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Hello together,

I am new to this forum, have been silently reading for some time, and recently decided that I want to try my first vivarium build. The vivarium I have in my head will house only plants (for the beginning) and will have a land and a water section (but not big enough to be a real paludarium, I guess).

As a newbie, I want to ask you for some tipps and hints - so that I won't head in the totally wrong direction right from the beginning.

The Container

I bought a 16 gallon vert vivarium (European type) with the following dimensions: 16" wide, 12" deep, 20" high.

The vivarium can be filled to a total hight of 3" with water.

Landscaping - The Inspiration

Regarding the landscaping, I want to try to create something similar to the following viv (small scale, of coarse):

Vivaria Projects - quadrangle vivarium

Vivaria Projects - quadrangle vivarium detail

I really like the look of the moss-covered "languets" sticking out to the water. Or, speaking vice-versa, the water inlets and grooves into the land section.

Landscaping - The Question

My question is: What is the best method to archive this look?

If I understand the homepage correctly, the "languets" (as well as the rest of the land section) are just cut/carved out of peat bricks and then put together in the viv.

So far, so good. Since I want to plant the languets mainly with moss and Utricularia, it will do no harm that they are permanently soaking wet.

But what will happen to the higher regions of the viv? I plan to build up a slope towards the back corners of the viv, were I want to grow some plants that like it moist, but not soaking wet.

If I do all the build-up and landscaping with peat bricks: Won't the water soak right through to the highest point - so that the whole land part will be swampy and soaking wet?

If this is what happens - what alternatives do you suggest for the buildup so that there will be different levels of humidity in the ground - from wet over swampy to just moist?

Eco Friendliness - The Question

I understand that peat bricks are a good working material, but that using peat products is not very eco-friendly. Are there any real alternitives for them - those bricks made out of coco fiber, for example? Or will they fall apart in the water and not hold the shape?

You see: Questions over questions. I would really appreciate the help and advice of all you advanced hobbyists and experts out there.

Thanks for all your help and inspiration!

Kindest regards,

Marc
 
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