My Journey into a Riparium....(suggestions needed!)
The last couple of weeks I have been looking and getting advice on doing a Riparium. I love the looks of these types of planted aquarium. I have a 40 gallon breeder tank that I am planning on turning into one. This weekend I am going to try and build a simple stand for it as I haven't been able to find one for a good price. So I am going to go to the hardware store and pick up some 2x4s and a piece or two of plywood and make one. It will be nothing fancy but it will get the job done so to speak. LoL
The lights are going to be (2x) Sun Blaster T5HO Complete kit with fixture 39W 6400K - 36". I will be using the 36" T5 NanoTech Shade reflectors made by Sun Blaster for those fixtures. These lights and reflectors will be mounted to a piece of thin plywood and hung from the ceiling (not sure on the height of them yet or the distance between the lights and tank.).
My plans as of now for the plants and setup of the tank is as follows. I am planning on filling the tank about 3/4 with water. The substrate will be sand (probably pool filter sand or playsand) just about an 1" or 2" thick. This is going to be a blackwater setup so I plan on just putting sticks and some rocks in the tank with leaf litter covering the bottom. I am thinking I might also have a couple of Anubias in there.
The top planted section will be
Pilea 'Moon Valley'
I still dont know what kind of fish to have in the tank. I do know I want to stay with something small and that shoals together nicely. I was thinking about getting some Neon Tetras....
As of right now these are my plans. Please any thoughts or suggestion will be much needed and appreciated! I am also heavily debating on rather or not to remove the front section of the rim on this tank to better see the setup. I have seen this done on the same type of tank (same size). The only problem is it will always have to be a riparium once that is done. Not saying that will be a problem just not sure I want to "doom" that tank to forever be one. LoL
I will post some pics this weekend after making my stand. I am also going to go out and get some sand, sticks, rocks, and leaves for this tank. I will also be ordering my lights on Friday or saturday.
It's not hard to find 'bog plants' for the out-of-water areas... Then if you decide to flood it one day, you can.
Assuming the humidity is high enough (70%+) then swords, most crypts, mosses, riccia, bacopa monnerei, hygrophila species, alternanthera, and dozens more can be grown out of the water...
If you want something that shoals, I'd go with rasboras... maybe harlequin rasboras and a dwarf gourami or male betta.
I'm building a paludarium (same thing I think), and I'm doing it brackish so I can have fiddler crabs.
Another way to do a riparium, is to use a hanging basket on the back of the tank, and pieces of cork bark to hide the basket and go all the way to the gravel. They way you get the look, but you also get large water volume.
My understanding the difference between a paludarium and a riparium is that there is a "land" section in a paludarium. Where as there is no land area in a riparium and the plants that are grown above water are all done in hanging planters.
I'll look at some the rasboras later thanks for the suggestion!
With this tank only being filled 3/4 of the way that puts the depth @ 12" then an 1-2" substrate that puts it between 10-11" of water. So not sure about the rasboras maybe the smaller ones?
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