Vivarium construction journal

Postby gaboon » Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:58 pm

All the plants I use are from tropical climates, they sold here as mostly indoor plants, Flora Nursery in Boksburg has a nice selection. Post a pic, that will help. I use 3 Reptiglo 2.0, so far so good
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Postby Spikelet » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:12 am

you do get special lights for plants in aquariums with the correct plant spectrums - I wonder if they would help? We use plant lights in our planted aquarium and they work like a charm there ...

how damp is damp fire fly? A lot of our indigenous plants/ferns do not like bog but light dampness whereas arums do like swampy or boggy areas ... Maybe some photos of you set up before it crashed?
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Postby firefly » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:14 pm

Sorry for the poor pics but thats all i got.

Ok this is what it looked like in December, 2 or so weeks after i planted it... there must have been 7 or so species of moss in there and 3 or 4 ferns.

Image


Here is what it looks like now. i still like it, but most of the moss and ferns have died, and it seems like only the arum lilly's (found in a vlei in lydenburg) is doing well.

Image

Image
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Postby firefly » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:15 pm

not nearly as pretty as gaboon's... but it can improve!
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Postby gaboon » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:50 pm

Your water level is too high and your soil doesn't look like it drains well. Soil acts like a sponge, if the bottom of the soil is just touching the water it will become heavily soaked throughout. Drop the water level at least an inch so it has no contact with the soil. Put in an aquarium light specific for plants, that should do the trick. Let us know how it goes
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Postby Spikelet » Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:47 pm

yup i agree with gaboon - the lighting is a definite problem see how the plant/moss on the left corner is growing tall and lanky in the first pic and then the way the arum is bending over to the natural light source.

Up the lighting with aquarium plant specific lighting and drop the water level and we would love to see more pics of all the improvements :)
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Postby firefly » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:21 pm

thanks guys! i'll do. this weekend i'll get some new plants and then i'll see how it goes. cheers
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Postby gaboon » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:59 pm

Another thing, your soil looks like it doesn't drain very well. If so, you should replace or mix it with peat/jungle earth. Just make sure the peat has no pesticides in it. Another trick is to put a layer of mosquito mesh between the substrate and gravel so the substrate doesn't end up in the gravel. In your recent pics it looks like it is a bit. Do you use a pump/filter? Whats living in there?
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Postby Long John Silver » Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:00 pm

What type of fertilizer/plant feeder can I give the plants in my vivarium without any negative effects on my whitelip tree viper?
Murphy's law in Herping: "If the snake is within range, so are you"
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Postby gaboon » Mon Aug 06, 2007 2:47 pm

I dont know of any that are safe. Its not really necessary anyway. frog poop acts as a fertilizer, but obviously with snakes you remove it.
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Postby Kristo » Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:22 pm

Heres my two cents!

Cardinal tetra's are much tougher than Neons and do better at a varry low ph. Use a flake food for the fish and feed them verry little but obviously,...dont starve them!

A layer of java moss at the bottom of the "pool" will help break down any surplus food and poop. You can give it a trim from time to time...Sharp scissors and snip! Give him a haircut!

Might I ad that I am amazed at your work!! I am an aquatic and tropical plant enthusiast myself and do planted aquarium setups as part of a living!

In ten years, both in this country and otherwise, I have not once seen a viv like yours!! Excellent construction on the background and "stream"

How's the selaginela doing? I find it always goes mouldy and frot in such humid enviroments!??!
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Postby Kristo » Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:35 pm

Oh.....

Long John- I use a special mixture for my aquariums,It's a red,sandy type mixture for water lillies! I got a twenty kilo bag at a nursery in centurion for about R30! It works like a bomb......I'd swear by it myself! I got loads in my garrage if you interested, Pm me if you want some or a name for the nursery!??!
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Postby gaboon » Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:21 pm

Thanks Kristo, will swop for your caimans :) The selaginella didn't last long. The Java on the land section hasn't grown so not sure if my lighting is good enough.
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Postby Kristo » Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:39 pm

:shock: Fat chance :shock:

Java, both moss and fern do not require much light. was it originaly grown in water?

I find that the leaves formed under water struggle to make it in terrestrial conditions! I have some baby Echinodorus (I think), not sure which one?? I imagine them doing well in your setup...either grown in shallow water or on the land section. The babies mentioned have "land leaves". I am offering you a visit to my new "pet house" (when it's done) You can pic yourself a few plants and have a beer :cool:
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Postby gaboon » Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:48 am

Sweet Kristo!
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