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Apologies if this belongs in the beginner forum, but I'm wondering if anyone can give me insight into how they set up their plant quarantine/grow out. My plant experience consists solely of aquarium species, so I'm a total newbie. I have had success propagating Cryptocorynes and Bucephalandra emergent, but not sure how successful that would be for vivarium plants. What I did was covered 10 gallon aquariums with T8 lighting for 12 hours, egg crate false bottom to keep the humidity up, net pots with coconut fiber liners, substrate consisting of a mix of Miracle Gro Organic and peat. I know that for vivarium plants I'd want to use regular pots and ABG, but that's as far as I've gotten. I also know I can use clear Tupperware storage containers instead of aquariums.

So my newbie questions are...what sort of lighting does anyone use? Do you include a false bottom? Since there won't be any animals at the time, is there a vivarium safe fertilizer I should use? Do you add microfauna?

Apologies for so many questions, I'm probably overthinking, but also want to do things right. I actually bought a vivarium over a year ago but been nervous to start. Time for me to get on it.
 

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My plant growout bin is a 75 gallon tank with a glass lid and 2 hardware store LED strip lights.
I use a false bottom to let the water drain(not that I ever have much water in the drainage layer), and use ABG style substrate. I don't use fertilizer but there are springtails and Isopods in my growout tank.
 

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I'm currently using 2 Mondi greenhouse domes with propagation trays. They have vents on the top, so that's convenient, but the trays are only 2" deep and the top comes off, so it won't be the best setup for vines. I have it in a west window with a shade cloth. Shallow layer of LECA for drainage. This setup has only been in place for a few weeks, so I can't comment on its effectiveness yet, and I'm interested in other peoples' setups.
 

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Not a grow-out-bin, exactly, but a "dang I need a spot to throw this cutting/leaf I want to save and try growing"...it's just two clear cheap plastic plant saucers in a sandwich, so the lid is on upside-down as a sort of dome. (Lid off in pics.) Granted, not the best as space is restricted to very short stuff, and you have to make sure there's little to no gap between them from sitting askew so humidity doesn't escape, but depending on how damp you make the substrate (in this case, just long-fiber sphagnum), it may not matter as much. I could clip them together I suppose, but I don't bother. I've had LFS re-animate several times in this kind of setup, possibly due to the batch of moss itself and the use of distilled water (and rare fertilizing with an eyedropper). I typically throw leaves or stems of compact growers that break off during maintenance, like Peperomia, mini Begonias, Episcia runners, micro-Sinningia tops that break off of their tubers...Pilea or something that's contracted root mealybug and I just want to root the stem and toss the rootball...etc. I have another saucer with just a paper towel and Tillandsia seedlings which seem to greatly appreciate the humidity, even though it's transient and I need to mist it every few days. If the LFS starts growing, it can definitely consume the space and run-over the propagules, so keep an eye on it. While young, though, it does make for a neat look. I just kind of sit them adjacent to a plant stand shelf or on the floor near a lit tank (which is also serving as a temporary prop. chamber) with regards to lighting them; not ideal, but I have procrastination issues sometimes and think I'll get them into a better setup or a container of their own before I actually do. (That, and all my plant stand shelves have absolutely no vacancy until I can get some more stuff into terrarium setups and/or another light fixture.)

these pics are four months apart:

propagation saucer.jpg propagation saucer 2b.jpg

In a pinch, I'll also use cleaned-out clear salad greens containers (better depth than the saucers, though there are deep saucers I've used pairs of too, but these close more securely), or what I'm sure many folks use, deli containers. When I remember to fertilize, I happen to use urea-free orchid or Tillandsia fertilizer, as it's on hand and the nitrogen might be more available as the urea requires microbial action I'm not sure the substrate will have. It's predominantly because it's there and ready-to-use, though, since I use what's leftover after fertilizing the main plant inventory, to use it up instead of storing it and inevitably getting algal growth in the container.
 

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Although having a 75-gallon grow out tank is nice you can really go as cheap as you want, especially for a beginner. I have a couple 66 quart clear bins with clear lids I got from target with sphagnum or abg in the bottom. Your ten gallon tanks seem like a good idea too. I have air holes with screen in the top and everything does really well. The only problem is some stuff eventually gets too big, like some philodendrons. If you search Another world terraria on youtube they have a really nice comprehensive guide. I would also not recommend using artificial fertilizer in a quarantine bin because the whole reason you quarantine is so that you don't have any pests or harmful chemicals like fertilizer or pesticides. There
 

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I use sterilite plastic bins with a foam gasket and put a strip light across them. This has been suggested by serpadesign on youtube and it works pretty well. But beware, forgetting to turn the lights on and some ferns and other plants will not like the 90%-100% humidity.
 

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I really appreciate hearing from everyone! Thank you so much!

My plant growout bin is a 75 gallon tank with a glass lid and 2 hardware store LED strip lights.
I use a false bottom to let the water drain(not that I ever have much water in the drainage layer), and use ABG style substrate. I don't use fertilizer but there are springtails and Isopods in my growout tank.
Do you just have the back two inches of the lid with screen? Or do you use fans? Sorry, I'm still getting a feel for things like ventilation.

I'm currently using 2 Mondi greenhouse domes with propagation trays. They have vents on the top, so that's convenient, but the trays are only 2" deep and the top comes off, so it won't be the best setup for vines. I have it in a west window with a shade cloth. Shallow layer of LECA for drainage. This setup has only been in place for a few weeks, so I can't comment on its effectiveness yet, and I'm interested in other peoples' setups.
Sadly, I can't prevent my cat from drinking out of my aquarium. I'm pretty sure she would simply eat my plants if I tried this lol. Dumb question, but you mentioned vines. Are there types that need to climb even to propagate?

these pics are four months apart:

View attachment 296851 View attachment 296850

In a pinch, I'll also use cleaned-out clear salad greens containers (better depth than the saucers, though there are deep saucers I've used pairs of too, but these close more securely), or what I'm sure many folks use, deli containers. When I remember to fertilize, I happen to use urea-free orchid or Tillandsia fertilizer, as it's on hand and the nitrogen might be more available as the urea requires microbial action I'm not sure the substrate will have. It's predominantly because it's there and ready-to-use, though, since I use what's leftover after fertilizing the main plant inventory, to use it up instead of storing it and inevitably getting algal growth in the container.
I love those pictures. The second looks nice, and not just because it has a bunch of types from my rapidly growing "want to try" list. Thank you for the ideas on fertilizing. It sounds like it doesn't need to be very frequent, so I can see how it's easy to forget. Definitely different than aquariums where I fertilize micros weekly even for slow growers (my Aridarum species put out a new leaf about every two months). As for running out of room? I can already sympathize. I haven't bought my first plant yet and can already see that happening to me.

Although having a 75-gallon grow out tank is nice you can really go as cheap as you want, especially for a beginner. I have a couple 66 quart clear bins with clear lids I got from target with sphagnum or abg in the bottom. Your ten gallon tanks seem like a good idea too. I have air holes with screen in the top and everything does really well. The only problem is some stuff eventually gets too big, like some philodendrons. If you search Another world terraria on youtube they have a really nice comprehensive guide. I would also not recommend using artificial fertilizer in a quarantine bin because the whole reason you quarantine is so that you don't have any pests or harmful chemicals like fertilizer or pesticides. There
I've seen an unboxing video by Another World Terraria, but oddly never watched more videos. Thank you for bringing that up. I spent a good while today watching his set up videos, plus the Amazon shopping lists are nice. One thing I loved, and that other people in this thread have shown, are using bins vs pots. It's a weird thing, I suppose but it just looks nicer. When I was doing emersed culture, the plants looked great, but the setup as a whole was ugly. I just found it lessened things for me personally, but that's probably just me.

I use sterilite plastic bins with a foam gasket and put a strip light across them. This has been suggested by serpadesign on youtube and it works pretty well. But beware, forgetting to turn the lights on and some ferns and other plants will not like the 90%-100% humidity.
I've seen that video. Honestly, Serpadesign is why I want to do a vivarium. I don't think I'll do it near as well, but it'll hopefully be fun to try. Do you mind if I ask what sort of plants have trouble in that sort of setup? Does seem like many more people recommend some ventilation. If forgetting to turn the lights on is a problem, have you thought about using a timer? I've gotten spoiled once I started using those.
 

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Honestly, Serpadesign is why I want to do a vivarium.
I like the fact that he is mostly focused on terrariums, and the couple vivariums he shows are actually fairly decent enclosures for the animals he is housing in them (contrary to many "bioactive" enclosures out there). Keep in mind that dart frogs are best kept in a viv that is designed around the particular dart species from the beginning. This is notably unlike how most people set up aquariums, so it is hard to see things from this angle coming in from fishkeeping.
 

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I like the fact that he is mostly focused on terrariums, and the couple vivariums he shows are actually fairly decent enclosures for the animals he is housing in them (contrary to many "bioactive" enclosures out there). Keep in mind that dart frogs are best kept in a viv that is designed around the particular dart species from the beginning. This is notably unlike how most people set up aquariums, so it is hard to see things from this angle coming in from fishkeeping.
I try to be one of those that plan out everything from the beginning, which is one of the reasons I've enjoyed lurking on the forum on and off for so long. I'm actually trying to plan this viv around mourning geckos (Lepidodactylus lugubris). Depending on my success, I'd like to have a second for D. leucomelas. That's partially why I started this thread since I thought it would be a good idea to keep some mother stock and avoid any sort of cross contamination.
 

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Sadly, I can't prevent my cat from drinking out of my aquarium. I'm pretty sure she would simply eat my plants if I tried this lol. Dumb question, but you mentioned vines. Are there types that need to climb even to propagate?
The cat would have to make a concerted effort to knock the dome off the tray, there's a lip and it's quite stable. Here's what it looks like. And no, I think generally vines are fine laid on the substrate when you're just rooting them, it's just not a long-term solution for vines. I got them because I couldn't find any bins that were about 11x23" to fit on the shelving unit next to my tank, and they are perfect at 10x20".
 
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