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Plant Issues!

Discussion in 'Tropical Plants' started by dreamcatcer98, Mar 3, 2009.

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  1. dreamcatcer98

    dreamcatcer98 Member

    Hello! I started my vivarium a week ago, and I am having some issues with my plants. I did just pot some of them in pots then buried in the soil.

    I have a fern that I do not know the name of as I purchased 10 of my plants in a lot that I didn't get to choose. The fern is starting to wilt and is not looking good at all.
    Also, a pothos cutting wilted and got brown spots on it, and rock cap moss is starting to look off color.

    My lighting is a T5 dual light, with the following bulbs:
    54watt 6,700 daylight bulb, and a 54 watt 10K bulb. After noticing the wilting in the fern an pothos plants, I raised the bulb about the vivarium by about a foot, thinking they were getting to much light. Is that possible?
    The temp stays around 70-75 degrees, and the humidity is about 65%. My substrate is Shultz aquatic potting soil, that I am trying to cover with java moss and rock cap moss. I put the plants that are having trouble in little jiffy pots with garden soil burried in the Shultz soil.

    Is there anything I can do different?
  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Your lights are probably too bright. Both ferns and pothos are medium light plants. Be sure to give everything extra water until they get settled in.

    What animal are you putting in your new vive?
  3. dreamcatcer98

    dreamcatcer98 Member

    I'm thinking they may have had too much water:(
    I need to redo my stream to keep the water from saturating the substrate all the time.

    Here is a pic of the tank with lighting, is this still too bright for those plants?
    And here are the plants I don't know the names of, including the fern, and one poor thing that shriveled up to almost nothing.
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It sounds like you need a "re-do". With the exception of bog plants not much is going to live in a constantly wet substrate. The roots need air or they will drown and rot.
    You need to line the stream bed with something to contain the water.
  5. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I think you need to overhaul what you have in there for plants. Just go to home depot. In the plant section they have lots to choose from, and many are hardy in damp situations. Pothos should be doing great. Just be sure to rinse well.

    I'm going to suggest changing your light out. Will your fixture hold a standard flourescent tube? Try that. Your light is made for aquatic plants, which means it has to penetrate through water.

    For your substrate, You have lots of tiny little rocks. This is REALLY bad for your toads. Pick up a brick of eco earth from any pet store. It expands in water and one brick should do you fine. The little rocks pose an impaction risk for your toads and will get eaten while chasing down crickets.

    I'm not familiar with your soil type at all.

    Since you have what is considered a "false bottom" what people usually do is do a layer of large rocks, then smaller rocks then soil and live moss. This will keep the plants healthy and the filter doing OK.
  6. dreamcatcer98

    dreamcatcer98 Member

    I do have a plastic liner in there currently and am constructing a rock stream bed to replace the plastic. I'm just waiting for it to be finished.

    I'm hoping once I have it contained the substrate with dry out a bit more. I have currently put the plants in jiffy pots until I can get some clay ones to just plant in the substrate.
  7. dreamcatcer98

    dreamcatcer98 Member

    I'm not sure if I can find other bulbs for this light, and considering I just sunk $130 into the fixture less than a month ago for my aquarium that I tore down, I really am not wanting to purchase something different... I will see if I can find different bulbs for it.

    I purchased my plants off of ebay, and explained to the seller what my substrate and lighting were, so I thought she was sending me compatible plants. I will work on a redo of the substrate, but wanted to go with the Shultz soil after reading on another forum about a FBT tank where it was used, and the soil then covered with moss to keep the toads off of it. I guess I need do some more reworking than I though. I don want to make my canister filter burn up from sucking up a bunch of dir :(
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    In all fairness, dealing with a vivarium with a water feature is a bit of a different kind of animal than the normal houseplant person deals with. There are things that you will encounter that they would not even think of.

    I can't imagine a flourescent light being too bright for the plants. Judging by the picture it really doesn't look as if the lights will be too bright. If it turns out to be, just raise the fixture.

    If your mix is still too damp, clay pots won't help. The terra cotta "breathes" and moisture can go through them. That's why plants in them dry out faster than in plastic pots.
  9. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    For the set up you have I would look at bog plants, bog grasses, bog button, and pitcher plants would do well. Other than those look into some plants that can be mountedon moss pads instead of being planted this will help the roots from becoming waterlogged.
  10. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    If it's a standard hood, it should take a regular bulb just fine. I got mine from Walmart!

    A few questions about the soil. Is it organic? Does it contain perilite?

    IF the Shultz soil is 100% covered with moss, then yes its ok to use with the toads.

    Remember, just because one person used it and hasn't had any trouble, doesn't mean its right.
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I may be mistaken but I don't believe a standard T-12 bulb will fit in a T-5 fixture. Different pin set up.
  12. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Hmmmmm. Interesting. I don't know enough difference between aquatic bulbs and plant grow bulbs.... I just know a standard 29 gallon hood takes a standard tube.

    You can put a little white fish filter over the intake to your canister filter. This will collect any of the dirt and keep it out of your main filter.
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The t-5s are what is referred to as VHO(very high output)bulbs. They are even smaller in diameter than regular bulbs.
  14. dreamcatcer98

    dreamcatcer98 Member

    Here's the info on the Shultz soil: SCHULTZ AQUATIC PLANT SOIL 25-LBS

    I took the whole thing apart and used the Shultz soil as a drainage layer, and then put soil on top of it. I am waiting a few days for the soil to dry as it was very wet when I got it home. Then I'll finish the set up again, and put the toads who are currently in a 10 gallon with some large slate slabs back in their home.

    I've tried filter floss over the intake of my filter, but it has always clogged it up really fast. I tried the foam covers I saw on a turtle message board, and they did the same thing...I guess I'll see how this works out.

    Thank you all for your input
  15. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Yeah, in theory its very good, but the fine particulates are horrible for the little toadies.
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