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Old 08-20-2019, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: T10: Coming Terrarium based on Dragon Driftwood. (+ Journal)

Originally Posted by Eruantien View Post
See what I mean about tree fern panels not exactly being the most aesthetically pleasing background material?
lol I had forgotten whom I had said that to, but the irony was not lost on me as I was struggling to make an attractive background with an item I had applauded for its beauty and utility.

I had 24" * 12" panels, and when there's a little distortion in such a big piece of material, it creates a big problem in getting everything flush. Also, the panels had to be sawn to fit the tank, but because stuff was already in it, the pieces barely fit; they had to be sized short and still were pretty roughly jammed in.

Had I been able to buy 10" * 10" or 12" * 12" panels, it may have turned out better. (And it would have turned out better for sure if I had done this before actually setting up the rest of the build.

Originally Posted by Eruantien View Post
In all honesty it looks good so far. Just might need some fine tuning.

As you seemingly have learned tree fern panels are not a ‘wicking’ material such as something like hygrolon would be. In fact I think the great stuff, covered in silicone with peat/choir/bark method is more capable of wicking than tree fern panels.

The panels themselves are not going to distribute water to create an overall, equally moist surface the way sphagnum or hygrolon would. Obviously those two examples are extreme examples however; I’m sure you get the point.
I certainly learned that it wasn't a wicking surface within about 30 minutes of the panels' first exposure to mist water, although I don't remember clearly whether or not I had specific belief one way or the other of its wicking properties.

But yes, these are valuable examples in communicating the point. I know, of course, the fantastic water distribution power of hygrolon / sphagnum moss, and my first impression looking back at the tree fern fiber panels post-first-misting was something like, "well, I probably should have used LFS or hygrolon, for what I paid."

Originally Posted by Eruantien View Post
If you want a portion of the panels to be wet and remain wet those areas will need to be directly and continuously hit by your misters. The panels also dry really fast if there is air movement. Especially if there is dry air coming into the enclosure.

By the look of it, you have your misters pointed straight at the background, maybe try playing around with their orientation a bit to see if you can get some more coverage.
I did this shortly after I posted the last update. I changed to a quad-nozzle and experimented by having them all spray back. It looked a good bit better, but I doubt this background will ever be a wall-o'-green like my other terrarium's background is becoming.

There is no active air movement, and there is probably even less passive air movement now than before, because part of the mesh surface of the ventilation panel is covered by the thickness of the tree fern fiber panel on top.

Originally Posted by Eruantien View Post
Also, because tree fern doesn’t wick like most people would think, even having the panels go into your drainage layer and touching the bottom of the enclosure (bottoms constantly soaking in water) will not have the effect most would expect. It does pull up a bit of water however, in my experience it is barely visible above the substrate layers. Which at that point that moisture could be coming from the substrate itself. This also probably wouldn’t apply to the orientation of your panels since you have the fibers set up in a horizontal orientation.

Anyway, don’t get discouraged. Looks good so far. I think it just needs some fine tuning and maybe those extra misting heads if you are looking for your background to be fully covered by your mist.. also another thing to keep in mind. If you are looking for the panels to start sprouting moss and ferns in its own, they will need ample light and will need to be wet in those areas all of the time.
I knew about the ample lighting and wet all the time, fortunately. I will be determining in the next few days where water will consistently hit, so I can know where to plant things.

Yeah, my panels are well above drainage, even if that would have amounted to anything. Also, a note: I had wanted to use a tree fern fiber panel I had that had vertically-oriented fibers (even placed horizontally like the two in the tank), but it was just too crumbly and I suspect it would have broken in half by the time I jammed it into the back wall. I know that that wouldn't have changed much, but indeed I believe it would have looked better.
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