Dendroboard banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 2 months ago I set up a 20 gal tank into a paludarium with shallow pond on one end and hidden pump on the other for a waterfall return. I acquired some "pillow moss" at the Daytona Reptile show in August and it forms a lush vegetative matt over the aliflor and Atlanta-botanical-garden-mix substrate. An alocasia is planted on one end, and have a small Crptanthus, some Pepperomia, a fern, and Phalanopsis orchid on the other end. The plants have really taken off. The small fern is sending runners all over the place and up the back wall (tree fern panels). My Alocasia is quickly outgrowning the tank with new leaves trying to push the acrylic top off.
Anyway, I hope to get 2 or 3 leucs later this month to place in the vivarium. Wingless fruit flies shouldn't be a problem, however, I am concerned about other insects or live foods that may pose a threat to my plants. How do you keep pinhead crickets from hiding out and becoming a nuisance pest that devours your plants? What about springtails ?? I would think that vivarium conditions would be ideal for them, though I don't think they are a threat to plants, and may be a benificial inhabitant that helps breakdown detritus and provide additional food. Are there other insects that I should be concerned about? I read an earlier posting that spoke of feeding frogs "field plankton". If I kept my frogs in a sterile set up (i.e - no plants) I wouldn't be concerned, but in a vivarium full of plants it sounds like a recipe for disaster. Are these valid concerns ?
George
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,927 Posts
If we could only be so lucky as to have insects actually form breeding populations in our vivs! That's kind of the holy grail of sustainable viviculture but the high predation rates from frogs in small vivaria make this impossible to do in a conventional viv. If you feed meadow plankton, you will get the odd hole chewed in a leaf by something before it goes down a frog throat but I've rarely seen major damage. I've even had grasshoppers hatch out in vivs and start munching away on plants but the frogs quickly take care of them. In my opinion, the minor damage done adds a more natural character to the viv. In fact, I kind of wish it were possible to keep more plant munchers going in vivs. As you've discovered, getting plants to grow in a viv is not the hard part. However, there can be some specific pests. Millipedes, slugs, snails, and sometimes pillbugs have been known to set up shop in vivs and some of them will eat frog eggs. Some of them will also chow down on certain plants. Orchid roots and buds seem to be a favorite with the millipedes in one of my vivs. That said, I've had some orchids growing in that viv with millipedes for years but other orchids have perished because the millipedes ate them. Sometimes they will kill a plant but the same species of plant in a slightly different location gets along fine. I actually think such challenges add to the fun of keeping a vivarium.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
I have an empty viv (read on!) which has been colonized by tiny spiders. They are neat, red legs (err, they are tiny, and this is the UK, so it's not Brachypelma emilia!). Every morning, the viv is festooned with webs they have spun during the night. They must be feeding on escaped flies from other vivs. Their fate will be sealed next week when the azureus go into this viv!
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top