Dendroboard banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
5,538 Posts
I'm interested to know what "true terrestrials" you're working with - most of the terrarium plants popular here tend to not fit that definition in the way you're thinking, and I'm not sure why you're determined to put a true terrestrial into an epiphytic environment or a semi-aquatic one, when the majority of the hobby is based around those two groups of plants!

I'm not sure it's been mentioned but I wouldn't use cocomatting. Back when drip walls were really popular they were the original product used and tended to last only two years max (or even less with drip walls) before they ripped apart. Epi/ecoweb or treefern will last longer. Tree fern is still organic and will break down at some point, so maybe not the best for significant drip but it's wicking ability makes it a great substrate form most plants to hook into and get water from without actually being in contact with the drip. Epi/Ecoweb is inert and doesn't wick, but it also doesn't rot. I prefer that as a substrate for dripwalls for that reason, but it's an abrasive so you'll have to get most of it covered with plants before putting livestock in or they will get seriously cut up.

By spreading the nozzles across the wall in the back you can get a pretty even flow of water down the back of the wall. The complex structure also keeps breaking up the wall so there shouldn't be too much congregation of water into streams. When setting up the terrarium, being able to see the back of the tank and see the water running down the glass helps.

With appropriate growing conditions a small species of plant will likely have little issue rooting to the strong structure of something like ecoweb, and there is no need for pockets of anything (they can easily become pockets of mush too if they have too much access to water). The walls of veggies with pockets of dirt are usually drip irrigated, not a drip wall in the sense we're talking about here. When talking about a plant that would actually need that pocket of dirt to survive happy, I again kinda have to wonder why you're fighting what the plant wants to do so much when you've got a massive selection of plants that would be more than happy to take their place! There are some plants I'd recommend have the start of the plant in a substrate (hemiepiphytic plants) and let the rest climb on the wall, but those same plants (and even their self heading "terrestrial" relatives) have been started and grown on a wall without pockets.

As for growing in the water... I'm with everyone else about the semi-aquatics. These are a greatly untapped plant resource in this hobby for some reason, which is funny because they are some of the plants that like our (often overly saturated) tanks the best! All my tanks now have 1/3 to 1/2 "semi-aquatic" plants, and you can easily make one completely out of these plants! Many mass distributed "aquarium plants" aren't even actually semi-aquatic, they just take a long time to drown...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,538 Posts
Nah, was referring to the original post by EvilLost where he seemed very determined to use Terrestrials. I was trying to determine what the definition was for terrestrial was for him because I think he was using the very simplistic definition, and few plants we use may fall into that... not many of us growing trees in our tanks!

There are very few Aroids or Begonias etc. that are really a "terrestrial" and I've not seen them used in tanks like ours because those suckers get BIG. There are a number of terrestrial bromeliads for example... I wish I could find it on the site but I remember a pic of Evan Twomey sitting next to a terrestrial brom listening for the frog that was in it to call. Since I've seen Evan in person and can use him as a scale, you're talking a brom around 4 feet across and just as high! Most Aroids we use are semi-aquatic, epiphytic, or hemiepiphytic, and the begonias are usually lithophytic or epiphytic. It's amazing how much of the tropical plant life works to NOT grow on the ground in soil, but rather on rocks, around streams, on trees, etc. Just not enough light on the forest floor when you have to try and not have leaves fall on your and smother you to death!

The drip wall it sounds like you're describing is a bit of a different style... it's a bit more like a seepage. I used to love working on those, because you could get a little bit different look on it where the water would congregate and travel down the walls. The Hidden Life Exhibits at the National Aquarium in Baltimore are an excellent example of this, as are some of the tanks by Black Jungle. You just check where the water runs and make sure your water sensitive epiphytes aren't mounted in those areas LOL. These types could also include molded pockets in them for plant substrate but you had to be careful to build in a way for them to drain. Otherwise they can end up as soppy messes or just end up as a pond for your frogs to put tads LOL.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,538 Posts
Ahhhhhh that actually puts it in a totally different light - usually stuff here is based on those limitations stated or otherwise. This is a site about keeping tropical frogs in little homemade jungles after all!

So by terrestrials, what types of plants are you talking about? Some plants may need to have more modifications that others (like root veggies vs. fruiting plants for example). Carrots may just not play nice in some versions of what you're talking about, while herbs could go bonkers. Just have to remember to make the wall pretty damn strong if you grow larger things like tomatoes.

I imagine the larger the plant, the more "substrate" (vertical or horizontal) will be needed, and I really only think of the epi/ecoweb stuff as kinda the top coat (coco husk matting does NOT hold up long term and you don't want your gorgeous wall to get all grown in just to fall apart at 1.5 to 2 years - plus it's weaker to begin with and may not be able to hold large weights without ripping). It's handy for small plants to grow into, epi/rheo/lithophytic plants to grow on, but I'm not sure layers and layers of the stuff would be the best idea for some of the plants you may have in mind. I grow in semi-hydro, and imagine a vertical version where I'd use that stuff to actually hold a layer of LECA behind it, and have the solution (water/ferts) actually get dripped down that part. I also have had one plant that was mounted on epiweb, got way too big for it, and I then just cut the epiweb to sit as a kind of "lid" peice on top of semi-hydro pot. The greedy roots quickly took over the pot, and I don't have to worry about loose LECA when moving the pot :)

There have also been some vertical wall threads here and on other forums that may give you more ideas for the "top coat" - the larger the surface and the larger the plants the stronger it and the support it's built off of have to be. There are a number of synthetic fabrics that have been used for this as well in place of the epi/ecoweb stuff.

Both First Rays orchids and Brian's Botanicals have done living walls that may be of interest, but I can't find anyplace where there is a good write up on how they were done. I just know both involved epi/ecoweb and circulating water.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,538 Posts
Erk, Brian didn't use epiweb, he used a mix of different fabrics and what not. I can only find references about it on facebook, so if you're friends with him on there check out his gallery!

The only other ones I know of are done by private companies so they won't tell you much about what was used, for obvious reasons LOL.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top