Around the Web: Inspiration

•February 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The previous post just reminded me of another viv that partly inspired my own. Steven Bonheim’s enclosure of densely integrated plant growth is a feast for the eyes, and one I keep returning back to for another look (or serving, if I want to run with the whole dining metaphor).

Here’s the ingredients: ‘Display Vivarium+UPDATE+PLANTED’


Around the Web

•February 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Over at Dendroboard, forum user Raf has uploaded some images of his 6ft long vivarium. I’ve had this bookmarked for a while now but it really deserves sharing, if not for it’s beauty then the step by step process on how he created his background.

Original forum post can be found here‘Pics my new constructed vivarium’

A plantlet per month

•January 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

During October I uploaded a simple diagram to show new growth in one of my orchids. Bulbophyllum auratum didn’t look too healthy when I first receieved it, but started to revitalise once placed in a humid environment. Still, I was surprised to see it put out new leaves (A) in a relatively short period of time.

3 months on and the plant displays great signs of improvement. New leaves and pseudobulbs are highlighted via (B)

Anubias flower

•January 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The first Anubias plant to flower emerse in my vivarium.


•January 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Over at Aquatic Quotient a forum member has uploaded some images of an aquarium in Barcelona’s science museum – Cosmocaixa. I accidentally found this via google images while doing some reading on Echinodorus spp. The giant display replicates a flooded tropical forest, placing the viewer at eye level with big prehistoric fish like Arapaima. Above the waterline is vast vertical area for emerging buttress root trees and leafy canopy, which only adds to the sense of scale.

Even from the photos you get a feeling of awe; and you can see them here: Cosmocaixa

Vivarium (update #1.5)

•December 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I intended to have done another full update of my vivarium, but I couldn’t get a large enough range of decent pictures. I will do this hopefully sometime soon, but for now, here’s a photo showing the explosive root growth of Bulbophyllum saurocephalum. This offset is almost a fully grown plantlet, not bad considering it was a tiny bud 2 months ago.

Bulbophyllum saurocephalum root

I’ve also been busy fussing over the aquatic portion of the vivarium. At first I filled it with Anubias and other plants, doing my best to hide the piece of cork bark, which in turn, conceals the filter pumps. I hated it; I reworked about 6 different aquascapes (and almost came close to ripping the cork out) before I settled on this one. The bottom of the tank is now minimally planted, but heavy on wood. Floating plants (Salvinia natans and Limnobium laevigatum) block out some of the light to discourage algae and filter unwanted nitrates via their nice long roots.


(Edit: 15 minutes after posting this I repositioned the branch pictured to the right; what’s wrong with me?)

Caridina cf. cantonensis Habitat

•November 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Chris Lukhaup uploaded a video this year celebrating the results of an expedition to Hong Kong. Funded by Dennerle aquatics, and accompanied by a team of explorers, he managed to find the natural habitat of Caridina cf. cantonensis, otherwise known as the Bee Shrimp.


Many aquarists may be familiar with the heavily colour-bred varieties kept by specialist shrimp keepers but not of the original stock. I find this surprising, not only because new information regarding natural behaviour, environment, and endemicity has recently become accessible, but that generations of specimens have been in the hobby for so long despite it. Caridina cf. cantonensis hosts two main cultivars, the previously mentioned Bee Shrimp, and a more popular red variant – the Crystal Red. Each of these have sub varieties and even their own colour grading system so they may be exhibited at shows!

Anyway, although I personally have to admit that a lot of the cultivars are very beautiful, there’s something about seeing them in their natural habitat that just makes sense. The black, white, and translucent banding camouflages well against fallen vegetation, and is something i’d love to recreate at home.

(Check out Chris Lukhaups other uploads including findings in Lake Sulawesi)