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Thread: Accessory plants for Highlands vivarium

  1. #1
    Wants a Hamata Soopaman's Avatar
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    Accessory plants for Highlands vivarium

    I am currently building a highland nepenthes vivarium, and I don't know much about plants other than CPs. I have ordered a few things that will go into the vivarium, but I don't know what else would be good to fill it up with.

    Can anyone offer suggestions? I have been looking at Sword's stuff and will be setting up something like his using the living clay background.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    Can you put up a growlist or the list of things you'll plan on putting in? Ferns are always nice...and mosses My favorite small plant is watermelon pepperomia - it's sooo cute (but takes it a little shadier like under a big nep or something) ! --> http://www.google.com/images?oe=utf-...w=1087&bih=624

    Or how about some 'dews that take it a little cooler for extra CPs other than neps? Like the queensland ones - like RL7836 has in his hamata cages? http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...=118020&page=2

    ---------- Post added at 12:44 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:28 AM ----------

    Oh, or some mini bromeliads! they're always super pretty and come in all sorts of spots and colors: http://bromeliadsmycollection.blogspot.com/

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    swords's Avatar
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    Hey glad you're gonna give it a try! It sure rocks over the spray foam, silicone and peat method - that just doesn't stay moist enough to grow mosses and other plants if you don't have an automatic mister. Make sure the background goes down through the substrate so that when you water the soil it will wick from the substrate and stay evenly moist. You will need to mist the moss clumps and plants mounted on it every day to get them growing & spreading quickly but it's a good reason to study your tank every day and see how it changes, just keep a mister of R/O handy. If you have one of those 1 or 2 gallon pump-action garden sprayers that can adjust from a stream to a mist those are the best, you can fine tune the output to simulate a nice soaking rain.

    If the weather wasn't so foul here I could send you some assorted cuttings of terrarium plants to try for the price of priority mail postage. We could still do it, just no guarantees cos it's only about 0-20*F here - I normally don't ship outside of April - Oct cos of unpredictable MN weather. PM me if you're interested to try anyway.

    Good specimen plants would be some orchids in the Pleurothallid Alliance orchids (most of whom like cooler conditions have amazing flowers and stay relative small to micro). Have a look at orchid sellers, most dedicated orchid vendors will state warm, intermediate and cool growing and their adult size. If no cultivation suggestions they will often list the orchids natural elevation, and using the same scale as for Nepenthes, it's generally safe to assume most coming from about 1000m+ are HL orchids. D. adelae made it's way into my old HL tank in some live moss I got from someone and it grew like gangbusters throughout my N. hamata pot it even bloomed a number of times. Cephalotus, Heliamphoras and some of the slipper orchids could be good too as long as you make some special planting areas for them in the layout with more depth and drainage than just LFS and bark. Growing the drainage lovers semi-hydroponically in pockets of Hydroton & aquatic plant soil (fired clay bits) would be good cos the clay would suck up the moisture from the surrounding substrate and keep their roots evenly moist but not as wet. Once the moss lawn grows over the substrate surface you wouldn't see that there was different media mixes under there.

    Good luck! I'd like to get a new HL shelf underway again someday myself!

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    Wants a Hamata Soopaman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick replies!

    My current list of CPs for the tank are as follows
    N. spectalabis x ventricosa
    N. lowii
    N. truncata
    N. densiflora
    N. fusca

    D. adelae
    D. dielisiana

    P. Moctezumae

    I want to throw in hamata and villosa, but of course I can't find them anywhere right now, so I'm going to save a couple of spots in case one day I can get my hands on one (or even edwardsinia!)


    I have also ordered Humata tyermanii "White Rabbits Foot" (fern), Ludisia discolor var. alba (Jewel orchid), and Episcia as accessory plants so far.

    Swords, anytime soon you'll have above freezing temps? I wouldn't want to risk you sending off cuttings and they end up being wasted.

    I'll have to look at the bromeliads and orchids though, there's a lot of really neat ones. I also want to put in a nice epiphytic tillandsia, I really like those.

    What sort of mosses are good, besides of course live sphagnum?

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    swords's Avatar
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    I post plants/plant packs for postage periodically in the trade forum so just send me a PM in March/April when our temps are less extreme. I usually have things I can trim and package up every month or two. If I don't things can get out of hand and too over grown.

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    Wants a Hamata Soopaman's Avatar
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    Sounds good, swords.

    By the way, I am wanting to set up a waterfall/waterflow in the vivarium, and it would be running along a ridge set up in the "living clay" background.

    Do you think there will be any issues with this causing erosion of the media over time? If so what precautions do you think I can take, or other routes to have the water circulation.

    Part of the reason for the water circulation is humidity, and I plan to do nighttime cooling through the water. By circulating it I would be able to achieve 50-60F night time temps easier.

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