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Old 12-11-2008, 03:06 PM
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Default substrate to press in for back wall

First post here (of many, I'm sure).
It's been about 15 years since I built my last vivarium, and back in those days I used a large sheet of 1/4" chicken wire, concrete mix and small rocks to create my back wall / waterfall. Things seem to have become quite a bit easier now and I'm looking forward to starting this new project.

As we are pressed for space, I had a custom sized aquarium built to fit on top of one of our shelving units. It's 30" wide x 20" tall x 10" deep. I just picked it up yesterday and I am going to be getting the black silicone and a couple of cans of 'Handi-Foam'.

Obviously, I'm planning on creating the back wall / waterfall using the handi foam, cork bark chunks and perhaps some oak, and then I will be covering the foam sections with black silicone and pressing in a substrate.

Most of the posts I've seen on various websites are using the coco-husk as the substrate for the back wall, but I really prefer the greener look of Forest Moss.

Anybody had any experience / suggestions as to possible problems with using the forest moss pressed into the back instead of coco husk? (ie, will it hold up over time like the husk etc)

I'm looking forward to putting together a photo tour of the process I'm about to undertake.
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: substrate to press in for back wall

your best best woudl be to use broken up tree fern pannels and pres them agains tthe foam and have java moss grow all over it, it a may a month or 2 to get covered, but i don't think pressing live moss on the foam will really cause it to live with all the chemicals in the foam if its not dried.
Have a nice day
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: substrate to press in for back wall

Another thing to consider is the depth, 10" is not very deep to be adding a thick background to. As Julio mentioned, tree fern panels might be the way to go with this background.
Scott Bryant
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: substrate to press in for back wall

Thanks guys,
I went to a dollar store yesterday and bought a little glass plate to run a test on. I smeared my black typeII silicone on, and pressed some of the forest moss into it.
Just from the looks of it, I don't think it's going to do the trick.

Admittedly, the bare look of the coco-husk fibre is a bit brown and dead looking, (which I was trying to avoid) but I suppose I wasn't really looking too far ahead into 6 months or a year from now once all my flora in there has taken root and started to propagate.

Coco it is!
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: substrate to press in for back wall

I don't know if it was a good move but I made a mix of forest moss, coco-fibre, and coco-chunks and pressed it in. Still looks pretty brown but like you said it will be covered up soon.

1.0.2 Leucomelas
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moss, substrate, waterfall

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