Building a 10g paludarium, need plant help
Projected animal residents:
Land: Dart frog(s?), vampire crabs?, tropical isopods, ???
Water: Sparkling gouramis, scarlet badis, honey gourami?, shrimp, ???
I'm in the process of building a 10 gallon (20"x10"x12") paludarium and I'm not sure what plants I should put in it. I've had terrariums, but never very wet ones. This will be tropical temperature, fairly high humidity, and with a sponge filter in the water portion.
What I wanted to do was; make a shelf "bowl" to hold the substrate for the land portion, with a screen bottom, BUT have the shelf dip into the water an inch or two, so the water comes in through the screen and the bottom of the "bowl" is constantly wet. I was intending to plant bog type plants. The main problem is, I will have around 5 inches of above-ground space to work with and everything but moss seems to get so tall. I was going to have a "rock" area with a couple air plants on it, but I'm not sure what would be best for the soil area that won't either drown or overtake the tank.
Larger-than-moss plants I am considering for the land portion are polka dot plants and dwarf anubias. I'm not sure what else, or if those are even a good idea. The main problem is I don't want something that will quickly get too big for the tank, as it will have a lid.
Also, what sort of substrate should I use for the land portion? I was thinking of layering rocks and then an orchid bark/peat moss/coco fiber mix on top? I want something that the plants will grow in, and the bugs (and potentially crabs?) will be able burrow in.
As for the water portion, one of the main reasons for the start of this tank was to have plants that show different forms in and out of the water. Are there any plants like this besides water sprite that would grow in this type of paludarium and stay under 1 foot vertically? I have a fairly good idea of what water plants I want, but could always use suggestions from more experienced people.
As a final note, this is a rather ambitious project for me. I will be adding fauna very slowly, after the plants are established. I've never owned frogs before, and only a few fish. Most of my terrarium experience is with "bugs" (scorpions, spiders, land snails, various insects). I hope you will all be understanding!
tl;dr need short terrestrial plants that like wet feet please help