DIY riparium

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
a riparium is a setup, ussually involving baskets, floating things, or trellises, to recreate a shoreline environment for growing plants.
The plants have to be able to tolerate having their leaves out of the water with their roots immersed. This is called emersed, and there are a lot of plants kept in aquariums that can tolerate it.
The plants I will be using are spider-plant (Chlorophytum comosum- NOT an aquarium plant) and Hygrophila "tiger" (Hygrophila polysperma variant- so hardy it's illegal in many states.. but I bought it before I found out about that)
Mine will be setup under the outlets of my HOB filters, flush to the tank, to dampen the trickling noise of the filters and grow up over the tank.
The riparium will be a plastic-mesh "basket" filled with gravel that the plants will be planted in.
I now have the pieces of the basket cut out and sewn into place. I haven't siliconed the basket together yet, but sewing it first should keep it in shape while it cures.
I got some baby spider-plants from my sister, they are sitting in water.
 

Attachments

  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
more on construction

you may have noticed in the pic of the basket w/ tank lid, that there is a high piece there. That is to keep th plants from growing under the tank lid instead of up and over the tank.
Ok, pics:
pic1 materials for sewing "basket"(we haven't gotten to siliconing yet):
thread(doesn't matter what kind, its getting encased in silicone)
needle (in my hand) just makes threading simpler
plastic mesh used for decorative yarn stitching(one sheet made 8"Lx2.75"wx2.75"d w/extra inch on 1side)
scissors or other item for cutting thread and mesh
pic 2: when whip-stitching, it is helpful to hold the edges up against eachother, the thread relaxes anyways and you don't want it too loose
pic 3: whip-stitching also pulls the edges together diagonally, so near the corners I do a whip-stitch the other way to hold the edges even. Cross-stitch emphasized with red(courtesy of cheap computer paint program).
Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, here is a link to the profile for the contraban I bought:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/details.php?id=245&category=genus&spec=Hygrophila
 

Attachments

Aquarist

Fishlore Legend
Messages
39,463
Reaction score
324
Points
458
Experience
More than 10 years
Good morning,

A great DIY project GemstonePony! I've also seen information that Lucky Bamboo and Philodendron can be used along with Spider plant.

I hope they all grow well for you.

Ken
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
Thanks Ken! It looked like such a cool idea, I was surprised not to see anything on them in the DIY section. Oh, here are links I used to guide my research of riparium plants:

http://hydrophytesblog.com/?p=182
I don't believe spider plant appears in either one, but I know that my sister-in-law keeps hers with its roots in a glass of water all year long and it does fine, so I didn't see any reason for it not to work.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
Thanks! Even stitching is easily accomplished when one's holes are in a grid, and mine wouldn't hold up to competition(in the 2nd pic, 5th stitch from my hand is sloppy, evident by the too-sharp angle), but it holds the plastic together!
maybe at some point I'll add a diagram on whip-stitch to that post to help those who don't normally stitch.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
"siliconing"

pic#1 materials for "siliconing", at least that I found useful:
basket(obviously)
100% silicone- found at most home-improvement stores
bamboo skewer(grilling section)- amazingly handy for smoothing out silicone
Decorator bags- I only used 1, and I suppose a plastic bag could work instead, but these have a sharper point for getting in smaller spaces. found in most supermarkets in the cake decorating section
binder bars for report covers- couldn't find any place that carried them so I ordered them online from walmart. would've been cheap, but I had to pay shipping. On the bright side I guess, I now have 50.
squeezed silicone into decorator bag and cut a very tiny hole in the tip.
anyways, pic #2:
applying silicone to inside of basket
pic#3
applied silicone to outside of basket
pic#4
smoothing silicone
pic#5 smoothed silicone
 

Attachments

  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
personalization + strengthening

so after sealing it up and all that jazz, I decided to take off the extra material on the one side. I was disappointed to realize that the filter outlet and the place guiding the in-let were a solid piece of plastic on both filters, so the box wouldn't fit around the outlets let like I wanted it to. I either had to cut a hole for it in the box, or hang the box under the filters, possibly hanging it further in the water than was aesthetically pleasing. I opted for cutting the sides of the box to fit the filter, and then went crazy with the binder holders. some of the smaller pieces had to be siliconed to keep them in place, and to get more stiffness in the lower side bar I cut away part of the top of the bar so the sides would be stiffer without me having to cut away more mesh.
ok, pic#1 progress so far(if I didn't have to accommodate a filter, that box would be SO much simpler!)
pic#2:
I found an easy way to cut the binders:
cut the narrow side part way up(in this pic the bottom of the bar), and cut away(the plastic is hard on scissors) at the wide side of the bar (in this pic the top). Then snap it side-to-side(forwards and backwards in this pic) with the needle-nose pliers. You might want to smooth the ends with a knife, but overall this method is fairly quick and easy.
Next segment should be on installation(I hope). I'll need to use fishing wire for that, I think.. I'll come up with something. At any rate, I'll be using the filters to anchor the riparium on, and I'll be counting on the gravity of the rocks to keep the box up against the back of the tank. There can't be anything in my tank powerful enough to dislodge a box of rocks, it's only 20g.H so the largest fish I will keep is 3".
 

Attachments

psalm18.2

Fishlore Legend
Messages
11,457
Reaction score
731
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
Can't remember, but make sure spider plants aren't toxic to nibbling fish. I have pothos roots in my tank and they look nice.
 

Fishies-for-me

Well Known Member
Messages
1,494
Reaction score
14
Points
123
Experience
More than 10 years
Pothos also known as devils ivy will grow either hanging out of or completely submerged in the tank... I have used them both ways and they do fantastic . They also suck up a lot of nitrates while growing huge and beautiful.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
Can't remember, but make sure spider plants aren't toxic to nibbling fish.
well, the last spider-plant I had got it's roots nibbled and no fish died, so I assume it's safe. I actually managed to kill that one- I kept moving it's location and eventually forgot about it.
Pothos also known as devils ivy will grow either hanging out of or completely submerged in the tank... I have used them both ways and they do fantastic . They also suck up a lot of nitrates while growing huge and beautiful.
we actually have one of those on hand, but I currently don't want vines trailing all over the place and I don't want to put in a trellis for it to climb. This basket isn't very large, otherwise I'd also consider a peace-lilly, and my other plants in my tank will need nitrates as well.
Well, the Tiger Hygro arrived. the water it was in was pretty cold since I wasn't able to get the mail until approx. 6 hrs. after it arrived(was hoping mom would get it, but she didn't), but it looks like it's in pretty good condition. It is in the 2.5 gal. because Trouble, my rabbit snail, eats stressed plants, and has killed a total of 5 vals, eaten holes in the leaves of every plant, and almost entirely eaten my Sword plant.
Hope to install basket this weekend or sooner... earliest is tomarrow night
Edit: that date has been pushed back a tad due to more changes to my box. nervous about the stress on the sides, I added more silicone to all the bars and put in silicone-covered thread(quadrupled) and tooth-picks with silicone over the over the ends(hoping if one fails, the other will hold it until I can fix it). Fishing wire would have been preferable, but we don't have any. i might have to order some before putting the box in.
 

Attachments

  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
I have the box temporarily installed, or more correctly, I did a test run installing it, and left it there. Its in place using string, but that will be replaced with fishing wire once it arrives, and I also need more substrate.
notes(learned the hard way):
Cut more string/wire than you think you will need
Allow MUCH more time than you think you will need
Have the substrate ready to go before-hand
Put your substrate in the box BEFORE attempting to put the box in the tank(it goes everywhere if you do it afterwards)
Attach the thing you will be using to hang the box to either the box or the tank prior to installing it: the less you have to do bent over/on your tip-toes while holding multiple things in your hand, the better.
If your substrate comes from a tank with living creatures in it, vacuum it first. and in the past week doesn't count.
Make sure your knots are secure.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #15

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
I know it's been a while, fishing wire came, and basket is once again temporarily installed: Fishing line is treacherous stuff! knot came undone, I repaired it, knot came undone, I makeshift repaired it and waited for the spider-plants to root(when they are still on the plant, they don't grow roots).
oh, for a substrate I just now got ceramic filter-media rings- I mean, for the amount of water passing through it it might as well efficiently grow beneficial bacteria! Also I took off the wet paper-towels encouraging the plants to take root and discovered I have 1 REALLY well-rooted spider-plant, and one almost well-rooted spider-plant, and a few not-quite-rooted spider plants, but I hope to get the basket permanently installed(with new fishing line, and more planning for which knots to use when), the plants in place, and pics posted tomorrow.
I'm excited to start! BUT it's midnight, and dad wants me off to bed.
 

Everythingzen

Well Known Member
Messages
1,375
Reaction score
12
Points
133
Experience
2 years
Can't wait to hear more! Fishing line is horrid stuff. If you don't have pliers and an idea f knots, then there's no point trying, lol.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #17

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
Got It! I (think I) have mastered the evil fishing line! well, I'll find out eventually.
Anyways...
pic 1(this is still DIY, if you simply want to see the finished product scroll down to my last post!): where I left off: some gravel and glass mancala beads in the bottom of a basket. The java moss had been hanging in my filter, and I planned on transferring a bit to the front of the basket.
pic 2: basket with noodles and gravel and a side of mancala beads.. basically ready for tank, but before putting the basket in I actually had the wire on and through the left loop, so once the tank was in place I could tighten it on and tie it off
pics 3&4: paperclip and cinch my biggest conundrum of how to get the basket to stay in place, was how to tie it in such a way that the knot wouldn't give a little to tighten after being tied. The cinch on a western saddle came to mind, so I tried using that idea and that knot(knotted a few times). It seems to have worked.(please pardon the hard water build-up around the filter)
pic 5: ready for plants
 

Attachments

  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #18

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
pics 1&2: my spider plant
pics 3&4: tiger hygrophila(not this plant, but this is to give an idea of what it looks like.
pic 5: the small hygros in the finished product
 

Attachments

  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #19

GemstonePony

Well Known Member
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
35
Points
133
Experience
5 to 10 years
pic 1: finished! the hygros don't show up well in this pic, hence the last pic
pic 2: doesn't look as good from the front, but you can see the shadow of some java moss in there, so that should hide the basket eventually.
I'm also planning to create a floating island in front of it, which should further camouflage it.
I will probably put a small light above the filter area eventually, just to encourage an upward growth
 

Attachments

Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom