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South America Riparium

hydrophyte

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I have a pretty good idea for a midground plant, and I already picked one up at a local garden center. Basket grass (Oplismenus) grows as a sprawling plant in moist and shady spots, and it has this terrific foliage.

oplismenus-hirtellus-4-iv-09-i-s.jpg


Basket grass is commonly sold as an annual bedding plant and is easy to find this time of year. DO you have it there in the UK? The small, broad and dark green leaves of this plant will set up a good contrast with the Acorus gramineus. I am going to plant up most of the midground trellis rafts with the basket grass. Here is a shot of these two combined from the 60cm tank that I had going a while ago.

16-viii-09-oplismenus-i-s.jpg


I have found that Opllismenus does not root so well in the gravel in a hanging planter, but it grows just fine with its roots right in the water, so it's a good choice for planting through the holes on a nano trellis raft.

17-v-10-moss-trellis-iii-s.jpg
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I've never seen Basket grass (Oplismenus) for sale in the UK as a plant, but you can get seed of it. Grasses have been very popular plants recently, so my suspicion is our summers aren't warm enough for it.

We could easily substitute a Tradescantia, possibly T. fluminensis "albovttata" or similar.

cheers Darrel
 

hydrophyte

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I have been meaning to try planting Tradescentia in this way. The cuttings certainly are easy enough to root and grow for a while in water.

I have some Tahitian bridal veil (Gibasis geniculata) going in my smaller tank, also on trellis rafts, and so far it is looking good. It started to root right away and has grown a bit.

Hey Darrel my two Amorphophallus konjac tubers have sprouted. It is not an aquatic but I should try to post a couple pictures of the new leaves unfurling. I had forgotten what a lovely green color they have.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Gibasis is another "Tradescantia" that isn't easy to source in the UK. It used to grow under the staging in one of the glasshouses, but I'm not sure whether it is still there. I've had some Tradescantia fluminesis in a pot of water (just topped up for evaporation) for over 2 years, they are still growing, but look in need of a feed. I would imagine that they could grow in water permanently if you fed them. How big does Amorphophallus konjac grow?

cheers Darrel
 

hydrophyte

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I saw an A. konjac in a greenhouse that was something like 2 meters tall. I have had mine going for a few years and I have purposefully held back on feedings to keep them smaller and more a size that will fit on our porch. The leaf blade on the larger of the two is about 50cm tall.
 

hydrophyte

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This setup isn't very much of a "South America Riparium" anymore. It has been through several re-plantings and now there isn't much of a representation of any area in particular.

The underwater area still needs work, but I think that I have the emersed layout pretty well figured out.

5-vi-10-tank-iii-m.jpg


I shuffle things around a bit and added a couple of new plants. These plants are mainly full size, so I don't have to wait much for it to grow in. The midground stuff planted on rafts will need a few weeks to grow and cover up the foam.
 

hydrophyte

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This angle shot is a bit more appealing. I think that the above water area is looking pretty good.

5-vi-10-tank-i-m.jpg
 

hydrophyte

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I have some pretty nice plants going in here. I put together this numbered image to more easily point them out.

5-vi-10-tank-iv-b.jpg


  1. Hygrophila sp.--I am unsure of the species for this one, but it grows really well as a ripairum plant.
  2. Acorus gramineus 'Ogon'--This grass-like (not a true grass) plant fills most of the layout background with its tidy foliage.
  3. Pilea grandifolia--This Pilea is my favorite for use in the riparium midground. It has a size and growth habit similar to aluminum plant (Pilea cardierei), but I find the monotone lime green color to be more attractive.
  4. Acrostichum danaeifolium, giant leather fern--The coarse foliage of this unusual plant makes an interesting contrast against the fine and organized Acorus leaf blades.
  5. Oplismenus hirtellus, basket grass--These stem cuttings are planted onto Nano Trellis Rafts.
  6. Syngonium wenlandii--I like this plant too very much. It is acting like a centerpiece in this layout, but its not too gawdy. I only recently added this new plant to the riparium, so I don't yet know well it will grow in a hanging planter. Darrel might like this plant--it is botanically unusual.
  7. Gibasis geniculata, Tahitian bridal veil--I only started using this plant recently, but so far it is doing well. The little cuttings that I planted onto Nano Trellis Rafts are rooting and beginning to sprout new leaves.
  8. Acorus gramineus 'Dwarf'--A really nice mini Acorus. It is good for the end of this triangle-shaped layout because it has the same form as the larger 'Ogon'.
  9. Bacopa monnieri--This is a great carpeting riparium stem. I have this little clump of stems planted in a hanging planter, then sprawling forward to cover a Nano Trellis Raft.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I really like this layout, I think in some ways the differing leaf shapes in green and silver are more effective than the really colourful layout with lots of red foliage etc. I also think that this should be a reasonably low maintenance.

I haven't found a source for Acrostichum yet, but Syngonium spp. are a common house plant in the UK.

cheers Darrel
 

hydrophyte

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Thanks Darrel! I like this layout too just about as much as any that I have come up with. It never gets any comments though(??).

If you think of it you might snoop around for the species plant Syngonium wendlandii. It is more attractive than any of those houseplant Syngonium cultivars that I have seen, and so far it seems to be easy to keep.

18-iv-10-syngonium-wendlandii-i-m.jpg


Here is a pink Syngonium that I have going in another tank. These do fine in hydroculture too.

3-iv-10-syngonium-i-m.jpg
 

hydrophyte

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I just got a shot tonight of the lone C. wendtii 'Green Gecko' that i have in here by itself up in a front corner. This is one of my favorite underwater plants.

21-vi-10-cryptocoryne-wendtii-green-gecko-i-m.jpg


I got the algae in this tank under control again and it has cleared up well. I hope to come back with a FTS soon.
 

hydrophyte

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I have been working on the underwater area some more and getting closer to a photo-ready layout. Here is a FTS from last night.
21-vi-10-tank-ii-m.jpg
 

hydrophyte

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Here is another angle shot. The above-water area has filled in really well. The Acorus is such a great plant for riparium layouts.

21-vi-10-tank-i-m.jpg


I need to get the camera out again for more close-up specimen shots. I have some nice plants going in here. The leather fern in particular is a great plant. It would be worthwhile to try to get some fish pictures too.
 

hydrophyte

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Thanks so much flygja. This is I think my favorite layout so far that I have put in this tank.
 

TBRO

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I like the separation of the riparium plants, looks like an island. T
 

hydrophyte

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Thanks again so much. Here is another close up view with better detail of the above water plants and not overexposed.

21-vi-10-tank-iv-m.jpg


The grassy yellow-green stuff right in the middle is Oplismenus grass. It makes a real nice midground plant.
 

hydrophyte

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The other night I took a picture for a better view of the underwater area. The fish tend to get lost in the full tank shot, but you can see them pretty well in this shot. A couple of the Synodontis are zooming around there in the foreground.

28-vi-10-tank-planters-ii-m.jpg


Those underwater plants are all planted in Tank Planters. Here is a 'Marble Queen' sword that I potted up last night.

29-vi-planters-vii-bw-s.jpg
 

hydrophyte

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I was admiring the Oplismenus grass tonight and got a quick picture of it. My glary camera flash actually made a pretty nice effect lighting up the grass there in the middle of the frame.

1-vii-10-tank-i-m.jpg


This is a real easy plant. I just have the stems planted right through the holes in a couple of trellis rafts and with the roots right in the water. IT goes real well with the Acorus sweetflag.
 
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