Check out http://www.plantoddities.com. He has some awesome tillandasias. I have bought tons of them from him and most are doing well in my terrariums. They need lots of air circulation and cannot be kept too damp. You might occasionally have to take them out of your terrarium and let them air out.
The person who posted last is right. (sorry you didn't leave your name! ). In college the greenhouse people used to keep theirs in the desert room. They watered them every couple of days and let them dry out. They are really cool plants, make cool flowers, but need lots of air circulation and time to dry out. Tall ventilated tanks would be ideal. Planted near the top.
How much ventilation is needed? do you need to put a fan against it? I have a european design tank and was hoping if it would be enough...what do you think? I think my 30" high tank might be able to keep them quite dry too. Got any opinions about it?
Put them near the top but not so close that they get burned by the light. Mine usually die but i have one at the top that is doing great. They do have cool flowers but i cna never get them too flower again after they first flower.
I received a T. ionatha and a T. pencifola from Alex Welky at Custom Ecos (http://www.customecos.com) when I ordered from him two years ago. Both are still doing well in my terraria, and I actually have T. ionatha seedlings that are about a year old now (still tiny)!
The previous posters are right . . . you have to be careful about which Tillandsias you choose, as most will not do well in terraria without lots of air movement. Mine have done well without it, but sit high in the top of a 24" cube with good ventillation. However, the humidity still hovers around 70-90%.
What kind of ventillation do you have in your tank? I am in the middle of making a 30"high tank right now (actually 36" long x 18" deep x 30" high)and have followed the european design viv with a 2" vent on the top and 2" vent in the front of the tank. I wasn't thinking of using any fans...do you think that would be ok?
My tank has a 1" wide strip that runs along the front and a 1" wide strip that runs along one side of the terrarium. I don't have the intake strip like the European styles do, but it appears to have ideal ventillation for most plants (save a few Tillandsias I have killed). I think as long as you mound the Tillandsias near the top and front of the tank, you'll probably be OK (that is where most of the air currents should be with your vent setup). It sounds like your setup should work, but I can't really know for sure. If your humidity is too low, you can always use a piece of plexiglas, wood, etc, to cover up part of the top vent. I hope that helped!
I've had pretty decent luck with them in the past as well. I had about four types flower, and the rest lived until the tank was taken apart. You need to have some air flow and let them dry a bit, but if mounted on say cork or a log, they usually do quite well.
Thanks for that input. That would really be helpful while Im still setting up my tank. As for humidity, I live in a tropical country with an average humidity of about 70-80% so it's never been a problem
You should never use sphagnum when using Tillandsias in a terrarium environment. It is not needed and will only cause rot if you're not careful. Tillansias should never be allowed to be soaked in water so they should not be sprayed directly and should never be allowed to stay wet overnight. All of these conditions cause them to rot. Thye are tricky in Vivariums and Terrariums but can be manged if positioned right.
Thanks for all of your tips. I read also in gardenweb forum that in the wild, tillys are usually found growing sideways and downwards. Not upright, the way we see a lot of bulbs being planted. I went on a binge today and got myself 8 different species of tillys which I saw growing in several dutch vivarium.
I guess the tricky part is ensuring that they do not drown and stay wet given the conditonal requirements of a rainforest viv which has 100% humidity. I shall be placing them near vents to ensure good air circulation and trying to plant them sideways to increase my chances!
Most US distributors buy their tillandsias from Tillandsia International in Southern California. They are the largest grower in the states and have photos of all of their plants on their website at http://www.airplant.com. They are a wholesale nursery, with the only requirement being a $100.00 minimum. $100.00 buys alot of tillandsias. It is a great place to start. As appears to be most peoples experience on this thread, I have had very little luck keeping a tillandsia healthy for more than a couple months in a vivarium. They require alot of air movement, and while they like high humidity, they don't like to stay wet and tend to rot in the crown. I would suggest buying inexpensive plants which can be replaced fairly frequently. Ionanthas, bulbosa, baileyi, butzii and caput-medusae are affordable, fairly compact and interesting to look at.