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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone,

I'm new to this world and I've built a nice terarrium 5 days ago ; except that all the leaves are turning brown and floppy leading to the death of the plants.
I suspect an overwatering as I tried to achieve 80-90% humidity and the soil is very humid, but I'm not sure. Here are some informations and photos, if you could help me.

I have these for a 90x45x60cm terrarium:
  • 4 LEDs for lighting 12h/d (link)
  • 3 nozzles for misting every 3h during 15s
  • top screen for ventilation (I dunno if it's enough)
  • drainage layer + separator + bio interior plant soil (25%)/sphagnum(50%)/coco fiber mix(25%)

Plant Organism Terrestrial plant Flower Wood
Rabbits foot fern leaves turned yellow/brown the next day I planted it.
Plant Leaf Terrestrial plant Flowering plant Leaf vegetable
Calathea makoyana
Flower Food Plant Leaf Terrestrial plant
Scindapus
 

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Please note: I'm not a plant expert.

The plants look to be not doing well because they are probably having water sitting on them for too long, causing the plants to rot OR there's too much light and they're basically getting burnt.

If you're planning this tank for dart frogs you will want to cover most of the screen ventilation to keep the humidity up (instead of misting every 3 hours).
 

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What kind of water do you use?
 

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Like reverse osmosis water? That would be way too pure. I suggest adding 10 to 30% of tap water to your misting reservoir. Best let the tap water sit in an open vessel overnight so the bad chlorine stuff can evaporate.
 

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Could you post photos of the enclosure and details on the substrate you're using? This looks like an issue starting at the roots.
 

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As a plant person, I'd say the Scindapsus is getting burnt being that close to the light.

If plants turn brown and crispy that generally means not enough water. If plants turn brown and soft it usually means too much. If you suspect over watering you would want to pull the plants out and check for root rot.
 

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Many/most of us use only RO water in our vivs with no negative effects even after many years. I use RODI -- pure as pure can be, with no issues.
Similarly, I used distilled water only, and there are no issues. It "re-mineralizes" as soon as it comes into contact with anything in the vivarium.

There is a lot of conjecture about how bad RO and distilled water is - the reality is that it isn't, even for tanks with frogs.

The exception being (for me anyway) that I use spring water/dechlorinated tap water for tadpoles, not RO/RODI or Distilled.
 

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The exception being (for me anyway) that I use spring water/dechlorinated tap water for tadpoles, not RO/RODI or Distilled.
Yes, good to note this exception. Frog physiology + experimental data gives reason not to use RO/RODI for tads.
 

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Reduce the spraying to 5 seconds, twice a day for a few weeks. Research the water level, which of course needs to be well below the roots, otherwise you will drown the plants and the roots will rot. If the substrate is well moistened, that's fine. Soggy is not good.
 

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Are you planning for this to be a dart frog viv in the future? If so, now is the time to replace the substrate with something more appropriate, install a drainage layer, and so on.
 

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Like reverse osmosis water? That would be way too pure. I suggest adding 10 to 30% of tap water to your misting reservoir. Best let the tap water sit in an open vessel overnight so the bad chlorine stuff can evaporate.
Just as a note, not all the types of chlorines that municipal services use to purify tap water will evaporate; chlorine will, but chloramine will not. Found this out the hard way with my sourdough starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Are you planning for this to be a dart frog viv in the future? If so, now is the time to replace the substrate with something more appropriate, install a drainage layer, and so on.
Thanks.
Yes, I'm planning to add some dart frog in the future.
I forgot to mention, but I have a drainage layer (clay marbles). So what is wrong with the mix I've described ?
 
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