Blog Archives

Riparium Plants: List of Popular Species

House/Pond Plant Species

  • Spathiphyllum sp. (peace lily) – Most species
  • Pilea sp. – P. cardieri (aluminum plant), P. depressa (creeping jenny), P. grandifolia, P. mollis ‘move valley,’ P. myriophylia, P. nummulariifolia (creeping charlie), P. spruceana ‘silver tree’
  • Gibasis geniculata (Tahitian bridal veil)
  • Dieffenbachia sp. (dumb cane) – Dieffenbachia amoena
  • Chamaedorea elegans (parlor palm)
  • Acorus sp. (sweetflag) – A. americanus and A. calamus
  • Pogonatherum crinitum (baby panda bamboo)
  • Cyperus sp. – C. alternifolius, C. gracilis, and C. papyrus
  • Oplismenus hirtellu
  • Syngonium sp. – S. wenlandii, and various other species
  • Cyrtosperma johnstonii

Emersed Aquatic Species

      • Microsorum sp. (java fern) – pteropus, pteropus ‘wendelov,’ pteropus ‘needle leaf’, (Any java fern species that can be grown emersed)
      • Echinodorus sp. (amazon sword) – E. bleheri, E. cordifolius, (any species that can be grown emersed)
      • Hygrophylia angustifolia
      • Limnophilia aromatica
      • Anubias sp. – A. barteri, A. nana, A. hastifolia, (any species that can be growned emersed)
      • Cryptocorne sp. (crypts) – C. ciliata, C. wendtii, C. cordata, (any species that can be grown emersed)
      • Bacopa sp. – B. monnieri and B. caroliniana
      • Taxiphyllum barbieri or Vesicularia dubyana (java fern)
      • Taxiphyllum alternans (Taiwan moss)
      • Vesicularia montagnei (Christmas moss)

Riparium Supply Small Magnetic Hanging Planter Review

The back of a Riparium Supply magnetic planter

The Riparium Supply Small Magnetic Hanging Planter is just like a suction cup planter, only instead it uses two strong sandwich magnets to attach to the walls of a riparium. The magnets are very strong, so caution should be taken when working with these planters. Riparium Supply has a article about this, and I highly suggest reading it before using this product. There are many advantages to these planters. For one the magnets will never ware out, which happens over time to the suction cup planters. The magnetic planters also have a small stabilizing bar, so that the planter isn’t at an angle when attached to the wall of a riparium, like the suction cup planter. Because the magnets do not take up alot of space like the suction cups, you can fit more on the of them on walls of your tank. Although the magnetic planter a little more expensive then the suction cup planters, they are well worth the extra cash.

What is a Riparium? – AquariumWiki Article

Ripariums are a style of aquaria that utilize a combination of planters, rafts and riparian or emersed aquatic plants (i.e. Spathiphyllum, Dieffenbachia, Acorus, Pilea, Bacopa, Cryptocornes) to create a riparian-like display. The planters are generally made of plastic with several small holes in it. When planted, they are usually filled with a clay based planting media, planted with a hydrophyte or other water loving plant, then attached close to the water line on the back or sides of the riparium display tank. The rafts are usually small and made of a tough foam with many holes sized for the stems of plants in it. After the stems of the selected plant are placed into the holes of the raft, it is attached to the front of a planter in the display. The roots of the riparium plants then have their root systems completely submerged under water and are able to absorb nutrients including nitrogenous wastes from the water column. Ripariums have been confused with another style of aquaria known as paludariums. The biggest difference between these two styles, is that paludariums have a set land area, while ripariums have no set land area, but are comprised of movable planters and rafts. Riparium displays have numerous advantages, including providing cover for shy fishes, removing nitrogenous waste from the water column, adding vibrant colours to a setup, and creating a naturalistic display.

This is a write up I did for AquariumWiki .

Riparium Supply: Tank Planters

A new and ingenious product out from Riparium Supply, Tank Planters are truly a breakthrough in aquaria. What are they, what do they do and are they any good you ask? Well, I shall tell thee.

Tank Planters utilize a small plastic “Planter” filled with a nutrient-rich substrate and the plant’s roots in a self contained unit, that looks like this:

This new product allows you to move plants around, with out having “root trauma,” and it lets you keep your current, non nutrient rich substrate (like silica sand and gravel) and still get good plants growth. Do to the build of the Planters, they are best planted with plants that have large crows and large root systems. So stem plants aren’t a good idea…
So far, I have a Large Tank Planter 2-Pack, which I will use for a vall’, and an Echinodorus spp.
For more info, take a look at the Tank Planter website.

First Thoughts

The packaging is very sleek and professional. All the components where packed perfectly. As I open it up, the strength of the plastic of the planter is amazing. They are very strong and durable, yet very easy to hide behind rock work or under the substrate. The directions are in plain English, so there is no need to get out the German dictionary. Setup is easy. I have a vall’ planted in one of the planters in seconds. After checking that I had done everything correctly, I add it to my 40g Breeder Riparium. I will have to see how everything turns out growth wise, but it should do very well judging by the others who have used these.

Price wise, these babies have an OK price tag, but are completely worth it! Right now, Their are two sizes, Large and Small, and are up for sale in packs.

Tank Planters Mini Garden Combo Pack
Tank Planters Large Planter 2-pack

Take a look! They are worth every penny!

My First Flower!

What a momentous occasion! My first flower! As I was cleaning my 20gH riparium a couple days ago, I noticed a small white stem growing from my largest peace lily (Spathyllium sp.). Later, it was apparent that it was a flower! I am pretty exited, but there is one downer…I am 500 miles away from my tank on vacation! At least the flowers last a long time.

Riparium Supply Review: New Nano Trellis Raft

Riaprium Supply has recently come out with a new type (or design) of Nano Trellis Rafts. Now I dont mean to kick dirt at the original (which is a great product), but the new Nano Trellis Rafts are a great improvement on the originals. For starters, they take up much less space in a riparium because of their curved design. As you can see in the second picture, they almost ‘hug’ the planters. They are also very easy to hid using plants, and are great for plants like Pilea cardieri, and
Bacopa sp. plants.

Picture Courtesy of Riparium Supply

Picture Courtesy of Riparium Supply

In the case of large heavy plants, you can attach small puzzle piece floats to the side of the rafts which give these them more buoyancy. The rafts measure 4 1/2-inches wide in the smaller version, but a larger version for bigger tanks may be available soon.

All in all, Riparium Supply has yet again out done themselves with this great product.

How to Setup a Riparium Planter

The entire riparium planting system is based on one piece of equipment: The riparian planter. These planters are the backbone of any riparium display tank as they often hold the center piece and more prominent emersed plants. With all that in mind, you want to setup those planters right, wouldn’t you? In this article, I will show you how to setup a Riparium Supply planter and how to position it in a display.

To start, let me show you a list of what materials you are going to need.

  • Riparium Supply Planter (with suction cups if needed)
  • Planting substrate (ie, Flourite, aquarium gravel, Riparium Supply Planter Gravel, etc)
  • Expanded clay pebbles (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Mineralized top soil (optional)
  • A prepared riparium plant
  • Back plastic screen

 Now, remember, different plants grow in different enviroments, right? Some grow in swamps, other on the edges of rocky rivers. With this in mind, we can deduce that some plants prefer different planting mediums. We can take this into account when planting a new specimen. Often a little experimenting won’t hurt either.

To start, thoroughly clean the planter, planting substrate and clay pebbles with warm water. This will remove any residues or dust and keep them from clouding up the water in your aquarium. Next, if your model requires, attach the suction cups to the back of the planter. After this is completed, put the black plastic screen into the planter and push it up flat against the back. The plastic screen keeps the gravel from falling out suction cup holes founding the back of the planter. Now comes the real planting. Fill the bottom of the planter with 2-3” of expanded clay pebbles (give or take depending on plant). Now, you are probably thinking in, “What are ’expanded clay pebbles?!’” Well that is a good question. They are a readily used in the hydroponics industry for several reasons: expanded clay has a high CEC rating (they can absorb and then release lots of nutrients) and they provide a good planting medium while keeping the flow of water around the roots high. This medium is usually included with the purchase of a Riparium Supply planter. After the clay pebbles are in, put a small layer of your planting substrate over the pebbles. There are many planting substrate choices. I recommend Riparium Supply’s Planter Gravel, but any aquarium gravel will usually work. Now put the prepared riparium plant in the planter on top of the substrates. (By prepared, I mean cleared of any insects with its roots trimmed to about 1”). The leaves of the plant should be above the rim of the planter. If they aren’t, put more gravel in to give the planter a bit of a “boost.” Also, take not that if the plant happens to have a rhizome it is a good idea to make sure that the rhizome is above the gravel in the planter or else it may rot. Once the plant is in and positioned properly, fill up the rest of the planter with your chosen planting substrate. Be sure to push down lightly on the gravel to compact it so that the plant doesn’t break free of the substrate. Congratulations, you have just setup your first riparium planter.

If you didn’t notice, there was no mention of putting any sort of fertilizer into the planter. This should be done later, as refraining from adding fertilizers to the planter often causes the plant to produce a large root system in search of nutrients. This root system establishes the plant in the planter and keeps it from falling over.

I hope everything made sense. It is all pretty straight forward and easy as you can tell.

Lighting a Riparium

A T5HO hydroponics light fixture hung above a 20gH riparium

There are many many choices out there for lighting a planted aquarium, but finding a light for a riparium can be a problem. First off, some riparium plants (like peace lillys) grow quit tall, so unless you have a very tall tank you are going to need some out of tank space for the plants to grow into. Second, the Rafts and other riparium material will greatly decrease the amount of light getting to the aquatic plants, so having a strong light is a must if you would like aquatic plants. Probably the best way to light a riparium, is to hang a strong light fixture, like a T5HO fixture, above the tank. This can be done many different ways. Some make metal pipe stands that stretch above and over the tank with the light hung by a chain which is attached to the piping, while others attach chains to the ceiling above the tank and then hang the fixture from said chain. Cheap, easily hung T5HO fixtures can be obtained at many online hydroponic stores like Paradigm Gardens.

For lighting my 20gH riparium, (see picture above) I drilled a piece of 2X4 wood into the ceiling. I then drilled two C-hooks on to either side of the wood and attached jack link chain to both hooks. The chain was then attach to the hooks that the manufacturer had added on to either side of the fixture. It doesn’t look the best, but it works!