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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was in a nursery recently and saw mats about an 1" thick made from coco fiber. They are used in decorative metal frame pots and appear to have some kind of waxy coating to help them withstand the elements. My thought was to use this in the place of tree fern fiber for a European type build. Are they safe?
Brian
 

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I spent a good deal of time researching these. In the past people have tried this and after a year or maybe two they fall apart. They just aren't robust enough to really work long term (then again I suppose they're great if you don't mind redoing the background every year ;).

I evevtually bought some coco mats from joshs frogs because of reviews stating that they were stiffer and more rubberized (protecting them better from humidity). I've had them in there a few months and thy work great. No complaints. Plants root well into it, so it works nicely for creating a living background with vining plants especially.
 

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I was looking into this too. I was thinking of siliconing a mat onto a piece of cork mat. It would make it easier to pin the plants onto and would give the coco mat more structure.
 

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I don't think that would help too much. From what I've read the problem is that the humidity speeds up the coco mat breaking apart. The extra rubberization on the JF ones is what makes the difference. I'm almost certain he's not the only guy in the US that carries them, but they're cheap and overall I'm happy. We'll see how long they last in practice though. I can't speak to that since I've only had them a few months.

Though, for mounting heavier plants maybe a cork mat behind the coco mat would help give you more to mount into.
 

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I' been using the type of mats you get from the local "hydroponics" shop here...You know the ones people use to grow "tomatoes" indoors!!!! It's coco fiber with latex rubber to bind it together..It drains well and you can use it as a background base (siliconed to your glass) and as a barrier between your hydrolite and soil..also your plant roots will grow thru it!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Visited with Zach at the Tinley Park show concerning same subject. He didn't mention anything about coco fiber mats but did have some tree fern fiber ones. Also Josh's now carries bags of tree fern fiber for substrate.
Thanks for the info.
Brian
 
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