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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just thinking it would be cool to set up a small carniverous plant vivarium with maybe some flytraps, sundews, pitcher plants etc. Obviously caring for frogs there are plenty of fruit flies around to feed!

Anyone done anything like this? I was thinking of using a smaller zoo med like the 12 x 12 x 12 or even the 8 x 8 x 12 exoterra Nano. Just a fun little side project for grins.
 

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It can be done. If using flytraps, make sure you're using all species that will need to be put into a dormancy (i.e. no Nepenthes). There are plenty of temperature sundews that can be put into dormancy, as well as Sarracenia pitchers, so you should be fine. Just also keep in mind the adult size of some of these plants (especially the pitchers) which will readily outgrow a tank that size.

To be really honest, the best way to do something like this, is in a basin kept outdoors in full sun.

Or shift your plant choices to species that do not require domancy, or do not get to the size of pitcher plants (both Nepenthes and Sarracenia will quickly outgrow that tank).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm ok. Are there any dwarf pitchers? Do all venus flytraps need a dormancy period? For dormancy do you just go dark and let things get cold? I could put the viv in the garage for the winter or whatever.

Being outdoors in full sun simply would not work where I live. It is FAR too dry here.
 

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Yep, all flytraps need dormancy.

As for pitcher plants, I suppose you could try either Cephalotus or Heliamphora minor. Those two stay relatively small, but the catch is that the Cephalotus, at least, needs something pretty deep to do well most of the time, and that front opening door, once you get in a layer of drainage, isn't going to really support that. I suppose you could pot it, and just hide the pot in there. But both of these are a bit more touchy, and more expensive, than other pitcher plants.

And yes, for dormancy, you can put the viv in a cold garage or basement, or fridge...whatever. You'll just have to skip the pitcher plants in there, and make sure whatever sundews or anything else you put in there will also take to a dormancy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How long of a dormancy period do flytraps need? I can probably google this but you seem to know what you're talking about. Is it something where they need several months or can you trick them with a minium period of cold?
 

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There was an amazing Tank of the Month feature at AquaticPlantCentral.com that was a terrarium with carnivorous plants. It had a great variety and it was really amazing.
 

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To be honest, I'm not sure. I had one for a few years before I sold it (I'm actually not very interested in flytraps...I rescued him from a shady Walgreens shelf) and I always just kept it outdoors, and brought it into the garage for the winter, bringing it back out again after temps came back up a little. So I'm not really sure how short of a dormancy you can push. I would say probably a couple months, though..
 

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They need a dormancy of at least a couple of months... You can get good information on it here at the ICPS website International Carnivorous Plant Society Homepage

If you are looking for some interesting structure in the plants, you could combine some of the terrestrial utricularia (leaves and flowers can be variable) with some of the warm temperate butterworts and low growing tropical sundews.

None of those will require a dormancy (although some of the butterworts can be touchy and some of the bladderworts can be very weedy). Just bright light (brighter the better) and high humuidity with ideally some air movement.

Cephalotus is probably going to be a little touchy in that sort of enclosure.

Becoming a member of the ICPS gives one access to the seed bank which can give you some cool stuff to grow from seeds.
 

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There was an amazing Tank of the Month feature at AquaticPlantCentral.com that was a terrarium with carnivorous plants. It had a great variety and it was really amazing.
I looked that tank up. Is it from August '10? It's a gorgeous tank, but even those plants are in pots, and as he states a few pages into it, they will be removed, chopped, and put into dormancy. Also, seeing as it's a relatively large tank with an open top, the size of those Sarracenias will not be a problem.
 

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Hey :D

I grew Cps for a few years(still growing them now) and was always told these plants do best outside terrariums and vivariums. (especially temperate plants)

Temperate plants including:
Sarracenia-pitcher plants
Venus flytraps
Some kinds of drosera, sundews
some kinds of pinguicula, or butterworts
darlingtonia- cobra lily

Tropicals include:
Nepenthes
Cephalotus
Heliamphora
Some drosera
Some pinguicula
utricularia
corkscrew

Personally any of the temperate species i would not put in a vivarium because most of these plants do best with at least 5+ hours of full sun, and many of them grow just fine outside after they've acclimated themselves to your local temperature.

for dormancy usually starts in late fall, depending on your zone you may have to put them under a few inches of mulch but i successfully overwintered them outside here in zone 6, NY. Just make sure you spray them with a fungiacid so the rhizomes don't rot. I've heard of other methods like digging them rhizomes, bulbs up and putting them in the fridge but i've never done it.

You may have some success with temperates, but most of the plants you see at lowes are doing poorly because they're in a cube with no air circulation, high humidity and moisture, Many of my temperates grew in 14" pots with the water level no more than halfway up the pot, if it get's to wet the rhizome will rot and the plant will die. As stated above they also need full sun which is also a killer. When i'm on the cp forums they refer to the cubes you see them in as "death cubes."

I feel you will have more success growing a tropical species of cp in a terrarium (since you don't have frogs in it). I was actually going to place some utricularia, or nepenthes in mine.

Tropical drosera actually do like full sun, and a lower humidity, if you have them in too much humidity they may subject to fungal infections. Also if you want them to drip with dew full sun is best. depending on the species, some do grow better in partial shade but i wouldn't recommend them in a ter.

Tropical pinguicula definitely don't put in a terrarium, although they have very nice flowers too much moisture will make them rot, they actually have a dry dormancy stage with very little water, and a moist, not soaking, carnivorous phase.

Utricularia are similar to orchids. These cps have small leaves that lay close to the surface and they send up an array of flowers when they're happy. These plants should be ok in a terrarium that has moisture because they capture microscopic organisms in bladders beneath the soils surface.

Nepenthes will all depend on your terrarium, you have two subdivision of nepenthes being highland and lowland. highland like hot humid days (80Fs-90Fs) and cool nights(65F). Above 90 just make sure they're shaded and watered. But i've had no problem growing them in the windowsill. They prefer partial shade, light sun. lowlands on the otherhand like it hot and humid around the clock, at least 75F, but hotter would be better.

Cephalotus, heliamphoras, should grow fine in a terrarium, i've had little experience with these plants but i believe they're both like highlanders.

Grimm's recommendation of a n. ampullaria (lowland), as long as you can provide adequate temperatures you should be fine. I haven't grown many since i was able to grow highlanders easier up here in NY. most people in the lower states grow lowlanders and have difficulties growing highlanders.

Hope i didn't spit out a ton of info you already knew, If you have any other questions about cps, i can help you with just about any species.

There are many people who have had success growing cps in terrariums, but i'd say close to 97% of the cp community doesn't particulary like the idea with some exceptions. Most are greenhouse, growroom, windowsill or underlights.

Good luck with your viv, post some pics when you get it put together
Also make sure you plant them in half peat half perlite mixture and water with distilled water. (sorry not sure on your experience)

I'd highly recommend joining terraforums.com it's a very friendly forum filled with active cp growers, reptile, mantid, betta, and other keepers.

dustin
 

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How long of a dormancy period do flytraps need? I can probably google this but you seem to know what you're talking about. Is it something where they need several months or can you trick them with a minium period of cold?
I grow all my North American pitchers and sundews outdoors so their dormancy is dependant on the seasonal change. Fly traps will need to be brought inside about November if Texas actually gets snow. That I'm not sure. Most Sarracenia species, with the exception of some hybrids, can be grown outdoors year around in full sun with a 3-8 month dormancy period.

I highly reccomend, The Savage Garden, and you can pick it up pretty cheap for a used copy on Amazon. The book is supurb and will answer all your questions and ones you weren't even aware of, from correct soil mixes to using only RO/distilled/rain water and why, etc. These plants are not difficult to keep once you understand their needs: lots of water, full sun, correct soil mix and good drainage.
 

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I to want to have a carnivorous plant tank once I get a bigger one for my frogs. I saw a carniverous plant tank at the Academy of Science in San Francisco and have wanted one ever since. It was about a 30gal tank if I remember correctly.
 

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Fly traps will need to be brought inside about November if Texas actually gets snow.
The last I checked the region from flytraps originate in the Carolinas gets snow... and the wild populations do just fine....plus snow to some extent is an insulator for plants under it...

That I'm not sure. Most Sarracenia species, with the exception of some hybrids, can be grown outdoors year around in full sun with a 3-8 month dormancy period.
Which Saracenia hybrids don't need a dormancy?

Ed
 

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If you do a Cephalotus/Drosera/Utricularia/Pinguicula setup, as long as you picked the right species and the right hardware you could have a very nice looking setup with no dormancy needed, particularly nice looking if grown in live sphagnum moss. I'd suggest an open top setup and lots of light if you go with the Cephalotus.

Jake
 

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It also might be a good idea to plant the plants in their pots because these plants need different soil mixes. Some also need deeper pots than others, so f you made a slop, you could figure out where different plants go (even though this thread is a year old, if anyone is wondering...)
 

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The last I checked the region from flytraps originate in the Carolinas gets snow... and the wild populations do just fine....plus snow to some extent is an insulator for plants under it...
sorry, I could find the post this was originally from, so not sure if it's relevant, but if they are in pots, they would have less protection from the cold
 

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Pot the plant, fill in the extra space with a soil mix, and then put Live Sphagnum Moss on top. For dormancy, you could just take the ones that need dormancy out, leave the tropicals in. That's what I would do anyways, I couldn't make a terrarium without tropical plants :)
 
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