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Thread: How to grow a CP terrarium without drainage?

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    How to grow a CP terrarium without drainage?

    I've always wondered this. How does one start a terrarium without drainage? Don't CP's hate root rot? Wouldn't a terrarium induce a lack of proper drainage and root aeration?

    I'm hoping that some experienced CP keepers would be able to clue me in on this. I currently have a setup where the pot is in a larger container (a container in a container for drainage), and I would like to upgrade my setup to a terrarium.

    Thanks!

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    Agent of Chaos Wolfn's Avatar
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    Well, most CPs grow in swamps and marshes so most are accustomed to water-logged soils.

    However, I know you are eying Cephalotus and others, and the greatest enemy of Cephalotus is root-rot .

    The following plants do not like waterlogged conditions:
    Cephalotus
    Byblis
    Venus Fly Traps
    Mexican butterworts
    Nepenthes
    Some species of sundews
    Bromeliads
    "I may be on the side of angels, but do not mistake me for one."

    Wolfn's Growlist

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    So how would one grow Cephalotus in a terrarium?

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    Agent of Chaos Wolfn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Listserv.org View Post
    So how would one grow Cephalotus in a terrarium?
    two options:
    1) don't
    2) extremely careful watering


    Also, Cephalotus have extremely long root systems, so you'll need about 5-10 inches deep of soil, maybe deeper
    "I may be on the side of angels, but do not mistake me for one."

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    What I do is put 2" of Hydroton clay balls (hydroponic medium) on the bottom of an undrained aquarium before laying down a sheet of nylon screen mesh and then either a forest soil mix (peat, bark and crushed oak leaves) or long fibered sphagnum moss. The excess water runs down into the clay balls and through capilary action the clay balls wick moisture back up to the soil layer slowly. I always build in a way to siphon off excess water incase I over water. My fail safe is simply using a rock large enough that it goes from the soils surface down to the mesh over the clay balls. Whenever I need to siphon off extra water I pull out the rock, stick my turkey baster down in the clay balls and suck up water with it until the excess water is down to the 1" depth I like it to be. This seems to keep the soil from fouling or staying too wet.

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    Hi Swords, this is absolutely brilliant. Do you have a pic of your setup? Do you have a set of detailed instructions I'd be able to follow, or was this strictly your own invention? Thanks!

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    swords's Avatar
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    I guess at the moment I don't have a picture of the removable rock after the tanks have been filled (have to wait til the lights come on later today) but here's two shots of the first steps.

    Hydroton Hydroponic clay media (get at hydroponics shops and some orchid greenhouses) Put this on the bottom. You can use landscape rock to get the same drainage but it won't wick the water up like Hydroton does and will be very heavy, Hydroton is very lightweight and I can carry a fully planted 10 and 20 gallon tank around without too much trouble. With a rock bottom moving a filled tank would be almost impossible.




    Nylon mosquito screen from Home Depot over the Hydroton:


    Next add your soil ontop of this and landscape how you want and place a rock in a low spot near the front, lift the rock out and slit the mesh in a 1" "X" shape so you can easily access it with a turkey baster and you're all set. (I'll get a pic of that later today for you and put it below)

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    I agree with swords for a way of building a terrarium without a drain. What I use to do was to put down a layer of the Hydro balls, a layer of either window screen or weed block fabric and in one corner I would put a slurpee straw or small diameter pvc pipe and that way I could put a piece of aquarium airline tubing into the pipe and siphon out the waste water. If you use a long enough piece of tubing for your siphon you can have the terrarium up on shelf at face level and drain the waste water into a bucket.

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