The Blind Cave Biotope Recreated
The blind cave biotope is one that most people will never see. I personally have only visited one in my entire life while visiting Mammoth Caves in the state of Kentucky during my travels throughout the United States. It is most certainly a quite different landscape than most terrestrial settings.
China has roughly one-third of all hypogean species in the world. The blind cave inhabitants have very little use for vision and as such has lost much if not all of its ability to use sight. Most pigment has been lost and this is why fish and other animals appear pinkish or translucent. Not all cave and artesian dwelling inhabitants have a pigment deficit though.
The relatively uncharted areas of cave and artesian dwelling fish is making a strong headway though. The first documented specimen was first found in 1540 and the majority of new cases have been described in the last 20 years. Technology itself is largely responsible. The means to navigate these dark inaccessible places had been very restricted previously.
Subdued Lighting For Effect
Subdued lighting is more of a viewers choice in aesthetics more so than for the fish’s health or comfort. Blue colored spectrum LEDs will be a good choice for the viewer than bright lighting. Since plants don’t tend to grow in underground rivers there’s little need for high watt lights for photosynthesis. The fish themselves don’t seem to care whether it is lit or now and there doesn’t appear to be any difference in their behavior.
Finding the Right Substrate
The substrate for a hypogean setup would be fine sand with some rockeries to provide hiding spots. Not all blind fish come from underground rivers and springs, however. Many that are limited in sight and pigment come from deep dark waters like those found in the Congo and South America.
“You need to assemble it all in a closet or something though. The hard part was finding a source for cave water. Our water here comes out of lakes and has been recently exposed to sunlight. I bought spring water and left it in the closet for several days to get it acclimated before using it” Fritz tells us about his recent blind cave recreation.
–This is satire– Leaving water in the closet doesn’t do anything. This is meant as a joke.