Thursday, 2 November 2017

The Cryptarium

Made from a 6x2x2 aquarium that could no longer be used for water because the silicon holding the braces gave way.  I removed the bracing and rolled the tank onto its side so the opening is now on the front.

A new piece of polished glass is siliconed across the bottom of the opening to hold the water.   The opening is closed off by a piece of twin-wall polycarbonate with a couple of cable grommets installed as vents and handles.  On a hot day the afternoon sun through the window was pushing the air temp to 40+C before the vents were installed.  Some corrugated translucent polycarbontate sits between the tank and the window to diffuse the direct sun.

To keep it neat and tidy I mounted the heater in a DIY PVC external enclosure in the cabinet.  The base of the tank is drilled at each end and bulkheads are installed that allow a loop of 16/22mm hose lagged with closed cell foam to connect the tank to the heater chamber.  It works by thermosiphon without a pump.  Hot water rises from the heater into the tank at one end and cooler water sinks out of the bulkead at the other end of the tank and circulates back down to the heater.  The heater is set to 20C.

This new growing space replaces a couple of the polystyrene boxes I was using.

Large aquarium for growing emersed crypts

Large aquarium for growing emersed crypts


Large aquarium for growing emersed crypts

lots of emersed crypts


external DIY heater chamber made from PVC pipe

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The "Baptism Tub" Cryptarium

A church was selling this "Baptism Tub" on ebay- its a big industrial plastic tub that I've put on a base of milk crates with a timber frame around it to stop it bowing out from the pressure of the water inside.  I'm growing crypts on a row of inverted milk crates inside the tub.  This allows the tub to hold a large volume of water to help stabilise the temperature.  We have vary variable weather here and my glasshouse temperature fluctuates wildly and can get screaming hot in summer.  A sheet of greenhouse plastic over the top keeps the warmth and humidity in while its cool... but in summer I'll switch to shadecloth so it breathes a bit better and I have some misters on a timer to cool the air down.  In winter I'll have to put a heater in the tub as its common for the water to get below 7C.

a big tub for growing emersed cryptocoryne
a big tub for growing emersed cryptocoryne
emersed cryptocoryne growing in a big plastic tub

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae spathe

Crypt crispatula balansae spathe
Crypt crispatula balansae spathe

This is an emersed pot of a generic Crypt . crispatula that came to me unlabelled so at some point I called it 'balanasae' on the basis of the submersed leaves.  Emersed the leaves looks a bit like flaccifolia - due the uncertain ID its not a plant I care about so much - but  I like to celebrate a spathe and one day I might be more confident with the ID of this one.

Cryptocoryne undulata 'green' (Aquafleur)

Cryptocoryne undulata green
Cryptocoryne undulata green spathe

Crypt. undulata 'green' distributed in europe by Aquafleur.  The spathe looks a little C. wendtii to me but it may not be fully open yet.   Its not in the greatest of condition (the pot is infested with blue-green algae) but the leaves are certainly bottle green and appear to stay green under high light. The "regular" C. undulata we have in Australia has a bit more olive green/muddy brown colour.