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Old 04-16-2018, 08:36 PM
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Default 29 gallon build

Hello,

Started working on this a couple weeks ago. Its currently partially planted, only broms at the moment and am still waiting for myself to make up my mind on what else to add. Thinking of adding various pleurothallis and a couple other orchids as well, peperomonia and some marcgravia.

As mentioned its a 29 gallon sea-clear acrylic. Aqueon RGB LED light fixture from the local pet shop. Still waiting to fully determine whether it will be enough or not. Reptifogger, and 4x 40 mm fans. The fans are hooked up to a speed controller and I keep them at the lowest setting when on. Monsoon multi, left from a previous tank. Just received my new lines and y-connectors this morning. Will be running my lines today/tonight (holes are already drilled).

Background is orchid bark and peat/sphagnum, used titebond 3 for the binder.

No substrate at the moment other than some aquarium substrate and ditched the false bottom. Realized I made it too tall after the background had already hardened.. yay me.. Plus I was and still am not entirely sure if I want the bottom to be all 'solid-ground' or have the front 1/3 or so be shallow water. Also, since I have been hand misting, the drips that fall seem to all fall in close to the same spots every time, slowly eroding the gravel and creating grooves for the water to travel down to the front of the tank. Thinking it might be neat to have these be the start of the water area allowing 'rainfall' to flow down to the front. Just a thought I am entertaining.

Will post a few pics of the broms in a couple hours. Some are already about to flower and a few have some pups.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Looking cool, although I can't help to keep thinking of a puppet...lol. I am sure planted, it looks entirely different.

Love the hardscape !
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Nice. The way you setup the hardscape the frogs will really appreciate the extra usable space you gave them. What's going in here?
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Thanks guys, I haven't really made up my mind on a species of frogs yet, outside of a pair of something small. Oophaga might be fun, otherwise probably Ranitomeya.

As of now, the tank remains relatively cool. Around low-mid 70's and, humidity stays at about 80. Thinking I will probably need to get the tank a bit warmer during the day. But still lots of work before frogs. Like I said, I don't even have my substrate/ground level figured out yet.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Here are the broms currently in the tank. Pardon the poor phone pics.. =\
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

added some elevation change to the bottom, and some branches/roots. Still need substrate, leaves... orchids... still havent made up my mind on frogs though... any ideas?
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:59 AM
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Really leaning toward pumilio. Seemingly partial to Bastimentos and El Dorado locales.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

This is looking real slick. Good work!
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eruantien View Post
As of now, the tank remains relatively cool. Around low-mid 70's and, humidity stays at about 80. Thinking I will probably need to get the tank a bit warmer during the day.
You don't want the tank any warmer than it already is. A tank normally in the high 70s is at too much of a risk for tempurature swings up into the "danger zone" for my taste.

Very nice viv so far, btw. Keep posting pics!
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

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Originally Posted by harrisbt View Post
This is looking real slick. Good work!
Thank you!
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmb5245 View Post
You don't want the tank any warmer than it already is. A tank normally in the high 70s is at too much of a risk for tempurature swings up into the "danger zone" for my taste.

Very nice viv so far, btw. Keep posting pics!

Been watching the temp a bit closer. The highest it gets during the day is 72, then drops down to 68. And thank you. Will definitely keep posting as things change.
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Old 04-20-2018, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Another thought:
I like the looks of the black gravel, but I worry it won't collect enough water to keep your substrate dry. You might want to play with that for awhile to be sure you don't get a swamp (I honestly think you had it right the first time with the egg-crate and mesh).
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmb5245 View Post
Another thought:
I like the looks of the black gravel, but I worry it won't collect enough water to keep your substrate dry. You might want to play with that for awhile to be sure you don't get a swamp (I honestly think you had it right the first time with the egg-crate and mesh).
That is where I am at as well. Visually, it looks awesome, functionally, I too am concerned about it not allowing the water to actually drain. I am actually quite happy that I didnt add substrate so I could see what was happening.

The gravel is almost sand in terms of how fine it is. The water hits it, and just flows down to the lowest point but remains on top for the most part.

I will be pulling all of it out today, and drilling a hole for a bulkhead on the left side of the tank.. about an inch up or so from the bottom.. sitting lower than the lowest point of where the substrate will be. Will end up making a couple different false bottoms to help with weight and make it so I keep the 'multi-level' look, segregated by the roots and sticks i have in there now.
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Old 04-21-2018, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

You can always make an egg crate and mesh false bottom that leaves a small gap around the perimeter of the tank between the edge of the false bottom and the inside wall of the glass. That'll give you room to wedge some sand in there to maintain the look you want.

If that explanation didn't make sense, here's an example: let's say the footprint of the inside of your tank is 20x10. Make a 19x9 false bottom and then you'll have a half-inch perimeter of gap around it where you can wedge sand to hide the false bottom. Good luck!
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Old 04-21-2018, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

No that totally makes sense, and that is what I have done in the past and will be doing on this.

I ran out of egg crate, however, last night I found an older egg crate structure I had made in the past. Was able to salvage that and make a couple platforms. The volume they take up is better than nothing, though, there will be a much larger gap than an inch of gravel around the the edges. Which is fine. The tank will just be a bit heavier.

Planning on filling in the gaps around the edges and in between the platforms with a black aquarium gravel. Will post some pics of what I have in a few.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:44 PM
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Sorry for the lack of updates everyone, been busy with work and life matters. This has not been put on hold however.

When I removed the black aquarium gravel, I realized how soggy the background was getting, especially toward the bottom. I could lightly, no where near aggressively and was not using excess force, drag or bump the pieces of wood on the bottom against it during rearrangement and chunks were coming off. Not sure if I didnt use the right ratio of glue to the other parts or if I didnt let it dry/cure long enough. Even the top was starting get soft and malleable to the touch.

I have read that a tightbond 3 bound background will soften up some after being in there for a while and exposed to constant moisture and humidity, and was expecting to see some softening but this just really worried me. I dont want to get this all fully set up just to have it slowly or all of a suddenly fall apart on me. I really liked working with this method as opposed to greatstuff and silicone, just thinking I need to do some more experimenting before I try it in a tank again.

That being said, I ordered some tree fern plaques and will be redoing the background and adding side coverage. Expected delivery is Wednesday for some reason, even though I requested and paid for next business day delivery.. should have delivered today (placed my order late last Wednesday night), however ETA remains Wednesday, May 2nd.. kinda frustrating but understandable, given possible weather conditions in the upper midwest (where the plaques are being shipped from).

Anyway, super excited to get to work with tree fern plaques and am hoping I can mount the wood I am currently using in this tank to the tree fern. I could just mount the wood to the back of the tank and place the plaques around the wood, however, I think I would prefer to mount the wood to the plaques instead. I am assuming I could just silicone the wood to the plaques with generous amounts of silicone, and then just cover with the tightbond mixture for a more natural appearance..? Worst case scenario, the wood will have to be placed in/on the substrate, as I am unsure on methods of attaching wood to tree fern. And then I just get some different wood/branches to prop up and fill some of the unused space. Or just get different wood all together, that will more efficiently make use of the space available when placed in or on the substrate. Really wanting to avoid this as well so there will be more space for leaf litter. I have been scouring google, been using the heck out of the search function, however, there isnt really much information on attaching things, other than plants, to tree fern plaques (went all the way back to posts from 2008 and/or earlier). Any suggestions on what has worked for any of you would be greatly appreciated. Also, pics would be greatly appreciated as well, if available.

This whole revamping will also allow me to make a single false bottom that will fit better vs, piecing together multiple platforms. Also, drilling the hole for the bulkhead and valvle as close to the bottom as possible, will make it so I dont need as much of a drainage layer (obviously). Meaning, I could probably get away with just using an inch of drainage, or less. Which will inherently increase my vertical usable space. Am thinking I might even lower the pieces of wood in the tank at least a couple inches, giving me more room up top for plants with brighter light requirements without sacrificing much space for broms.

On a lighter note, one of the chiquita linda I have in the tank currently is blooming, one of the others is about to bloom, seeing some blue starting coming up and out of the center.

Lastly, I am going to be removing all the broms and the single neofinetia that I have in there today, probably in a couple hours or so, and start filling the tank with water. Let the background soak for at least a couple hours and rip it all out tonight.
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Alright.. back at it. Installed the drain, false bottom is in place and so is the tree fern. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just have to go back and fill the gaps and add some gravel to the bottom. Then ready for substrate and planting.
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:49 PM
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Got the broms mounted to tree fern, added some gravel around the edges of the false bottom, used the remainder of the bag to cover the top of the false bottom and, reduced fan count to 2x. Again, normal stuff..

As you can see, my lid as of right now is not up to par. I picked up a sheet of, I think, 36"x36"x3/8" acrylic. Will be cutting that down to appropriate size to nicely and fully cover the holes on top and running a thin bead of silicon around the bottom edges to make a seal.

Ordered some turface for substrate, some medium/small ghost wood branches, live oak leaf litter, and ordered a few more plants to start with. Once received and planted the plant list will be the following:

4x Neo. Chiquita Linda
3x Neo. Dulce de Leche
3x Peperomia emarginella 'Panama Round'
3x Anthurium rupicola
2x Microgramma reptans
2x Microgramma lycopodioides
1x Pleopeltis percussa

Mostly focusing on vines/trailers right now (Anthurium rupicola as the exception), wanting them to get established first, plus I will probably play around with wood placement for at least a few days before coming to a conclusion as to what placement I like most, which will inherently mean that favorable mounting positions will also be subject to change. Will probably also do at least 1 more installation/shipment of vines once wood is in a likable place, then start shifting focus to orchids and other fun additions. I threw the idea of a biotope out the window with my brom selection, however, for the remainder of plants I am really trying to stick to plants from Panama or plants listed as from Panama.

I might end up using dusk moss, however, am entertaining and favoring the idea of getting my hands on some live red Sphagnum. Thinking I would prefer the look of one species of moss in the tank vs multiples. Moss will most likely be added last and as sparsely as possible. Mainly/only around plants that need the extra moisture. Especially since, the tree fern plaques will most likely start sprouting moss on its own.

For now, broms seem happy, 2 of the Chiquita Linda are flowering and 2 of the Dulce de Leche are budding and getting ready to bloom.. would expect open flowers in a week or two. One Chiquita Linda has an open pup with a little baby spike off to the other side. One of the ones flowering also has a pup, however, it isnt growing/opening (probably solely focusing on flowering), and the one in the front left of the pic is throwing a pup that was just starting to open when I checked on it this morning.

Temp and humidity also remaining stable. Temp has been staying above 65 and below 70 all day, and humidity hovers around 80 - 85%, spikes up to high 80's - 90% shortly after misting or when I let the fogger run for a few minutes.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Looking good! Just a thought: maybe change the height of some of those broms? Right now they form basically a straight line across the middle. Obviously I'm not sure what your hardscape is going to be, or if you're going to have other focal points, but just wanted to see where you're going with this. What are your plans for the rest?
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

I have been moving them around a bit, to see if there are any other combinations that I like, Also grabbed a larger brom from home depot. I dont think its a guzmania species and dont think it is neoregelia either.. but it seemed unhappy, and I felt bad for it so I grabbed it. I has a single flower spike however, 3 red, flat heads coming off of it that the flowers will bloom from. Can post pics so it can be identified.

Still waiting on my wood to arrive. Looks like a packing slip was created just this morning. Will probably move at least a couple of the broms to the branches instead of the tree fern. Though I am liking the current orientation, so maybe I will just place the wood in the tank and get a couple more small broms to mount to the wood.

We will see once the wood and other plants get here.
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:06 PM
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Here is an updated photo with the brom from home depot, again, not sure on ID would appreciate one if anyone knows possibilities. The plant had some dry, yellow dead leaves and sections of leaves, so I cut those off. Unlike the Chiquita Linda with the dead leaves toward the bottom and just yellowing/dying because they were old leaves, they were some of the middle leaves and tips of newer leaves.

Thinking I might play around with placement again tonight, also need more toothpicks that are not colored. Kind of curious about how it will look when grouped/arranged by hybrids vs having them mixed and spread out. Though am thinking it might get crowded when they start producing pups. Chiquita linda produces a lot of pups that grow quickly in my experience.

Unsure about the Dulce de Leche, 2 are still in the process of flowering so I assume they are focusing on that vs roots and pups. However, the one in the left corner shows no signs of flowering, no pups and no roots.

The very foremost Chiquita Linda to the left is the first one to start throwing new roots.. or rather a single root. So am happy about that.

ETA for the shipment is tomorrow. Will include substrate, leaf litter, some vining/trailing ferns, the anubias and the wood that I will be adding. That being said, more updates on the way.
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:17 AM
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Alrighty... I literally just got done adding everything that arrived today. Substrate is in, leaf litter is in, ghostwood is in, and plants are mounted. Unfortunately, it looks like the Anthuriums got a little damaged in shipping however, I am expecting them to bounce back relatively nicely.

Time to let it grow in a bit. Am thinking the next additions will be orchids, however, probably wont add them for at least a few weeks.
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Looking good! Varying the height and depth of the broms makes for a more dynamic tank, for sure. What're you going to do with that huge hole on the left? Any other plants to fill up space a bit before putting orchids in? Button ferns pair well and contrast with broms, and provide nice lines that draw the eye throughout the tank.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:29 PM
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So... I ripped out all of the leaf litter last night and added the extra turface I had to add more elevation changes. The back parts of the tank are now much higher, almost half way up the tank in the center back, than the front. Moved the anthuriums around as well as some of the ferns.

Thank you for the compliments, though I probably wont add anything more to the back left corner. I am actually liking the balance as it is currently and am really wanting as much of the floor space to be leaf litter as possible. In theory or at least the idea here is that this would potentially create more living space for microfauna once added as well as more foraging space for the frogs. Aside from the anthuriums, I am really wanting this to mostly be epiphytes and as mentioned previously plants from Panama or listed as from Panama (broms as the exception). Am thinking of getting a couple dungsiana for a 3rd size of bromeliad for some more variability.

Other than that, will probably get some more of the same ferns that are already in the tank, some more peperomia and orchids. Am really loving the veination of the lycopodioides..
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Looking good! And that hole disappeared when you added some topography with the turface.

There's a definite elegance to tanks that only have a handful of plant species/shapes in them. Looking forward to seeing how this thing fills in!

What frogs are you thinking about adding?
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:30 AM
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Thank you.

The Microgramma all seem to be doing well and producing noticeable rhizome growth already. Can post pics tomorrow.

I am a bit worried about the Pleopeltis, its tip was starting to brown a bit, so I moved it to a brighter spot closer to the fans on the backwall (shown in the previous pic). I am really worried about the Anthuriums. Neither of the three seem to be doing all that well and, am thinking its due to the amount of light they are receiving. Also shown in the previous pic, I moved them to brighter spots the other night, with the exception of one. Am monitoring closely.

As for frogs, I would love to get and work with some RFB Basti's. Though I am a ways away from adding frogs.
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Stumbled onto a couple sites over the weekend also and found a couple broms that occur naturally in Panama. Am thinking I might grab a single Aechmea naudicalis for a test run to see how it does in the viv. If it does well and isnt too big, I might replace all the broms.. Also discovered Tillandsia biflora, however, based off of what I have read it likes an increased amount of airflow of which Im not sure I can provide.

That being said, if I do end up replacing the broms that I do have, I will have to start another tank Or I have plenty of tree fern left so can make individual mounts for around the house or what have you.

Would have been awesome to have done a Bocas del Toro biotope however, plant selection for Panama as a country seems slim.. let alone trying to find plants from small group of islands.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:14 PM
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After further reading and monitoring I have come to the conclusion that the whitening in the leaves was because of too much light. Based off of plant descriptions that were provided by the site I got them from however, their positions inside the viv would have or should have been fine. On top of that, my light itself is listed for medium to low light plants, so it shouldn't really be putting out too much light for these plants (unless they were like right underneath the light, which they werent). I then realized I had my light on longer than necessary. The Microgramma and even the Pleopeltis (prefers medium to bright light according to the site) had a couple leaves starting to get a little bleached out. These plants were only about halfway up from the bottom or lower. If higher they were either in the front of the viv or far back in positions that were not receiving high amounts of direct light. Anyway hoping I caught this in time.

Previous light schedule was:
Blue light (moonlight) on at 12:01 am
RGB ramp up 5:30 am
White light ramp up started at 8:00 am
White light ramp down started at 8:00 pm (off by 8:30 pm)
RGB ramp down started at 10:30 pm (not fully off until 11:00 pm)
Blue light off at 12:00 am

I think the RGB and blue lights being on for such an extended time is what was bleaching the leaves.

Now schedule is set to:
RGB ramp up starts and blue light on at 7:00 am
White light ramp up starts at 7:30 am
White light ramp down starts at 7:30 pm
RGB ramp down starts at 8:00 pm
blue light off at 10:00 PM

I also meant to grab some pictures of the new growth on the microgramma, and one of the Dulce de Leche is finally blooming, however have been getting distracted with other things with the tank.

The Chiquita linda have both finished blooming. Can't wait for the left over matter from the flowers to go away. Might just let it degrade a bit more and go in with some tweezers and remove it all. Looks like bird feces. Still no noticeable roots though.

I also moved the fans to the front of the enclosure instead of the back. Personally I think it looks a bit tackier however, in terms of functionality, they are definitely better placed in the front. Generally drawing air from the front bottom of the tank, pulling it up across the front (reducing condensation) and then back out toward the plants. Ran fans with the fogger on to see the actual currents. Was pretty neat. Also, there seems to be just enough of a current to slightly move the hanging pieces of peperomia, one of the anthurium leaves and a couple of the brom leaves.. again, just ever so slightly. Pretty cool though.

Other than the bleaching on a few of the leaves however, all plants seem to be doing ok for the time being. Brom pups are still growing, microgramma is growing.. Pretty exciting really.

Might be ordering some more Microgrammas (more of the same species) and/or Pleopeltis and possibly a couple orchids on Friday or Monday. Get some more green in there.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Just placed an order for more plants. Shipment will include:
2x Pleopeltis percussa
2x Pleurothallis microphylla
1x Microgramma lycopodioides
1x Microgramma reptans
1x Pleurothallis brighamella

Super stoked on this.

As an overall tank update, bleaching has stopped and leaves seem to be getting their color back.. or I have gotten used to seeing them as a lighter color. Also, a new leaf is forming on the center, back anthurium. Veination on the Pleopeltis and lycopdioides is becoming a bit more pronounced where it wasnt before. Loving these plants. The stems on the peperomia are also starting to redden a bit in some spots, am hoping more start to redden up as the plant keeps growing.

More to come. Will definitely be posting updated pics once I receive the new additions, and will try to get a couple pics tonight of whats currently in there (depends on how much personal time work allows me to have).
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:30 AM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Latest plant shipment has been mounted. .

Updated plant list:
4x Neoregelia 'Chiquita Linda' (not counting pups)
3x Neoregelia 'Dulce de Leche'
3x Pleopeltis percussa
3x Microgramma lycopodioides
3x Microgramma reptans
3x Peperomia emarginella 'Panama Round'
3x Anthurium rupicola
2x Pleurothallis microphylla
1x Pleruothallis brighamella
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File Type: jpg microphylla.jpg (70.6 KB, 58 views)
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Old 05-26-2018, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Looking good! Brom root growth is always fun to see! Cant wait to see this thing in about 6 months once everything fills in a bit.
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Old 05-27-2018, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Thank you! I love seeing brom root growth as well. Especially aerial roots for some reason.

Also noticed that one of the Chiquita Lindaís that were flowering started focusing on the pup again. Itís starting to just barely open up.



Meanwhile the other two are growing quite well. The larger of the two is about half as tall as the mother already.






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Old 05-27-2018, 01:56 AM
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Default 29 gallon build

Also I just downloaded Tapatalk and realized that most if not all previous pics are broken.. here are some full tank shots for those that may have missed and were curious about what I am talking about.




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Old 05-29-2018, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: 29 gallon build

Ok. I might be addicted at this point.. I keep telling myself that I am going to wait a few weeks to let it grow in before getting more plants.

2x Pleurothallis brighamella
1x Microgramma reptans
1x Pleopeltis percussa
1x Peperomia angulata

The above are on their way. I seemingly really need to work on my patience and will power. There are still also a couple more species of orchid that I want to include in the tank. Wanting more microphylla to spread around and a couple more pleuroís.

Also, with the Chiquita Linda on the left starting to open up her pup, I might move or entirely remove the Dulce de Leche that is right next to it to the left. This would also potentially open up space for more plants, whether more Microgramma or orchids.

I still need to add microfauna.

New Anthurium leaves have opened on 2 out of the 3 plants.

All Microgramma and pleopeltis seem to be doing well and the original ones seem to be rooting into the background already. Meaning not much longer for having to look at toothpicks! Yaaaaaayyyyy! Also noticed one of the original pleopeltis starting a new shoot. Am stoked on that. Was the one I was initially worried about.

Didnít realize how quickly Peperomia grows.. itís like a weed.. and is probably considered one locally.

Lastly, I think I see new buds starting on the brighamella. Super stoked on that. It arrived to me with one open flower however that fell off a couple days after being introduced to the tank.

Tank has some condensation right now despite fans running. Will try to grab some pics once it clears up.



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Old 05-30-2018, 11:34 PM
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With the new plants added...




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Old 05-31-2018, 01:31 AM
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Yes....I would say you are addicted....Repeat after me.... I am an orchidoholic....
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbaum View Post
Yes....I would say you are addicted....Repeat after me.... I am an orchidoholic....


Proudly, I am am orchidoholic.


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Old 07-14-2018, 06:43 PM
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Couple month update. Pleuroís are doing well. 3 are budding and flowering regularly, also growing new leaves. The Microphylla has produced a couple new leaves but no flowers yet.

Peperomia still growing like a weed. All broms are rooted to background now with the exception of one.. it had experienced a bit of rot in the center. Pulled the rotting leaves off and mounted it to the back. It has stayed alive since but not sure itís growing anymore. The 3 pups are starting to reach offset size. Thinking I could cut and mount them if I wanted.

Microgrammas seem to be doing well also, throwing new shoots of the main rhizome and all have produced new leaves.

Moss is also greening up in most places, and producing new growth around the base of the brom mounted to the stick.





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Old 07-31-2018, 03:48 AM
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Thinking I need some bigger leaved, faster growing, foliage for the ground at least, more cover is my goal. Itís quite open right now and I donít see the current configuration providing enough cover.. just feeling like itís not enough for what I want to house in this enclosure.


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Old 07-31-2018, 08:17 AM
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Realized I have never shown how dense I let the fog get... Ďtis about midnight for me. Only reason I turned the RGB on is so that peeps could see the volume I let collect at night. On top of that, I turn my fans off. So itís a full saturation for like approximately 5-10 minutes. Basically until I feel itís okay. I still donít have my misters or humidifier on timers just going off of visuals from moss and moisture collecting in the leaf litter to determine whether or not plants need water.

I will say that the anthuriums are probably not doing as great as they should be but, as far as what I can tell, all the others are quite happy...




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