The goal is to get epiphytes such as Anubias or Bucephalandra to grow emersed in the open-topped Shrimphaus exposed to normal room humidity. There is a lot of internet opinion, most of which says “forget it”, but some people have managed to make a go of it. My first try was Anubias nana ‘Coin’ which died gradually over a number of weeks as the submersed rhizome rotted away, but what didn’t happen was the leaves all instantly drying out, which lends some confidence. I’m going to keep the rhizome out of the water going forward and inspired by a report of success with Anubias coffeefolia, I plumped for a pot of that.
Anubias coffeefolia has interesting leaf texture
The leaves of Anubias coffeefolia have a striking resemblance to those of the terrestrial coffee plant (naturally), and even though Aquadip lists this plant as ‘caffeefolia‘ you understand what they mean. The plant arrived from Pro Shrimp in great condition, apart from one or two dead leaves which I trimmed off. Removing the rockwool revealed a very healthy-looking root system.
High humidity microclimate for emersed plants
The roots of the coffeefolia are mounted in black lava rock which stays wet all the time since it wicks up water from the small river adjacent. Set on top of the lava rock and around the coffeefolia is Christmas moss which similarly seems to stay damp/wet with a large surface area. The hope is that collectively there will be a locally high(er) humidity microenvironment that will work to keep the coffeefolia from drying out. I’ve been giving the set-up a light misting with a sprayer when it comes to mind which I’m not sure is contributing anything useful. Regardless, three days in the coffeefolia looks like it’s doing ok.