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It will certainly be easier to fix it now than at any point in the future as the tank grows in, but that’s up to you.

Looking online, it looks like some places do recommend putting sphagnum around the base of Neoregelias. I haven’t seen anyone on here recommend that, but it might depend on your watering schedule and average humidity level. If your humidity is under 60% maybe it helps...I’m not sure. But any sphagnum that stays soggy all the time can encourage rot and mold, whether around bromeliads or orchids, and for me stuffing sphagnum into tight spaces will do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
It will certainly be easier to fix it now than at any point in the future as the tank grows in, but that’s up to you.

Looking online, it looks like some places do recommend putting sphagnum around the base of Neoregelias. I haven’t seen anyone on here recommend that, but it might depend on your watering schedule and average humidity level. If your humidity is under 60% maybe it helps...I’m not sure. But any sphagnum that stays soggy all the time can encourage rot and mold, whether around bromeliads or orchids, and for me stuffing sphagnum into tight spaces will do that.
Would you recommend I pull it off the Restrepias then? I didn't do a ton of sphagnum with them, but I'd prefer not to have them rot out on me. I might leave a little bit just to help encourage rooting on the neoregs then remove it in a couple weeks.
 

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I tend to do a small pad of sphag under roots for orchids that don’t need average moisture, and then another pad on top of roots if it really loves moisture. Sometimes sphag under roots seems to discourage them from attaching to the mount, but I think that is offset by being able to see the roots. If you can actually see them you can monitor their condition and make sure they don’t rot.

Those Restrepia dodsonii keikis should be fine with just a pad under the roots, but they are pretty tolerant of both dry and wet conditions.
 

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Another question for you I thought of! How long did you wait for the initial layer of silicone to dry before putting on the great stuff? I’ve read to wait at least 48 hours but then some people have said it’s not fully cured until the smell goes completely away - which could take weeks!?! What was your experience?
 

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Discussion Starter #45
I tend to do a small pad of sphag under roots for orchids that don’t need average moisture, and then another pad on top of roots if it really loves moisture. Sometimes sphag under roots seems to discourage them from attaching to the mount, but I think that is offset by being able to see the roots. If you can actually see them you can monitor their condition and make sure they don’t rot.

Those Restrepia dodsonii keikis should be fine with just a pad under the roots, but they are pretty tolerant of both dry and wet conditions.
Cool, I'll leave them for now and monitor. I did actually take the sphag off of the neoregs, so thanks for suggesting that. I like the look way better; the only reason I had it on in the first place was because of a few different videos I had watched.

Another question for you I thought of! How long did you wait for the initial layer of silicone to dry before putting on the great stuff? I’ve read to wait at least 48 hours but then some people have said it’s not fully cured until the smell goes completely away - which could take weeks!?! What was your experience?
I just checked my photos, and it looks like I waited three days between siliconing and spray foaming. That time difference, however, was most likely because I was just busy working late on those evenings. I did also purchase a Lasko box fan from Walmart to speed up the curing process, which has really come in handy for this entire build. I think realistically I could have foamed after a day, but two days should be fine (especially if you have a fan on it).
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Started on another fun project yesterday and wrapped up tonight; I finally got my MistKing set up. Of course Home Depot didn't have any opaque containers that fit in my smaller storage space, so I had to improvise a bit. I bought a 4 gallon Sterilite container and wound up spray painting the thing black. I probably put on at least 4 coats to really make sure no light would get in. Here's a pic of it:

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I think it looks pretty cool. I would spray on my balcony and move it in after a little while so my box fan could help it finish drying. Next up was installing the bulkhead, for which I bought a 9/16" Spade Bit. The bulkhead actually gave me a bit of trouble, and it wasn't until I started looking up videos did I realize the rubber gasket is supposed to sit on the outside, not the inside. Once I realized my mistake and changed that, my reservoir passed a 30 minute leak test. Just to be safe, I even put a ring of Loctite glue around the gasket. Here's the bulkhead after the test:

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During commercials of the AFC championship tonight, I was able to keep chugging along with designing the system. As a side note, I actually applied some of NEHERP's contact paper to conceal the drainage and soil layers. I also moved my fan to the front of the tank so it isn't as much of an eyesore in the back. For the misting nozzle, I used the Spade Bit again to make a hole in my mesh top. I also made what I think was a pretty clean way to get the tubing up to the top. Here's a view with my misting setup finished:

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I still need to tidy up the wires in the back, but at least the misting tube looks good. Lastly, here's a video of the thing in action. I was really excited to actually see it work so well.

Now that my MistKing is setup, I think my updates are going to slow down a bit. I will probably place one or two more plant orders since I want a few more miniature orchids and a couple terrestrial plants. I'm also going to work on a more permanent solution for my fan placement and potentially get it on a timer so it's not blowing when my MistKing goes on. Thanks for everyone who has been following along with this project; it has come quite a long way, and I'm really happy with how it's looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Well everyone, I did say that I needed one or two plant orders, and I just got one today. It was an order of some terrestrial plants: I bought another Philodendron 'Wend-imbe' as well as three Sinningia 'Freckles'. I'm still trying to get Pilea depressa, which I think would look nice running along the front. I still need to place my mini-orchid order, but I'm waiting for warmer weather. Anyway, here are some updated pictures.
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The broms are starting to open up much more, and my Restrepias are shooting out more roots. You can see I "mounted" my Epidendrum, and wow are the roots crazy on it. Here's a close up of that guy:

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Just on the tail-end of blooming it seems. I have a toothpick supporting it at the top of the ghostwood, so I'm going to let the roots grab how they need to. Next I have a close up of two Sinningia I planted on the left side:

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I also have a Sinningia muscicola tuber in front of these two that just started sprouting, so hopefully I can have a clump of three in a couple months. I also got a baby Philodendron from my order today that I planted close to my first one. I thought these would look nice growing and filling out together. Here's the closeup of the Sinningia on the right side:

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This one was actually blooming, so maybe I can get some seeds and more sprouting in the future. In the back right, the new Philodendron:

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I thought this would look cool growing over the coco hut a bit. Also you can see some moss starting to form on the hut which is exciting! Speaking of which, here's a shot of some moss forming on my ghostwood branch:

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All in all things are going along pretty smoothly. My microfauna seem to be doing well since I often see springtails venturing in the leaf litter at night. I only notice dwarf whites if I dig around in the substrate, but I did see a huge one come up to the surface at one point.
 
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