I'm working on another new riparium. This one is going into a 20 Gallon High (24" wide X 12" deep X 16" tall).
This is the the smallest size that i have successfully used for ripariums: it is difficult to hide the planting hardware in a smaller tank. The height of this tank is just enough to accommodate short/medium statured plants.
I am not a big fan of blue backgrounds for aquariums, but wish to try one for this display.
This paint should dry to a somewhat darker, more subdued color.
I don't have any single prevailing theme in mind for planting this one. In the emersed area I intend to use a few hardy low/moderate light plants, such as Cryptocoryne
. In order to accommodate the humidity requirements of the crypts, the tank will be mostly covered with a glass canopy. I will also use just a couple-three crypts in the underwater portion.
Here is the empty tank with background.
I used the golden ratio
as a guide for determining depth of water. This consistently produces a pleasing result. To find the dividing line that would separate the underwater and above water portions I first measured between the bottom of the top plastic frame and the top of the bottom plastic frame, finding a distance of 14.4". By multiplying this value by .6, (rounded down from the golden ratio conjugate, .618033...) I determined that the above water area would be 8.64" tall. So, the water should fill the bottom 5.75" of the tank.
Here is the tank with a quick hardscape. I have found that it is easy to situate rounded river rocks in a nice arrangement. I also used the golden section for the hardscape, placing the largest rock approximately along this line.
The sand substrate is also an inexpensive, easy to work with material--white pool filter sand. It is important to use light-colored substrates in planted ripariums. The emersed plants can begin to throw a lot of shade as they grow and darken the underwater area. Light colors reflect light and brighten the underwater area.
Lastly, a layer of light-colored, rounded pebbles tops the sand. These little stones help to blend the larger rocks and sand layer.
I will add live plants soon.