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Discussion Starter #1
I'm almost finished with my tank and this being my first build I have no idea what I should put in it as far as plants. I'm looking for something unique and natural looking. I suppose any advise at this point will help. I see so many great looking builds but I'm still not sure what i can and cant put in it without killing anything. I have a false bottom build and theres going to be about 4" of water in the center as well along the front of the tank. There is a waterfall in the back right corner thats going to have a stream flowing into the main body and on the far left is another smaller island mostly covered with roots. There are 4 drip wall hoses built into the background and an under ground filter. I made a custom fogging system and will have a Mistking in a few weeks. there is also a 36" RBG LED kit I installed for mood changing and night sky effect. I'm not sure what other information you might need. The tank is 48x12x20. Again this was my first build and I suppose i had too many ideas i wanted to incorporate into it and didn't leave too much room for plants. Next tank will be twice as big. :0) I'm including some photos to give you a better idea of what i came up with as far as a build, please feel free to critique it if you feel i may have done something wrong. Thank you for your insight and help.
 

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Really impressive first build. Unfortunately, I'm a noob when it comes to plants but here's a couple I've had good luck with...

Broms (obviously)
Selaginella sp.
Philodendron scandans f micans
hemianthus callitrichoides
Alocasia Polly (mine is only about 16" tall right now but it will probably need some trimming to keep it short enough for your tank.)
And pretty much any pothos species grows like wild.
Moss species look really cool on the roots as well, a lot of people use java moss.

Oh, one thing I learned from one of my builds with a running water feature... Put in the extra effort into constructing it and making sure it's not splashing out into the substrate and goes where you want it to. It's a pain if you realize the substrate is all water logged because the water feature is splashing into the substrate just a little bit.

Lookin good!
 

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Hey thanks for the reply... about the moss... I see people selling it in plugs. Do you just tear it apart and spread it out where you wany it to grow?
 

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most of the java moss I see for sale is usually as a wad of it. I haven't worked with many other kinds of moss, but I want to try some the species understoryenterprises.com has for sale.
 

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your tree buttress looks REALLY nice. I'm going to copy what you did for my tall build. what substrate did you stick on the outside of the tree?

look in the plants section - there is a sticky with links to some really good plant threads.
 

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Looks real good. You're going to want to put some sort of lip your land areas to keep your substrate in place. As for plants, I think with your tank, smallish creepers would look nice, with some emergent aquatics. I'm sorry if I missed it, but what type of fauna are you planning for?

EDIT: you should consider changing out the light for a "daylight" one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The BG is actually a combination of GS and Styrofoam/concrete with sealant. Since I have the drip wall with 4 hoses I wanted to make sure it didn't deteriorate quickly so I silicon ed and cocoa fibered where the water will be running down.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow. I really like the background. Looks fantastic. Did you drill the tank for drainage?
I didn't drill the tank for drainage... I was a little hesitant about breaking the glass and I didn't want to start this project in the negative. My next one I believe i will. i feel a little more confident about the basics of a build now and want to build a much larger complete tank my next go round. LOL.... I'm still trying to figure out what plants to put in this one and I'm already to build a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
your tree buttress looks REALLY nice. I'm going to copy what you did for my tall build. what substrate did you stick on the outside of the tree?

I actually got this idea from Raff. He has an amazing build using a similar technique. He used a 1 part water, 1 part Concrete Acrylic Fortifier and 2 - 3 parts of peat. I got my base idea of rope and melted PVC pipe from him but he said that portions that were subject to consistent water had the tendency of breaking down to i opted for a straight silicone cocoa fiber method hoping to prevent this from happening. I would imagine you could mix in some peat to give it an even more textured look as well. I think i will try that with my next build but since i already completed the rest of the tank with straight cocoa fiber i wanted to keep the texture consistent.
 

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my tank won't be as wet as a PDF tank. so the cocofiber and acrylic fortifier might work !!! I didn't realize you could do anything with that stuff outside of adding it to concrete.
thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Looks real good. You're going to want to put some sort of lip your land areas to keep your substrate in place. As for plants, I think with your tank, smallish creepers would look nice, with some emergent aquatics. I'm sorry if I missed it, but what type of fauna are you planning for?

EDIT: you should consider changing out the light for a "daylight" one.
I thought about the lip after i already had it put together. Another of the many bridges and obstacles i have encountered while building this project. Any suggestions? I'm sure in time i will figure out a solution. I usually take a step back and stare at the obstacle until i have a solution, so far it seems to have worked for me.
What is meant by a "Daylight"? This is what I have:
The last picture is my LED RBG for night time effect...

If this isn't the correct light what would you recommend? A T-5? Ive seen allot of people using them.
 

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my tank won't be as wet as a PDF tank. so the coco fiber and acrylic fortifier might work !!! I didn't realize you could do anything with that stuff outside of adding it to concrete.
thanks!
You might want to take a look at his thread so see which method you would prefer to use. His is a bit more complicated and time consuming but probably allot cleaner as well. You basically mix the fortifier with the peat and paint it on and wait for it to dry before applying a second, third, fourth coat.


http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/57563-pics-my-new-constructed-vivarium.html
 

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Discussion Starter #16
most of the java moss I see for sale is usually as a wad of it. I haven't worked with many other kinds of moss, but I want to try some the species understoryenterprises.com has for sale.
Again excuse my ignorance but after purchasing a wad of moss do you just tear it apart and place smaller patches around the tank and wait for it to spread or do you try to buy enough to carpet the entire area?
 

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Your light peaks in the red and blue spectrum, which is good for plant growth, but will distort colors and the purple glow can be harsh to look at IMO. A daylight spectrum is more like the sun on a clear day. It is a white light which is composed of every color in the spectrum, giving it a nice balance and making colors appear true. The kelvin (k) rating for daylight is 6500k. Lights in the 2700k range are yellow, lights in the 5000k-7000k range are white, and lights in the 10,000k range are blue. It is also a good idea to look for a color rating index (CRI) number when light bulb shopping. The closer to 100 that number is, the more true the colors reflected by objects hit by it's light will be. Another thing to look at is Lumens. The higher the number, the brighter the bulb. I usually aim for at least 1000 lumens per bulb.

When buying moss, you can shred it and place pieces of it around the tank. The ones that end up in good growing conditions will spread.

If your substrate does end up getting saturated, you may have to use a less water retentive substrate such as orchid bark covered in leaf litter. It would be wise to be patient with the build and let the water feature run without substrate or planting for a few days. Water likes to wick, splash, and defy gravity at times. Coco and peat both wick water, so it may end up straying from your defined coarse for it

As for plants, I would recommend (this list is taken from http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pa...my-vivarium-built-into-wall-7.html#post649791, which is similar to yours)

Pleurothallis grobyi, dinema polybulbon, Ficus pumila var. quercifolia aka Oak Leaf Creeping Fig, Syngonium rayii, Hoya carnosa, Dischidia ovata, Peperomia Prostrata, Emerald ripple pilea, Fittonia vershaffeltii, Pilea "aluminum plant," Pellionia repens, Ludisia discolor, Anthurium sp.

Aquatic:
anubias nana, green flame moss, Java moss, Riccia, Java fern, Bacopa carolina, Hydrocotlye vericillata

Neo "Chiquita linda" A smaller bromeliad hybrid that pups alot and gets a nice red color if given enough light. Given how narrow your tank is, this might be the best brom for you.

Here are some sponsors that I have bought plants from:
New England Herpetoculture - Plants (Mike is very helpful, im sure he could recommend some plants for you as well)
Welcome to Black Jungle Terrarium Supply - The Natural Choice! (has alot of species to choose from)
Jungle Box Online - Frogs, Vivarium Supplies, Feeders and Tropical Plants (Dane has some nice plants as well)

pjsviolets on ebay also has some nice plants
 

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Wow thank you so much Okapi !! I just got more help from your one reply than weeks kicking around on the internet. What an amazing build. They are very similar i agree so your plant list should do great in my tank. I hope you don't mind. I ended opting for the ABG mix through joshsfrogs for my substrate. I saw the ingredients on how to make your own but with such little land surface i would have wasted allot of it so i just purchased 2 gallons for now. Did i mention WOW what a build? I just cant get over it. Ive watched your video time and again and this was exactly what i was looking for! I suppose after reading about the lights, which was very informative I'm in the market for a new bulb. Any suggestions? Are most of these plants "pinnable" to the background if i decide to do so? I don't suppose you know of any good companies that have plant packages seeing how you have bought so many now?
 
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Wow thank you so much Okapi !! I just got more help from your one reply than weeks kicking around on the internet. What an amazing build. They are very similar i agree so your plant list should do great in my tank. I hope you don't mind. I ended opting for the ABG mix through joshsfrogs for my substrate. I saw the ingredients on how to make your own but with such little land surface i would have wasted allot of it so i just purchased 2 gallons for now. Did i mention WOW what a build? I just cant get over it. Ive watched your video time and again and this was exactly what i was looking for! I suppose after reading about the lights, which was very informative I'm in the market for a new bulb. Any suggestions? Are most of these plants "pinnable" to the background if i decide to do so? I don't suppose you know of any good companies that have plant packages seeing how you have bought so many now?
I dont mind what substrate you use, I was just pointing out that if the water feature wicks into your substrate, an airy mixture would be best. Ive made enough waterfalls to learn that I cant force the water, it flows where it wants. That is why my wall vivarium has such a deep recessed waterfall, because Ive had issues with wicking and splashing with every waterfall before it.

The light should be easy to find at a hardware store or walmart. A pet store would be the last place to get a light because the mark up is so high. There are also websites where you can get bulbs. Just check the kelvin rating. Once you see a daylight bulb over the tank, everything Ive said will make better sense.

Most vivarium plants can be pinned and will root to the background if humidity is high enough.
These would have to be grown terrestrially however:
Emerald ripple pilea, Fittonia vershaffeltii, Pilea "aluminum plant," Anthurium sp.

I prefer not to get packages, I would rather pay shipping a few times to get what I want rather than what the seller wants to pick. But if money is an issue, send Mike (NEherp) an email, I know he does do package deals sometimes if your from a forum hes a member of. Check the classifieds here, people commonly sell plant packages, but like I said, I like to be the one picking what is mailed to me. That ebay seller I mentioned above usually has quite a few vivarium suitable plants for sale at any given time. And she is reasonable about holding a plant and not shipping if you won it but are bidding on others she has up if you message her saying that you would like a combined total with shipping. If you want to get all your plants at one place, check out places like The Violet Barn - Home of Rob's African Violets, Tropiflora Online Shopping - A premier supplier of Bromeliads, Succulents, Orchids and other rare and exotic tropical plants from around the world, and Welcome to Black Jungle Terrarium Supply - The Natural Choice! Just keep in mind that the costs add up fast.

These plants should be cheap and easy to find, sometimes even at places like lowes, walmart, and home depot. Due to pesticides and other residues, I prefer to go with vendor plants if I can though.
Ficus pumila var. quercifolia aka Oak Leaf Creeping Fig <- Never seen oak leaf variety, but seen other variety at box stores
Hoya carnosa <- Easy to find at box stores
Dischidia ovata <- Easy to find at box stores
Emerald ripple pilea <-some times found at box stores
Fittonia vershaffeltii <- easy to find at box stores
Pilea "aluminum plant" <- Easy to find at box stores
Pellionia repens <- Rarely see at box stores
Anthurium sp. <- Easy to find at box stores
 
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