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Riparium based on Plant filtration

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  • Riparium based on Plant filtration

    Hello Everyone,

    I am starting a 125g riparium for a group of wild Apistogramma cacatuoides and pencilfish from peru. I love water chemistry and I am going to give plant filtration a try. I have been at my current place for three years and my fishkeeping here has been hit or miss. Fish spawn and look great at times, but then I have random bouts of not spawing or not looking that great. Ammonia and nitrate are common in my tap water, but the levels can change. I am a cichlid guy and 50% weekly water changes have always been the norm. But I think this routine has been more detrimental than beneficial over the course of my stay with "iffy" tap water. The tap water performs much better if I age it, but that is not always an easy solution as my house is small. And I am married

    My new approach is going to be heavily planted tanks with emerged and floating plants coupled with a light bioload. I hope water quality drastically improves. I would like to give this tank a swampy/amazon feel. I look forward to learning as much as I can from this website.

    Here is the tank with the water level around where I plan to keep it. All of the rock will be removed. The only decor in the tank will consist of leaf litter and driftwood.


  • #2
    I would also like to add:
    The current filtration is a matten cornerfilter. The water is moved by a 500gph pump. 3/4" PVC runs through the foam cornerfilter and pumps water into the tank. The water is then pulled through the sponge.

    If I can figure out how to attach the plants to the back of the wall then I have a lot of options for delivering water to potted plants. I could run 3/4" PVC drilled with holes down the whole length of the back of the tank if needed. If anybody knows of a setup that is similar to this idea please let me know! I would like to try this as it combines a wet/dry filter with plant filtration.

    Comment


    • #3
      There is a fellow who goes the handle Hoppycalif who used to have an absolutely huge riparium tank years ago and did the drilled background with shelves. I think he fabricated it to look like a rock wall. He's a frequent poster on Aquatic Plant Central, The Planted Tank and The Barr Report. The man is, for real, a retired NASA rocket scientist and has contributed an enormous amount of scientific and technical understanding to the hobby especially when it comes to understanding light and nutrition. I would hunt him down with regards to that planted wall.

      Everything else sounds really good to me but I would caution one thing: Make sure you have some aeration set up, a bubble wall on a big air pump or some really turbulent flow from a filter output because emergent & floating plant roots consume a lot of oxygen.
      "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

      -Micheal S. Montalbano

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for your input.

        If I can come up with a way to allow the water being returned from the tank to trickle over some media, dissolved oxygen should stay high.

        I am trying to stick to plants that will grow with their roots submerged without needing a substrate. So far I have creeping Jenny which is doing really well. I need to buy some water sprite which has also grown well for me in the past. Can you think of any other plants that would work? Do Bacopa sp and Ludwigia need substrate? Mabye Hygrophilia?

        Comment


        • #5
          Common Bacopa monnieri will quickly make a lovely floating flowering mat. All the North American Ludwigia species also do well as floaters, especially that classic L. repens. There's the wonderful floating L. sediodes is you plan to keep it warm. It looks like a fractal growing in your tank! If you plan to keep it cooler, Cabomba does best floating. Hygrophila corymbosa varieties that are tree like probably wouldn't do but the willow leaf variety is a reliable floater. Never forget H. difformis! Also look into Neptunia if you want something exotic looking but is actually pretty undemanding. I'm certain I'm forgetting others but that's what I can think of right now that should be relatively easy to keep and source.
          "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

          -Micheal S. Montalbano

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you so much! What great suggestions. I was actually going to try Hygrophilia corymbosa, but I will avoid it given your advice. Would Hydrocotyle leucocephala grow well either floating or tangled into driftwood branches?

            If I can get my hands on several plant species to try, I am sure a couple of them will fit the bill. I actually prefer having large portions of the tank being dominated by one type of plant versus a setup that has a huge diversity.

            Comment


            • #7
              Forgot to ask:
              H. difformis looks a lot like water sprite. Do the two plants grow in a similar manner when floating?

              Comment


              • #8
                Hydrocotyle leucocephala will vine and creep and spread rather quickly but to really take off it needs Terra forma. Ask any homeowner in the south about the pestilence that is dollar weed.

                Water sprite and H. difformis do look almost identical. The water sprite is a darker green and reproduces much faster and it's actually a fern. It ceaselessly divides as it grows. H. difformis will make chains of daughter plants. Did you know that one tiny sliver of a frond of a water sprite can quickly turn into a whole 'nother plant and then establish a colony? Scary stuff, that. H. difformis grows somewhat more slowly but is easier to manage. Both make great forage if you intend to keep larger omnivorous & herbivorous fish or as living spawning mops, nurseries and cafeterias for breeding tiny species.
                "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

                -Micheal S. Montalbano

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ukamikazu,

                  Edited: Found water sprite.


                  I found this video and plan on trying this with Bacopa monnieri !
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpjJLvTozjY


                  Here is what I am ordering:

                  Ludwigia repens
                  Bacopa monnieri
                  Echinodorus cordifolius (I'm going to let this grow emersed)
                  H. Difformis
                  Hydrocotyle Leucocephala
                  Ceratopteris thalictroides

                  I found this video and plan on trying this with Bacopa monnieri!
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpjJLvTozjY
                  Last edited by aarhud; 07-09-2017, 10:55 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yep. That's exactly how I have mine growing. My albino bristlenose plecos love it like that.
                    "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

                    -Micheal S. Montalbano

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here are some shots of how the plants are growing.

                      Full Tank Shot



                      The water sprite throwing up a couple of stems above water



                      Ludwigia Repens throwing up emersed stem



                      Bacopa just going crazy:


                      Across the tank shot:

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I love the tangle of twigs as a support. Very architectural. The water is nice and dark. Soft & acidic too, I bet. The leaves on the bottom are a nice touch. It feels very Florida Everglades.

                        Any thoughts as to fish? In a set up like this, Anabantoids would thrive and look right at home. You'd be spoiled for choice if you went with catfish. So many possibilities!
                        "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

                        -Micheal S. Montalbano

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you. I'll change the layout around once all of the oak branches get water logged. I like the tangle of twig look as well, it looks natural.

                          I'm a cichlid nut and specifically small cichlids. The tank will host a colony of Apistogramma cacatuoides. I ordered six, but ended up getting 4 males and 2 females. So currently the tank only host a pair and a group of pencilfish (nannostomus marginatus). Once I get some fry, I'll add more females and males to the tank and let them sort out the final numbers. I was scared I would lose the two females due to persistent males, so I divided them up.

                          Here are some shots of the males sparring some when first introduced.





                          Comment


                          • #14
                            They'll be cranking out babies in no time. Very nicely done.
                            "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

                            -Micheal S. Montalbano

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you. I really appreciate your help with the initial plant selection.

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