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Another first viv thread

2220 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  inka4040
So after seeing all the ridiculously cool livestock at Frog Day, I was itching to get this viv set up and in frog ready condition. For the past few months, it's basically just been a grow box, with a variety of plants situated above the most poorly made false bottom anyone could imagine. Thanks to my buddy mellowvision, who showed me how to make one in a non idiotic manner (edit: salvaged the wreckage of my prior attempts), I was finally able to get started yesterday. The background is precious kitty cat litter (blue bag), and 25% organics by volume. Didn't have enough long fiber sphagnum or any peat on hand, so I also milled some dried pillow moss and added that to the clay. Should be interesting to see what difference, if any, it makes in a couple of months. So far the clay has been holding tight to the glass, without any signs of cracking, slipping, or sagging. Hopefully things will stay that way. The viv has been seeded with tropical springtails and orange isopods.

An incomplete plant list. If you can't tell, I kind of have a thing for ferns.

Adianthum sp. - NOID maiden fern
Anubias nana 'petite'
Cryptanthus sp.
Davallia parvula
Doritis pulcherrima
Microsorum thailandicum
Microsorum pteropus (trident and windelov)
Pellaea rotundifolia - button fern
Pilea 'tiny tears'
Hemionitis arifolia - heart fern
Pleurothallis allenii
Plagiomnium sp.
Schistochilum sp.
Selanginella plana
Hydrocotyle tripartita
Riccardia sp.
Ruellia makoyana
Marchantia sp.
Conocephalum sp.
Macgravia sp.
Microgramma vacinnifolia
Tectaria (quercifilix?) zeylanica - oak leaf fern
Various mosses

Restrepia striata, Bulbophyllum pardalotum, and Pleurothallis brighamii will be added once they arrive.

Sorry for the long winded post. Any comments and criticisms are greatly welcome.
Having trouble posting pics for some reason...
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Left side details:

Right side details:

And a pic showing the general outlay of the hardscape:
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Very nice. Its obvious you did a lot of research and it shows, or maybe it was mellowvisons guiding hand. I missed you at frog day but maybe next time.
all I did was snip zip ties. I don't know what he's talking about!
Thanks, Pant. It was definitely great having him around while I was putting it together. Definitely helped me avoid some mistakes I otherwise would have made. This place has also been an invaluable resource though. So many great build threads.
Definitely well thought-out. I like how simple it is...and simple is not meant in a condescending manner; I am rather referring to letting it all grow in naturally as compared to stuffing plants in each and every bare spot.

I'm currently working on a tank myself that is more focused on vine-like plants and mosses rather than bromeliads and other larger plants. I'll be interested to see how this bad boy grows in...keep us posted, and nice job!
Beautiful first viv! I too have a thing for ferns, they're one of my favorite things in the world.
Bulbasaur!! lol
I know I saw that right away haha. Great first viv! This shows what some research, planning, and artistic skills can create. I used the same type background with about 25% organics as well in one of my ten gal verts. I put java moss onto it in several places and it has grown nicely everywhere. Awesome job.
Thanks a lot, everyone! It's great to finally see it in reality after so many months of imagining how it'd look put together. Yeah I'm using bulbasaur to cycle the tank for a month or so, when I plan to add a pair of d. tinctorius 'Oyapock.' The orchids got in yesterday, and have since been added to the driftwood. As an extra bonus, the bulbophyllum is spiked, so hopefully I'll get to see a flower soon. Now comes the agonizing process of waiting for the blank spots to fill in. Thanks again for looking, folks!
Added 2 can lights with 15w spiral cfl bulbs today. Eventually I'll probably go with 4 t5ho bulbs, but for now, I just wanted some extra light getting to the plants that are at the bottom of the tank, and those shaded by the driftwood structure. Thinking some of the lights will need to come off during the summer, if I have problems with heat, and would rather the plants grow in as much as possible now, before the froggy inhabitants. Things are already starting to orient towards the light, and amazingly, the plagiomnium is already starting to spread. Man, I love that stuff!

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Thanks a lot, dude! So far it looks like the can lights aren't adding much in the way of heat, so we'll see how that goes when the temps warm up a bit. The hydrocotyle and the hoya are already putting out roots and shoots, so hopefully we're only a couple weeks away from the point of full clay coverage. As far as the liverworts go, I am really really loving the conocephalum. Now that it's orienting towards the light, it looks for all intents and purposes like tiny staghorn ferns.
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