Mangrove riparium planting in 65-gallon (246-liter) glass tank.

Mangrove riparium planting in a 65-gallon (246-liter) glass tank. In the wild, mangrove trees such as Avicennia germinans Black mangrove, Rhizophora mangle Red Mangrove and Laguncularia racemosa White Mangrove grow in nutrient-rich estuary muds. When planted in a riparium display, they will prosper best if rooted in a dense clay gravel (such as Riparium Planter Gravel, Fine) and provided with additional root tablet fertilization.

via Riparium Supply

While they seem to share the same kind of water’s edge habitats in the wild, plants suitable for planted ripariums can have varying requirements. Species that grow in swamps or marshes require ample nutrients, but their roots grow well in oxygen-deprived mud sediments. Contrasted with these are rheophytes, plants that live among boulders in mountain streams⁠. Rheophytes are less nutrient demanding, but need fresh water and ample oxygenation in the root zone. Other specialized marginal aquatic plant habitats include muddy riverbanks, mangrove swamps, and acid bogs.

After discontinuing its previous single gravel offering, Riparium Supply is listing two new options in riparium planter substrates with selections to suit a wide range of riparium plants. Find both of these as 6-cup portion bags available for purchase in the online store. Use them with the  Aqua Verdi Riparium Planter 2-pack, Riparium Planter Medio 2-pack (Riparium Supply) and the Riparium Planter Grand 2-pack (Riparium Supply).

Riparium Planter Gravel, Fine

Riparium Planter Gravel, Fine has small (.06-.125″ [1-3mm]) particles and creates a perfect rooting environment for riparium plants that grow best with more root fertilization. Tiny individual clay particles sequester dissolved nutrient ions, then make them available to plant roots through Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). This fine, angular gravel also settles to fill voids around plant roots. Since water diffuses through it slowly, Riparium Planter Gravel, Fine is the best choice for use with tablet fertilizers. Flowering riparium plants, such as Hymenocallis Spider LilyRuellia Mexican Petunia and Zephyranthes Rain Lily, are more likely to bloom with extra root fertilization. Other good matches for this gravel include Acorus Japanese Sweetflag, Avicennia germinans Black Mangrove and Cyperus Umbrella Sedge.

Riparium Planter Gravel, Fine (Riparium Supply brand)

Riparium Planter Gravel, Fine (Riparium Supply brand) with small (.06-.125″ [1-3mm]) grains of baked clay.

Riparium Planter Gravel, Coarse

With larger (approximately .25″ [6mm]), more uniform grains, Riparium Planter Gravel, Coarse suits riparium plants that grow best with more water diffusion and dissolved oxygen around their roots. Examples of these include tropical rheophytes, such as emersed Anubias, Bucephalandra or Microsorum Java Fern.  Since water diffuses freely through this gravel, it will also function well where riparium plantings are used in a utilitarian way as plant-based filters for fishroom breeding tanks. Plant roots growing through this open substrate will readily take up nitrates and other fish waste products to help maintain cleaner water.

As an expanded shale product, Riparium Planter Gravel, Coarse is lighter in weight in comparison with other gravels. It has a much more natural appearance in comparison with LECA (lightweight expanded clay aggregate) round clay balls, another material that can be used in similar ways. It is also less likely to float out of the planter, as LECA often does when used in ripariums.

Riparium Planter Gravel, Coarse (Riparium Supply brand)

Riparium Planter Gravel, Coarse (Riparium Supply brand) comprised of larger (approximately .25″ [6mm]) expanded shale grains.

About Riparium Supply

Riparium Supply pioneered the planted riparium concept for creative aquascape designs, relatively easy plant care, robust plant-based filtration and new aquarium biotope possibilities. Along with its sister brands, Aqua Verdi and Selva Terrarium, Riparium Supply offers a line of live plants, riparium planters and riparium plant-growing accessories at