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Thread: Total newcomer to the hobby

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    Total newcomer to the hobby

    Hello there. This forum appears to be a great resource. I am COMPLETELY new to this hobby with zero experience with bog plants and carnivorous plants of any kind. I am, however, an avid hobbyist in the aquarium world for many years and seasoned forum user.

    Wanted to drop by and say hello before I start posting. I reside about 3 hours from the gulf coast in Texas, right on the border between zone 8 and 9. I am a keeper of both saltwater and freshwater aquaria, specializing in the finer points of stony coral keeping, and plants for the fw tank. My goal has been to keep a colorful sps dominant tank and a dense Dutch style planted tank. Both are works in progress and I'll post my build threads on here later. I didn't expect to see sections on here for those hobbies so that is a pleasant surprise

    I became fascinated with this hobby by observing the massive pitcher plants on display at the moody gardens rainforest exhibit in Galveston Texas. They are so different and really stood out, appealing to my oddball hobbyist nature. After a little reading here and there I saw that they typically can only be acquired by mail order for me.

    I'm a busy dad of a new baby and work a lot of hours so I haven't jumped on building up a wish list of gear and plants, just looked up pictures mostly, but stumbled across a tiny Sarracenia purpurea at the hardware store down the road and figured why not. Did a quick google search of required substrate and picked up some LFS and horticulture sand and now it sits on my front porch.

    After finding this site I've been introduced to an overwhelming amount of amazing looking CP that really remind me of the FW plant choices and coral varieties I like to keep in my tanks. The similarities are so strong I'm immediately bit by the bug and want to start collecting.

    I'm at a crossroads and researching, debating whether to only focus on zone 9 species that can tolerate being outdoors, and build a large tray based bog garden, or build a terrarium (or shelf) bog garden in my garage for more temperature sensitive genus. I'll probably end up doing both. I've spent so much on aquarium lighting, I like the idea of actually just using sunlight if I can. Anyhow. Good to meet you all and look forward to learning.

    Lastly. Anyone have any good thread recommendations of some essential gear or supplies I should consider stocking up on or some of the better online vendors if it can't be purchased locally at the co-op or hardware store? Unfortunately after browsing the sticky threads I haven't found a lot of basic terrarium or bog setup advice for newbies. Just a ton of beautiful pictures


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  2. #2
    katya_dog1's Avatar
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    Welcome welcome. While I can't direct you to any of the CP stores online because of the rules here, rest assured that they are many. Just look up Carnivorous Plant stores, and you can find them specializing in Nepenthes, Venus Flytraps, Sarracenia, Drosera... Just about any genus of Carnivorous plant is attainable online. There is FlyTrapShop, the store run by the Admin of this forum, so you can go check that out first.

    Essential gear and supplies... Hmm. I'd say about the only "essential" gear and supplies would be media (Long Fibred Sphagnum, Peat moss, silica sand, perlite) and pots. A Reverse Osmosis system will make your life a lot easier, and I assume you have one considering you keep saltwater aquariums.

    So, water, media, pots, and light. That's it, basically, for the temperate Drosera, Sarracenia, and Venus Flytraps. If you go into tropical such as Nepenthes, then depending on what type of Nepenthes you get, you could add a fully outfitted greenhouse.

    The fun about this hobby is that you can spend a lot of money, or you can spend practically nothing on supplies, and you'll still be able to keep hundreds of plants in your space. Enjoy!
    Sarracenia Addicted... Lover of all toothed Nepenthes.
    The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. ~ The Second Amendment

    Keep it that way.

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    Eric's Avatar
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    Welcome to the addiction

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Welcome to TF!

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    charlie's Avatar
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    Beware, once you collect a couple, you can't stop!

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Welcome to TF. If you're talking about growing Sarracenia, Sundews, Venus Fly Traps and such, forget the zone 9 worries. I grow all those outdoors year round in 7a, and until last year did so in unprotected above ground half barrels. There are several members here who grow them in ground in zone 5. I think that getting them sufficient quantities of suitable water will be the main obstacle in your location.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    SerMuncherIV's Avatar
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    Once you get above zone 7b, most temperate species tend to disregard whatever zone you're growing in (unless you live in the tropics). There shouldn't be an issue in keeping your plants outside in your climate. I grow my plants outside all year round on the border between zones 6b and 6a, and I haven't yet met a problem that pine needles can't fix. Welcome to the forums!

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    Chief Cat Behavior Specialist Knuckles's Avatar
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    from a fellow Texan
    I've lived down in south TX for about a year or so & enjoy visiting galveston & corpus on occasion to see my cousin.
    What types of carnivorous plants interest you & what do you currently grow?
    I also started with saltwater tanks many many years ago after already being involved with CPs & freshwater tanks. Corals were also my main interests & I incorporate what know & use in reefkeeping with how I grow Nepenthes in many aspects. If you plan on going the terrarium route then it shouldn't be too difficult with your salty skills.

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