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Paludarium - ferns

There is a large fern (species unknown) in a hanging planter above a 40
gallon aquarium.  Over time this fern has sprouted thin tendrilly type
things that 'seek' water.  Some of them have wended their way into the tank
and there are now several small fern plants growing in the aquarium attached
to bogwood.

Underwater, the ferns grow to a height of about 8 inches.  Some of the
fronds die but the fern plants are growing quite nicely.  Has anyone else
ever experienced anything like this or has anyone tried growing
'terristrial' type ferns in a tank?

What I would like to do with another tank is create a sort of plant-filter
paludarium situation.  The tank is 30 inches tall.  I'd like to put a
glass/plexi shelf about 8 inches deep onto the inside back glass of the
tank, leaving space at either end for a powerhead and an outlet for the
water.  Would it be possible to root these ferns onto lava rock, for
example, and have them growing such that the fronds are out of the water but
the roots are immersed?

The technical details of the shelf:  the tank is 48 inches long.  The
horizontal component of the shelf would be 5 inches wide and 42 inches long.
A vertical component would 'close' in the shelf and extend the full length
of the tank.  I need to do this in order to protect the roots of any plants
that will be placed here due to the presence of Uaru which are strongly

I would also like to plant Spathopyllum and Anubias along this shelf.  My
understanding is that Anubias will grow fine when their roots are in water
but the leaves are in the air.  However, right now I've got an Anubias which
has flowered and the flower portion is above the water line and it looks
like it's dried out.  This is in a covered tank so the humidity in the air
above the water is very high.  Am I mistaken that keeping Anubias as I'd
like would not work?