Originally Posted by kimcmich
Your location is Hawai'i is pretty ideal for a few of the items I really like in my vivs - especially is you want to grow orchids, too.
In my experience, "carpet" moss tends to be a bad neighbor for orchids - it will grow into and over smaller orchids and generally become a nuisance especially for Pleuros which like it moist... but, without moss, who wants to have nothing but bare wood between orchids?
In my case, I have found an ideal companion in Gonocormus minutus ferns. You can find this stuff growing thickly on tree trunks (especially near streams) on the wet side of all the islands - it is quite common.
For me, it grows slowly but thickly and gives the same "green carpet" effect of moss but without the takeover problem. I really can't recommend it enough. I would happily wave a wand and replace all the mosses in my viv with Gonocormus if I could.
I addition to Gonocormus, the mini-liverwort that tends to dominate moist, deeply shaded areas on the islands is another great carpet moss alternative. It is not as well-behaved as Gonocormus, but it is still preferable to carpet moss IMHO. I envy your access to an infinite supply of both! It almost makes up for the other ag controls that make getting new plants a challenge in Hawai'i.
In my other vivarium “BromCity”, liverwort & various fern sp. pop up on the cork & in the sphagnum. The green carpet look is not what I’m looking to achieve for my vivariums.
In Manoa Valley here on Oahu, the areas where I’ve observed auratus have been around tree trunk bases with a lot of leaf litter & overhanging vegetation associated with small shallow pools of standing water. So, that’s the look I’m shooting for.
With having a well known bromeliad breeder on island & a pleurothallid nursery on Maui, the State Ag restrictions are negligible. Thanks for the input, good luck w/ your tanks & PDFs.
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