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[APD] Paludarium construction ideas

I have wanted to grow Crypts in a Paludarium for many years. I really want 
to see a flower of one of these plants in the air. I had C. blassii bloom 
under water for me twice. I also had a bloom on a C. usteriana but I think 
this was starting before I bought the plants. It never reached the surface 
before it rotted. I have been thinking of a way to combine emersed grown 
Cryptocorynes with an aquarium. My idea is to construct a HOB paludarium and 
cover it and the aquarium with an enclosure to maintain the humidity of the 

I have made an enclosure over the top of a 75 gallon tank that fits into the 
lip of the AGA top. I purchased a spare top molding and installed it on top 
of the enclosure so that the glass cover can fit. This cover is about 9 
inches high and allows me to grow some moss on top of driftwood that rises 
above the water surface and some nice emersed Water Sprite. Duckweed is on 
the surface as a nurtient sponge. It is 1/4 inch HDPE with woodgrained 
contact paper to match the trim on the tank.

To make a Paludarium I would just make an enclosure that fits on top of both 
the tank and HOB. This would complicate the spare molding idea but maybe I 
could cut it and elongate it. I am only thinking of doing this, I am not 
certain if I will do it. I am thinking of using a 38 gallon tank with an 
overflow to a refugium below.


Would a flow through of aquarium water through the HOB paludarium be a good 
idea? I could pump the water from the refugium/filter to the tank and then 
siphon into the HOB before draining back to the sump. I know this would 
eliminate using any type of clay soil or muck for the Crypts., but would it 
really be necessary?

How tall do Crypts grow in the emersed state? I have Kasselman but don't 
remember if she gives data on emersed plants. I know C. ciliata grows large 
and wouldn't be trying it. Generally speaking do Crypts that are small 
immersed also stay small when emersed?

Any ideas or discussions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Jerry Smith in Bloomingdale, NJ

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