Exo-Terra Nano Vivarium?
I recently purchased a nano Exo-terra terrarium, the 8x8x12 one. I know this is too small for most animals, but I want to use it as an experiment to see if I can create a paludarium/vivarium for just plants and, if anyone knows of an animal that can fit comfortably, possibly a reptile or amphibian. I have read a lot about setting one of these up, many places suggest a false bottom? Does anyone have any experience with making false bottoms? Also, what kind of plants would work well? If I cannot keep animals, I was hoping to keep a carnivorous plant, probably the venus fly trap, along with other higher humidity plants I cannot just plant outside or in pots around my house.
you maybe be able to do a fire belly toad or a a salamander of some sort. The problem with the toads is the toxins they secret posion the water bowl in the tank for other animals. I'm not sure if they present the same problem to plants but I believe I have seen them in vivarium so probably not. Is there a possible ecosystem you would like to theme the vivarium after like the amazon maybe?
Carnivorous plants are fun!
Just be sure to use a 1:1 peat and perlite mix, as they will die in soil. Just something to think about if you haven't set it up yet. Also they need to be watered with distilled water.
@hotshotdevil, I will look into fire bellied toads. I have looked at the tanks and it just seems really small for anything that needs to move around. Are there any special requirements needed to keep these toads?
@Olympia, do you have experience with carnivorous plants? I want to keep a varied group of higher humidity plants, some of which will use soil. I thought of potting the carnivorous plants with the peat and pearlite mix, and using organic potting soil for the rest but I am wondering if the roots will eventually extend beyond the pots and get the plant killed. As for distilled water, I have a reverse osmosis system for drinking water in the house, that should be ok as well right?
As I said in my thread you will need a false bottom if you want to keep it as trouble free as you can.
R/O water is more than fine, I use tap in mine with no problems. I know people tend to get paranoid about every little detail but from my own experience I can say most problems people bring up are only in their heads. Plants that you can use in a high humidity viv would be bromeliads and orchids BUT keep in mind that both do not like to be planted. They are epiphyte plants and they only use the roots to hang on to branches and trees. They get the water from the humidity in the air.
You could plant them if you really want to but I(and a lot more others) advice against it. Just put them in mesh pots https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=mesh+pots&oq=mesh+pots&aq=f&aqi=g2g-s1g1&aql=&gs_l=hp.3..0l2j0i10j0.82641.83741.3.8383 126.96.36.199.0.0.0.251.1744.0j2j6.8.0...0.0.qVdBWjThlZw &pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp= 61fe8c406b329c8c&biw=1600&bih=765
with no dirt/soil.
Also if you are using an exo terra you will have to remove the mesh on the top and put plexiglass or glass in it's place or you will lose a ton of humidity(I have a few of them...)
If you need more help with the false bottom let me know.
Oh... If you can keep the humidity close to 90% you can also keep anubias in the viv.
Also make sure you have good light! If you want your plants to live and grow you will need the same light as for a high tech aquarium. Full spectrum light and lots of it. I like the osram 865 tubes(neons), plants do GREAT with them.
Aaahh... as for substrate use coco fiber, like the exo terra plantation soil. Regular soil will always be drenched and that is bad news. No ferts needed either even if you decide on carnivorous plants. Mine do perfect and all they get is light and water and they live ofcourse in coco fiber "soil".
You could "help" them(the carnivorous plants) with a few fruit flies every now and then, they are easy to culture, let me know if you want tips on that to.
Here is all the info on fire bellied toads you could ask for
Oriental Fire Bellied Toads as Pets - Care
I do plan to get cut glass for the top. For the false bottom, I plan to get egg crate, but I might try and just set it up with mesh since the measurments are only 8x8 for the bottom and it seems egg crate is sold at much much larger dimensions. Still gotta check the hardware store for that. I do not think I will be able to set up a PVC support thing underneath due to the height of the tank, if I set up the bottom, it might be too high? I still need to check out the store to find out the details. Do you know how I can create a slope so it looks like a natural incline from the water to the land?
I was hoping to set it up with 1/3 water, and 2/3 land. I wanted to plant some of my bog plants like the amazon sword, an anubias and dwarf hairgrass in the water area to kinda get a bog-like look. The other side i wanted a venus fly trap and/or a sundew plant with some kind of moss, for ground cover. I was hoping to find some naturally red plant, but not flowering to add a bit of contrast? Do you know of any that would stay relatively small? Also, I want to keep wood in the tank but im a bit worried about mold or fungus on the wood since the humidity is going to be really high. I have 2 pieces of thick manzanita branches I want to use.
I am getting custom cut glass for the lid, i heard that they are only supposed to be a couple of bucks.
As for light, it will be under a dual t5-HO system with a 6500k bulb and a rosette bulb so I think that should be more than enough for a small viv?
For substrate, the very bottom, I plan to use ultra fine gravel with root tabs for the plants.
@hotshotdevil32, Thanks for the link. It corresponds exactly with what I've been finding and it seems that the toads would feel most at east in a larger ecosystem with tankmates so even if I have enough space for one, it will not be as healthy as it should be so i think I am going to pass on them this time. However, if this vivarium is successful, I will definitely be making more in the future and will want these toads. They sound very interesting.
Seems like you got it planed pretty good.
For the slope just use the substrate, coco fibers hold pretty nice and will not slide if the angle of the slope is not very big.
No red plants that I can think of right now... Will keep thinking for one.
The wood might get mold for a while but it's not really a problem, 9 out of 10 times the mold just goes away in time.
Will it be ok with the coco-fibers dipping into the water? Or should I make a buffer of gravel?
For the false bottom, if I just rest the egg crate on top of the gravel, will that be alright or will there not be enough space for free standing water to keep my humidity up?
I am likely to forget about misting daily, maybe will end up misting like once every 2 days so I want to humidity to be high naturally.
The coco should not touch the water and the sand should not be under the false bottom. The fake bottom should be the first thing you put inside and after mesh>sand>coco.
You dont need standing water to keep high humidity, you just need to keep the humidity inside(that's why I said you need to remove the mesh on the top and put glass or plexi).
Some of my vivs I only spray once/week and the humidity is still over 80%.
And make sure that the water NEVER gets high nuff to touch the coco substrate. Coco fibers tend to keep a ton of water anyway, last thing you want is more water for it to absorb.
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