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Discussion Starter #1
I like the way corkbark look but tree fern seem to be cheaper and easier to put on the back of the tank(20 gallon).
 

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I like the look of tree fern, but try to avoid using them when possible, as they damage the tree they are cut from. Cork is fairly easy to work with. Cocos panels look great and are a renewable source, but I have yet to use them.
 

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geckguy said:
I like the look of tree fern, but try to avoid using them when possible, as they damage the tree they are cut from. Cork is fairly easy to work with. Cocos panels look great and are a renewable source, but I have yet to use them.
A bunch of folks on frognet looked into this a couple years ago and found that there are tree fern products that are eco-friendly. One in particular was a source out of New Zealand where I believe the tree ferns were introduced and cause problems in native forest restoration so they harvest the tree fern understory and sell it as a product while also promoting native forest restoration. The plants themselves are widespread and very fast growers but in the past have been over exploited in some areas. Like so many things, it's best to do a little research to see if the source of tree fern panels are from a sustainable and ethical source.

But on a similar thread. Cork forests in Portugal are in trouble because not enough people are buying cork. The cork bark is harvested from the oaks without harming the trees but the wine industry has moved toward synthetic corks which has taken away a large part of the cork market and therefore the economic incentive for maintaining the forests.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is corkbark more expensive than tree fern. Right now Iam leaning toward corkbark. But I wanted my pothos to be able to climb up the wall. Do anybody know where Blackjungle get there tree fern from.
 

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Pothos easily attaches its roots into corkboard. I have corkboard (small pieces glued together, often used for push-pin boards) in a few gecko tanks, lining the walls, and the pothos is very firmaly attached. It takes quite an effort to extract it.

Moss and fern also easily grow on the unadulterated cork tubes and flats.

Like Brent said, this is a renewable resource and some of these trees are being cleared out to make room for olive orchards. In Portugal, this means less habitat and much more disturbance for the highly endangered Iberian lynx.
 

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Depending on what you plan on doing with the back wall, it may end up being 100% covered by creeping fig, moss, etc., so ease of use and durability may be a good consideration over initial aesthetic appeal. Like Brent mentioned cork bark preservers a very unique ecosystem. The cork tree is an oak, I believe, that has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years. Even the World Wildlife Foundation recommends buying natural cork. I don't think it is that hard to work with and you can find places that press it and mount it on something else to flatten it. I agree about checking your tree fern source. The only other thing I would caution about cork board versus cork bark (or any off-the-shelf solution) is there is no telling what sort of adhesive is holding that stuff together. You are going to introduce this material into an area where it is subject to degradation by water, microbial attack, and depending on your setup UV light. Every single one of those things is in the top 5 list of things that degrade polymers. So, if you are going to use corkboard, I recommend you contact the manufacturer and find out what adhesive is used in the process. Many particle boards are put together with formaldehyde based resins which from what I understand are not something I would want in your mini-ecosystem.

Best,

Marcos
 
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