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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help! I think I'm losing my Black Rabbit's Foot Fern! I received two plants, one was planted in the soil close to the waterfall. That one rotted away pretty quickly. The other I planted in a hole in my artificial tree. (The hole goes all the way down to the false bottom. Is filled partway up with Leca, then soil - So plenty of drainage). This fern also lost several fronds. I figured the one that died the fastest was way wet so I stopped misting this one directly. But it's slowly dying back I think.

Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Doug! The soil mix I've got in there is about 1/3 Exo Terra Forest Moss, 1/3 coco fiber, and 1/3 Peat with a little charcoal mixed in. It's on top of Leca and a false bottom, so plenty of drainage.
 

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Thanks Doug! The soil mix I've got in there is about 1/3 Exo Terra Forest Moss, 1/3 coco fiber, and 1/3 Peat with a little charcoal mixed in. It's on top of Leca and a false bottom, so plenty of drainage.
The LECA may provide good drainage, but the moss, coco, and peat all absorb and hold large quantities of water and don't drain well. As Doug has suggested, I think your substrate is too wet.
 

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The LECA may provide good drainage, but the moss, coco, and peat all absorb and hold large quantities of water and don't drain well. As Doug has suggested, I think your substrate is too wet.
That is exactly what I mean. You need to mix LOTS of drainage type items in. Things that are used in orchid growth. Things like charcoal (approx 1/4 inch chunks), tree fern fiber, orchid bark (1/4"), sand (although I don't like sand personally), vermiculite (but only if there is plenty of leaf litter to keep it AWAY from your frogs!). You mix needs to consist of maybe half of these well drained things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! Guess I'll be pulling out most of it and mixing in some new stuff. Hopefully the springtails I seeded will not be too upset about it.
 

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Got frogs in the tank yet? If not, sprinkle some Active Brewers yeast in one, easy to get at section of the viv. Or a couple of mushrooms. Leave it overnight. This should lure most of your springtails over to that spot. Pull it out with a big double handful scoop. Keep that separate and after you are done amending your soil, sprinkle it back over the top.
 

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Just an FYI, be careful what you wish for. I have a Rabbit's foot fern that is doing too well in my display tank. The tank is drier than most, as it relies on hand misting, which is why it's probably doing well. The fern regularly overgrows the tank and has sent roots through the cork background. I now have fuzzy roots busting out from new places in the cork background every week.
 

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Squeeze the rhizome, and see if it is soft and squishy or not. If it is squishy, your soil is probably too wet. If it is firm, the fern is probably just dropping fronds while it is adapting to the differing conditions in the vivarium - mine do this, and grow back strong as ever in a couple months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got frogs in the tank yet? If not, sprinkle some Active Brewers yeast in one, easy to get at section of the viv. Or a couple of mushrooms. Leave it overnight. This should lure most of your springtails over to that spot. Pull it out with a big double handful scoop. Keep that separate and after you are done amending your soil, sprinkle it back over the top.
Brilliant!

Just an FYI, be careful what you wish for. I have a Rabbit's foot fern that is doing too well in my display tank. The tank is drier than most, as it relies on hand misting, which is why it's probably doing well. The fern regularly overgrows the tank and has sent roots through the cork background. I now have fuzzy roots busting out from new places in the cork background every week.
Seeing as how these seem to be going backwards, that appears to be a very far off problem. But I will keep this in mind. Thanks!

Squeeze the rhizome, and see if it is soft and squishy or not. If it is squishy, your soil is probably too wet. If it is firm, the fern is probably just dropping fronds while it is adapting to the differing conditions in the vivarium - mine do this, and grow back strong as ever in a couple months.
Very cool, thanks!
 
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