Terrarium lighting for Crypts??

paul_t23(Coastal Sydney)January 14, 2010

Hi everyone,

Herbie the Hawaiian trigger fish finally passed away last weekend after 15 years of fun tank re-decorating and general mayhem, which leaves me with a 250 litre fish tank in the lounge room with nothing to put in it .... except maybe a whole lot of Crypt pups ?????

The existing tank hood is fitted for 3 x four foot fluoro tubes spread over the tank width of 18". Can anyone help me with info or experience on what sorts of lights would go with this and work well for Crypts? Or is this just not an idea that is going to work??

I've never tried growing any land plants, let alone broms, in a fish tank before, so any info at all would be great.

Cheers, Paul

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Hi Paul ,so you had some Saltwater fish hmmm? did that for some 30 years ,yes trigger fish are most amusing in their efforts to redecorate / destroy /or just demolish depending on wether they got up in the right frame of mind ,had a black trigger that was happy to pick up a hunk of coral the size of a house brick and just charge at the other end of the tank full blast succeeding twice at breaking the glass at the other end ,thats when he was in a good mood ! As for the Crypts ? they will be ok with that light if they are ' Grolux ' or daylight tubes ,specially if near a window for some side light , wont be as much fun as a Trigger fish though .

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 10:42PM
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paul_t23(Coastal Sydney)

Hi Jack,

You're right, triggers really are fun fish and its a shame I lost Herbie, but maybe 15 years is a good age for a fish like that. Hmmm, I might get another one to put in the tank next door to stir up the surgeon fish in there, but maintaining one big saltwater tank is enough for ageing joints, so the second tank gets Crypts, even if they are'nt quite as active as trigger fish.

Thanks for your info on the lighting. I could certainly use Grolux tubes, but I would rather avoid the pink cast they give and I wasn't sure if ordinary daylight tubes produced light at wavelengths that the plants could use.

Since the tank is in a spot where it doesn't get any natural sunlight, the plants will be relying completely on the artificial lighting to provide light at the wavelengths they need and I know that some tubes don't do that, so any further info would be great.

Cheers, Paul

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 6:30PM
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paul_t23(Coastal Sydney)

Hi everyone,

I finally got around to doing it. It is nowhere near as good as Chanin's beautiful artistry, but it does add a splash of colour to the lounge room. It is still very much a work in progress (plants still have labels and pots not yet landscaped-in) while I find out if anything is going to survive, but I thought it would be worthwhile showing how it is going.

Well, with the exception of the big Crypt. 'Elaine' pup near the middle that went in last night, the rest of the broms have been in there for a bit over a month and they have all put on a good bit of growth, with no signs of stress or dieback. The colour on quite a few of the Crypts is actually a bit more intense than it was when I put them in, so I'm really happy with it so far.

The little green seedlings front and centre are from the attempted Aech. chantinii x Bill. 'Domingos Martins' cross that I did last year. Who knows what they will turn out to be, but hey, now I can watch them grow in the comfort of the lounge room without having to worry how they will make it through the winter outside! The little ferns went in just tonight. Maybe they'll be OK and maybe they'll fry. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

For anyone that's interested, to give some idea of the intensity of the lighting the tank is four foot long x two foot high x eighteen inches wide with 3 x four foot fluoro tubes (normal, not high output) immediately above it. I tried a few different combinations of tubes and found that 1 grolux + 2 cool whites made the colours of the plants look pretty much as they do outside in the daylight, and it seems to be keeping the broms happy. Apart from that, I just dangled the air tubing from the original fish tank setup back into the tank to provide a little bit of air circulation, and put the perforated false bottom from the fishtank sub-gravel filter back in as well, so any excess water can collect underneath it and I can easily syphon it off if it builds up. It also allows a bit of air circulation underneath everything to stop it going stagnant.

It is just so much fun to have a few plants inside. Hopefully they'll keep doing their thing. I'll give another update in a few months.

Cheers, Paul

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 6:25AM
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Nice Crypt. jungle there, well done Paul (^_*)



    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 11:44AM
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Hi Paul,
That's a great looking work of art and will certainly be a great conversation piece when your brom mates from down the coast visit.

The little seedlings do sound very interesting and will certainly keep you entertained for quite a while yet watching their progress.

A great looking piece of art indeed, but I don't see Herbie's headstone anywhere.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 4:07PM
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paul_t23(Coastal Sydney)

Hi Chanin, hi Nev,

Thanks for your kind words, I really hope it continues to do its thing.

The brom that has me most surprised is the spanish moss. I had expected to put it in there as temporary bit of decoration to hide the pots, to be replaced when it started dying off from lack of air movement, but it is actually growing much more vigorously than it did outside, with leaves now almost twice the length and twice the thickness. I had never expected that.

And Nev, you know you're always welcome, you just have to come on up the hill. And ........

You did ask! (obligatory brom leaf in pic)

Cheers, Paul

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 5:09AM
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Hi Paul,

Good stuff, ha! ha!

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 4:12PM
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Looking great, Paul - LOL, love the head stone!

K :)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 6:08PM
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I love what you have done Paul.Makes me wish I didnt sell my 6ft tank for a song...again...

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:17AM
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