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Old 08-07-2005, 06:22 AM
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Default Native, and tropical moss, mirco climates, humid/ventilation

Ok i originally wrote this post as a reply to a moss question but ended up including alot of info/opinions that some might find helpful regarding the topic of moss in general and other stuff...so if no one minds im goin to repost as a stand alone topic here and elsewhere.....

Hi, i live in oklahoma and mix in half a dozen or so of our native mosses with 2 tropical mosses and some awsome moss that came with an orchid i bought.... From my research the need for a dormant period has been overstated or applied to generally to north american mosses....most of the ones i've found around here will atleast live, and some even thrive in vivarium conditions...black jungle's tropical moss and the moss i got with that orchid are the best though...especially the orchid moss....t and c terriums tropical moss is good too but like many mosses is extremely sensitive to calcium. CALCIUM KILLS MOSSES!!! the orchid moss and black jungle tropical mosses seem the most tolerent of calcium so far.

The black jungle and t and c tropical mosses are a little on the darker green side while the native mosses and that orchid moss i lucked into are generally a lighter brighter green so i prefer them.

My best advice and what has worked for me is to collect as many different varieties of your native mosses as possible and lay them in patch work fashion throughout your viv, and/or mix them with some small patches of the various tropical mosses.... use a good substrate and clean purified or reverse osmosis water.....hard water kills most mosses very quickly.

the substrate i've had best luck with is the coco bark chunks mixed in with some peat, or bed a beast, forest floor, or something similar....basically u just want something that decreases the "chunkyness" of the coco bark especially at the top most layer. Other then that plenty of light and humidity (usually) is all u need....though on a side note some of the native mosses seem to prefer less moisture or dry periods, and a few thrive more in low light conditions within a tank....but not all of them They can still work though, u just have to consider placement and try to avoid over misting that area of the tank. The moisture in the soil will usually be enough and they wont need frequent direct misting...also having atleast some ventilation is good.

i think people worry to much about sealing their tanks for humidity, as long as the humidity is 60% or so at the middle or top of the cage the floor and any spots in low light, in/ or around plants (especially bromiliads that hold water) will have micro climates that that stay near a 100% humidity as long as the substrate contains decent moisture (doesnt have to be soaking wet though) Also a water bowl and/or waterfall will help keep the humidity up, provide humid micro climates or areas where the frogs can absorb water before they make their expeditions into the open. Roughly i'd say a top that is 10-30% uncovered will still keep enough humidity especially in micro climate regions and/or near water featurs and still keep ambiant humidity high enough that your waterfalls/water features dont evaporate all the water so quickly that your topping them off every other day....experiment...and find what works or atleast what u can live with as far as frequency of topping off water features

So experiment with placing the various moss types u find in open high light conditions, and low light conditions, and giving each kind alot of moisture and some of that same kind a dry period or less moisture in general....then see what survives, grows and/or thrives...then go look for those mosses to replace the patches/species that didnt do well.

Most mosses will stay green for awhile before they die, which keeps your viv looking nice while the good mosses take hold and spread...then when they do die just replace them with the good mosses or be paitent and let the other mosses spread into the empty spots. I take small (try for atleast 1 squar inch) patches of my good mosses to "seed" my new/other tanks... space the plugs of your various mosses and then let them spread and connect together. Some empty space for them to spread to is usually a good idea...sometimes a few species will overwhelm or just prevent the spread of others so give each a lil room to grow and see what works for you....Anyways good luck. (My frogs and most of my moss is doing well btw)
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Old 08-08-2005, 03:46 AM
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Dave--I should think the humidity question would depend a lot upon the ambient humidty in your home, as well as the size of your tank. Larger tanks would have more "micro-environments," while something like a 10 gallon 10% open, would dry out pretty fast in my area. I like to see my frogs out and about, comfortable in all areas of a tank, rather than seeking out comfort zones, which might mean hiding in leaf litter or down in bromes and spending little time in the open or climbing around the higher reaches of the background.

On the other hand, that's probably why you are able to grow so many different mosses so well, and I have no real success with anything but Java.
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Old 08-08-2005, 12:28 PM
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Yes the average humidity in your region is a factor definately and also more micro climates in a larger tank but even smaller tanks are going to have near 100 percent humidity usually in a dark spot or even 1 inch throughout the tank above the substrate...assuming the substrate is atleast kept moist, since the evaporated moisture is more concentrated at or just above the point of evaporation, then disperses.

So this means u may have to mist more frequently when your tanks have alot of ventilation...but mainly the point i was trying to make was that alot of people seem overly concerned that their frogs are going to die or something if the whole tank isnt at a constant 80% humidity or above.

Good ambient Humidity through frequent enough misting is definately key to seeing your frogs....or atleast having a small water feature... i've noticed that my frogs even when they were kept in tanks with lower ambient humidity and only misted once or twice a day would be out and about quite abit if they had a water source to "recharge" at periodically then off they'd go.... you can have a small water bowl even...and in such cases i usually put java moss and/or salvia natens in the water bowl to filter the water and that allows me to just top it off as needed instead of emptying it often....small feeder guppies and other tropical fish can even live in such a small water feature if filtered with plants. ofcourse in a 10 gal you'd have to sacrifice quite abit of floor space for a bowl, so thats why i like the waterfalls like the exoterras, cuz its still a place the frogs can climb on even when not in the water.
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