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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are pics of my riparium. Thanks to Hydrophyte and Riparium supply for all the help and supplies.






Tank Specs:
75 gal - 48x18x19
Water level is set for about 8"

Lighting:
2x54w Tek T5HO w/ Giesemann Aqua Flora & Giesemann Midday Sun bulb combo

Substrate:
Quikrete all purpose sand

Filtration;
Marineland C220 w/ extended intake/output
Current USA Subcurrent in tank filter for surface skimming

Flora:
Spathyphylum sp. - Peace Lily
Echinodorus cordifolius - Radican Sword
Hemigraphis sp. - Purple waffle
Acorus gramineus - Sweetflag
Bacopa monnieri - Water Hyssop
Various crypts and mosses for underwater

Fauna:
Bolivian ram
Glowlight tetra
Peppered corydoras
Otocinclus

Plants are planted in Riparium Supply planter cups with Grey Coast calcite in the cups. The dark grey color hides the planter cups agains the black background. The hemigraphis and bacopa are floating on the foam trellises also from Riparium Supply.

Root tabs under the crypts. I drop in a little bit of KNO3 every now and then. The tiniest bit of Flourish once a month. Plant growth is good. The left side of the underwater portion is newly planted and the crypts are still in their emergent forms.

Thanks again to Devin and Riparium Supply. This has been one of the funnest tanks I've ever had.

-Charlie
 

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that looks great! i really like the use of the moss on the bottom. are you planning on adding more floating plants?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The tank is actually glass. 3 piece rounded front.

The moss is looking a little ragged. For some reason, it doesn't like my tank very much. I was thinking of growing some nymphaea but we'll see. To be honest, I am unsure how long this tank will be set up. My kids have been asking for a goldfish tank and I might take this one down to accommodate them. Hopefully, we'll have another place to put everything if that happens.

-Charlie
 

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Hey that looks great. I wondered where this tank went. You really grew those emersed plants up well. I like that open space on the right. I have mostly just filled my setups with lots of foliage and I have been meaning to try something like that.

What kind of tank is that? It looks sharp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. It's all your inspiration!

The empty space serves two purposes. First, I really like negative space so I wanted to make sure I had some both up top and below. I tried to kinda mirror below and above the water. Secondly, I needed someplace to put the Subcurrent. I found that I didn't get enough circulation with just my one canister filter (at least I didn't feel like it was enough) and I was developing the typical oily film. The Subcurrent provides a bit more circulation and skims the surface as well.

The tank is a Jebo rimless. Not the super nicest tank but I got it for a decent price.

I remember the size of that sword when i got it from you. I didn't think it was going to pull through as it kinda sat there for a while not doing anything but wow, as soon as it put its roots out, it just exploded.

The tank started out as a South American foliage w/ South American fish. Ended up as mostly SE Asian foliage with the exception of the sword but kept the SA fish. Strangers in a strange land?

For anyone wanting to try out something new in planted tank, I highly recommend trying out the riparium concept.

-Charlie
 

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That sword will probably just keep on "exploding"--they grow pretty big. You might see it starting to flower sometime soon and it will give you new little plantlets along the flower stalk if you let it grow and press it down to the water surface. I took apart my 65 last night because the E. cordifolius swords and taro had gotten so big. I am looking at the big sword now and wondering about just turning it into a house plant.

You peace lilies look nice too. Did you plant the Bacopa with the planter + raft combination, or are they just growing right on the raft?
 

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That is a very nice layout. I would say that simulates an island instead of a river bank. Do you get any algae problems, using that much light? I can't really get a handle on the "proper" amount of lighting a riparium should have, but mine isn't as brightly lit as this one. And, my emersed plants aren't growing as much as these seem to be.
 

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That is a very nice layout. I would say that simulates an island instead of a river bank.
x2, i think it looks like one of those little mini-islands you see in the middle of a slow-moving river. you've doen an awesome job, i can't wait to see this one mature!

*subscribed* :icon_mrgr
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for the kind words.

I stuck a bunch of stalks of bacopa into the same planters as the bigger plants. I have them growing out onto the trellises in between the hemigraphis. I am unsure if the roots are going to choke each other or what but so far they seem to be ok.

I have some thread algae that grows all over the substrate. Its hard to see in the pics but its growing into the moss and is growing off of some of the crypts as well. I am unsure what to do at this point to be honest cause I like the amount of light the tank is getting as I didn't want the underwater area to be too dark but it might be too much. I do have a single T5HO fixture but I am afraid that might be too little light.

What do you guys think?

Charlie
 

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According to the data I have you should be getting about 60 micromols of PAR at the substrate, with the two T5HO bulb Tek fixture. That would be at the high end of medium light. Not as much as I first thought you would have. Perhaps you could use Excel, which would increase the growth rate of the submersed plants, and act as an algaecide. I have been assuming that the emersed plants are equivalent to submersed plants where algae suppression is involved, but maybe not. The easiest thing to do is to raise the light fixture a bit more. It looks like it is at about 10 inches now - raise it about another 4-6 inches, perhaps? That would drop the intensity to around 40 micromols, which is the low end of moderate lighting.

A nice thing about ripariums and lighting is that because the emersed plants are much higher up towards the light, we can get relatively high light intensity for those plants and still have low intensity down at the substrate, to help suppress algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
hoppy,

The lights are about 10" off the top. Unfortunately, they are raised as high as I could with this setup.

I may need to just work with the single fixture. The problem is, i have two available bulbs to work with. Do I use the Aqua Flora or the Midday Sun? My gut instinct is to go with the Midday Sun. I'm also afraid that with only one bulb, I'm losing light spread. As it sits right now, the Aqua flora bulb pretty much sits over the emergent plants and the midday hits the crypts near the front.

Charlie
 

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Those are interesting looking light support bars. They obviously aren't regular steel conduit, since they seem to be corrugated. What are they? And, is that a little spotlight on the upper left side of the tank?

My impression is that a single bulb 10 inches above the tank will give enough spread of the light to cover the whole 18 inches of depth. But, it is possible those reflectors on the T5HO bulbs concentrate the light more into a narrower band. And, that causes me to think about something else - what about removing at least one of the reflectors? Perhaps, both of them and then lower the light down to 6 inches or so? T5HO single tube reflectors more than double the light intensity you get from the bulb, so removing both would cut the intensity to less than half of what it currently is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The light bars:

They are actually regular 1/2" EMT. I was thinking about how I was going to prep them for paint but I got super lazy. Dug through some of my electronics supplies and found a bunch of 1/2" cable tubing like this:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103809

1 minute to cover up the bars and voila, instant decor. A little bit of black e-tape on the ends keeps everything snug.

The spotlight is a Hydor LED that works as a moonlight of sorts. I always felt better about having a little bit of light in the tank at night.

I also though about pulling reflectors but I don't want to rip my Tek fixture apart just yet.

I supposed I'll make some kind of decision in the coming weeks.

-Charlie
 

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I don't know algae like I should but you ought to be able to find an algae eater to take care of it. I had some kind of green hair algae in my 65 and when I introduced my bristlenose pleco he eliminated it in no time. He's a cute fish too.

I also agree with recommendation for Excel dosing. Especially if you can dose the recommended amount every day it should suppress that algae well and also encourage your underwater plants. More underwater foliage would also compete with algae and I think that the whole layout would benefit with more greenery underwater to visually balance the emersed plants. A big spray of Java moss like the one Hoppy used would look good in there. So would one of those mini lotus (can't remember the real name?). It seems that lotuses must have some kind of allelopathic effect on algae because the healthy, newer leaves seem to always be totally clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I may try to plant more low lying crypts. I recently have come to really appreciate them. Hard to have algae on the sand if there is no sand for them to grow on!

Anybody want to recommend a low maintenance SE asian foreground plant?

Charlie
 

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I can't think of any SE Asian ones aside from crypts like C. parva, but I recently aquired some Echinodorus quadricostatus and I like it a lot. It grows well for me as a low-tech plant and it has a neater appearance than Sagittaria subulata, which is similar. The quadicostatus is very bright green so it brightens the underwater area.

Another good crypt for the underwater area of ripariums is C. wendtii 'Green Gecko' because it also has a bright green color and a nice shape.
 

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Any updates on this baby? Is it still set up or did it have to go to make way for the goldfish?

I am currently pondering a goldfish setup. I got a couple of real nice orange + white comets for cheap and I like them a lot. I'm keeping them in a 15G with lots of water changes but I need to put together roomier accommodations for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Its still up but I have a massive cyano attack!

On a positive note, the E. cordifolius sent up a flower stem. I'll take some pics when i get home. That thing is truly beastly as far as growth is concerned.

My wife has been eying this tank and since she is running out of room for her corals, has kinda convinced me to switch. She has a 24" x 20" x 24" tank that I might end up moving everything into. I don't know if I will have room for the sword however if that happens.

Charlie
 
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