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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so i got a begonia "Little Darling" almost 2 months ago and it doesn't seem to be doing very well. its in a 25gal tank with a false bottom with weed block between the egg crate and substrate. the substrate is made of "jungle mix" which is made of fir and sphagnum, mixed with some long sphagnum moss and some coco fiber. the substrate stays pretty moist. its got a coralife t5 light (i know coralife isn't the best) and i mist about every other day. the begonia lost most of its leaves, its growing a few small ones back but its growing real slow and just doesn't look good. everything else is growing in great. ill try to get a pic tomorrow, but anyone know what i can do?
 

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It sounds to me like it's begging for better drainage. They don't like "wet feet". You could try some ABG mix or maybe just mixing some things to promote better drainage at least near the beg. Things like orchid bark, charcoal, sand.
 

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Yup agree with you Doug.

I've found begonias like to become almost dry before watering again. In a viv this is quite hard to do, so you want to provide better drainage. Id pull it and remove your substrate around it, then replant it with something that will give it air. An orchid mix should work, or tree fern fibre if you got it. I don't grow begonias in viv's though.

EDIT: Somehow missed the rest of Doug's post, but will leave up what I said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ok thanks guys, i forgot my camera so i cant post a pic today, but ill try to put something with better drainage around it
 

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Some hybrid cousins of this one like to go nearly completely dry for a bit as well, even more so than other varieties. Mix a lot of perlite into the substrate and add some dry sphagnum until it is just barely moistened, or it's going to keel over on you.
Be sure whatever substrate you use is very light, airy and porous for begonias. Charcoal is also a good idea.

*Note---be sure the frogs cannot access the perlite as it is dangerous for them to ingest it. It is volcanic glass.
 

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First of all, Begonia do like drainage in terrarium settings, your substrate sounds like it provides some... but maybe just a little bit better would help.
Second, what kind of airflow do you have? Begonias do not like to have water on their leaves long and if you are misting every other day this could be a long term problem.

Third, dont worry too much about the initial leaf loss because that was more than likely a normal die off as those leaves were probably accustomed to much different conditions. The new leaves you are seeing are going to be more adapted to its current habitat.
The reason it is taking so long to grow back is the lack of photosynthesis since it lost all of its original leaves there were no adult leaves left to process the light and the new leaves obviously cant process as much. The bigger the plant get and more leaves it gets the faster it will grow. Be patient .


Todd
 
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