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Old 05-03-2012, 02:16 PM
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Default The war on scale !!!!

well as we all know scale is probably one of the most feared plant insects of our hobby, and i have scale.

so i have read the articles of alcohol dabbing and weak soaps and all those others. HOWEVER i was pointed in a new direction, and a new weapon against these fierce opponents. this weapon is called " Lindorus lopanthae, scale destroyer ladybug", but to be honest when i was pointed in a direction it was for Aphytis melinus (however i think the frogs will decimate them too quickly...(and i think catching 4 fants in a 55 gal vert with 25+ broms would be harder than killing the scale )
http://www.rinconvitova.com/bulletin...ndorus_BUL.htm

my question is has anyone actually tried these? and have results to share?

my concern is life cycles between the scale vs the beetle. i have a tank that took almost 8 month to show sign of scale and that was with a 1 month QT of the plants before putting them in the viv. Of coarse all these plants were bleach solution washed as to the best we can, but we all know how well that really is with a brom. So would the scale be able to hide better than the beetle and ultimately just rear its dirty head in the future?



so $40 for 50 bugs (its not cheap and was HOPING some one else has given this a try in the past)

Last edited by motydesign; 05-03-2012 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

the more i read the more it points that Aphytis melinus is the way to go, but im waiting on an email back from the gentleman that suggested the ladybug...not sure why he decided to suggest them now, maybe its because he is the only one in the US that breeds them?


best deal i can find for Aphytis melinus
http://greenmethods.com/site/shop/bu...mealybug-ctrls

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Old 05-03-2012, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

This why you treat and QT!!! At least it's not mealy!!!!!!
I like spinosad to treat for scale, spider mites, etc etc etc. right now Im lucky enough to spray new plants and keep them outside for a month, then I'll brin them in and bleach dip



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Old 05-03-2012, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by frogparty View Post
This why you treat and QT!!!
i take it you didnt see the part about me QTing them for a month?

and im not sure how comfortable i am with a plant thats ever had a pesticide on it being in a tank?
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Spinosad and BT are bacterial based toxins that only affect leaf eating plants and are quick to break down.



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Old 05-03-2012, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

yeah i was just reading on that, and was a bit interested.... so i wonder if it can be used with a frog in a tank? i know thats a flip flop from above (and id never do it) but just curious in general what the consensus is with the product and how safe it is?
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

I wouldn't use spinosad with a frog in the tank
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Spinosad in the literature is demonstrated to have a very low activity against scale so treating the tank with it, is pretty much a moot point. It does very little against sucking insects (see abstract Spinosad toxicity to pollinators ... [Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. 2003] - PubMed - NCBI ). The same can also be said for Bt.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

I had a Psychotria viridis come in with a lot of scale, and treated it with EtOH several times before I sprayed it with BT. Putting it outside with nights into low 50s seemed to be the best thing to get rid of the scale.



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Old 05-03-2012, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

its not the point of treating a plant thats out of the tank, its the issue once its in an established tank.

i think i am going to give the Aphytis melinus a try and report my findings (wish there was a local supply of these wasps ahahah)
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Here are some other websites I found that had scale insect predators:
http://homeharvest.com/beneinsmealybugscale.htm
Chilocorus - scale insect predator - Integrated Pest Management by Bugs for Bugs

I think another thing to consider if you are using them in tanks with frogs is if the frogs would eat the insects.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

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Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
I think another thing to consider if you are using them in tanks with frogs is if the frogs would eat the insects.
correct! however with 10,000 wasps i imagine letting a few hundred go in there just to attack will allow enough to get to the scale and appease the 4 fants
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

I don't have any personal experience with beneficial predators (hopefully someone with more experiences with them, like ed, or frogparty will chime in here), but I think they only "manage" the pest, and never truly eradicate it
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

yeah ed was the undisclosed source that pushed me to these wasps. and your comment is my biggest fear. It seems like a tank with scale is pretty much doomed! which is a SAD story for my tank
its grown in much more than when this pic was shot
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

I would strongly encourage you to contact Doug Huddle who runs the UW greenhouse and is the most knowledgable person I know when it comes to beneficial insects and their application. He might have other ideas.

But yes, biological pests rarely completely eradicate the pest species. The more likely outcome would be a severe reduction in scale, followed by a corresponding drop in wasp population.



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Old 05-03-2012, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

yeah, from everything I read, it seems more about establishing a breading population of your predator, as to continuously keep in check the invasive. Not sure if that is possible in a small enclosure like a viv, though

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Old 05-03-2012, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brotherly Monkey View Post
yeah, from everything I read, it seems more about establishing a breading population of your predator, as to continuously keep in check the invasive. Not sure if that is possible in a small enclosure like a viv, though
exactly! however the possibility could be that just releasing them in a tank for a prolong period of time with out seeing scale could possibly kill anything that tried to arise?

that would mean having a continuous supply would be needed
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

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Originally Posted by motydesign View Post
exactly! however the possibility could be that just releasing them in a tank for a prolong period of time with out seeing scale could possibly kill anything that tried to arise?

that would mean having a continuous supply would be needed
What we are really looking at is a contained isolated population where the predators can be sustained in excess of the carrying capacity of the prey. This can drive the prey to extinction fairly quickly since the wasps will seek out unparasitized scale for oviposition. it is possible that scale in protected areas (roots or between overlapped leaves) would escape being parasitized but the numbers would really be knocked down. It should be noted that the idea of establishing a breeding population of the predators for control requires a large enough setup to sustain the prey species at a level where damage is acceptable while providing enough prey to sustain the predators. We aren't looking for this path, we are looking to drive the prey into extinction which means artificially sustaining predator numbers well above the carrying capacity.

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Old 05-03-2012, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Here is my experience.


1) When I had scale a few years ago, the mother $#@#s would concentrate on certain plants. When I removed a dwarf schefflera, they beelined to the aroids. I have never seen scale on any bromeliad, begonia, gesneriad or selaginella.

2) Taking the Anubias out and rinsing it really does not work; it reappears in about two weeks.

3) I will never again use Neem oil, although it works. Not even in dilution; I believe it is somewhat toxic to amphibians.

4) If, by chance, the scale only affects one plant or group of plants, then remove the plants. I know this may be difficult woth established plants; because some plants are notorious for not handling being moved.

Meaning, I tore out the Syngonium wenlandii as carefully as I could, and tossed the Anubias. The Syngonium never really recovered. This blows, but no more scale for three years.

Now could scale eggs be dormant in the tank all this time?

Incidentally some gardeners do something similar with Four O'Clocks
(Mirabilis jalapa). These neotropical plants are magnets for Japanese beetles. Let the plants attract the beetles, dig out the plant and dunk in soapy water. Luckily, I don't have this problem; if it arises I shall try feeding the beetles to the herps before culling my plants.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
What we are really looking at is a contained isolated population where the predators can be sustained in excess of the carrying capacity of the prey. This can drive the prey to extinction fairly quickly since the wasps will seek out unparasitized scale for oviposition. it is possible that scale in protected areas (roots or between overlapped leaves) would escape being parasitized but the numbers would really be knocked down. It should be noted that the idea of establishing a breeding population of the predators for control requires a large enough setup to sustain the prey species at a level where damage is acceptable while providing enough prey to sustain the predators. We aren't looking for this path, we are looking to drive the prey into extinction which means artificially sustaining predator numbers well above the carrying capacity.

Ed
Ed, thats exactly what i was stating. yes i need the predator to be in greater numbers than prey. however you state it is possible theyll be in locations the prey can withstand the attack. this is what im concerned about as it will reappear once it reestablishes itself. so once again its a roll of the dice.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by motydesign View Post
yeah ed was the undisclosed source that pushed me to these wasps. and your comment is my biggest fear. It seems like a tank with scale is pretty much doomed! which is a SAD story for my tank
its grown in much more than when this pic was shot
i know this isn't exactly relevant, but do you have a build thread for this viv because i really like the different levels.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

i dont have one, but here are a few photos.







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Old 05-04-2012, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Hey Moty, I'm not a huge fan of great stuff, but I really like your imaginative use of it there! Very nice! It screams thumbnails.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:51 PM
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it screams 4 fants... yes the same fants you got from the same great guys
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

4 huh? Rub it in!
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Groundhog View Post
Here is my experience.

Meaning, I tore out the Syngonium wenlandii as carefully as I could, and tossed the Anubias. The Syngonium never really recovered. This blows, but no more scale for three years.

Now could scale eggs be dormant in the tank all this time?

Incidentally some gardeners do something similar with Four O'Clocks
(Mirabilis jalapa). These neotropical plants are magnets for Japanese beetles. Let the plants attract the beetles, dig out the plant and dunk in soapy water. Luckily, I don't have this problem; if it arises I shall try feeding the beetles to the herps before culling my plants.
I am trying the remove approach...I had scale that spread to all of my broms...about 20 or so Negrolia sp. that all became so heavily infested they just looked horrible. I used to remove them, soak them, scrape off all the bumps and replace them....they came right back every time. About a year ago I removed all the infected plants....all broms. Never have seen scale on anything else in the viv....though maybe they are hiding.

I am hoping the long duration without a host site for the scale would kill off their population.

I just ordered a whole set of fancy broms and I will see what happens. Certainly going to inspect and treat my new plants before i introduce them.

Has anyone tried removing the host plants for an extended period and reintroduced new plants of the same species with any luck of starving off the scale?
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:48 AM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Thankfully, only one of my tanks has scale. It started getting overwhelming, but I believe I have abated the problem by catching them in their flying stage. In the morning after the lights come on, but before the fan comes on, I will see little flying white bugs buzzing around at the top of the tank, presumably to get warm from the lights. I take a very wet paper towel and dab the swarm, so that they stick to it. I can get a lot of them in seconds. This probably works about as well as a predator bug.

Is whitefly scale the same as the scale to which you speak? I wonder if encarsia formosa would be the parasitic wasp of choice here. You can buy them online, in the form of parasatized scales, glued onto small cards, and they hatch out from there.

Mark C.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

I had a scale problem on one particular Brom and I just removed it. Its been a couple years and I havent seen it on anything else. I was wondering if it would be possible to use UV light to eradicate them? Either treating the plants outside the viv or maybe it would be possible to do some kind of UV spotlight to dose one plant. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

has UV been shown to have negative effects on scale, or something?
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

no. Scale is resilient to full sunlight due to the nature of its shell and waxy coating



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Old 05-10-2012, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

I found a scale infested brom in my pumilio tank and just yanked the sucker out. Did not see scale on any of the other plants. My hope is that the adults were stuck to this brom, even if there are baby scale moving around. I have 3 pumilio froglets that can use the extra food and hopefully will track them down.

Question about Neem Oil. What is it about this particular oil that works. Could another oil be used instead (thinking about the question of toxins)? Maybe vegetable oil? If the oil does something to the scale's defense but vegetable oil doesn't contain whatever extra thing that Neem Oil might to kill the scale, could they be washed in vegetable oil and then treated with alcohol or bleach or whatever?
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
What we are really looking at is a contained isolated population where the predators can be sustained in excess of the carrying capacity of the prey. This can drive the prey to extinction fairly quickly since the wasps will seek out unparasitized scale for oviposition. it is possible that scale in protected areas (roots or between overlapped leaves) would escape being parasitized but the numbers would really be knocked down. It should be noted that the idea of establishing a breeding population of the predators for control requires a large enough setup to sustain the prey species at a level where damage is acceptable while providing enough prey to sustain the predators. We aren't looking for this path, we are looking to drive the prey into extinction which means artificially sustaining predator numbers well above the carrying capacity.

Ed
Ed, has this worked for you in the past, and how much of a PITA was keeping a supply of insects healthy and handy?
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

The Scale insects are likely species specific pests, so they should not spread to other plants. I have used Murphys Oil Soap diluted in half with water and had limited results. The very best results I have had was using Malathion or Cygon. Obviously all treatments are done out of frog tanks. One should do at least a second treatment in 10 days. The plant should be kept outdoors until pesticide is not present, probably 30 days. You have to use oil based pesticides to penetrate the wax. The juveniles are free moving and without wax.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

I personally, always try to treat 3 times, 7-10 days a part. Unless it's something long acting
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brotherly Monkey View Post
Ed, has this worked for you in the past, and how much of a PITA was keeping a supply of insects healthy and handy?
I haven't had to use it, but at work they did it in a small greenhouse with success. They just ordered more wasps at set intervals and flooded the greenhouse with them.

With respect to the jewel wasps that parasitize fly pupae, there are reports of hobbyists that lost thier entire stock of fruit flies from the wasps getting into the cultures and wiping them out..


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Old 05-16-2012, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

well i ordered the $100 worth of bugs (Shakes head) and will get them next thursday.

while i was reading, i found another product called Jungle Rain Clean Leaf... i was curious if any one used this as a product right before they did a bleach solution rinse?
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Keep us posted on results. I've had the same problem for a couple of years and have removed and treated outside the tank, scraped with my fingernails, alcohol swab--you name it and they still come back so a predator may be the best choice. Take some photos of a couple of your plants before they are introduced and after to show any results. Could be very interesting--or not.

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Old 05-16-2012, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark c View Post
Thankfully, only one of my tanks has scale. It started getting overwhelming, but I believe I have abated the problem by catching them in their flying stage. In the morning after the lights come on, but before the fan comes on, I will see little flying white bugs buzzing around at the top of the tank, presumably to get warm from the lights. I take a very wet paper towel and dab the swarm, so that they stick to it. I can get a lot of them in seconds. This probably works about as well as a predator bug.

Is whitefly scale the same as the scale to which you speak? I wonder if encarsia formosa would be the parasitic wasp of choice here. You can buy them online, in the form of parasatized scales, glued onto small cards, and they hatch out from there.

Mark C.
Whitefly and scale are two different insects. Baby scale do have a mobile crawling stage.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

this is NOT white fly im almost positive its cali scale


one of the tanks is SO far gone im planning on using it as a nursury for the flys and then removing and putting them into the one that isnt that bad. and do this over a prolonged period of time... hopefully it works.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: The war on scale !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by motydesign View Post
No offense, but I think the tank on the right blows the other one away. My problem with the one the left--and with "Great Stuff"--is that small neoregelias are usually tree dwellers. If I were going to use this Great stuff, I would plant saxicolous-type plants, like Cryptanthus, Aechmea benrathii,etc. Maybe some small sinningias and begonias in pockets. Of course, this is not really useful to PDF keepers.

The tank on the right--is one of the great tanks of all time. There are approximately one gazillion herp species that would thrive in there.

And South America really looks like that!
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Last edited by Groundhog; 05-16-2012 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Sp
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