The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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 :wink:
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:smile: , 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.

Thanks ,
Rat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,934 Posts
I don't think your giving yourself enough credit for that. Or should I say giving her
enough. And to think some people just cut a flower from the garden and put it in a vase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,577 Posts
I don't think your giving yourself enough credit for that. Or should I say giving her
enough. And to think some people just cut a flower from the garden and put it in a vase.
Very well said.

The more pictures of Rips I see like this, the more I get inspired.

Gotta do one, and I hope it looks half as good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
Looks beautiful. I wish I had the kind of money to consider a setup like that "low budget"... lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looks beautiful. I wish I had the kind of money to consider a setup like that "low budget"... lol
Well, It wasn't too big an expense, relatively speaking, even for me .........

We had the tank - bought probably 12+ years ago, + $3.95 for spray paint (but I already had that)
The substrate is sand from my road .
The lights cost $11 each = $44 - I don't count my labor on the fixture, + a timer for them - $3.95 .
The filter was more of a big $$ item - $60 I think , + $7.95 for the surface skimmer .
I forget how much the planters from R.S. cost , but that was an expense - $50 +/-, maybe ....
I had the little bit of Flora Max that I added .
The upper plants are all from cuttings "acquired" by my wife from various sources.
The underwater plants are all "babies" from other tanks .
The stump was free .

The fish cost something, of course, but I'm not going to count them , as everyone's taste is different in that regard .

So, where are we at now ....... $169.85 +/- , for a year's (so far) worth of enjoyment and education.
Probably could be brought down some, with sponge holders instead of dedicated planters, home-made filter, etc, etc .

But, seeing that total, it does take SOME kind of budget to do it, and I suppose I was amiss in quantifying it as "low" budget - My apologies .
I guess it depends on your budget .
Your basic notion is right, though - Hobbies can get expensive ............

You got me thinking maybe I should just take up TV watching ..... probably cheaper....... but I'd have to buy a TV .......... then there's the cable bill ............ and the chips and beer .........:wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,738 Posts
Beautiful setup and lovelyush plants! Really makes me want to try a riparium setup. Do you have to be sensitive to air humidity for these plants or have to mist it daily?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you have to be sensitive to air humidity for these plants or have to mist it daily?
No, that's one of the nice things about it -
All of the plants could be found in the indoor tropical plant dept. of any "big box" store - Some of them might even have been from Wally World.
In other words - Just houseplants :smile:

Most of them came from my wife's little habit of "sampling" attractive plants, often "planting" the cuttings in another, different, purchased plant (Note - My legal dept. disavows all knowledge of this practice - Proceed at your own risk, etc.), and none of the plants need any special care.
Some of them adapt well to the "floating world" - Some not so well .
It's an ongoing experiment .

But no misting or anything like that - Riparium-wise, I believe that's only needed for immersed/emerged Crypts, or something like that.
A few years ago, I kept a much larger paludarium for a while, with orchids, bromeliads, mosses, ferns, tree frogs, etc,
and that one I DID have to mist daily - Beautiful, but quite a bit more work .........
This tank is a piece of cake, in comparison - Very,very easy .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,738 Posts
No, that's one of the nice things about it -
All of the plants could be found in the indoor tropical plant dept. of any "big box" store - Some of them might even have been from Wally World.
In other words - Just houseplants :smile:

Most of them came from my wife's little habit of "sampling" attractive plants, often "planting" the cuttings in another, different, purchased plant (Note - My legal dept. disavows all knowledge of this practice - Proceed at your own risk, etc.), and none of the plants need any special care.
Some of them adapt well to the "floating world" - Some not so well .
It's an ongoing experiment .

But no misting or anything like that - Riparium-wise, I believe that's only needed for immersed/emerged Crypts, or something like that.
A few years ago, I kept a much larger paludarium for a while, with orchids, bromeliads, mosses, ferns, tree frogs, etc,
and that one I DID have to mist daily - Beautiful, but quite a bit more work .........
This tank is a piece of cake, in comparison - Very,very easy .
Awesome, thanks for the info!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,738 Posts
How's the tank doing?
Could you post an update full tank shot and/or some close ups of the plants?
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top