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Some Masdevallias are called terrestrial, but will eventually rot if they are treated like a terrestrial houseplant. In reality, they are probably more of humus epiphytes or lithophytes, growing on the surface of the ground in leaf litter or in small pockets of organic matter between rocks.

I would look into jewel orchids: Ludisia discolor, Anoectochilus chapaensis, Macodes petola, etc.
 

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Cyclopogon! Goodyera, Ludisia, Macodes, etc. Any jewel orchid that doesn't need a dry dormancy will be fine
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do those species stay relatively small?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I realize "relatively small" isnt very helpful.

This is for a 20 gallon long tank so there isn't much height and the only thing that worries me is that some spikes tend to get very long.
 

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:confused:Don't we have, like, 3 or 4 jewel orchid threads going on? :confused: How do I do the sticky?!?

Seriously, Mer: We gots more here on DB about growing the terrestrial jewels than you will find on most orchid sites!
 

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From Yomamafat:

They are a nice addition to the tank and can be grown in the same terrarium conditions as PDFs. Like with most orchids make sure that you have a free draining substrate and it seems that they do better under direct fluorescent light. The functionality is limited in that it provides cover; as well as, improved relative humidity, but it has limited function in getting PDFs to breed. Jewel orchids can really take off and it may need to be trimmed back annually; furthermore, keep in mind that when jewel orchids are flowering it may require 14 inches or more of headroom for the flower spike. As a result, when placing your jewel orchid please make sure that you plant it as part of the ground cover and not potting/mounting it higher in the tank. I hope that helps.
Addendum: For a 20 long, I would recommend Macodes petola, or a smaller Anoectochilus species.
 

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Just remembered: You may be able to get away with a smaller Paphiopedilum or mini Phaelanopsis, but you're cutting it very close....
 

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Phals aren't going to want to grow terrestrially, and their spikes will likely be longer than the others listed. If you did a small area of your substrate with straight orchid bark, you could probably get away with a Paph, just make sure it's free draining.
 
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