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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to be starting a new tank shortly, and I was looking for some different substrates to cover the GS with other than the coco fiber I've used in the past. I figured I'd just go with milled peat, but I was wondering if anyone has used the Exo-terra tree fern substrate instead?

Anyone have any experience with it as a background? Do you think I should mix it with peat, or just go 100% tree fern?

Thanks!
 

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Do you mean that you want to cover the GS with shredded tree fern using silicone? I had that idea a while back and I have been meaning to try it. My pleurothallid orchids like tree fern a lot and I have though that this would be a good way to get them to grow nice and thick on a foam background.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep that's what I mean. Or mixing it in with some peat if that may provide better results. I was going to try the exo terra tree fern substrate and was curious if anyone had done this before on here.
 

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I will try to give it a shot. It might also work real well on manzanita branches.

In order to get as much of the shredded tree fern to stick as possible it would probably be better to not mix in coco or peat, but they could be sprinkled on after the tree fern is already stuck.

A background like this would be very rough. Would this cause trouble for frogs?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah I wonder what that would end up looking like after it was completely covered?
 

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Why not just use a piece of tree fern? I can't imagine it would actually work that well. Not much tree fern fiber would actually stick on, and you wouldn't get the porosity you get with tree fern pieces.

Jake
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I used the method I mentioned above and it worked perfectly. I mixed it in with peat and I had no troubles getting it all to stick and cover the background; I didn't want to just use panels since I wanted some contour. That tank is currently growing out at the moment.
 

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I mix the Exo tree fern with coconut fiber, ground sphagnum and Titebond III for what I consider an amazing background. I was using regular milled tree fern in the same capacity in years past before they released their product. With the Exoterra product, you even get some small slabs in the bag that you can use for mounting orchids. A big plus is that it is harvested sustainably!

Here is a video link to one vivarium using this method:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=198159523623910&set=o.120242964748900&type=3&theater

Epiphyte/moss growth is amazing. I need to post an updated video as growth on the walls is even more amazing since I shot that one (i.e. the walls are now completely covered...including the ugly drip wall wire in the back right corner).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here's the tank that I did with peat and the Exo Terra tree fern. Like dvknight said there are a few chunks usually in the bag. I probably did 60/40 or so tree fern to peat.

This tank is a few months old now, and it's growing nicely so far.

Just a few quick pics (not the best quality, sorry)






closer up of the background (autofocus was on, so its kinda blurry)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That looks really good.
Thanks! It's a nice and simple approach that will hopefully continue to grow in nicely.

That moss looks quite lush. Wish I had better luck with them.
It had it's touch and go moments but it seems to be doing well now. I do see some slow new growth, but I'm in no hurry. I'll see if i can figure out the species name for ya, or if he has any more yet.
 
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