Riparium Update

January 5th, 2010

It’s been a little while since I’ve talked about my Riparium, but it’s been doing fairly well as of late. The biggest improvement has come after I suspended a 4x24W T5 + 250W MH pendant overtop of the tank, which used to light up my old 54G aquarium. This fixture is definitely overkill, but the plants, particularly the terrestrial ones, have really responded growing up above the rim of the 20-high. I’ve started dosing some ferts in this tank also, as I believe the aquasoil has run out. That, and since I added more light, I needed to make sure I balanced that with proper plant nutrition.

Riparium Update

The Zebra Danios are still doing well in this tank, but my favorite fish in here are a pair of Rainbow Darters that I got in the Aquafest auction. They’re really odd, but strangely personable fish, that I feed frozen or live foods directly from a pair of tweezers. When I come into my fish room, they will often skirt right up to the glass and watch me, anticipating being fed.

Rainbow Darter

I feed them via tweezers to ensure that they get fed, as they are not nearly as quick as the danios in the tank. As for the Riparium Supply equipment, I haven’t had any problems. All of the suction cups are still holding everything in place, and the plants anchored in the plastic cups are growing well.

10 Responses to “Riparium Update”

  1. Wickberg Says:

    Amazing tank! I hope I get the chance to set up a riparium sometime 🙂

  2. Says:

    Rainbow darters are great fish. They’re the only fish I’ve found that can snap a trumpet snail right out of its shell. I’m a big fan of that and their personalities. They definitely catch onto You = Food Guy fast.

  3. guitarfish Says:

    OG, I didn’t know that about the trumpet snails! I’m always pulling those out of my other tanks — now I know where to put them! Have you collected any rainbow darters locally? That would be a fun trip once the weather warms up.

  4. Says:

    They won’t destroy a population of trumpets – they don’t get the purely nocturnal ones – but yeah. They’re real fun to watch when they do that. They watch the snail really closely until the moment is right and BANG! Empty shell.

    There’s a spot up north of Leesburg that I went with a NANFA guy this last summer that’s supposed to have rainbows. However, we only caught one female and a very small amount of other darters. He commented that the water was a lot siltier than he remembered, probably due to local construction, and our theory was that the darters had moved to better waters. Worth checking again though.

  5. guitarfish Says:

    That’s really cool — I’m going to introduce the snails to that tank in hope to see it! Definitely let me know when it gets warmer if you want to try to collect some more. 🙂

  6. Says:

    Will do! I’m hoping to get better gear for my next trip to that stream because the rocks are super slick and tennis shoes don’t do well. Hopefully I’ll be able to get those by spring.

    PVAS is planning an outing in April-ish to the streams around Centreville. There’s a thread on the board about it.

  7. hydrophyte Says:

    That looks real nice. Your plants look happy. That Cyperus umbrella sedge there in the middle is one of my favorite riparium plants–it makes a such a cool effect.

    The rainbow darter is super cute. I have heard before that they are personable and inquisitive little fish. I had wondered what kinds of fish you had in here, I thought I was reading the next post when I saw that shot of the darter.

    Have you heard of BT Darters? That is one commercial source for darters and other little native fish for aquariums. They are here in WI. Here is their link…

    <a href=";

    Hey you ought to get a shot of your group of danios too. I saw such a cool fish fish at the LFS the other day, choprae danios. They were something like $7.50 each for a little 1″ fish, but they were neat.

  8. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks for the BT Darters website! I agree that the Cyperus sedge is a nice plant. It’s grown the most since I’ve put in the new light.

    Also, I don’t have a picture of the school of danios, but I did get some decent shots of a few individuals:

    Those Choprae Danios look nice too!

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  10. sherryazure Says:

    Stunning!!! Been following links (diy rimless) and ended up here. But was just wanting to note (from another forum that this is a “new” concept). I have Dr. Innes books (read as a kid in 50’s and mho still very valid – much of what seems “new” to some has been done prior such as all natural so on.) I made one of these when I was young per his beautiful photos of many ideas (cement tanks, wood tanks, aquariums with both land and water areas – I guess called Riparium now, so on).

    I have to say though, the newer equipment makes it not only more beautiful but so much easier to create!(in my days tanks had chrome frames, although they did come in unusual sizes – not easily found today).

    I made mine out of glass and wooden frames (like a Japanese Pagoda, even had a little water fall feature), one part sitting on top of the other, then hung plastic square tubs for the land plants – and that was hard to create… now I see all these ready made aspects which are slimmer and easier to work with. The structure was part of the design as really there was no other option (silicone had NOT been created yet)… Now so sleek. Wow!

    I guess (if this thread is still alive) I would like to know what is the difference between a Riparium and a Paludarium (or for that matter a terrarium/vivarium with a water feature)??? (obviously having kept all three… is there specifics to each that differentiate them? Or overlapping.