussion Starter #12
I'm glad I can be everyone's guinea pig. I'm trying to follow a lot of the advice Hydrophyte has been giving me, but I also have some ideas that I would like to try with this setup. This is all new to me, so it will certainly be a learning experience. I welcome any and all comments about plant selection, plant placement, etc. Just about anything can be rearranged very simply using the material from Riparium Supply. Hopefully more plants will arrive this weekend so I can have time to play a little more before my summer session at UF starts.
 

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Most of the plants you mentioned are utterly unknown to me. Where did you order them from? Are there webstores for riparium plants like there are for traditional aquarium plants?
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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Discussion Starter #14
Most of the plants you mentioned are utterly unknown to me. Where did you order them from? Are there webstores for riparium plants like there are for traditional aquarium plants?
Most plants that do well in this setting are pond plants or bog-type plants. I haven't found a one-stop shop for these plants yet. These first plants that I have are samples from Hydrophyte to get me started.
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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Discussion Starter #16
It's Flourite. It had been in a large plastic tub sitting in the sun for a long time. It looks a little sun bleached in the pics, but after being in water overnight it looks "normal".
 

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Ok did I miss something? why are you using the floating trellises? What effect will have on the frontal appearance of the tank?
I bookmarked the riparium web site. I am interested in a whole eco system with small animals included in the upper part. As Hoppy says's this may be more work then a regular tank.
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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Discussion Starter #18
The floating trellises have not been added yet. I'm waiting on more plants to arrive. The purpose of the floating trellises is similar to a land portion in the tank. It gives plants a way to creep forward with vine-like growth and create some depth in the display. Other plants can be planted directly on the trellis and are basically grown hydroponically.
 

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In the picture it looks like you will use two trellises one in front of the other, is this correct? If so would this not use up needed space and how would you see it? Sorry to be such a pain.
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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Discussion Starter #20
Most of what I am trying to achieve is growing plants above water similar to a bog or edge of a pond. The water feature will also include plants and fish to create some continuity from top to bottom. The trellises are not huge and can be placed anywhere I want depending on the look I want to ultimately achieve.

Here are two of the large trellises along with one of the smaller. Along the outer edge I still have about 3-4" of open water to the front of the glass.


In this pic, I just threw in all the nano trellises along the back with the hanging planters. If I stick with this setup, I will have 8-9" of open water to the front glass. Again, I can rearrange these however I see fit and I can add or remove where needed based on plant growth patterns.


I don't have anything tied down yet as I'm waiting for more plants this week. I'll work on it more this next weekend once the plants arrive and I have some time to do more planning.
 
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