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Dendrobates Tinctorus “Azureus”, Epipedobates Anthonyi “Santa Isabel”, and also myself.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I’ve been wondering if my Chiquita Linda will be ok. It seems yellow on the bottom leaves. My guesses is that it’s either got standing water on it’s leaves or it’s planted in the soil so the leaves are subjected to rot.

I would appreciate feedback as soon as possible.
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That's one of the few bromeliads I use these days -- I never have any kind of substrate in contact with them so that would be my first guess; I find even in heavy misting conditions mine do well so long as they have very bright light and their surfaces allowed to dry out regularly.
 

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Dendrobates Tinctorus “Azureus”, Epipedobates Anthonyi “Santa Isabel”, and also myself.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's one of the few bromeliads I use these days -- I never have any kind of substrate in contact with them so that would be my first guess; I find even in heavy misting conditions mine do well so long as they have very bright light and their surfaces allowed to dry out regularly.
The substrate is touching the bottom leaves just a bit so that’s my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't think it's possible for "water sitting on leaves" to be a problem for Neoregelias...that is kind of the point. But their bases can rot, and they don't need to be stuffed into substrate at all, they are epiphytes.
I use to have it in the background but it didn’t look too good so I planted it near the substrate. The leaves were touching the substrate though so I’ll move it.

With the other question, I’ve heard that there shouldn’t be standing water on the leaves. Has anyone heard of this and can provide me with backup information?
 

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I use to have it in the background but it didn’t look too good so I planted it near the substrate. The leaves were touching the substrate though so I’ll move it.

With the other question, I’ve heard that there shouldn’t be standing water on the leaves. Has anyone heard of this and can provide me with backup information?
You've heard that specifically for Neoregelias? Most plants don't like water on their leaves for extended periods of time - begonias are particularly susceptible to just melting if this happens - but with Neos you want water in their axils at all times, it's the main way they absorb water.

What do you mean by "didn't look too good"? I would recommend just pinning it to your GS background, somewhere up near the lights (they like high light), and maybe wrapping a strand or two of sphagnum around the base to encourage rooting if your tank is pretty dry. Then every few days make sure the axils (cups at the base of the leaves) are all full of water by just pouring clean water into them. Might want to flush them out occasionally too if gunk builds up.

Also, losing the oldest leaves doesn't necessarily indicate a problem, many plants will slowly drop their oldest leaves as they create new ones in the center.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You've heard that specifically for Neoregelias? Most plants don't like water on their leaves for extended periods of time - begonias are particularly susceptible to just melting if this happens - but with Neos you want water in their axils at all times, it's the main way they absorb water.

What do you mean by "didn't look too good"? I would recommend just pinning it to your GS background, somewhere up near the lights (they like high light), and maybe wrapping a little sphagnum around the base to encourage rooting if your tank is pretty dry. Then every few days make sure the axils (cups at the base of the leaves) are all full of water by just pouring clean water into them. Might want to flush them out occasionally too if gunk builds up.

Also, losing the oldest leaves doesn't necessarily indicate a problem, many plants will slowly drop their oldest leaves as they create new ones in the center.
Not just Neos but more plants. I just didn’t know what would happen to the leaves.

Should of been a little clear on this but there is a big net cup that looks very ugly when you leave it open. I looked at it and it looks the base is wrapped in sphagnum but the bottom leaves are resting on the dirt. I’ve changed it and it looks... odd but since that stupid net cup is in the way, I can’t attach it in a way to block it. Thankfully, a blob of foam was resting there so I planted it in a bit of an odd position and it looks strange but it looks like it will grow in. There’s room for the frogs to hang out and space to jump on the leaves of the brom.

(well when writing this I figured out a way to fix it. I could just place it in sphagnum and it will attach to the sphagnum. Then I could remove the substrate from the hole. I’ve figured out something though. I’m getting the plants first and then drilling the holes for them.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What it looks like now:
297477

I really like how it looks now. Plus it’s rooted in only sphagnum.
 

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Why do you have it in a hole? That hole would be ideal to fill with soil and plant something terrestrial, not ideal for epiphytes since they tend to like air movement around their roots...
 

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In my experience they don't need anything at all to root; high 'rainfall' and/or humidity in bright light starts the roots, and they'll spread out like a web and grab anything. I've grown these on bare rocks after setting them in a crevice via the stolon.

I would never use sphagnum around them because for me, it gets too wet and stays wet, and I don't like those long fibres in my vivaria. YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Why do you have it in a hole? That hole would be ideal to fill with soil and plant something terrestrial, not ideal for epiphytes since they tend to like air movement around their roots...
I didn’t have a plant list when I made the hole so I was looking at background plants. I wasn’t that educated about plants so I bought it and placed it. Learned that it wasn’t maybe a good idea and yeah. Probably could buy a marcgravia for that spot.
In my experience they don't need anything at all to root; high 'rainfall' and/or humidity in bright light starts the roots, and they'll spread out like a web and grab anything. I've grown these on bare rocks after setting them in a crevice via the stolon.

I would never use sphagnum around them because for me, it gets too wet and stays wet, and I don't like those long fibres in my vivaria. YMMV
That’s pretty much the conditions for the root right now.

What do you use instead? Nothing I’m guessing. I’ll probably get a new plant and mount it in the background. My frogs really like it so definitely keeping it in the tank. Not sure why I would even remove it.
 

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Epiphytes are plants that have adapted to growing in the air on trees instead of in the ground. Their roots are usually large and thick, and grip on to rough bark or almost any surface as long as it's not too smooth. Many epiphytes still absorb water through their roots (orchids), and so if the environment is not moist enough by itself we put something like sphagnum around the roots to create a more humid/water retentive micro-climate. Neoregelias do not absorb water through their roots, they absorb it through cups/axils that retain standing water at all times, so they just use their roots to anchor themselves to things.

If you have a particularly dry tank, say less than 65% humidity near the base of the Neo, you can use a few strands of dead long fiber sphagnum to encourage those roots to develop. However, if your tank is very humid, even those few strands can cause the base of the Neo to rot, and since Neos naturally grow with nothing around their base and roots it's usually a good idea to leave their base exposed to the air in the tank. So the answer is: nothing. I curve a bit of florist's wire into a U shape and poke that into the background so it cradles the base of the Neo and keeps it in place, and otherwise just keep the axils full of water and let it do its thing.
 

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Mine are just hot glued to the wood. I do have two, that I got from Lowes, in the soil though because that's how they were when I bought them.
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Harpspiel said:
Why do you have it in a hole? That hole would be ideal to fill with soil and plant something terrestrial, not ideal for epiphytes since they tend to like air movement around their roots...
I didn’t have a plant list when I made the hole so I was looking at background plants. I wasn’t that educated about plants so I bought it and placed it. Learned that it wasn’t maybe a good idea and yeah. Probably could buy a marcgravia for that spot.
The biggest problem with that planting "hole" is how it's recessed like that. You'd have less trouble if the substrate was filled up flush with the rim. Or even slightly convex / heaped up. The substrate needs to be very well drained, and the "hole" also cannot retain water. Imagine pouring a jug of water over gravel, or bark chips, that are held in a net. The minute you're done pouring, the gravel is starting to dry out. That's the idea you're shooting for. Now imagine pouring the same jug of water water onto about five pairs of pants in an intact plastic bucket. Those pants will never dry out, unless you live in a desert. That is the opposite of what you want. Is your hole more like a net, or a plastic bucket? Drain it, or get that brom outta there. And no, a Marcgravia won't like a soggy hole any more than a brom. Try an Anubias or something.

Neoregelias do not absorb water through their roots
I think this is an overstatement. I base this on the behavior / performance of my own Neos, and their root growth and overall plant vigor when grown in a little ABG-type substrate behind a piece of cork siliconed to my glass vivs. Grown like that, it's easy to see the roots, and compare these broms' overall vigor to those I have mounted superficially. Like, with holes drilled into the outside of the cork, and the stolons inserted. Or just hot-glued to a stick. The difference between literal clones treated in these two ways is just stark. The "commando" ones do fine if you keep the cups wet, sure. But if that's the only way you keep them, then you have no idea how fat and happy and pup-a-licious they can be with just a little dirt, and great drainage.

If you have a particularly dry tank, say less than 65% humidity near the base of the Neo, you can use a few strands of dead long fiber sphagnum to encourage those roots to develop. However, if your tank is very humid, even those few strands can cause the base of the Neo to rot
All very true. I would further suggest to someone that if their frog viv is that humid, it's way too humid. Bad for the plants, bad for the animals.
 

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[...] The "commando" ones do fine if you keep the cups wet, sure. But if that's the only way you keep them, then you have no idea how fat and happy and pup-a-licious they can be with just a little dirt, and great drainage.[...]
Right -- so all my Neos go commando, but inevitably dead leaves and other detritus build up around them and that's when they really go pup-a-licious.
 
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