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Thread: Let's see your planted terrariums!

  1. #1
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Let's see your planted terrariums!

    I would like ideas for a planted terrarium. I finally got lights. 4t 8 bulbs for now then will add 2 more soon. Will hold till I can do the t5's. The tank is a 55 long and would like to do a water feature but just need ideas. I want plants up the back glass and of course neps involved. Few bulbos and other small orchids.

    So that is it in a nut shell. Let's see what you folks have done. Let's get inspired.
    JB
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    31drew31's Avatar
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    Not my tanks, but some of my fav's I have seen on different forums.









    I have saved a few more but will leave it at these.

    Then this last one is a vivarium made by a member on a local frog forum. Its a 150G tank.


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    mass's Avatar
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    Those are like.. retarded good. Wish I had skills like that back when I was into tarantulas.

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    Devon's Avatar
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    I suddenly want this new hobby. Looks expensive though. Those terras are amazing Drew, what forums are they from?

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    31drew31's Avatar
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    Most the money is in the plants. Easily 3 to 4x the cost of materials. 1, 2, 3 and 5 are all on Dendroboard (few others probably too), the 4th one was from a European website.

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    It doesn't cost too much to do planted vivariums, I was really into them a year or two ago here's my shelves from when I had lots of insects and things:







    Just gotta setup the tank for the type of creature you're keeping, some like it wet, some need it a bit drier. The hardest thing when you have more than one is keeping up with pruning and beautification It's easy to let them go to "jungle" mode and once they hit that stage it's hard to get it back under control without tearing them down and starting over.

    If you want plants growing up the back wall and don't have $200 to spend on a Mistking mister setup to keep a spray foam and peat moss background wet (I didn't) just mix up a batch of "mud". Mud is just cheap all natural kitty litter and sphagnum peat moss mixed 50/50 (I use Special Kitty generic brand from wal mart in the 25 pound red bag about $3) . Put the stuff in a bucket with just enough boiled water to saturate it and mix it with a Jiffy cement mixer attachment stuck on your power drill ($8 at home depot) this makes a thick paste like a cake frosting which you push handfuls of it on the back walls and sides on a bigger tank to a depth of 2" or so and then you can smooth/sculpt into a nice naturalistic shape with ledges and planting pockets to hold special soils, etc.

    The mud allows you to place plant cuttings, chunks of moss and other stuff on the back wall just by poking a hole and sticking the cut end in. The plants will root and grow into the background and in a few months cover the back wall. You can also use the mud to secure branches and things to the side walls without using silicone or glues inside the tank, makes tearing down and restarting very easy.

    When setting up, the mud wall reaches the tank bottom, then I add drainage material (I like hydroton) and then add the tank substrate (generally I use peat, shredded cypress mulch, and crushed dry oak leaves about 1/1/1). Having the mud wall going all the way down ensures it wicks water up into itself and stay moist & firm but pliable when necessary without crumbling. If I'm doing a water feature I make the drainage layer under the "dry" land portion as deep as the water feature so the substrate doesn't stay too wet and get gross, moist is good but not sopping wet all the time.

    For watering my vivariums I use a one gallon pump action garden sprayer, this allows you to fully saturate each tank with a gentle rain every day with just a minute or so and allows for lush growth and keeps the mud wall and all the plants moist.

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    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    Awesome terrariums!

    I plan on rescaping my gecko's terrarium soon. I need to wipe out these mealybugs, it's it's out of necessity. I plan on doing the same thing (even the tank size), but with a giant day gecko thrown in the mix.

  8. #8
    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    Super cool! Those are some sweet setups Swords
    -Josh
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