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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I am planning out my gs/cork background I would like to incorporate some pre-thought out places for broms. I’ve read you can place the stolon directly into the gs. Would I need to poke a little drain hole through that part of the gs so the stolon doesn’t sit in water and rot? I’m also wondering how the stolon would get much air movement being stuffed in there. Same question for a cork round. I’m not sure if I’ll fill my rounds with sphagnum or gs yet, but should I drill drain holes into those as well if I want to stick broms in them? Thanks!
 

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some pre-thought out places for broms
This is an excellent starting point. An alternative could be just making your background then seeing where broms might go. It's an unreliable alternative - it can work, but doesn't always.

I drill holes in Cork and push the stolon in the holes
+1 - same here, exactly

how the stolon would get much air movement being stuffed in there
The stolon remnant on a severed pup is just dead wood. The brom basically comes "pre-mounted" from mom, on a skinny dead stick. Thanks mom! Ha ha. (Really though, this is very helpful.)

Roots will emerge & develop from the point of contact between the brom and the stick. If that point of contact is too dry, no roots will come out. If it's too wet, the brom will rot. (Perversely, the stolon is very rot-resistant.) You don't need constant moisture but excessively long periods of dryness are not helpful if you want the brom to root. So I usually drill my stolon-receiver hole to full depth and get the brom snuggled right up to the cork. And I wrap a few strings (one or two or maybe three - not too much!) of LFS around the brom / stolon point of contact. These strands act as a sponge, to retain some moisture and tempt roots to form. But the sponge is well-drained and airy, and also naturally rot-resistant. Not hosting any fungus nearby - actually, having a fungus-hostile blanket around it - is helpful for not getting a rotten brom base.

An alternative - a fine one, even a great one - is to set the brom upright in a planter (such as a vertically-oriented partial-round cork piece that's part of your background). In such a case you can trim the stolon piece down to a little nub, a half-cm or so. Don't at all bury the brom, just prop it upright sitting on the substrate. Roots will emerge and head into the "dirt" (I use something fast-draining that resembles ABG mix - you don't want to rot the brom).

Keep in mind, you're not exclusively mounting a single brom, you're potentially mounting the nucleus of a future brom clump. A pup factory. So a) if you do want a clump, with pups, you do want the first one to root, and b) if you do want a clump you need to plan accordingly (e.g., put it in a good spot, and give it some space). My biggest fattest happiest most pup-pushing broms are all rooted in the substrate behind a cork round. They have the most roots and the best access to resources. My superficial mounts are all happy, stout, colorful etc but not nearly as bursting with vigor as the ones on "dirt". Even their pups are smaller. "Being wealthy at birth is an excellent predictor for future wealth."

I’m not sure if I’ll fill my rounds with sphagnum or gs yet, but should I drill drain holes into those as well if I want to stick broms in them?
  • I've already offered an alternative to filling with "sphagnum" (??? LFS or milled ???).
  • More to come below, on GS.
  • Define or clarify "stick broms in them". Mount to the face, or have planted in substrate as I've suggested above? The clarification is just for yourself. My answer is independent of yours. My answer is "you don't need to drill drain holes, regardless". Explained already, above.
my gs/cork background
Are you dead-set on having foam in the background? You don't need it, you know, unless you have a very deep tank with room for significant utilization of the "dead space" between the door and the background, occupied by just air.
A super fun, super easy, super fast, slightly more expensive but way less hassle background can be achieved with just 3 materials - cork bark pieces, LFS (long-fiber sphagnum), and silicone cement. Eliminating foam eliminates that purchase, the time to apply the foam, the time to trim the foam, and the time and materials to cover up and hide that ugly fucking foam. Just a though...

I don't fill my cork rounds up, i leave them empty as places for the frogs to explore and use.
Jennifer, you avatar shows a frog so maybe you keep them. FG12345 obviously keeps them. I only keep snakes and offer a few choice, well-placed hides, but otherwise I fill behind ALL my cork pieces - I just stuff most of them, the smaller ones, with LFS. The big ones I intentionally use as planters as described above. I figure out my whole layout (every cork piece I will use, and where it will go, in what orientation). I just lay the clean dry empty viv on the floor, on its back, and start playing with layouts. When I'm happy with a design i start the silicone, pulling out a piece of cork at a time, gooping it up, and sticking it back with its friends. After curing I do the stuffing and packing with LFS. Last steps are filling the bigger rounds with ABG-type mix, and planting.

This takes us full circle to your original question. I hope this has been helpful.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great advice jgragg, you really helped me understand broms more and the best way to help them grow. I am set on foaming with cork flats and rounds incorporated in. I already got the kit from Neherp with everything included. I’m quite excited to work with the foam honestly, and want to incorporate some different ledges into it. Or we’ll see how it goes once I start anyways, lol. Sounds like it will be better to stuff my rounds with lfs, I think I’ll do that. I was also debating whether I should stuff behind the cork flats that aren’t exactly flat. I’ll probably do this also with lfs then in case I want to drill into the flats for brom mounting. Drilled my hole for the bulkhead a couple days ago, so first step is done! Going to be starting a build log as well - thanks again for the advice.
 

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Great advice jgragg, you really helped me understand broms more and the best way to help them grow. I am set on foaming with cork flats and rounds incorporated in. I already got the kit from Neherp with everything included. I’m quite excited to work with the foam honestly, and want to incorporate some different ledges into it. Or we’ll see how it goes once I start anyways, lol. Sounds like it will be better to stuff my rounds with lfs, I think I’ll do that. I was also debating whether I should stuff behind the cork flats that aren’t exactly flat. I’ll probably do this also with lfs then in case I want to drill into the flats for brom mounting. Drilled my hole for the bulkhead a couple days ago, so first step is done! Going to be starting a build log as well - thanks again for the advice.
Cool. Glad to share what I've seen and thought about and done. After about a year, especially if you put several into your first build, you will understand broms quite a bit too. The degree to which they put out roots and grab hold of their mounting substrate is widely variable. The degree to which they pup is also widely variable. Their colors - the inherent potential, and also how the potential is expressd - is widely variable. And of course, horticulture has developed so many varieties, from so many different parent species. Some only get like 4-5" tall, others approach that many feet tall. I honestly think they are some of the very toughest plants available to viv keepers. But there are some tried and true ways to wreck them (poor drainage / too wet), or have them sulk (not enough light), and on occasion a pest will appear.

Good luck, have fun, pay attention and improve!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cool. Glad to share what I've seen and thought about and done. After about a year, especially if you put several into your first build, you will understand broms quite a bit too. The degree to which they put out roots and grab hold of their mounting substrate is widely variable. The degree to which they pup is also widely variable. Their colors - the inherent potential, and also how the potential is expressd - is widely variable. And of course, horticulture has developed so many varieties, from so many different parent species. Some only get like 4-5" tall, others approach that many feet tall. I honestly think they are some of the very toughest plants available to viv keepers. But there are some tried and true ways to wreck them (poor drainage / too wet), or have them sulk (not enough light), and on occasion a pest will appear.

Good luck, have fun, pay attention and improve!
I’ll have some extra abg mix and the background mix from Neherp. Do you think either of those would be suitable to fill behind my half rounded cork flats? I’d rather use what I already have if I can.
 
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