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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi,

i'm new here, and still reading up and trying to get an idea for how to set up and care for a terrarium... i have a 35 Gal vertical hex, and really like the look of this simulated rock background:

http://greenstouch.com/articles_background.htm

...i also like the great stuff/coco bedding setups as well, but personally i find the 'simulated rock' more pleasing. i'm thinking running a drip waterfall down this rock would look pretty cool, along with some draping plants.

what i'd like to know is why people put the coco bedding over the great stuff background... does it serve a purpose other than for looks? for instance, is it necessary for certain plants to grow on walls? or do you need the driftwood for that to happen..

and finally, if i go with the foam/marine epoxy method to make simulated rocks for the backdrop, can moss grow directly on this surface? can anything?

thanks in advance... this forum is remarkably useful...

btw.. if any of you has a chance to see the frog exhibit at the NY Museum of Natural History... go see it! it's remarkable...

-sam
 

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Sam,

Depending on what you are planting in the terrarium - having a substrate for the plants to root in - be it coco bedding, sphagnum, etc. is very helpful. Obviously there are plants that grow well in more marginal settings and coco/sphagnum aren't the most growth promoting substrates.
The latter aspect can be compensated by your fauna in the terrarium to a degree but you will have to keep an eye on how well the plants are doing and adjust conditions as needed.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Elmo
 

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That backround wouldnt offer too many nutrients for anything to survive on it. Unless you fertilized it somehow, be it by crushing dead plant matter around the roots of the plants on the background, i dont htink anything would survive. Yet again plants almost never cease to amaze me with the conditions they can grow.

Ryan
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the tips..

what i'm confused about it this... when people use the great stuff and add coc bedding to it, it's a *really* thin layer of substrate right? almost seems like it's more decorative than anything. so does this marginal amount of coco bedding actually serve as nutrients?

i guess i could put some coc bedding in certain areas on the foam 'rocks' to serve as 'dirt patches' if they actually provide sustenance.

the other advantage i can see to great stuff is that you can embed driftwood, but does that actually provide sustenance as well? i thought it was just something for plants to latch onto...

thanks.

sam
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not sure how nutritive the coco bedding is, I think the texture of it just gives the roots something more to hold on.
 

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Sam,

One virtue of coco-bedding is that it breaks down very slowly unlike some other materials. It's pretty sterile stuff overall with low nutrient value. Obviously that slow break down rate diminishes any nutrients that might be released during decay and as a result, you will either need to use a frog safe fertilizer supplement (try Black Jungle) or let the fauna in the terrarium help you out with fertilizing. Perhaps both depending on conditions in the terrarium. Good luck.

Elmo
 
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