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African Violet For African House Snake

Discussion in 'Tropical Plants' started by Karma Momma, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Karma Momma

    Karma Momma Active Member

    I researched and would like to verify with the experienced.

    I would like to have a live plant for Nushi's tank. She is an active girl and I think she'd enjoy the extra cover. My mother has offered to "root" an African violet for me with tap water only-no African violet fertilizer.

    The substrate is coconut fiber and it's reasonably deep (her enclosure is my avatar).

    Is there anything I should be aware of? Are the plants safe for herps like my research indicated? How big should I let it grow before I put it in her tank?
     
  2. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    Two concerns come to mind, both for the plant. African violets do well near a window for light, never tried growing them under artificial lights. They aren't a particularly tough plant, and it wouldn't take much for an active snake to break off a number of leaves, regardless of the size of the plant. Golden pothos would stand a better chance all around, very low light requirements and a bit stronger in general. Have you looked into a bioactive setup?
     
    Karma Momma likes this.
  3. Karma Momma

    Karma Momma Active Member

    I'm still new to keeping snakes so I'm not familiar with a bioactive setup. Would you mind explaining it to me? I'll look into Golden pothos. Are they available at pet stores, Home Depot?
     
  4. Karma Momma

    Karma Momma Active Member

    Also, the 10g in my avatar will be upgraded to a 20g (already have) when Nushi gets some more size on her so she won't be stuck in a 10g her entire life. I do like to make sure my girls have plenty of room.
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    African violets are frequently grown under artificial lights. But as stated they are very tender and a snake crawling around on them will destroy them pretty quickly.
     
  6. Karma Momma

    Karma Momma Active Member

    If it helps, there is a bunch of natural light in my family room, which is where Nushi is. That's not going to save the plant with it being delicate, though. I was hoping with Nushi being slender bodied, she wouldn't be able to do as much damage to the plant. Glad I checked.

    I did look at Golden Pothos, but I thought they were Phylodendron, which are poisonous, if my research is correct. Glad to see I was wrong about that. This is why I am so glad this forum exists.
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Pothos is commonly used in tanks. Even enclosures with an occupant who might take a bite out of it.
    If it gets broken just stick the piece in the ground and it will root. The darned things are about bullet proof.
    You might also look into ficus trees (weeping fig). They are tough woody and easily take trimming down to a miniature tree. They are commonly used for indoor bonsai.
     
  8. Karma Momma

    Karma Momma Active Member

    I LOVE the idea of her having her own bonsai. After looking through the forum, I'm also contemplating sphagnum moss in addition to the pothos and now weeping fig.

    Not to go off topic, but do you think a weeping fig would be strong enough to handle a ball python?
     
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Maybe a small one but not an adult. They are too heavy.
     
  10. Karma Momma

    Karma Momma Active Member

    She's already pushing 30" and she's just at 6 months old. Thank you :). Figured I'd check. lol
     
  11. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    Bioactive setups generally contain soil and a few types of "bugs" like springtails to clean up reptile poop and urates. Instead of cleaning and changing out the substrate regularly the waste is actually eaten by the other critters in the setup. I've never tried it myself, but they're becoming increasingly popular, particularly with folks who only keep one or a few animals.

    Golden pothos, aka devil's ivy, is a common houseplant, similar to a philodendron. Very slow-growing, typically available anywhere live houseplants are sold. I picked up several small ones at Wal-Mart last year for around $3/each. The reason it's called devil's ivy is because it's so hard to kill, lol.

    What are you thinking of doing with sphagnum moss? It's useful for making a moist hide if a snake need higher humidity, also sometimes helpful for shedding if they don't like to soak in a water bowl. It's not the best choice for bedding in general unless you're keeping a scarlet kingsnake though. If you want something to maintain higher humidity in the enclosure cypress mulch is a much better option, and considerably less expensive than moss.
     
  12. Karma Momma

    Karma Momma Active Member

    I'm going to look more closely at the bioactive setups for sure. Things have really changed since the first time I kept herps (back in the late 80's).

    I think Golden pothos would look good in the tank. One of my concerns is making sure I get golden pothos and not philodendron. Any pointers on what specifically to look for so my girls don't become a victim of plant misidentification?

    I still need to do more research on the moss, but if I could make it a ground cover in the tank, I think it would look really good. If not, maybe just toss some into their hides for their comfort. It's still a preliminary thought and more research is necessary on my part.
     
  13. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    Just google golden pothos for pics, and you'll almost certainly recognize it. Philodendrons don't have yellow variegated leaves.
    Sphagnum moss is a bog plant, I've never seen live available, just dried and bagged. If you wanted live you'd likely have to collect some yourself, and since it basically grows in water really isn't suitable for most reptile setups in general. Dried moss will soak up and retain quite a lot of water, which is why it's useful for humid hides. Those are typically a small tupperware type container with a suitable size hole cut in the lid to allow the snake to get in and out when it wants to.
     
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  14. Karma Momma

    Karma Momma Active Member

    Fantastic! Thank you!

    Are there any other ground cover plants I could consider? She'll be upgrading to a 29 when she's a bit bigger.
     
  15. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    Regular moss might work for a while, depending on how damp the soil is. The problem with most plants is that if they're tough enough to stand up to the critter/s they're usually too tall for the enclosure.
     
  16. Karma Momma

    Karma Momma Active Member

    I bought some moss at Repticon Saturday, but it's already drying out, even though the humidity in both the African House and Rat Snake tanks are on target.

    I should try some in the Ball Python tank, but I know Karma-she'll dig under it. You know how they are. lol
     

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