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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I started this tank awhile ago but forgot to start a journal here...

Feb 2016

Well one year into planted tanks, I felt that I had to build a riparium after seeing some spectacular examples over the years by people on both sides of the pond...

My first attempt has been very successful and has been a great learning experience, but it's diminutive size is lacking in the awe inspiring impact that a larger setup can provide... One year later and I'm finally getting my larger shallow wide off the ground.

My major inspiration has been the works of Alastair and Big Tom, and I thank you for sharing your tanks with us over the years!

As the name suggests, I am trying to give the impression of the marginal area where a body of water meets the forest floor (or fringe), in this case an area that has been flooded by seasonal rains. This is my swamp...



That's as far as I have proceeded... I still have to finish the stand, drill the holes, build the overflow, plumbing and sump, and then finally, I can get to aquascaping...

Cheers!

Bump: August 2016

Oh my how time flies... I really wish I was farther along on this project... not much has changed save for the holes being drilled and my youngest daughter get a little bigger...

Updated info:

Sep 2018

Fauna

1 Otocinclus affinis
1 BN ancistrus
4 Brachydanio tinwini
10+ Celestichthys erythromycin
14+ Celestichthys margaritas
4 Celestichthys choprae
15 Microdevario kubotai
5+ Amano shrimp


Flora

Bellow:

Hygrophila polysperma
Cryptocoryne walkeri ‘lutea’
Cryptocoryne parva
Cryptocoryne willisii x
Helanthium tenellum
Sagittaria subulata
Lysimachia nummularia ‘aurea’
Ceratopteris thalictroides
Limnobium laevigatum


Above:

Adiantum aethiopicum
Spathiphyllum 'Petite'
Syngonium podophyllum 'Butterfly'
Calathea lancifolia
Aglaonema sp.
Chamaedorea cataractarum
Chamaedorea elegans
Ficus pumila
Anthurium sp.
Pilea mollis 'Moonvalley'
Pilea cadierei
 

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That is very interesting dimensions. Subscribing for updates!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
October 2016

Well, the overflow box is assembled, mounted and leak tested... most of the plumbing is assembled and waiting for painting...

My original idea for lighting was an array of 23watt CFL light in reflectors. .. my previous tanks have had great success with those but I've also had good success with LEDs...

I briefly thought about using kessil lights but I think I would need too many and the cost would sky rocket...

So my new plan is to make an array of par38 LED bulbs... I've never used them before but hear good things... I found some Philips 12watt (100w) daylight bulbs with 35 degree beam optics for $15, so I will need between 6 and 8 of them depending on how high up they are. .. I am hoping to hang the lights somewhere between 40-48" above the substrate to allow 24- 36" of riparium plant growth above the rim of the tank...

Again, underwater plants will be low light variety so I'm hoping that amount of light will suffice...

I'm still a while away from the light stage though, so plans may change again. ..



I got the glass cut and pollished locally for the semi coast to coast overflow... I am using GE SCS1200 in black and this is the first time I have used any silicone on glass...



This silicone only has 5 minutes of open time so assembly was very chalenging. .. wood jigs were used to hold the box. side at 90deg...



I used a wooden jig to make sure the overflow box was level to the tank... after using the SCS1200 to attach it, I had to scrape the silicone back and reseal the inner joints because I guess I didn't put down a big enough bead the first time and the coverage was patchy. .. the structural silicone between the panes was perfect just not the inner seams...

Anyways, after 48hrs I leak tested it and it passed and so did the bulkheads!

This tank is slowly coming along!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I'm happy with the stand being flat and level so I put down a couple yoga mats under the tank as per Derek at Miracles...



I have 40 gallon Tuff Stuff stock tank I'm thinking of using for my sump so I don't have to worry about more glass seams leaking over time... The stand isn't in position yet so I am hoping the final leveling will go smoothly... I'm getting anxious to fill this thing up after owning it for 340 days of it sitting empty...



I've taped off the tank so I can paint the back of it black with acrylic glass paint... it still needs a 4th coat... don't mind the mess, I'm in the middle of a reno too...

the first coat went nicely... It's still not dark enough after 3 coats... i ended up with 5 coats




Next up is the painting of the bean animal drain pipes and gluing them to the bulkheads... after that I can fill it with water and test whole system...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
October 21 2016

This weekend it should be in place and hopefully fully leak tested... maybe I will even have time to finish and test the bean animal system!

I've had plants sitting around for over a year waiting to get in this tank... they are starting to look sickly and tired... the sooner I get this tank going, the sooner I can get all my grow out tanks and containers empty and put away... I have six 30 x 45cm containers filled with crypts alone but of course they've been neglected so they aren't the healthiest...

I'm looking forward to the tranquility of a single tank to focus on instead of the mayham that has been my basement for the last year...

November 2016

Some progress....

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
November 29 2016

Hardscape details:

75 lbs of Okho stone, a big box of Manzanita wood, 40 lbs of ADA Malaya, 30 lbs of ADA Amazonia, 70 lbs of safe t sorb, 1 lb of ground peat moss, 1 lb of Mexican pottery clay and a egg crate base layer...

After laying down a layer of mulm on the substrate, i'm doing a dry start for a few weeks so the front area can grow in with crypts etc... that will give me enough time to work on the lights and finish off the sump.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
November 30 2016

Livestock waiting to go in:

This tank is loosely based on species from Myanmar (Burma) and possibly Thailand...

14 Celestichthys margaritatus (Celestial Pearl 'Danio')
18 Celestichthys choprae (Glowlight 'Danio')
18 Brachydanio tinwini (Gold ring 'Danio')

And possible some corydoras pygmaeus (Pygmy Cory), and some Ottocilus sp. that I have on hand... I am hoping get my hands on some Petruichthys sp. 'rosy' (Rosy Loach) and a shoal of Celestichthys erythromicron (Emerald 'Rasbora')
 

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Love the foot print of your tank. Did I miss the actual post with the dimensions?

I have a tank with a similar footprint, 4ft x 3ft. It too is focused on small fish from SE asia and I would absolutely recommend the Burmese Rosy loaches. They are bold and active. You will definitely see these guys out and about. Also, they don't end up in the sump. I have had to keep checking for my Boraras maculatus - always seem to get a couple!

Very nice build
 

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Subscribed! I am really excited to see this tank fully setup!
I really want to do a riparium with some Mangroves roughly based on wetlands someday. (it may include Bettas, which is a little outside of that natural environment...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I thought I'd go over my substrate system...

The first layer under the hardscspe was eggcrate to protect the glass



This was followed by a base layer of safe t sorb



Then a layer of peat moss



Then a layer of new and used ADA aquasoil Amazonia




Then a filler layer of safe t sorb out front and 4 inches of it in the back... ADA Malaya was placed on the edges



Then ADA Malaya was added to the front sloped from front to back... notice the colour similarities between the safe t sorb and the Malaya and the dragon stone...

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Love the foot print of your tank. Did I miss the actual post with the dimensions?

I have a tank with a similar footprint, 4ft x 3ft. It too is focused on small fish from SE asia and I would absolutely recommend the Burmese Rosy loaches. They are bold and active. You will definitely see these guys out and about. Also, they don't end up in the sump. I have had to keep checking for my Boraras maculatus - always seem to get a couple!

Very nice build

The tank is 48" x 30" x 12" and I wish I went bigger like 5ft x 3ft... i ordered this tank in the summer of 2015 and didn't realize that I could fit a bigger tank in the space
 

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This is amazing, I would love to have a set up like this in my home. I lack the space but maybe I could downscale something similar. My bettas would love this! *subscribed*
 

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Subscribed! I'm loving your fish choice so far! I've got a small school of tinwini's, and while they're picky when it comes to eating food I offer, they're amazing to watch! What's your plant list looking like so far? I noticed crypts, but are you going to try and add plants similar to what you'd find in a CPD environment?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Subscribed! I'm loving your fish choice so far! I've got a small school of tinwini's, and while they're picky when it comes to eating food I offer, they're amazing to watch! What's your plant list looking like so far? I noticed crypts, but are you going to try and add plants similar to what you'd find in a CPD environment?
All these fish are waiting in a smaller holding tank... I cant wait to let them loose in this riparium... I suspect I will see much more natural behaviour in a larger space.

I only plan on using crypt species mainly from the X Willisii complex and e. tenelus... perhaps some moss on the branches... this is a loose aquascape representative of what you might see in Myanmar, not a true biotope
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Now comes the planting...

This is only a small portion of what went into the soil



Mulm from other tanks and filters was mixed with water and added to just below the front level so I can do a dry start without the threat of bga etc...

The front area is then filled with various crypt species, mainly from the c. x willisii complex and filled out with e. tennelus (Helanthium tenellum) and lilaeopsis mauritiana... some c. parva was added to the front





I used saran wrap taped together to cover the top up and over the protruding wood to maitain humidity



I open the saran wrap daily for gas exhange and spray the plant every so often... maybe a month of this treatment to cycle the soil and get some good root development and I'm going to flood it...

You can see some of the riparium plants acclimating in the back... The overflow is half filled with a small pump circulating the water.

I have tried using aquatic mosses emersed before with varied success... this time I'm going to using terrestrial 'club moss'... the roots work great dipped in the water... the tops of the "stumps" will be covered in moss and various emergent plants and maybe a few orchids if they can handle the lights...
 
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