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Discussion Starter #1
Ive been searching for 2 hours now to the answer to some of my rather simple questions and I have yet to find a definitive answer to any of them. (Mostly because I keep getting sidetracked with all the other usefully information that i am finding for future reference) I am in the process of building my very first vivarium and let me tell you how confusing it has become.
First let me start by saying that that i have completed the bottom. Here are a few pictures of what i have came up with as far as a design. I went with a underground filter because my wife wished to include fish. From there I chose a false bottom seeing how theres gonna need to be about 4 inches of water across the bottom. I liked the GS, silicone, Cocoa fiber combo and it appeared to be fairly easy to compose.
OK this leads me to my questions..... I see alot of people using the silicone cocoa method for their background and "pinning their plants to the background. I wish to incorporate cocoa & rock (Blueboard and quickrete) into by background but I dont understand the pinning method well enough to feel comfortable using it. Do you simply pin or glue the plants to the background, that simple? I want the plants to be stable, will they root INTO the GS and cocoa or will they remain pinned forever? How bout the blueboard?
I also see people GSing Pots into their backgrounds what are their purpose? Is it a matter of pinning vs potting and if so what are the advantages / disadvantages of each? I see people running drip lines into them... are they necessary if I'm going to be using a mistking in the tank? I like the look of them so I'm probably going to incorporate them int my background anyway its just a matter of random placement vs directly on pots if i need them.
And on a final note, not necessarily related to my previous questions.... Is it OK to plant carnivorous plants in a Viv? I don't see alot of people using them. Is there a reason for that?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Can anyone find any fault in what I have accomplished so far?
 

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I use tooth picks to secure vining plants to the wall, this way I can get them to grow kind of sort of in the direction I want. They still usually grow where ever they please. The toothpicks can be removed once the plants grasp onto the background. They will hold onto the gs and coco fiber background, as well as cork background, but I've never tried the quickcrete, so I can't comment in that. Heavier plants might need to be secured with a dot or two of silicone.
To attach plants to a branch, you might try tying it with a bit of clear fishing line.
Pots are for plants that aren't suitable for pinning or gluing to the wall. At this time I have a bit of silver lace fern in one pot and some peperomia caperata in another; I don't think either plant would do as well attached to the wall. You will need to include drainage for these so the roots don't rot. Is that what you mean by drip line? Or do you mean a line that will feed water into it? That I don't think it's necessarily required.
I think people generally stay away from using carnviorus plants in their vivs. I remember seeing a post of a leuc (I think) who may have been stuck trying to fish out flies from a pitcher plant. Maybe someone will be kind enough to post a link. That's the worst case, I would think. I would also be hesitant to put carnivorous plants in a viv because I wouldn't want the frogs to irritate them. I know a constantly closing venus trap suffers if it's not closing for food, and I would think little froggy feet might set the traps off fairly frequently.
Four inches of water seems a little bit small, what kind of fish do you plan on keeping? Maybe a shrimp would be better suited?
 

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So the plants will actually grown into the GS in time and after they have done so I can remove the toothpicks? The roots will be stable enough to support the plant? Are there varieties that are better than others to do this with? I see you mentioned I suppose I will just have to use the olé trial and error to figure out which plants I can do this with and which ones Ill need pots for the silver lace fern and others for peperomia caperata, which could i pin?
The drip line was referred to as going into the pots if i needed them thank you for clearifying that for me. This seems a little confusing for me right now. And should I decide to include potted plants i will be sure to include drain lines or holes.
Good points with the carnivorous plants. I don't intend to put frogs in for awhile yet but when i decide i don't want any conflict between the two.
I think 4 inches maybe 6 is all i can afford for the water and the fish. My tank is rather small and I wanted to allow as much room for land as possible. Also if you notice the pictures i wanted an embankment so it would look more natural. I'm not too keen on the sand, gravel, or clay pellet look touching the glass in the front. That is whats killing me the tank is only 12" wide... not a whole ton of room. If i manage to keep everything alive we've decided we definitely want to build a much larger tank in the future. this is more or less a test run it being our first one. I was thinking a few tetras and neons would be nice. very small fish just for the novelty of it.
 

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I potted in the GS on my first VIV. I did'nt know how to get plants to go up the backwall, so I potted. Then I used my brain a little. I just used some office staples and plugged the staples in to the bg it worked pretty well. My 2nd viv I did'nt GS any potts in the BG. I just used my staple method and now I'm growing from the grown up. Just buy a pack of staples and break the bar of staples up and plug them in the GS BG. Let me know if you need some pix.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So youre able to do this with larger plants as well....say like a Philodendron?
 

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I have creeping fig and gold fish plant pinned into the GS in my tank. I also have some pliea aquamarine in a tank that is pinned in, but it could be doing a little better.

I would suggest saving the water feature for a larger tank, it seems like it's going to take up room that you can't really spare, which will compromise the living conditions for frogs and fish alike. I don't normally shy away from water features, but maybe you might reconsider this one.
 
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