Paludarium and Green Water Bloom

Subject: Paludarium

As Rhonda mentioned, I am also a paludarium keeper.  I'd love to hear from 
other people on the list who are keeping this type of tank.  Like Rhonda, I 
think that you can put together a more attractive, more natural looking 
paludarium by yourself than using the River Tank system.

My tank is a 55G with one back corner divided off with glass.  The back wall 
as well as the top of the glass divider are faced with rock, so there are no 
artificial materials exposed to view.  On the opposite end of the tank is a 
waterfall built into the rock work, powered by an Aquaclear 2000. 
(predecessor of the 500)  The tank has been running for 3+ years at this 
point, and both the aquatic and terrestrial areas are full of plants.  Now I 
wonder why I put all the work I did into the rock background, as it is 
completely covered with Ivy, from one end of the tank to the other.  

I keep just fish in mine, but have often thought that if it weren't so much 
work to keep live critters around for them to eat, it would be a wonderful 
environment for a pair of one of the smaller species of Madagascar Day 
Geckos.  One thing to keep in mind when setting up a tank like this, be it 
home made or a River Tank System, is the much reduced water volume than a 
standard aquarium of the same size.  My 55G version holds about 18 gallons 
of water and I've found with the ones I've designed for other people, that 
most average about 1/4 of the stated tank volume.

> ------------------------------

Subject: Green Water Bloom Cleared


> I thought I had red algae on the underside of some old, damaged Java Fern
> leaves.  There were tiny little leaves growing directly on the opposite si
> of the 'red algae' though, so it may have been small roots as the fern 
> attempted to reproduce.  

That's exactly what they were.<g>  I've never seen algae, red or otherwise 
grow on the bottom side of plant leaves. (unless the entire leaf was 
engulfed in algae!)  BTW, red algae "hairs" are tough, but much finer than 
wiry Java Fern roots.

>I may also try only using the activated charcoal filter
> bags in my powerfilter one day a week, so the Dupla drop elements I'm 
> adding don't get immediately filtered out of the water.  What do the 'old
> hands' on the list recommend: constant activated charcoal filtration, 
> occasional, or never?

I never use GAC on a continual basis, and almost never in my planted tanks. 
 IMO, if you are maintaining an adequate water change schedule, you are 
adequately removing DOC at that time.  I only use carbon to remove 
discoloration of some sort (like from dirftwood, or when I occassionally 
flood the land side of my paludarium by mistake<g>) or to remove medications 
from a tank.