Riparium Aquarium Style
Now that you already determined the ideal location and dimensions of your tank, it is time to think about your planted aquarium style. This article will discuss the different aquascaping designs to unleash the inner artist in you, specifically the Riparium Aquarium.
Aquascaping is the art of arranging aquatic plants, driftwood, rocks, stones, and even the substrate in an aesthetically pleasing and natural manner.
You probably searched on the internet and were overwhelmed by tons of aquascaping images and still cannot decide. So in this article: the main characteristics, what tank to use, light, substrate, if you need CO2, what filter, fertilizer, hardscape, what fish and plants will be discussed to help you in your decisions.
Table of Contents
Riparium Aquarium Style
What Tank to Use?
What Light to Use?
Do I Need to Inject CO2?
Do I Need to Dose Fertilizers?
Aquatic or Semi-Aquatic (Faunas)?
For Carpet/Foreground Plants
For Midground/Background Plants
Plants on Hardscapes
Why is it so important to know the different aquascaping designs?
These are no strict rules, and there is nothing that will hinder you from getting out of a particular design’s theme and combine it with other styles.
However, you’ll probably can create a much more appealing result if you are following a particular style.
So without further ado, here are the most common styles/designs you’ll see in planted aquariums.
This style is characterized by many different assortments of plants and leaf types. Carefully planning and designing a multitude of textures, shapes, and plants’ colors is the main focus. It is much like the terrestrial plants that are displayed in flower gardens. It commonly employs raised layers, or terraces, known as “Dutch streets” that taper towards the rear to convey the perspective of depth.
Aquascaped by Jay-R Huelar Philippines
This style re-creates various terrestrial landscapes like hills, valleys, mountains, rain forests, even a half-submerged ecosystem, etc. This design has limitless potential for beauty and creativity. The Nature aquascape or Ryoboku Style encompasses the same core principles of Japanese gardening techniques.
Aquascaped by Fritz Rabaya Philippines
It is a style that is characterized by its daring stone formations, elegance, simplicity of open space with carpeting plants only, and dedication to conveying a natural and tranquil setting. The style features a series of stones arranged according to the Golden Ratio, or Rule of Thirds. There should always be an odd number of stones to prevent the layout from balancing.
Aquascaped by Monnette Arañas Philippines
The Jungle Style encompasses the wild, untamed look. It is the complete opposite of the Dutch style, more organized and looks like a conventional tulips garden. The Jungle style overlaps with the core elements of the Nature Style except that the Jungle Style has little to no visible hardscape and limited open space due to the overgrown plants. The plants are even allowed to reach the surface and beyond.
Aquascaped by Franco Chester Pongco Philippines
The Hardscape Diorama Style is still a subset of the Nature Style. The only differences are emphasizing using a lot of hardscapes and building complex nature-like structures such as forest, caves, bonsai trees, canyons, or even fantasy worlds. Dynamic skills should be mainly displayed here to create an illusion of depth, scale, and proportions.
Aquascaped by Michael Yap Philippines
A Paludarium is a type of vivarium that contains water and land in the same environment or encasement. The design can simulate natural habitats such as rainforests, jungles, streams, riverbanks, and bogs. In a Paludarium, part of the aquarium is underwater, and part is above water.
Aquascaped by Yuno Cyan Philippines
A Riparium is a type of Vivarium that typically depicts an environment where water meets land (riverbanks, streambanks, the shoreline of marshes and swamps or lakes), but it does have minimal to no land parts, unlike a Paludarium (which provides significant land parts). In other words, you are replicating the shallow parts of these natural bodies of water.
The Taiwanese Style of Aquascaping combines the elements of Nature, Iwagumi, or Dutch styles, but the most bizarre feature is using figurines, toys, etc. in the tank to create a sense of life. The style isn’t prevalent anymore, but there are still many hobbyists quite fascinated by this style.
Aquascaped by Ian Garrido Philippines
The biotope style seeks to perfectly imitate a particular aquatic habitat at a specific geographic location. From the fish to plants, the rocks, substrate, driftwood, water current, and even the water and current parameters of a certain aquatic habitat must be the basis of trying to recreate the natural environment, and not necessarily convey like a garden-like display.
Aquascaped by Lao Ricci Philippines
The Walstad Method choose to grow plants using very minimum technology as possible. This approach, which is sometimes called “The Natural Planted Tank” and is made popular by Diana Walstad, suggested using soil as a cheap replacement to the aquasoil or aquarium gravel, sometimes with no filtration, no CO2 injection, and limited lighting.
Aquascaped by Mark Ivan Suarez Philippines
Riparium Aquarium Style
We already discussed what a Riparium is in the previous article. It is a type of Vivarium that typically depicts an environment where water meets land (riverbanks, streambanks, the shoreline of marshes and swamps or lakes), but it does have minimal to no land parts, unlike a Paludarium (which provides significant land parts). In other words, you are replicating the shallow parts of these natural bodies of water.
It should always have plants that break beyond the waterline (half-submerged) or terrestrial plants that can grow marginal (only their roots, crowns, or rhizomes are underwater). It can also have aquatic plants that are always submerged.
A Riparium can have animals or no animals. But due to the shallowness, open nature, and minimal land parts, most of the amphibians and reptiles that can work in a Paludarium won’t work in a Riparium. So a Riparium still best works with aquatic animals such as fish, snails, or shrimps.
They can either escape (climb the tall plants unless your tank is covered) or drown unless you provided enough platform/land and easy access for them to rest above water, but that is a Paludarium already.
It is closest to the bank of a full-blown pond but in a miniature size where plants can grow fully submerged, half-submerged, or marginal. You are not limited to glass tanks/aquariums. Any watertight enclosures like storage boxes, or old unused refrigerator cases, even an old satellite dish, or a basin, etc. can be used.
They are usually just half-filled with water to convey the shallowness or use shallow tanks. Or the hobbyist can fill a shallow aquarium full depending on the theme he/she is trying to portray. It depends on the animals and plants you plan to keep.
This is why I published a separate article for this very distinctive style. There are many pros to this style but there are some cons too. Below, we outlined those to you:
A 67% filled Riparium Aquascaped by Fritz Rabaya Philippines
1. Planted aquariums are normally viewed from the front and sides but a Riparium can provide a breathtaking top view. In fact, the main theme of this style is the shallowness and the plants growing beyond the water level and out of the tank that often gives the ‘wow’ effect.
A Riparium using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by Enzo Bercs Philippines
Can be Considered as a Riparium Aquascaped by Renier G. Javier Philippines
2. Growing aquatic plants may be challenging to some in a planted aquarium. Starting off with a Riparium gives a beginner hobbyist higher chances of success by using easy-to-grow aquatic plants and an abundance of easily grown terrestrial, marginal, and pond plants.
3. If you want a pond set up on your terrace, backyard, or inside your home but have no space or means (cost of landscaping and excavation), a Riparium in an enclosure is the closest thing you can get without emptying your pockets.
4. A Riparium can act as a small-scale Aquaponics system, not for harvesting crops, but for ornamental terrestrial plants. All the plants (much faster with marginal and floating plants) help keep the water clean by using the accumulating nutrients such as Ammonia, Nitrites, Phosphates, and Nitrates for their growth and filter the water off of those excess nutrients.
Combination of a Riparium and Walstad Method Top View using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by Arnel Perez Philippines
The plants’ water filtering action can supplement the filter you are using where the Nitrogen Cycle can still happen. The good bacteria can colonize on all submerged parts of your tank, including the hardscapes, substrate, submerged hardware, even in the plant itself and some are even free-floating in water.
At the same time, the fauna’s wastes provide nutrients to your plants and good bacteria to oxidize. In short, the faunas, floras, and beneficial bacteria look for each other’s needs and balance them, no wastewater, no water changes, just top up the water when the level goes down.
It is important though that you have a lot of marginal and terrestrial plants with their roots submerged in your Riparium to take advantage of the excess nutrients in your water column.
It is also very important that you provide lots of water aeration in your Riparium, just like a fountain or running waterfall effect in a pond. We will explain this further down below.
5. As a result of aquatic plants going emergent and having an unlimited supply of atmospheric CO2, they can display large, ovate, thick leaves that don’t develop underwater. You may see them flower too and some aquatic plants’ flowers are simply remarkable.
This also applies to pond and marginal plants. They can grow so fast due to an unlimited supply of nutrients, water, and atmospheric CO2. They can be Nitrate hogs – get rid of your excess Nitrates in the water column. You can trim and propagate them back to soil-based pots to add to your garden or can be sold for extra income.
A Riparium using a Shallow Tank Side View Aquascaped by Johann Vinluan Philippines
A Riparium using a Shallow Tank Top View Aquascaped by Johann Vinluan Philippines
This can turn to a disadvantage too, please see cons below.
With only their roots submerged, not all terrestrial plants will work though. In the plants section below, we will list the types that have higher chances of success and how you can prepare them to be planted in a Riparium.
We will also answer the question “why some terrestrial plants can drown and die when overwatered in soil-based pots but can thrive indefinitely with only their roots submerged in a Riparium”.
A Riparium using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by Francis Raneses Penaranda of Aquafoor Scaper Philippines
Aquaponics with Ornamental Plants
1. The plants exposed to air can be subjected to pests and other vermins depending on your location. I found slugs hanging around during the rainy season and caterpillars eating away at my Syngonium and Pothos leaves once before.
2. Your tall terrestrial plants growing so fast can create a Jungle canopy, blocking light to your low-growing and submerged plants. It is required of you to trim often to avoid this but it may turn into an advantage by propagating the trimmings elsewhere in your tank to fill it or to your soil-based garden or can be sold in pots for extra income.
Some terrestrial stem plants like Coleus and Wandering Jew don’t respond well to trimming though, most especially with only their roots submerged in water. They will thrive from the start but once you trim them, the lower part will slowly rot.
They may still grow new shoots and roots in the higher part of the main stem but the lower stem part will rot then melt and will not be able to support the plant. You can remove/cut the rotting lower stem and replant the healthy upper stem.
Some of my Marginal Plants still Reached my light and even beyond it
What Tank to Use?
You can use conventional aquarium tanks filled just halfway or 75% or you can use a shallow tank for this style. There are no standard volumes that we can recommend as any watertight enclosures can be used like storage boxes, an old refrigerator case, a basin, or even an old satellite dish, etc. It depends on your budget as the hardscapes’ cost to build an island and provide varying depths is directly proportional to the size of your enclosure.
My 35.6 gallons Riparium below in a black storage box is only filled up to 20 gallons to depict the shallowness. I used about 10 kilos of medium to large size black and red lava rocks for creating an island around the perimeter (shallow on the sides and back then going deeper in the middle and front) and about 8 kilos of pea-sized lava rocks as substrate.
Also, please consider the animals you want to keep in deciding your Riparium tank’s size. You don’t want your Pacman Frogs, Axolotl, or Angel Fish in a 5-10 gallons tank that is half-filled. I only have Mollies, snails, and Amano shrimps in my Riparium.
You can use a cube tank, but a rectangular enclosure is more natural-looking for a Riparium. Also, we suggest having a tank with more depth in it than height for easy scaping/planting and providing more horizontal living space for your plants and animals.
I used Lava rocks to Establish the Shallow Depths in my Riparium (Shallow on the back and sides, getting deeper towards the middle and front) – Testing the trimmings of my Wife’s Pothos
What Light to Use?
Lighting is not too critical if you are just using undemanding submerged and terrestrial house plants. Having low to medium strength lighting is enough. A decent LED lighting for planted aquariums can be used. Even a simple clip-on LED light will do. If your Riparium is outside the house, on the terrace, for example, but shaded, even the ambient light from the sun is enough.
I still strongly recommend that you use a dimmer so you can adjust the intensity of your light lower once unpleasant algae started to show up in your Riparium setup. My Riparium is on our terrace along with our terrestrial garden receiving plenty of ambient light.
A Riparium using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by Patrick Sarmiento of IG @theglassgardenstudio Philippines
My Chihiros A Plus on Timer and Dimmer
If you know electronics and building skills, you can even DIY/experiment with your light fixture using LED bulbs. Some had success with LED grow lights, even 5730, 5630, 5050, and 3528 LED strips.
For my Riparium, I hanged my old Chihiros A Plus about 17 inches from the top of my storage box at 70 % intensity to accommodate the fast-growing tall plants. My Syngoniums, Horsetails, and Coleus still reached it. My lighting is also on a timer and dimmer to simulate dusk and dawn.
Whichever route you choose for your Riparium aquarium lighting, the most important thing is you should be able to control/adjust the intensity (which can be done with 3rd party dimmers for LEDs, or if dimmers are not possible, you should be able to adjust the height of your lighting fixture.
A Riparium using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by Arwin I. Mangay Philippines
View of my Marginal Plants planted in Aquaponics net pots – Lava Rocks for Substrate
You don’t need a substrate if you are just using undemanding epiphyte plants. But you can still use inert sand, coarse gravel, small rocks, or crushed lava rocks at the bottom of the submerged part of your Riparium for aesthetical purposes and to act as biological media where good bacteria can colonize. You can tie or stick your epiphyte plants in rocks and driftwood.
For your terrestrial and marginal plants that have only their roots submerged, I would recommend planting them using net pots typically used for Aquaponics then pea-sized lava rocks as substrate.
It will serve as their anchor and weight too to remain upright. You can position them on hardscape crevices where part of the net pot and the roots are underwater (about 1 to 2 inches deep). Make sure that no leaves are underwater. By using soil, it will just be eroded and cloud the water.
A Riparium using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by Francis Albert Lagahid Philippines
Another view of my plants in Aquaponics net pots
If you are using driftwood and rocks for a shallow island, you can tie the terrestrial plants or insert them into crevices so that only their roots are submerged in water.
Large Anubias, Bucephalandra species, Java Ferns, Bolbitis, Pinnatifidas, etc. tied or glued to higher hardscapes can break the surface of the water.
If you want to use Amazon Swords, Hygrophila species, Cryptocoryne species, Aponogeton, Nymphaea, even the creeping Tripartitas, and Jenny: they can break the water surface in your Riparium too. You can use a regular garden or potting soil top with inert black or beige sand for a combination of the Walstad Method and Riparium.
Or you can just use Aquasoil to save you the trouble of cloudy water caused by soil substrate when changing your scape or transferring your plants (uprooting) here and there.
Do I Need to Inject CO2?
Again, if you are just using epiphyte and undemanding plants, you don’t need to inject CO2. Half-submerged/emergent and terrestrial plants have better access to CO2 from the atmosphere than aquatic plants.
A Riparium in Combination with Walstad Method using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by Arnel Perez Philippines
Can be Considered a Riparium using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by Francis Albert Lagahid Philippines
A properly sized filter for your Riparium, such as a Canister, HOB, or Internal filter (with a built-in pump), can provide the necessary filtration for your aquatic life. In my Riparium, I used a 7 watts internal filter pointed upwards to create a fountain-like effect.
This will also provide lots of water aeration to oxygenate the water for our aquatic faunas. Remember, our beneficial bacteria need oxygen (aerobic environment) to perform their nitrification activities. There is a foam in the intake of my filter to prevent sucking in the small fry of my Mollies. The water agitation also prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs in our Riparium.
Now, the question “why some terrestrial plants can drown and die when overwatered in soil-based pots but can thrive indefinitely with only their roots submerged in a Riparium”?
The fact is, plants’ roots need oxygen. Oxygen exists in air pockets under the soil. When you overwater, the air pockets will be filled/replaced with water most especially if the pot has no drainage or your drainage is not working (blocked) or you are using very compacted soil. The soil is drenched in water and has no oxygen for your plant’s roots. The plant starts to drown due to the lack of oxygen.
Providing Water Aeration in my Riparium
In a Riparium with well-aerated water, lots of dissolved oxygen exists in the water. The terrestrial plants won’t drown. They will grow new roots adapted to being submerged to extract the dissolved oxygen and nutrients. We have to prepare the terrestrial plants before submerging their roots which we will explain further below.
Some hobbyists also deploy foggers or misters to provide a misty or foggy effect in their Riparium. Another practical purpose of using such a device is to provide the needed humidity and moisture to the ecosystem. This can also help ward off some pests.
Can be Considered as a Riparium using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by IG @neiascapes Philippines
Using a Mist Maker for some Foggy Swamp Effect in my Riparium
Do I Need to Dose Fertilizers?
You can dose fertilizers in the water very lean or not at all. Riparium setups in combination with Aquaponics, once stable, will have the bacteria, animals, and plants look after each other’s needs.
You can insert Osmocote beads (a slow-release fertilizer) deep into the substrate to fertilize the substrate. Most carpeting plants benefit from this to spread faster and get thicker. This also works on your hungry stem and bulb plants by inserting beads of Osmocote near the plants’ roots.
Even aqua soils deplete their nutrients over time, and you can insert Osmocote beads into your substrate every 6 months.
For your terrestrial plants in net pots with pea-sized lava rocks as substrate, you can also put 2-3 Osmocote beads over the lava rocks.
Ormocote Beads on the Pea-sized lava rocks substrate
The amount of your hardscapes depend on the size of your tank/enclosure and how much water you want to fill your Riparium. In my Riparium for example, I used about 10 kilos of medium to large size black and red lava rocks for creating an island around the perimeter (shallow on the sides and back then going deeper in the middle and front) and about 8 kilos of pea-sized lava rocks as substrate.
You need rocks and driftwood to create a shallow island and to provide various shallow levels for your marginal plants. These can be sourced from Mother Nature or can be purchased.
Though some rocks/stones popularly used in aquascaping can add to your KH (releasing carbonates, thus increasing your pH), it is also imperative that your stones/rocks be inert.
Among the rocks/stones that do not affect your water parameters at all are Dragon/Ohko stones, Red/Black Lava Rocks, Sansui Stones, Koke Stones, Manten Stones, Petrified Wood, Quartzites, Slate, Shale, and Unzan Stones.
Can be Considered as a Riparium Aquascaped by Johann Vinluan Philippines
Aquatic or Semi-Aquatic (Faunas)?
A Riparium can have animals or no animals. But due to the shallowness, open-top nature, and minimal land parts, most of the amphibians and reptiles that can work in a Paludarium won’t work in a Riparium.
They can either escape (climb the tall plants or jump unless your tank is covered) or drown unless you provided enough platform/land and easy access for them to rest above water, but that is a Paludarium already. They can be too large and can wreak havoc with your plants and scape.
A friend of mine had succeeded with Pacman frogs in a half-filled Riparium using a regular aquarium tank. He provided rock platforms for them to rest and feel good above water.
Keeping an Axolotl or a pair can be a possibility as well, keeping in mind that you are just filling the tank just halfway or 3/4, or 2/3, so they need a large tank (at least 40 gallons and above so you can have at least 20 to 30 gallons of water volume half-filled for example). Please research how to care for Axolotls.
A Half-filled Riparium with Pacman Frogs Aquascaped by Alain Denco Invierno Philippines
If you plan to keep fish only and other aquatic invertebrates in your Riparium setup, we recommend just one nano fish species like 6-12 individuals of Cardinal Tetras, Ember Tetras, Zebra Danios, Glowlight Tetras, Harlequin or Chili Rasboras, Mollies, Platies, Barbs, Guppies, etc.
You can also add aquatic invertebrates such as snails and shrimps to the nano fish species mentioned above. Some hobbyists only keep snails and shrimps with no fish at all for their Ripariums. For snails, we recommend Nerite and Ramshorn Snails. For shrimps, we recommend the common Amano and Red Cherry Shrimps.
Or you can choose to keep no animals at all if you just want to showcase the plants.
Can be Considered as a Riparium using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by Jan Michael Carrillo Philippines
Can be Considered a Riparium using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by Michael Yap Philippines
As I mentioned above, you can have 3-4 states/forms of plants in a Riparium: submerge, emergents, marginals, and floating.
Submerge plants are the ones that can grow low and thrive underwater. They can be pure aquatic or semi-aquatic plants. These are the plants that you are accustomed to in a planted aquarium. They may turn emergent as well since a Riparium is shallow.
Submerge Anubias, Hydrocotyle Tripartitas, Bucephalandras, Cryptocorynes in my Riparium
Emergent plants are the ones that start as submerge but can grow tall (if you don’t trim them) and beyond the water surface. Examples are large Anubias, Bucephalandra species, Java Ferns, Bolbitis, Amazon Swords (Echinodorus species), Hygrophila species, Ludwigia species, Limnophila species, Nymphaea species, Cryptocoryne species, some Aponogeton species, Gotu Kola, even the creeping Tripartitas, and Jenny, etc.
Emerging Limnophila Belems Grown by Jr Jayr L. Bagni Philippines
Marginal plants are pond or terrestrial plants that can grow and thrive indefinitely with only their roots underwater. You can experiment with a lot of terrestrial plants in this part of your Riparium but you will have a higher chance of success on bulbous, tuberous, rhizomatic, creeping, etc. terrestrial plants.
Not all stem plants will work most especially those that have woody-like stems. Stem plants that have succulent stems may work at the start but once you trim them, the lower part may slowly rot. You can replant the higher part of the trimmings and replace the lower part.
A Riparium using a Shallow Tank Aquascaped by Shanne Kirby Sta. Maria Philippines
Most terrestrial plants that can work in a Riparium with only their roots submerged won’t tolerate their lower leaves submerged. The leaves will quickly melt. Part of their preparation before planting in a Riparium is to trim these lower leaves so that only the roots or lower stem/s are submerged.
Close up View of my Gotu Kola
My Rhizomatic Begonia growing new Leaves
Keep in mind that you trim the roots of terrestrial plants you bought in pots with soil before positioning them in your Riparium. Wash the lower part thoroughly to remove the soil. If you don’t, it’s hard to plant them and those roots adapted in the soil will melt and decay and can add to your Ammonia. The melting and decaying roots may compromise the whole plant as well.
Once the lower part is underwater, trimmed, and free from soil, it will quickly grow new roots adapted to being submerged capable of extracting nutrients and dissolved oxygen underwater.
My Cyperus Isocladus Close up
View of my Creeping Fig – supported by black sewing thread – only their roots are submerge
Note that we never mentioned bog plants. A bog is a wetland that accumulates peat. All marginal plants can thrive in a bog, but bog plants usually can’t tolerate the deeper depths of water that marginal plants can live in a Riparium. Bog plants work great in the edges of ponds where the soil is always wet. Providing significant land parts is technically a Paludarium already.
Philodendron Burle Marx and Temptation
Pothos varieties held by black Sewing thread to prevent the leaves from Submerging. Some are just laid on top of Lava rocks.
As I mentioned above, plant them in net pots used for Aquaponics and using pea-sized lava, or pumice rocks, or gravel as substrate. Soil will just be eroded and will cloud the water. This will also serve as their anchor and weight to remain upright. Your shallow depths should be established already to make sure only the roots/tubers/rhizomes are underwater.
Dwarf Peace Lily and Emergent Cryptocoryne Spiralis and Echinodorus Ozelot
My Syngoniums growing beyond the light which is 17 inches from the top of my Storage box
You can also use glass planters with suction cups (used for aquariums) or hanging pots for terrestrial plants that won’t work with their roots submerged in water. This time, you can use soil. You can stick or hang the planters on the inside walls of your enclosure.
You can see here that my Creeping Fig was planted in a glass planter before
This is my Riparium After About 4 Months – you can still see my Persian Shield, Coleus and Fittonias in here
These pond/terrestrial plants will thrive indefinitely in a Riparium (as long as there is substantial water aeration and only roots/rhizomes/tubers/root part of the bulb is submerged). If you can grow the plant in water in a vase or mason’s jar, then they can likely work in a Riparium:
- Most Syngonium
- Most Philodendron
- Tuberous Alocasia (may not grow too large in a Riparium)
- Tuberous or Rhizomatic Begonias (takes a while to adjust)
- Tuberous Calatheas
- Cyperus (Umbrella Palm, Papyrus, Isocladus)
- Equisetums (Horsetail)
- Rhizomatic Ferns (Boston, Maidenhair, Monarch Ferns)
- Peace Lilies
- Lucky Bamboo
Cyperus Papyrus – they can get really tall though
- Aloe Vera
- Spider Plant
- Purple Heart
- Sweet Potato
- Creeping Fig
- Monstera species
- Creeping Jenny
- English Ivy
- Schismatoglottis Wallichii
- Pothos varieties
- Corkscrew Rush
View of my Umbrella Palms, Alocasia Cucullata, Cyperus Isocladus
- Northern Blue Flag
- Herbs (Fennel, Celery, Green Onions, Basil. Oregano, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Lavender)
- Sweet Flag
- Baby’s Tears
- Marsh Marigolds, etc.
- African Violets
These terrestrial stem plants with their roots submerged in water or always wet will work but once you trim them, they will grow new shoots but the lower portion may slowly rot and die. You can replant the upper trimmings though and replace the lower parts.
- Persian Shield
- Wandering Jew
- Purple Waffle
- Polka Dot Plant
- Aluminum Plant
Can be Considered a Riparium in Combination with Biotope B3 Class-Based from the River after Binangawan Falls Camiguin Plants came from the river itself Aquascaped by Joseph Christian Philippines
Floating plants can also be used in a Riparium but know that some species may get too invasive and will block the light from reaching your submerged plants.
I didn’t use any floating plants in my Riparium, but as you can see from the many examples here, you can use them as long as your submerged plants are the undemanding types. Keep them from getting too invasive by monitoring their population.
Remember, don’t discard your excess floating plants in local bodies of water (streams, rivers, lakes, swamps, marshes, etc.) as they may disrupt the balance in that ecosystem. You can make them as compost for your terrestrial gardens.
Click Gallery to Enlarge and See the Captions
No water change in my Riparium, Just top up the water when the level goes down
My Riparium looking much more like a Miniature Pond
A Riparium is a type of vivarium that simulates the shoreline of rivers, streams, marshes, swamps, lakes, etc. It does have minimal to no land parts. In other words, we are replicating the shallow parts of these natural bodies of water.
We can also consider Ripariums under the Nature style as it still overlaps with the core elements of simulating a natural ecosystem.
There should always have plants that break beyond the waterline (half-submerged/emergent) and pond/marginal plants as well (only their roots, crowns, or rhizomes are underwater). It can also have aquatic plants that are always submerged.
A Riparium can have animals or no animals. But due to the shallowness, open nature, and minimal land parts, a Riparium still best works with aquatic animals.
They are usually just half-filled with water to convey the shallowness or use shallow tanks. We also discussed the pros and cons of this style.
Want to Explore More?
The fastest method of cycling our planted aquarium works if you have an old established tank or a friend’s tank, but what if you don’t have any and are starting from scratch? The traditional method of cycling our tank, fish-in cycling, involves adding a few hardy fish to jumpstart the Nitrogen Cycle.
Nature has its own natural water-filtration processes long before we humans tampered over it. From wetlands, which serve as natural kidneys that remove 20 to 60 % of metals in the water, trap 80 to 90 % of sediments from run-off, and eliminate 70 to 90 % of the water’s nitrogenous waste. It is essential to understand the functions of a good filtration for planted aquariums and our faunas, what it removes and what it retains, and the benefits/pros and cons of each type.
How does Osmosis relate to the quality of water we used? It turns out, faunas and plants don’t only need pure H2O molecules. They also need salts (carbonates), minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron), etc. Present in the water but also not too much.
After choosing the ideal location of your aquarium at your home and the stand to be used, you have to determine your planted aquarium tank dimensions. You have to take measurements of the Length, Width, and Height (LxWxH) of the stand. Take into consideration where you will put your equipment, tools such as aquarium filter, aquascaping tools (straight tweezers, curved scissors), siphon, etc.
I hope you enjoyed this article and if ever you have additional questions or want to share your experiences with Ripariums, please leave a comment below.
Next, we will be discussing the Taiwanese Style Aquascape.