Vivarium (update #1)

I hadn’t anticipated posting much more about my vivarium since it was recently set up, but the amount of growth it seems to have catalysed is something worth documenting.

Ficus sp. ‘Panama’ has started spreading across the top, and even sent out aerial roots – a portion of this was cut and placed elsewhere in the enclosure.

Pellionia repens has taken on vibrant colours, and continues to grow straight upwards, pressed along the cork bark background. I hope to take some cuttings of this sometime soon too.

Begonia schulzei is sending out new leaves along with tiny 5mm flowers.

The Bulbophyllum auratum I receieved in the post a couple months ago didn’t seem to enjoy the journey overseas, most of the pseudobulbs lost their leaves and shrivelled up, so I only managed to keep one of them anywhere near healthy. Since placing it in the vivarium, however, the plant seems to have benefited greatly from a better medium and higher humidity level.  It is already halfway there in production of two more plantlets (A).

Here’s a closeup of the newest development on the right:

Bulbophyllum saurocephalum (sauros = lizard, cephalos = head; lizard head Bulbophyllum – in reference to the flowers) is another orchid which seems to appreciate the warm conditions. It too is sending out a new plantlet, as pictured below:

I was looking at this in detail today, and realised the orchid wasn’t the only thing to enjoy the location. You may be able to spot it in the next picture, but the successive image shows it in further detail.

This hitchhiker measures little over 1mm, and grows from within the moss that cushions the orchid. I hope it’s something tropical!

The mounted spread of Bulbophyllum moniliforme that I bought was divided into various groups and placed within the vivarium at different locations. I did this because of the limited success some people have had with it, but at least this way I can experiment to see what suits it best. Using my lens-modification, I took a picture of a typical 4mm pseudobulb.

Other than established growth, new developments within the vivarium have included additional plants. I have added cuttings of Rotala rotundifolia from my aquarium, more offsets of Anubias barteri, and a species of Polygonum which was delivered to me in submersed form. I divided it and planted pieces above the waterline, hoping that soon it will take on a slightly more pleasant appearance through emerse culture.

The rain system and drip wall seems to be working smoothly. I had one small problem with the rain pump in that sometimes it failed to push all the water up, this was caused by trapped air within the tubing and was easily corrected by drilling a hole just after the filter output. I am regularly performing water changes to rid the pool of tannins, but this may go on for longer than expected as all of the wood is not fully submerged. Some of the colouring will be washed out via the rain system and relative humidity over a longer period of time. Oh well, I’m particularly fond of the blackwater effect for now anyway, the only problem with it will come in due course when I decide to aquascape and add inhabitants.

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~ by Adam Bone on October 13, 2011.

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