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Riparium Help Needed Please

NatalieHurrell

New Member
Joined
28 Dec 2020
Messages
6
Location
Basingstoke, UKw
Hi all,

I'm looking to set up an Asian riparium style tank and wondered if you'd be able to offer me some advice please.

The tank will be upwards of 250lts with a dropped waterline (so actual water volume nearer 125lts) and be a combination of submerged and emersed plants. The emersed will have some houseplants in the mix - a pothos and likely a fern of some description. For the submerged part I intend to have Limnophelia Sessiflora and low tech compatible crypts. Floating would be Salvinia.

The inhabitants will be nerite snails, Amanos, a group of Harlequin Rasbora and either a Betta or a group of Sparkling Gourami.

So...

Question 1 - in your experience, there be a ridiculous amount of water loss due to a combo of being rimless and having thirsty houseplants?

Question 2 - I intend to use an Oase Thermo 200 internal, as it combines the heater in it and I am hoping the flow would be suitable for slower moving fish, as it has mini spray bars incorporated in it. Has anyone used one please or alternatively a 200 external with spray bar. Would the flow be too high?

Question 3 - has anyone tried using the clear, plastic shower caddies, that stick to the glass, for containing the house plants? If so, do they stay put and would it be best to use the hydroponic clay balls with a root tab in them or netting and nutrient rich substrate, capped with gravel? Worried too many nutrients will escape into the water...

Question 4 - has anyone experienced any water dripping off leaves and being lost down the sides of the tank?

Thank you folks.
 
Last edited:

ScareCrow

Member
Joined
28 Jan 2019
Messages
177
Location
South west
I can only comment on questions 3 and 4 as I don't have an open top tank or Oase filter.
In response to question 3 - I've not used the shower caddies, I've made planters out of old filter housings and held them on with a bracket that hooks over the edge of the tank. I've seen the shower caddies used though and they'd be fine. If/when the suction cups fail you can replace them or use something like a bulldog clip to hold the planters in place. In regards to nutrients, if you are dosing the tank with fertiliser you could use any coarse substrate.If you're not dosing liquid or dry fertiliser I'd use DIY root tabs (using something like miraclegrow slow release granules), mixed with a course gravel or clay balls like you mention. I think the key with the substrate is allowing water movement past the roots, otherwise they might rot.
Question 4 - I've only noticed water dripping off of the leaves once and that was during a period of really fast growth. Other than that I've not had any water dripping off of the leaves.
 

mort

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
1,617
I have a opentop 60l with very thick and mature riparian growth and only lose a few liters of water a week in the winter with the central heating on. The tank temperature is set to 22c so it sits near room temperature. In the summer, from memory, the evaporation does increase slightly but that's with the windows open.

It's good advice above with the planting substrate and I use an inert substrate in mine and rely on water column dosing. The problem with riparian growth is that it can out compete the submerged plants quite quickly, so I'd make sure they have a decent substrate and heavily root tab them if needed.
I wouldn't rely on suckers because plants can get surprisingly heavy and they won't stay stuck for long.

Water dripping off the leaves does happen and it's a process I believed is called guttation. It goes along the lines of, during the night when the plant doesn't transpire any more but the roots are still taking up water, the plant reaches a point where this excess moisture pressure is forced out of the stomata and forms little droplets on the leaves. I frequently notice this with my larger leaved plants but have never noticed it causing any problems on the tank or floors.
 

zozo

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Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
7,854
Location
Netherlands
Question 1, depends a lot on your indoor climate, but on average 2 litres a day could be a valid number with evaporation also in play.

Question 4, I only experienced this with dead plant matter in the water hanging over the rim, this can work as capillary fibre and syphon... But then the water level needs to be close enough to the rim to make it overcome gravity and start the syphon.
 

NatalieHurrell

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Thread starter
Joined
28 Dec 2020
Messages
6
Location
Basingstoke, UKw
Thanks for the replies. I was intending to use Dannerle 6in1 over crushed lava and under 1-3mm gravel, for CEC exchange, with column dosing if required. My tap water has a nitrate reading of 40. Hopefully that will counteract the hungry house plants!

The gutteration is interesting. Will read up on that. Thank you.

The other option was a having a glass cover over half the tank, to lessen evaporation, but thought the Salvinia might object to the condensation.

I could always go for temperate fish and a lower temperature.

See, therein lies the usual problem. You think too much and end up wanting five tanks, not one...
 

mort

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
1,617
I do have a lid on my riparium that covers the exposed open water section but I only use it when I add fish I'm trying to breed to the tank that I know are jumpy. I do have the water level to the top of the tank with the emersed plants along the back which I think is different to your half filled plans, but when the glass is on it doesn't get any condensation on it because there is enough air space for evaporating water to escape the tank. I don't know if this means it does nothing for stopping evaporation because it isn't a tight enough cover.

I have, in another tank, salvinia, frogbit, red root floater and Hygrorhyza, and none mind that it has a glass lid and gets droplets of condensation on it. I think they actually enjoy the humid air layer the lid creates as they do better than when I have had them in open top tanks.
 

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