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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I noticed a few threads about spike moss care and I see well drained yet humid... How is that accomplished? I would think it couldn't be humid if is well drained. This is my 4th attempt of keeping spike moss alive it always seems to melt. It doesn't turn brown just kind of darker green then melts slowly into dirt. I keep Crested geckos not frogs but they seem to like either high or low humidity right now i have a girl laying eggs in dirt so im keeping one tank very moist right now (no moss in there). Other 2 tanks I can play with humidity and moist or dry dirt. I mist tanks 2 times a day once in morning and once at night. Any tips would be great as I love the spike mosses color and love idea of my tank being all green. Using florescent coil 5.0 repti glo lights. Turn on at 9am and off at 10pm. Soil is a cocoanut husk broken down.

Thanks for any help.
 

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It might be easier and less hassle to try something new for that tank, since it seems that spikemoss just won't survive in the one you have. Why fight it when you can just adapt and not worry. Try some aquatic mosses, like christmas moss or java moss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Both those mosses (java and christmas) seem to be aquarium mosses. Neither of my Vivs have water features at all. Dirt with natural bark background with myself hand misting the plants (mostly pothos only thing i can keep alive)...
 

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I think my twin tanks show off how well jave can do ontop of substrate....The carpet is over an inch thick now, alive right down to the bottom haha. Just mist is 2-3 times daily for the first few weeks, then it should be good to go with a misting every 1-2 days.
 

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On the spikemoss (Selaginella SP),

Yes well drained is useful on these... however not to the extent of orchids or broms... Heck some of these guys are found in clay so really you should be able to just toss them on some sphagnum and be good.

To answer question about how to achieve well drained and high humidity... Im not even sure how you think this is hard or impossible to do together. 1 has to do with soil the other with air.

Now back to growing the Selaginella aka spikemoss.
The soil mix in my opinion should be consistently moist and never allowed to dry out too far.. this is accomplished easily enough. I personally use several different layers when viv building. 1st is my drainage layer (This is typically made up of pea gravel, hydroton or Growstone)
2nd is a layer of orchid bark or orchid mix and 3rd is a layer of long fiber sphag and leaf litter.
Im am currently playing with the idea of using the 2nd and 3rd layers intermixed from the start.(These 2 typically mix themselves down the road so Im not sure it really matters whether they are started separately or not.)

The one thing I think could kill these guys fairly easily enough is too much airflow and the humidity dropping too much too quick. But Ive also seen the stuff rot when water is allowed to sit on the leaves too long.


I think pinpointing your exact problem may be easier with a photo and a little more description of your setup. Tho so far your setup doesnt sound ideal for spikemoss..


Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a ton of pics here. Hopefully this helps. All my tanks and you can see Pothos wins in all of them. I have an amazing black thumb. Which i really want to change! One tank has been re planted.

As you can see i have 2 other plants that do well the light green leave with spots and the very large dark green leave. If you can ID them i would be happy.

Also in one of the pics you can see the moss that has died and the other different moss that is dieing :-(
























 

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Looks like it could be getting just a little bit too dry. the soil looks pretty dry in some spots.

I also cant tell whether your screens have been covered on top to hold the humidity?
If they havent Id definitely say that is your number one problem.
Ive yet to figure out how people keep Selaginella as a houseplant... Nor have I even figured out how the garden centers keep it alive out in the open for more than a week or so.


I see you do have some nice plants youre doing okay with tho.
Anthurium radicans.

Is that Monstera dubia? Or Rhaphidophora cryptantha I see taking over your backwall?


Todd
 

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I agree it looks like the top layers of substrate is a little too dry for the selaginella and other very shallow rooted plants.

Ed
 

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having limited ventilation can be key to keeping up the humidity spikemoss requires. The golden spikemoss in my breeding azureus tank, which had no ventilation due to the glass top, completely took over to bottom of my vivarium to the point that it was difficult for the frogs to move around. My setup had a false bottom with a few inches of water, right above it was egg crate, 3in of hyrdroton and a few inches of sheetmoss on top of that. since then I removed most of the spikemoss and replaced the sheetmoss with pea gravel to reduce its growth. hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your going to hate me I don't know any of the plants names. I kinda buy them at random for the look. I know the small cage with the few vines growing in back is what was told to me a Shingle vine. the other one with the white tips i dont know what that is i find that in almost every plant store iv killed that like 3 times as well :-( I wish i could keep stuff going. I just put some plastic sheets over tops to keep it a little more humid.

They are the sheets of plastic you would right on for over head projectors ( If you remember those).
 

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1) First of all, if that is potting soil w perlite, lose it. It deteriorates in tanks and perlite can be hazardous if ingested. Use coir w an amendment (husks, orchid bark, tree fern, etc.)

2) Wet soil never compensates for low humidity; Humidity is a measure of moisture in the air. It affects how quickly the plant loses water through transpiration. Got a a hygrometer? What is the reading?

3) For selaginellas, humidity should be >60 percent. Contrary to pop belief, they do not need Java moss humidity, i.e., saturation. Even moisture, good humidity and they should establish quickly.

4) For example, here is S. uncinata growing in a shade garden in the Bronx, w Maidenhair fern, Hemiboea, Dwarf Mondo grass and Begonia grandis. Beer can for scale--should have used Tsing Dao or Sapporo:






It is deciduous here, in winter I cover it with pine branches.
 

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Is your humidty naturally that high outside or do you have to do something to help maintain it?


Also I agree with the soil comment and somehow forgot to comment about that in my last post. DEFINITELY hazardous if ingested!
And yeah Id imagine the soil breaking down quicker than coir. If Im not mistaken don most potting soils use peat as a main ingredient? If so then yeah peat can break down fairly quick and can also hold TOO much moisture in it.


Todd
 

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I love seeing people keeping Rhacodactylus in vivariums! :)

We propagate ours in 4" pots on our vivarium substrate mix w/6500K CFL lighting misted 3X per day. Honestly we've been having the Selaginella double in size every 2-3 weeks or so. :)



So long as there's plenty of light and room for the plant to breathe (the picture shown had grown too tight and we moved half the pots into separate grow out terrariums after the shot) the plant should do very well. Dryness is the enemy!

(The picture shown is Selaginella Kraussiana)

EDIT: Re-reading the thread... You don't need a UVB light for cresteds, and the plants would likely do better with normal 6500K lighting. That plus higher humidity, frequent (even more so) misting, and a more traditional vivarium substrate should do the trick. :) Furthermore, you might consider ditching the Ficus elastica, since it's sap is potentially slightly toxic.
 

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Is your humidty naturally that high outside or do you have to do something to help maintain it?


Also I agree with the soil comment and somehow forgot to comment about that in my last post. DEFINITELY hazardous if ingested!
And yeah Id imagine the soil breaking down quicker than coir. If Im not mistaken don most potting soils use peat as a main ingredient? If so then yeah peat can break down fairly quick and can also hold TOO much moisture in it.


Todd
1) Here in NYC, I don't do a $#%@ thing--but bear in mind, many selaginellas take on a tighter, harder form grown outdoors. In shade it turns blue, but where exposed to some sun it turns reddish. I also grow your Saxifraga stolonifera, which, along with Mondo grass and Autumn fern, is evergreen. Everyone else is deciduous.

2) You are quite correct: Peat holds to much moisture, doesn't "breathe" enough, and breaks down quick--especially in warmer tanks. Perlite is not appropriate for vivaria, especially lizard tanks (as they may mistake it for calcium).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK I am loving all this info however now my question is... Can you direct me to the right soil for my Vivarium with CRESTED GECKOS in it? Like give me a link to a soil provider OR tell me what soils to mix together?

Other question is my tank is full of the COCOfiber plantation soil how would i remove this and put in this new soil mix you all suggest? AKA with out harming the planted plants in it so far and with out bothering my Crested geckos to much.
 

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First, hi thee hence to the pet store and get a good book on Crested Geckos:

Rhacodactylus. by P. De Vosjoli, F. Fast and A. Repashy

Crested Geckos. by Adam Black.

Second, try 2/3 coir with 1/3 cypress mulch and/or seedling orchid bark (not heat treated).

Coir goes by names like Coco bedding.
 
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