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Thread: New Terrarium Questions

  1. #1

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    New Terrarium Questions

    I want to begin by saying hi to everyone. What a great forum.

    I have a couple of questions.

    I have always loved plants and always had a fascination with venus fly traps. I was looking for one forever... I finally found one at wal-mart. Most of them were dead, but this one was half decent. So I bought it. When I got home I began searching the internet trying to find out how to take care of them. I started reading about terrariums and thought it would be really neat to get a small aquarium and start my own.

    I started reading about all the different ways of creating one. I went to the local pet store and bought a 10 gallon aquarium with a light and cut me a piece of plexy glass to put on top. Once I did this I read to put rocks or terra-lite at the bottom. I put rocks to begin with for my current venus fly traps so they wouldnt die. I put about 1 inch of rocks and about 3 inches of dirt. The dirt is peat moss and perlite. I ordered a hygrometer and a thermometer along with some terra-lite and a package of 4 different plants. Once I got them in I changed the rocks out with the terra-lite and only put about 1 inch of dirt. Also in between the dirt and the terra-lite I have a screen I cutout to fit inside the aquarium.

    From reading each plant requires its own types of dirt. I have 3 venus fly traps, a pitcher plant and a sundew. I have them all in there right now.

    My questions are..

    With the light on about 16 hours a day I see 90+% humidity and it stays at about 76 degrees. Is this okay for these plants?

    The walls of the tank stay covered with a film of water from the moisture, should it be sealed completely or should it have a place to breathe?

    Most of the sites I see telling you how to build one say the light should be 5-7 inches from the plants, should I build the dirt up so they are 5-7 inches from the light? Right now they are about 10 inches from the light, maybe more.

    I just really want a small one for now to learn and make sure I dont kill the plants. I do eventually want a 100 gallon+ tank with alot more things in it, but I guess you have to start small.

    Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dzongos View Post
    I want to begin by saying hi to everyone. What a great forum.
    Welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by dzongos View Post
    I started reading about terrariums and thought it would be really neat to get a small aquarium and start my own.
    I mainly grow tropicals since I can't grow outside, but I do have a couple temperate CP's just for fun. Terrarium's are not necessary. The vft's I grow on my shelf under lights color up nicely and do just fine; the sarrs on the other hand aren't that great looking but the purp's look alright. Some people like the way they look, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by dzongos View Post
    Once I did this I read to put rocks or terra-lite at the bottom. I put rocks to begin with for my current venus fly traps so they wouldnt die. I put about 1 inch of rocks and about 3 inches of dirt. The dirt is peat moss and perlite.
    I'd stick with the peat and perlite. Most CP's will do fine in a mix like this, especially the ones you listed.

    Quote Originally Posted by dzongos View Post
    From reading each plant requires its own types of dirt.
    Some people just put the plants in pots in the terrarium and not make a "landscape" which could solve this problem; but, not much of a problem as mentioned above.

    Quote Originally Posted by dzongos View Post
    The walls of the tank stay covered with a film of water from the moisture, should it be sealed completely or should it have a place to breathe?
    You should keep it open some to allow air movement. Humidity is overrated. You could have it dropped down to 50% or below and be fine.

    Do you know what kind of each species you got? That would help us give more specific information about each plant.

    Quote Originally Posted by dzongos View Post
    I just really want a small one for now to learn and make sure I dont kill the plants. I do eventually want a 100 gallon+ tank with alot more things in it, but I guess you have to start small.
    Don't worry; you'll be addicted in no time and your collection will grow very, very quickly! Again, welcome! You've come to the right place!

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Thanks for the quick reply...

    I have a venus fly trap from walmart...
    Then I got another one from somewhere, I am not sure exactly which it is..
    The one I got from somewhere looks almost like the ones I got from walmart but of course its alot prettier and healthier

    When I ordered from the place I got 4 plants.

    I am going to look them up now.

    Here they are:

    1. Venus Fly Trap
    2. Forked Sundew (Drosera Binara)
    3. Scarlet Belle Sarracenia (Pitcher Plant)
    4. Spathulata Drosera

    I really want to get a big aquarium and do alot of landscaping in it. I really enjoy stuff like this.

    I was thinking about getting a lizard or a frog to put into this small one.
    Maybe a tree frog or a gecko. Not sure yet. Right now I just want to make sure my plants dont die.
    Last edited by xvart; 09-22-2007 at 09:27 PM. Reason: outside vendor listed

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    Vater Araignee's Avatar
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    Hi dzongos,
    I know that the landscaping itself can be addictive, but personally I would go with a much deeper media depth.
    I have seen VFt roots extend 5 inches from a 2 inch rhizome giving roughly 7 inches of depth if you discount the fact that they don't exactly tap straight down.
    D. binata and its subspecies like to send their roots deep and so do Sarrs. My dichotoma at last transplant had 11 inch roots and I didn't bother to measure Gorge (S. purpurea ssp purpurea) because I would of had to dig out a tape measure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vater Araigne View Post
    Hi dzongos,
    I know that the landscaping itself can be addictive, but personally I would go with a much deeper media depth.
    I have seen VFt roots extend 5 inches from a 2 inch rhizome giving roughly 7 inches of depth if you discount the fact that they don't exactly tap straight down.
    D. binata and its subspecies like to send their roots deep and so do Sarrs. My dichotoma at last transplant had 11 inch roots and I didn't bother to measure Gorge (S. purpurea ssp purpurea) because I would of had to dig out a tape measure.
    Thanks for the reply.

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    I have another question. I just charged my drill up and got some drill bits out of the shed. I need to know how many holes and how big of holes I should drill in the plexy glass on top of the terrarium. I have a 10 gallon aquarium and a piece of plexy glass on top that is sealed all the way around. I dont have a fan at the moment to put on top but I do plan on getting one. Thanks in advance.

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