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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I've been lurking on this forum for a long time - well over a year! - but this is my first time posting.

I've been doing a lot of research for my second planted tank, which I'd like to make as a shallow, riparium-type setup. I have a 25 gal with canister filter (thanks to a great Craigslist deal), and it will be covered by a glass lid with T5HOs over it.

Now every riparium I have seen is set up in a similar way - emersed plants growing from baskets/rafts hung on the back of the tank. Is there a reason why one couldn't just plant them directly into the substrate at the bottom of the tank, and have them growing up out of the water?

This may be a silly question, but I've searched all over this forum and others and come up with nothing. I have the suspicion that there's probably a very good reason why no one does this though! I know that excessive water in emersed 'growout' setups can lead to mold... is that the issue here too? Or is it something else?
 

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Are you looking to grow terrestrial plants or aquatics? Lots of houseplants and such won't survive having their leaves/stems submerged long term even if they'll take to having their roots in water just fine. And planting something in the substrate puts them pretty far below the surface unless you're doing something shallow, so having them grow up to above the water level where they'll be happy before they succumb to drowning, is probably not the best bet.

I've read that lucky bamboo can be planted directly in the substrate for emersed growth, you just want to make sure the leafy part is in the air. Which is actually the only time I've been tempted to grow it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, I should've made that more clear! I want to use aquatic and/or semi-aquatic plants. Plants that can be grown emersed, or pond plants that grow in standing water, NOT houseplants or the kinds you put in drier vivariums.
 

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If you are using bog/marginal/emersed aquatic plants that are use to those wet conditions and as long as your water level is not too high you should be fine.
Most riparium tanks are not using aquatic plants..a lot are house plants. Aquatic plants would easily be able to have their base in water and leaves growing out as long as there is proper humidity (lid will help). Remember the plants will need fresh air once in a while so making a small hole in the lid or opening the lid once a day for a few minutes to let air exchange would be recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's exactly what I was curious about, thank you so much!

Obviously I don't intend to completely submerge the plants, but I'd still like to keep some fish in the tank if possible. My idea was to put some taller/stem plants in 6 inches of water. I may start out with less water (without fish) to let the stems grow tall enough. But 6 inches would give me about 8 gallons, enough to keep some nano fish or a betta. Would this be feasible?
 

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Most aquatic plants love to grow out of the water, the problem is that they are used to environments with very high humidity. In an ordinary open-topped tank any leaves that break the surface dry out and die, if you had say 50%+ humidity in the house you would probably be fine. Otherwise you need to cover the tank which limits vertical space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Most aquatic plants love to grow out of the water, the problem is that they are used to environments with very high humidity. In an ordinary open-topped tank any leaves that break the surface dry out and die, if you had say 50%+ humidity in the house you would probably be fine. Otherwise you need to cover the tank which limits vertical space.
I do intend to cover the tank, but that still leaves me with about 10 inches of vertical, above-water space. That seems decent...

Some Killifish would be better,they like shallow water.
Killifish ARE cool, I admit I know very little about them. I tend to prefer very easy fish! I was thinking more like white clouds or tiny rasboras.
 
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