Alright, after much advice sought and given, I set on a build plan on my Exo Terra. Its a 24" wide, 18" deep, and 36" tall. I love the extra tall tanks! My biggest hurdle was how to secure the Huge peice of Malaysian driftwood to the back wall. I will post a few pics each day, so check back as it comes along.
OK, heres the tank essesntially as it started. I installed a double bottom in it. All my previous vivs in the past have been false bottoms. I didnt like how they looked, and its so hard to move a tank full of that amount of water. This is my first with a "European style" double bottom.
Heres a photo-list of the plants that are going in. There will be more though. I'm still looking for 1-2 species of Margravia, more Ficus pumila Quercifolia, Neo Fireball, Cissus amazonica, and java moss. Funds are exhausted now though....and I'm currently unemployed, so more funds are not going to be forthecoming for awhile. The Bromeliads are unidentified species. The other plants are Peperomia puteolata, an unidentified davalia sp. of fern, Philodendron 'Burgundy', Cissus discolor, Pelonia repens, an unknown Rex begonia hybrid, ludisia discolor, and Saxifraga stolonifera. More pics to come!
heres a couple pics of my favorite find. I hadn't planned on seeking any out to put in my Viv, but I'd seen pictures and knew I liked it and had considered it. But, its a succulent...not exactly rainforest material. But, when I came across it, I had to have it. It's tiny, but healthy. Now, finding a good spot for it will be the hard part. Up near the top where it wont get drowned, and will get plenty of light i suppose, and where the vines can dangle down.
Alright, now on the double bottom I am placing leca, also now as hydroton. But since the double bottom is tilted forward to encourage runn-off drainage, I didnt want the entire substrate to also go sliding. So I glued together a 3-ball high "retaining wall" of leca together with spots of silicone. I've got to source a big ole' wad of java moss to place over it to grow and hide it. Then I pit down about a one inch layer of leca, and some window screen over it so it dosn't become clogged with my soil mix. I'll describe my mix later.
And...heres a pic of the first Brom mounted on the tree fern panel. I had originally wanted to mount the mother plant colony with her 3-4 pups still attached, but despite the size of the viv (75 gallon) it just wouldnt fit intact and look good, so I took off the largest pup and mounted it. I'll keep the mother and other pups for further projects or trades. And I'll leave off there, till later. check back for more!
Alright......Now I've got the main 4 large plants where I want them and have torn off all the old soil, cleaned/dunked the plants and I have mounded some of my "soil" under and around to support them. Doug (pumilio) and others gave em some good advice on attaching the Broms, which went without incident. Looks like its starting to take shape now!
I hate these pics though. I'm still usign an 11 year old Coolpix 885 for my pictures. It takes "OK" pics for 3.2 megapixels, but the flash washes out alot of the color. I'm gonna have to set the apeture speed/iso, etc manually to get a good picture truly represetative of the lighting and color. Or, I'll just snag a familiy members Nikon D60 to take some new pics. We'll see!
I wish I knew. I bought them as miscelleneous broms at a local nursurey. I posted in the identification forum seeking input. nobody really knew. So many species. I believe it may be a nidularium though. I know the local nursury buys from the Por la mar nursurey, so I may check out their web site and see what I can find out.
Ok, heres some 95 % complete pics of the build. I need to work on the settigns on this camera to get soem better pics. The mistign system is not installed yet because I need to get a drilled upper sheet of glass here soon. As soon as I get some tropical moss and some java moss, that will be going in to. A bunch of vines and climbers really to fill those bare tree fern walls. But, I want it MOSSY above all. I love the look. Thats why I invested the time in all that tree fern root.
Well, after a week of being planted, my Rex begonia "melted" and died. So did my Pelonia repens. :-( I dunno why. They were two of my favorite plants. Well, right after my 2 beautiful broms. Now I gotta find a huge wad of Oak leaf ficus to plant in threre. Ficus pumila var. Quercifolia.
Well, here's a little update on the viv. Its far from finished. As you'll see, many plants have yet to be planted, either "hanging" in the viv, or sitting in "the moat" in the front. Really disappointed how slow my oak leaf ficus is growing. I don't even want to permantly plant it untill it takes off a little. Mom gets to narrate since its her Flip camera.
OK, yeah, I took to long to get these updated pics, but the viv has been growign in great. 6 fat little vanzo's in here right now, that partake fo the bromeliad axels a little more than I like, but hey, they're happy. Plenty of callign coming from them, don't know the ratios yet though. Theres some dischidia ovata I want to mount somewhere, and I'd love for there to be a ton of oak leaf ficus on the sides, but it currently just isnt growing in the little container in the upper right hand corner. I think its gettign to much light.
Well, initially I tryed that, 4 panes siliconed into the origanal Exo terra top with the screen removed. It started to sag under the weight, so a local frogger cut a piece of 1/4" pane for me, and drilled mister bulkheads for me.
And heres a current pic. The java moss which isnt really visible behind the broms, on the driftwood is really startign to take off and is even creeping onto the background now, which is what I REALLY wanted. Tons of calling from the Vanzo's in there, and they're only 4-5 months old. Hopefully some eggs or tads will apppear over thsi winter. I really need to replace the translucent film canisters with black ones.
Well, had to somewhat deconstruct this viv last month. Roaches hitched a ride in the roots of one of the local greenhouse plants I put in the tank. Let that be a warnign to completley rinse the soil off the root of plants you put in your tanks. I took the soil out, false bottom out, and all plants and cooked the tank with a small personal heater/fan. After a few hours, dead roaches started dropping. It now appears roach free. Luckinly, they were stll in the nymph stage and couldnt breed.
The tank is now in the process of being replanted, no broms this time however. If I can find anyone in colorado who breeds tincs, I think I'd liek to do either some Citronella, Lorenzo, or green sips in here. havnt decided yet though.
Now that this tank is rebuilt and growign in nicely I have to decide on what to keep in here. Obviously its a VERY tall tank, so I'd liek to put somethign in here that will utilize the space. Honestly, I'd like to do Tincs in here, but....I think all the upper space would be wasted. I've kept tincs, just not in a tall tank. I know they'll climb a bit...but will they use 36" in height. What other Non-thumbnail frog would go good in here? Recomendations?