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My understanding, though I've never left it to go that long, is that the sphagnum does break down (within a year?) with new growth on top, and it becomes overly acidic and can easily become anaerobic if it is the only substrate/media. If there were a problem, I'd assume it would probably be the ph and probable bacterial issues due to the anaerobic process affecting the roots. I've only used it to assist in propagation and new root growth before transplanting to a more permanent home.
I'd love to hear what others know or have experienced as I am about to start 3 new enclosed terrariums with a hygrolon and sphagnum/aqua soil mix as the permanent growing medium - though this is primarily for mosses.
Following with interest!
 

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Sphagnum moss already has a very low ph before it starts to break down (maybe 4? - can't find my ph meter...) so watering won't assist in raising the ph enough as it also does take a long time to fully break down. I think it is likely the bacterial issues as it becomes anaerobic that would be the problem. I was looking at using aqua soil, but that has a ph around 6.5 so probably wouldn't do much for anything except maybe assist in binding if anaerobic processes were a problem. I'm now going to look at adding some crushed coral since you started this thread, still waiting for rock to be delivered, and it may be a year or two that I get back with any findings! :)

In the meantime, hopefully the brains trust has some answers.
 

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Based on your photo (and my eyes may deceive me), it looks as though they are rooted in quite a thick pad of sphagnum, almost kokedama like, hence the potential for anaerobic activity - which is essentially the primary process of the bog forming, though there are quite a few hundred generations before that would occur… could you lessen the thickness of the pad without going near the roots to prevent any potential of the afore suggested occurring? Keen to hear what you decide and how it fares.
 

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@mattoid

The sphagnum mount is 1.5 inches thick which is thicker than I'd anticipated so it wouldn't fit where I'd intended to place it. It's comprised of sphagnum wrapped around a plastic core. The sphagnum layer itself is only about a centimeter thick if not less so it's probably not thick enough to cause bog-like conditions. I've plucked out all of the living sphagnum that was especially long and blocking the leave's access to light.

My current plan for it is to leave it alone on its current mount and hope that it sends up some shoots up my cork bark background and once those shoots seem healthy enough, I'll cut it from the main plant and then repeat this process. Or maybe I'll just leave it permanently there. Unfortunately, it sticks out like a sore thumb in my tank.

As it is now, due to the shipping damage and how hard it'd be to extract the plant from the mount (the plant appears to only possess adventitious roots), it's probably best to leave it on its mount. I'd thought of sawing the mount in half since I won't need its back half, but I can't imagine a hand saw being that useful against sphagnum — the blades will probably just get caught and a grand mess will be made. Let me know if you think that's a good idea.
I'm afraid I'm not much help here, as I have only ever propagated my own or purchased as bare root (generally wrapped in wetted towel). 1.5 inches does seem quite thick, though that is about the thickness I have used to start cuttings with only sphagnum. I can't get a picture of the plastic core and how it sits beneath, but if you were to try and remove a portion of it, perhaps you could try snips/scissors to remove the sphagnum and then saw (dremel?) the plastic. I am the sort to give it a go but probably at the expense of the plants wellbeing... Either way, it seems the travel stressed it out and would do well to recover a few weeks before reassessing as you have suggested. It certainly is noticeable though.
I reckon with that the thickness of moss, you are completely safe from the ill effects caused by decaying sphagnum! Please keep me posted on how it goes down the track, I'm keen to see how you solve the 'sore thumb' quandary!
 
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