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Thread: flytraps in an aquarium???

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    hi- i wanted to grow flytraps in a 10 gallon aquarium. terrarium would be more like it. i would artificially light it. would this work??? do i leave the top open??? also how would i do the substrate??? how deep, etc., put a tray in before??? any help would be greatly appreciated??? also, how many traps could i grow in there if it will work. thanks in advance. pete

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Well first off..... WELCOME TO THE FORUMS!!!!!!

    Anyhow welcome to the world of Carnivorous Plants.

    Soo you want to grow the famous Venus Flytrap. Well I'll start you off for your terrarium setup technique.

    #1. A 10 gallon terrarium is a great size for VFT's. You could probably fit 6-8 VFT's in there altogether.

    #2. Artifical light is great as long as it is bright enough. ( I'll let the other people explain this that are better than me in VFT's.)

    #3. You probably should leave the top open as VFT's like a good circulation of air. This movement will also discourage mold and will save you another potential problem.

    #4. Soil- Sphagnum Peat Moss and Perlite or sand. Ratio I use is 2 parts peat 1 part perlite or sand. Remeber!!!! Use Children's Play sand or Silica sand Or anyother WELL WASHED SAND.

    #5. How deep- I would say about 5 1/2 to 6 inches of it. This soil amount will also raise your plants higher to the light resulting in more colroful and healthy plants.

    #6. No don't use a tray.

    And finally remember.
    1. Water with distilled water or R.O. water only.
    2. Respect the VFT's domancy. I'll let other's explain this.
    3. don't over feed it.
    4. DOn't tease the traps as it will weaken the plant.
    5. The most important rule of VFT growing..........

    HAVE ALOT OF FUN!!!!!!!

    Hope this helps ya out. I hope to talk again!!! Later. Nep.G.

    (Edited by nepenthes gracilis at 7:45 pm on Dec. 22, 2001)

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    Hi bernfrye, and welcome to the forum! Venus Flytraps are fairly easy plants to grow but you have to do it their way or they will die. If you do it their way they will make a good try to out live you! I am assuming that you are fairly new to the cultivation of carnivorous plants so your first step should be to get a copy of "The Savage Garden" by Peter D'Amato and study the section on "The basics of Cultivation" and the chapter on "The Venus Flytrap", if you cannot afford to buy it then check with your local library, if they do not have it see if they can get it for you from another library, then read the entrys in this forum on flytrap care information and tips, including those on dormancy, then you will REALLY be ready to give your wonderfull little plants a good home, they are truly fascinating and beutiful little plants. So go get the information to keep them healthy and you will not have the heart ache of seeing your first efforts in this hobby turn black and die as so meny of us have.
    Peter's book also has a section on growing plants in terrariums that should answer a lot of your questions.

    P.S. Compact florescents work well for lighting small areas.

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    thank you. i was thinking of going with a double strip light with a 18" flora sun bulb (heavy on red and blue regions) and an 18" ultra sun bulb (full spectrum). is this too much or not enough??? also, should i use live sphagnum peat or is the dry stuff ok?? how do you initially wet the dry sphagnum peat??? usually the stuff straight out of the bag is so tough to wet, the water just rolls off like a ducks back!!! thanks again for the help!!!

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Live Spahgnum Peat Moss?? Hmm.... Never heard of that. To wet it you can keep your hands clean and put it in a Zip-loc baggie with some water and mush it around until it is muddy like in apprance. Or you can be the true gardener and plop some in a bowl with water and go mud wild! Musshin and Squasshinn it around until..... Sorry I had a child hood memory flashback. Uhh... back to reality. Yes the ultra sun bulb sounds great just make sure it doesn't burn your plants. You wil beable to tell this is happening if they look like someone took a match and put it on their leaves.

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    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome to the boards Bernfrye! I don't have much to add except to say you don't HAVE to grow VFTs in a terrarium/tank. If you just like the look, that's fine. But they don't have the humidity requirements some CPs do. Mine never did well in a terrarium set up but many people grow them that way quite successfully. They do need the soil to be wet at all times. If they are in a pot, you can set the pot in a saucer with about 1/2 inch of water (distilled) at all times which will keep the soil moist.

    And there is a difference between sphagnum MOSS and sphagnum PEAT moss. Peat is more like soil (and very dead!) where the moss is...just moss. :-) There is live sphagnum moss and dried sphagnum moss. The stuff that comes in a bag is dried. Both the peat and the moss are a little hard to wet. The moss you can put in a plastic bag with distilled water and leave it for several hours and it will gradually soak up the water like a sponge. Peat can be wetted just like Neg G said...add some water to it and just stir it (or squish it) around and it will turn into a wet mush.

    You will enjoy your flytraps and will probably end up wanting to try other carnivorous plants. I say...try a sundew! :biggrin:

    Suzanne

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    I was going to say if LIVE Sphagnum Peat Moss where out there I have never heard or seen it. Anyways Live or dried Sphgnum Moss is very easy to wet. I just put it in a bowl and submerege it for a few seconds and it is pefect after that! If you are going to go with a Sundew (Drosera) go with D.Adelae or D.Spathulata. They are tropical and spread lie crazy. Espically the D.Adelae. It is a very fast root spreader. D. Spathulata Is a very nice rossetted tropical sundew. I own one and it is very easy to propagate.

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    thank you all for the input. if i decide to grow the fly traps in pots how much light should i give them. i have southeast exposure, south west and north west. can they take full sun??? it sounds like i should save the aquarium for sundews, etc. (no problem i like them also.)
    p.s. my exposures are casement windows, i have a lot of casement windows!!!

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