Crypt only tanks - Cryptocorynes - Aquatic Plant Central

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Cryptocorynes Cryptocoryne plant species consists of 50+ plant species, and make a unique addition to a planted tank.

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Old 12-17-2014, 07:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Crypt only tanks

Share your crypt only (or crypt dominated) tanks here! I know there are some great ones out there. We need to see more of the aquascaping possibilities with crypts.

Here a few of my past and present crypt tanks. Some people just don't get why you would want a tank with only crypts but I figured folks around here would understand!

Mr. Aqua 33 gallon




20 gallon long



15 gallon


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Last edited by rajah_22; 12-17-2014 at 12:18 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypt only tanks

Nice tanks. In the 2nd to the last picture on the right, what is that crypt? The one that looks pinkish with green edges.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypt only tanks

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Originally Posted by Lornek8 View Post
Nice tanks. In the 2nd to the last picture on the right, what is that crypt? The one that looks pinkish with green edges.
Looks like crypt petchii pink, but i can be wrong.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypt only tanks

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Originally Posted by Lornek8 View Post
Nice tanks. In the 2nd to the last picture on the right, what is that crypt? The one that looks pinkish with green edges.
That's actually C. albida. It turns that color under very high light. The same plants currently are mostly lime green with some bronze stripes. Under low light they are completely green.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypt only tanks

I would love to see some other crypt dominated tanks if anyone wants to share.

I am currently re-booting the 33 gallon and could use some crypt aquascaping inspiration.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypt only tanks

I'm very taken by the 33g!! I love the stump in it especially! I have a stump in one of my tanks I've been wanting to use like this! I'm going to dirt my 26g bowfront soon(I caught the dirty fever and can't turn back!). I do love some crytps and would like to create something like this very much. What are your lighting/fert specs rajah 22?
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypt only tanks

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What are your lighting/fert specs rajah 22?
Glad you like it! Lighting is 2 x Finnex fuge ray LEDS. They are raised above the top of the tank a bit so it's not super bright. I've had issues with algae on the rocks in there. 2 x 24 in T5s has also worked fine on that tank.

For ferts I don't dose anything. The substrate is worm castings topped with play sand. I find this cheap and effective. I also added in some red clay, dolomite, K2SO4 and CSM+B to the substrate. Not sure if those things help all that much (I've had crypt tanks with and without those additives - good results with both approaches). I find that these type of substrates do great for a few months and then seem to kind of become less effective - like something runs out. At that point I add root tabs or restart the tank if I want something new. I'm too lazy to dose ferts and do lots of water changes...

That 33g also has pressurized Co2 which really speeds up crypt growth rates and seems to promote production of runners.
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypt only tanks

That's awesome! I've never heard of using worm castings in planted tanks. My parents use it in pots for crotons. Do you use heating cables under the crypts? What are your water params?
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypt only tanks

This is crypt dominated. There is a water sprite fern and some moss as well (a big clump of flame moss and some bits of "messy moss", which is something I collected here in Slovenia but I didn't try to identify it yet. It grows very slowly but steadily, I also haven't decided if it has some added value for aquaria. The name is something I made up.) And oh, there is some bits of Bacopa as well which I am one by one removing. They did better with some CO2, the aquarium is now again low tech and they are declining anyway.

There are currently 9 species/varieties of Cryptocoryne in this aquarium. The fish are suitably asian: zebra barbs and odessa barbs. For those who remember my old topic: the inhabitants have changed rather a lot. I tried a soft water setup before but gave up because of fish diseases and because I didn't manage to get some rarer crypts to grow in the long term. This is just my local tap/spring water again. A surviving softwater crypt is still emersed in the window sill.

Some crypts are still having some emersed leaves and most should grow a lot. I plan to add a branch or two with x-mas moss in the back.
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Last edited by illustrator; 12-29-2014 at 08:49 AM..
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypt only tanks

And this is crypt only. eh, ... with for contrast a singly Hygrophyla branch straight in the middle (who said something about the rule-of-thirds?). There are just two species of crypts: C. aponogetiifolia and C. affinis, but a wide variety of the latter one. Before I had also C. usteriana in this aquarium, but this plant grew too big. There is only one fish species: Xenotoca "San Marcos", which is not entirely plant/crypt-friendly.

Almost no technique: build in (factory - Juwel) filter with mainly perlon fibre. No heater, no CO2, local tapwater without additives. 2 TL tubes, which are wrapped in some black mesh to reduce the amount of light (would be too strong for some of the plants otherwise). The substrate is pure river sand from a local river. The only fertiliser is some pellets of dried cowdung (for the vegetable garden) which I occasionally stick in the sand when I feel that the plants develop deficiencies, and some fish-poo of course. Compared to what I described earlier in the separate topic this is even more down to earth, but with better growing plants.

p.s. I finally managed to make a photo that gives a realistic impression of this aquarium.
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