Riparium setup with Synodontis petricola

hydrophyte

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This is a continuation from a thread that I started a few days ago while planning a species setup for a small-sized catfish. After some discussion and input from other members I settled with a group of Synodonits petricola and I also found a Marketplace listing for some juveniles almost right away. The box of fish should be here tomorrow or Wednesday. Last night I stayed up late shuffling fish and managed to make space in a 50-gallon tank. This setup is temporary, but it should be good enough while I pull together the tank, cabinet and other items for the more permanent display.

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I also set the tank up with a light, a heater and the same cycled sponge filter that was in there already. Tomorrow I will add some gravel from another established setup that I have over on the other side of town. I have a few more specific things to say about rocks and gravel, and plants too. I will work on getting some of the riparium plants ready to put in there.
 

hydrophyte

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Here is the temporary lighting that I put together.



This is just a single 39-watt T5 HO lamp with ballast and reflector, but it produces surprisingly bright light. I could probably get along with a light like this (without the rustic hanging job) with the right plant selection. However, I think that I do want somewhat brighter light. I am considering investing in this fixture for the permanent setup.

Aqua Medic Sunbeam 36"







*
 

bigfishsmallpond

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ok how big is the fish?
 

hydrophyte

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They only grow to about 3.5". This tank ought to be large enough, although I don't know how much more I will be able to fit in it. I am considering a group of wild-type mollies (these also prefer water on the hard side) to swim around in the mid-water area if there is still room for them. I plan to do lots of water changes and the plants will also help with biological filtration.
 

Cakilla

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looks good can't wait to see it set up , I am starting to try and use live plants in one of my tanks is it very hard ? what substrate should I use ? any input would be greatley appreciated sorry for hijacking your thread just wanted to know
 

hydrophyte

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What else do you have in your tank? The hardy aquatic plants can generally adapt to moist kinds of substrate, although very fine sands and very coarse gravel are less suitable for most. A lot of the planted tank people use fired clay gravels that are similar to old-fashioned kitty litter or some athletic field amendments, such as Turface. Brand names for some of those products include Turface and EcoComplete.

For the floor of this tank I am just using a fine gravel that I got by screening a bagged construction sand that I found at Home Depot. I really want the tank floor to have a natural appearance, so I'm trying to select the gravel and the rocks with some care. I won't plant any plants into the tank bottom because I using marginal/emergents that will be planted instead into riparium planters. I use a clay product that is similar to those planted tank gravels for the planter cups. Here's a shot of some Ludwigia in a planter cup along with the trellis raft that will support it as it grows out over the water.

 

hydrophyte

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I went to get that other tank picture example from the previous thread. This one show the general idea that I have in mind for the stone and gravel substrates for the bottom of the tank. I may or may not include the manzanita driftwood.

 

hydrophyte

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I got a few more things into the tank the night before last. Here are a couple of pictures.



The floating bag contains the group of P. chica. I don't know if I will keep these fish in there long-term, but I am going to try them out for a while and see how they look.



Like I mentioned earlier, I want to put some effort into selecting and scaping the hardscape elements and other substrates. The picture above shows the marine shell gravel which I added in a small quantity, contained in the small Tupperware container. I will just sprinkle a small amount of this on top of the main base substrate, the coarse sand in the larger green plastic container.

There is also a single plant in there, a Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' in a riparium planter. I'll add more plants soon.
 

Tropicalfishking

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Cool, can't wait to see pics of it done!
You have my attention.
 
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