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Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:17 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Sago Palm inside a sand terrarium?

Hi all.. I'm trying to give my fiddler crab, Timmy, and his harem of females a nicer environment. I'm going to be splitting a 35 gallon tank 60/40 sand and brackish water.
I was hoping, since they love to climb, that I could place a Sago palm Bonsai in a section of the sand side to make it look more like a little island for them.
I assume I'd have to bury it inside of it's little pot so that it would stay a bonsai and not grow out of my tank :lol:
Would it be okay to bury a small amount of sand over it, just enough to make the 'pot' look invisible? I assume drainage would be fine with the pot buried, it could just filter out through the sand which would lead down through the tunnels the crabs will be digging.
Also, even though it will be separated by glass, there's a chance some brackish (salt) water may occasionally be dragged near or over the plant by the crabs, would this hurt it? (I can't imagine much of it getting over there unless they find a way to dig through the

I'm a total newb to bonsai so I will of course be doing some research on how to care for the particular plant I want.
I was thinking of something like this, unless anyone can point a better type of tree/plant out to me:


Thanks for reading!

- Sarah

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Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:15 pm
Location: Florida

Welcome Sarah!

Sago palms are salt tolerant so it won't mind a little brackish water but I'm not sure if it could survive in the tank permanently. I would do exactly what you planned and just pay close attention to it :]

However, the best habitat for you crabs would be some red or black mangroves. I'm not sure if you can purchase them since they endangered but bald cypress are too and I see them for sale all the time.

Let me know how it works!

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Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:17 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Thanks!! I got Timmy the crab because he was stuck in the wrong environment in a horrid pet store and since he loves climbing so much I figured a tree would be fun for him and neat for me to look at.. I'll check out the mangrove stuff, too. Maybe we can do both..
I'm still working on carving the dock for the tank:) I want it to look just like when I was visiting Florida.. hehe.

- Sarah

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Be careful. Sago palms contain poison and if the crabs nibble on it, they may be at risk. Sago Palms also need very bright light to survive for long. Maybe you could try a cardboard palm instead (Zamia furfuracea). They may be tolerant of lower light levels. You may also want to invest in a florescent light hood (the kind used for reptiles) and a florescent grow light.
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