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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started this project several months ago.

My general idea is to emulate a South America riverbank habitat. Plants include a couple of different Echinodorus. I also have tetras, a bristlenose pleco and Apistogramma.

Here is the display. It's in a 65 tall Aqueon tank with top rim removed.



I double-posted this picture over in the DIY forum where I was explaining stand build.

The emergent plants are all planted in Riparium Supply accessories. The underwater plants are rooted in pool filter stand. They get bi-weekly ferts and Excel every day. The lighting is bright, but the immersed plants do OK without pressurized CO2 because the emergent stuff throws a lot of shade. They need to grow in some more, but I am pretty happy with the emmersed plants. I need to work on the underwater scape some more.

I'll try to remember to post more later.

Regards,

Hydrophyte
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ripariums are similar in appearance to some paludarium designs, but they are put together differently. paludariums are usually rendered with built-up terrestrial areas and underwater features made with rocks, gravel, driftwood or synthetic foam. ripariums, on the other hand, are planted using hanging and floating plant support devices--similar to the island planters and plant baskets used in ponds.

ripariums are probably easier to set up and maintain than most paludarium designs. it's also easier to grow a wider range of plants in them because all of the planting hardware is modular.

here's the link to Riparium Supply.

http://www.ripariumsupply.com/
 

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That's really cool, I always thought the islands in paludariums were a waste of water space. A while ago I tried to make a floating island for plants out of filterfloss but I didn't have any plants that would grow emergant at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
in that tank i used two different trellis raft models. they are held tight near the rear of the space with velcro that is also attached to the hanging planters. the plants on the rafts help to devlop the composition midground and they also hide the hanging planters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here is the fauna list for that tank:

  • Ancistrus sp. pleco (1
  • Apistogramma sp. (4)
  • Hyphessobrycon megalopterus--black phantom tetra (7)
  • Hemigrammus erythrozonus--glowlight tetra (5)
  • Puntius titteya--cherry barb (5)
  • Corydoras pygmaeusa--dwarf cory (4)

Hydrophyte
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I include here a couple of pictures to show how this display is put together.

This picture was shot over the top rim of one side of the aquarium. Notice that the emergent plants more or less cover the water over the rear 2/3 of its surface. The water surface in the front portion is mostly open.



Here plants are numbered to reference the distinct foliage elements of the composition. Rather erect, tall background plants, including an Acorus sp. (1) and an Echinodorus sp. are rooted in Hanging Planters and fill much of the space in front of the rear panel of glass. Their leaves reach forward into the midground, which is also occupied by Lippia nodiflora (2) and other plants supported by Trellis Rafts. A floating leaf plant, Nymphoides sp. (3), resides between the midground and open water and softens the transition between the two areas. An underwater plant, Hygrophila angustifolia (4), grows in the underwater foreground, taking advantage of the relatively bright conditions there.

Notice, that the front panel of glass (5) is very clean, water spots and chalk lines show are very prominent on this area of glass, more so than for a tank filled to the top with water, so I wipe the glass here with a vinegar and distilled water solution every time that I service the riparium display.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a couple more pictures to explain how to assemble the foliage elements in a riparium compositionr. The shot below also shows a view from the side, but I removed several plants in order to capture a cross-section view.



The next image is the same photograph with some reference numbers added. A Small Hanging Planter (2) hung form the rear pane of aquarium glass (1) holds a Bacopa monnieri plant that grows forward into the composition midground with support provided by a Trellis Raft. A Hemigraphis 'Red Equator' (3) also grows in the midground, supported by a Nano Trellis Raft (4). While the Bacopa is rooted in Riparium Planter Gravel, the roots of the Hemigraphis grow directly in the water.



The next figure is a CAD drawing, also depicting a vining stem plant (60), Trellis Raft (40) and Hanging Planter (30).



Yet another figure, this one with the Hemigraphis plant removed, better shows the Bacopa "lawn" (5), supported by a Trellis Raft, which is only barely visible (6). The carpeting effect created by the floating mat of Bacopa contrast well with the vertical growth of the background plant, an Echinodorus (7), and obscures the Large Hanging Planter that supports that large specimen. Notice that area of water in the front of the composition ( 8 ) is mostly open.

 

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That is so awesome. I just saw the riparium supply site a few weeks ago and I think I saw this tank there. I've always wanted to do a half filled tank like this and now I'm really excited about it. I was just thinking the 29gl my buddy dropped off has great dimensions for this. I wonder how many projects I can take on at once before my marriage falls apart. :prayer:

Anyway, great work, hydrophyte, very inspirational!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's really cool, I always thought the islands in paludariums were a waste of water space. A while ago I tried to make a floating island for plants out of filterfloss but I didn't have any plants that would grow emergant at the time.
Thanks. I think that I have resolved pretty well how to arrange plants in a effective way. I have a rather long blog post that I am still adding to that is all about plant selection.

http://hydrophytesblog.com/?p=182

That is so awesome. I just saw the riparium supply site a few weeks ago and I think I saw this tank there. I've always wanted to do a half filled tank like this and now I'm really excited about it. I was just thinking the 29gl my buddy dropped off has great dimensions for this. I wonder how many projects I can take on at once before my marriage falls apart. :prayer:

Anyway, great work, hydrophyte, very inspirational!
Thank you. A 29G could make a nice display. It is a little bit tricky to work in tank that are just 12" deep front-to-back, but it should work well with the right plants. Crypts might be really good because most of them grow as relatively compact rosettes. I started a thread on APC for a crypt display that i am putting together in a 55.

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/aquascaping/61708-55g-crypt-riparium.html

here's a C. ciliata in a Large Hanging Planter.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was working in the tank again the other night and got some more shots of the Echinodorus palaefolius plant. Here is a view down into the tank.



This plant has grown really big. Its top sticks way out of the tank. i pulled it out in order to get a full-specimen shot. The chain link provides a sense of scale.



That flower stalk has been growing for more than a month with new blooms every day--you can see it off to the left. I don't have the whole thing in the frame, but it is more than 5 feet long.



Here is one of the little plantlets that has developed from the small groups of flower buds.

And here is a bloom.



Mire Monster helped me with the species determination for this one. I had it as E. cordifolius before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The other sword in this display started flowering a few days ago. Here are a couple of pictures.



Does anybody have an idea of which species/variety this might be? Somehow this one never got labelled. It is much smaller than that E. palaefolius that is also in this tank and it has rounded, bright green leaves on long petioles. Note also the difference in flower shape.



I hope that Mire Monster will see this post. He might be able to offer a suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I moved some stuff around in here today. Here is a shot with numbers for all of the plants in hanging planters on the rear pane.



  1. Echinodorus 'Ozelot'
  2. Bacopa monnieri
  3. Echinodorus 'Tropica Marble Queen'
  4. Colocasia fallax 'Silver Dollar'
  5. ?? an unknown Echinodorus
  6. Acorus gramineus 'Ogon'

I had removed the really big sword that was in there: it grew too large. I needed to get more background plants and decided to try to introduce a few different new Echinodorus and other things.

Does anybody know the species for the flower in the post immediately preceding this one. That plant is #6 in the picture above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Miremonster graciously considered my questions and had a look at my pictures two posts back. Here is one of those shots again.



Here is a quote from his PM response.

miremonster said:
The flowers have overlapping petals and apparently more than 12 stamens. The axis between the whorls of the inflorescence is not winged (only triangular). The groups of E. uruguayensis, E. grandiflorus and E. cordifolius have this character combination.
If the inflorescence is arching to decumbent (laying down) and the pedicels (flower stalks) are quite long (up to 5 cm or more) , it is surely Echinodorus cordifolius (in the broader sense, incl. E. fluitans, E. ovalis, E. schlueteri, E. "aschersonianus"). E. grandiflorus group has upright inflorescences and coarse, leathery leaves with round petioles. E. uruguayensis group has ascending to upright inflorescences with few (ca. 3-5) whorls without branches, the leaf rosettes are low in emersed conditions.
Do You have closer photos of the leaves and petioles and the whole plant?

In Echinodorus from the trade it is often not sure if they are still true wild types or hybrids.

A new paper about species delimitation within Echinodorus (without chain swords = Helanthium):

http://www.sci.utu.fi/projects/amazo...08_KewBull.pdf
Wow, great stuff.

today i got a better picture of the whole plant from the base of the crown to the top of the inflorescence it is about 24" (60cm) tall.



With some more description of the whole plant in my PM response, Miremonster arrived at the following additional conclusions.

miremonster said:
I'm now pretty sure Your sword 2 is a form of E. cordifolius. There are different forms, Yours seems to be one with rather elongate, not distinctly heart-shaped leaves. May be E. ovalis or E. fluitans (synonyms of E. cordifolius). In the eastern / southeastern US the typical E. cordifolius with cordate leaves occurs in the wild. Most forms of E. cordifolius get large (like E. palaefolius).

There is a form offered as E. cordifolius 'Mini' by Dennerle (Germany). I realized it is the same stuff like that described as E. schlueteri by Karel Rataj (Sumperk, Czechia). Dr. Jozef Somogyi (Bratislava, Slovakia) found out that Rataj's true E. schlueteri is not the same like the E. "schlueteri" from the trade. Somogyi described the latter as E. maculatus. Both E. maculatus and true E. schlueteri (=E. cordifolius 'Mini') are rather small to medium sized also in emersed condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I recently put together a blog post with some updates about this tank you can view it right here. I have allowed the aquascape in this tank to decline somewhat, but I have some pretty nice plants in here.

Here is a shot through the top of the tank, with numbering for certain certain plants of interest.



1. Spiranthes cernua var. odorata This is a plant that I acquired some time ago. It seems to be doing well, with new leaf growth and healthy root development. Only the bottom 1/3 of the planter is below the water's surface. This is a wetland plant, but I decided to err on the side of giving the roots a somewhat more aerated environment. Water wicks up from the bottom of the planter, so the planter media is wet all of the time. I shot the picture below on the day that I acquired this plant. It is quite a bit larger now.



3. Phragmipedium 'St. Ouen' - This orchid plant has struggled, but it is growing slowly. The picture below shows new root development inside of its planter. Most Phragmipedium species grow in moist to wet habitats in nature, such as locations along waterfalls or mountain streams. However, I have found that this variety does not tolerate having its roots fully submerged in water. I originally situated this plant with most of its planter below water and as a consequence the roots began to rot. The media inside the planter is still quite wet, as water wicks from below, but I now have it hung such that only the bottom 1/2" of the planter is in the water.



8. Orontium aquaticum - This is an extremely cool plant that I acquired at the end of the winter. I had to cut away about 75% of its extensive root system to fit it in its planter. The whole plant declined and I thought at first that it would perish. However, it is a hardy plant and it slowly recovered. It has grown several new sets of leaves and many new roots. The leaves have a wonderful velvety texture and the flowers have a strange, exotic look. I hope that it will bloom for me someday in the display.



9. Echinodorus cordifolius - I have a couple of previous thread posts describing this plant. It is a winner. Here is an older shot of one its blooms.



10. Echinodorus cordifolius 'Tropica Marble Queen' - What a gorgeous plant! I understand that in immersed culture the white variegation on the leaves of 'Tropica Marble Queen' is much more subdued. Here it is well-defined, even though the plant is only receiving moderate light inside of the display.



This is the abridged version. Like I mentioned before more detail is visible on my blog.
 

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your amazon sword are in spectacular condition. i really like your setup it. it does seem alot easier to put together that the paludariums. how did you manage to grow your amazon sword emerse?

the way i grew mine was by sticking the little rootlets outside of the tank before they started growing the leaves.

i was wondering if there are any other way?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks very much! Oh my Amazon swords adapted readily to emersed culture. I have had trouble with most of the other swords that I have tried, many of which have refused to switch to emersed form leaves. I received the 'Marble Queen' as a small plant and it is just now gaining vigor and growing faster. I like it a lot. When it gets bigger I will use it as a centerpiece in this tank.

Yeah those little plantlets that develop on the flower stalks are great for propagating and great for getting the emersed-form plants if you can keep the leaves above water.

When trying to get Echinodorus to switch to emersed form I think that the most important thing is to slowly lower the air relative humidity. If kept in very moist air, the plants will "think" that they are still underwater.

Since the emersed plants are either just stuck to the glass with suction cups or floating these riparium setups are much easier to put together than most kinds of riparium designs--easier to tear down and maintain too. They also have more underwater space for fish because that area is not occupied by a large rockscape or foamscape or other built up structure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I have been working on tidying this tank up some more. Here is a quick shot from tonight, the view down inside.



It will look real good when those various swords grow in just a little bit more. The underwater area is still pretty dingy. I want to work on resolving it so that I can get some more full-tank shots.
 
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