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Riparium based on Plant filtration

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  • aarhud
    started a topic Riparium based on Plant filtration

    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.


  • ukamikazu
    replied
    I know what you're talking about. Unfortunately, growing plants emersed can also attract mealy bugs, aphids, thrips and gnats as as well. I've never tried diatomaceous earth outside of the garden so that does sound interesting. I remember reading somewhere that pond keepers sometimes make an 8:1 solution of water and diatomaceous earth with good results. I've also heard of spraying vegetable oil but that only works on soft bodied pests.

    When I have dealt with pests, I've used sticky tape, think flypaper, a solution of neem oil and if a nuclear option was required, a 10:1 solution of water and glutaraldehyde followed by a quick rinse. Strangely enough, the neem oil poses a far greater danger to the fish than the glutaraldehyde.

    There's also smashing them by hand and attempts to drown them.

    That's all I got .

    Leave a comment:


  • aarhud
    replied
    I have another question. There are small black bugs on some of the plants. They seem to especially be interested in the frogbit and water lettuce. I knock the bugs into the water, but they get back on the plants. Is there a way to kill these bugs?

    Would removing the infected plants and dusting them with diatomaceous earth be a bad idea?

    Leave a comment:


  • ukamikazu
    replied
    Originally posted by aarhud View Post

    ...maybe this simple approach will work for me.
    If only more people thought this way there would be more happy hobbyists.

    Leave a comment:


  • aarhud
    replied
    Thank you again.

    I have not grown plants emersed before, the dramatic growth has really shocked me. It is fun to see the plants grow so fast. If I would have known that it is this fun and easy, I would have been growing these types of plants long ago!

    Time will tell about my nutrient system. I am using a 10-5-14 aquatic plant fertilizer dosed at the seller's recommendation once or twice a month. I have read conflicting reports about "all in one" type fertilizers. Since the plants I have are known as being undemanding (weeds lol!), maybe this simple approach will work for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • ukamikazu
    replied
    They're called "aerial" roots. They are a means of finding mechanical support for the plant though they are actual, typical roots. After a while they'll turn green then brown as they harden and daughter plants will start to pup out. Eventually, it will seek to root properly but this is not a fussy plant by any stretch. Good fertilization via frequent small feedings of your Apistos will keep it healthy and growing.

    You shouldn't worry. These are all good omens. Everything is going exactly right.

    One thing to keep in mind, as long as you have good light (check), abundant nutrients (double check) and there is plenty of CO2 (triple check) these plants will become weeds in no time. Daily dramatic growth is not at all unusual when growing plants emersed at first. They have an instinct to get out of the water as quickly as possible. There are very few plants that can be called obligate aquatics in reality.

    Leave a comment:


  • aarhud
    replied
    ukamikazu,

    I have a question for you. I tried H. corymbosa because it was cheap and I like the plant a great deal. When I received the plant, there were no roots at all. Today, I noticed that the roots have went crazy! Is this a good thing or is the plant trying to find substrate?

    Hard to tell from my picture, but all of those roots are from the H. corymbosa plant.



    Here is the above water portion (appears to look OK in my completely uninformed opinion)

    Leave a comment:


  • aarhud
    replied
    Thank you. I really appreciate your help with the initial plant selection.

    Leave a comment:


  • ukamikazu
    replied
    They'll be cranking out babies in no time. Very nicely done.

    Leave a comment:


  • aarhud
    replied
    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.





    Leave a comment:


  • ukamikazu
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • aarhud
    replied
    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:

    Leave a comment:


  • ukamikazu
    replied
    Yep. That's exactly how I have mine growing. My albino bristlenose plecos love it like that.

    Leave a comment:


  • aarhud
    replied
    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, 09:55 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • ukamikazu
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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