epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Not sure if your plant is suitable for a Vivarium? Substrate Issues and Viv pests discussed.
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epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby joneill809 » Mon May 09, 2016 10:07 am

I'm looking for ideas for an epiphyte that I can plant on the side wall of my 120 gallon vivarium. I currently have Begonia foliosa growing on that side of the viv and it gets leggy and ends up not being very attractive. I'd like ideas on something else that cascades and is more dense than the Begonia. Selaginella uncinate (peacock spike moss) has not worked well in this location either. Most of my vivs end up looking the same, and since this is a display viv away from my wall, I'm looking to change the look a bit. Despite being a large viv, I still prefer smaller leafed plants.

So fire away with recommendations on:

  • epiphyte
  • cascading
  • dense foliage
  • large vivarium (120 gallon)
  • smaller leaves
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

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Re: epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby Philsuma » Mon May 09, 2016 12:40 pm

When you say 'side wall' what base is there - cork,tree fern panel, bare glass ?

EVERY Dart Frog enclosure ought to have at least two different species of Marcgravia, and while not an epiphyte, it is a close second - a vine and 'shingle -er' that can comes in many different species and can grow on a lot of different things and will often 'climb' glass very easily.

Looks so cool too. Very Biotopic and 'jungle-like'

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Re: epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby joneill809 » Mon May 09, 2016 2:08 pm

The back wall and sides of the viv have a cork bark matrix siliconed to the glass. I want something more dense that shinglers I think. Right now the begonia is leggy and stringy looking. The pilea is coming in well in the center portion of the viv, and the bromeliads are taking over the left side. I don't think I want to go nuts with the broms on the right side too, but that may be OK if I keep the pilea going in the center part.
IMG_9362.JPG


Here's the stringy Begonia I'm not too fond of:
IMG_9363.JPG


The broms need some pruning, but I do like the look.
IMG_9366.JPG


I guess broms on the right side would be symmetrical. Anyhow now you see what I'm working with.
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

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Re: epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby Philsuma » Mon May 09, 2016 2:28 pm

Yeah, I see know. Those begonias are so 'out-of-place' in the top where you have them. I agree that you need a little something cool on the sides.

I will take another look at Craigs 30 viv frog room and see what's what and try to mail you some stuff.

I still say, the Marcgravia is one of the coolest plants in our hobby. When I sent up some vivs in the near future, I'm sure to include at least a couple species in each tank.

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Re: epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby Philsuma » Mon May 09, 2016 2:29 pm

Oh and that Brom 'village' on cork tubes is outa this world. VERY cool.

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Re: epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby Philsuma » Mon May 09, 2016 2:36 pm

A lot of the tank has the size and brom plantings to make it almost the ultimate obligate enclosure but you have Tincs in it - kinda funny.

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Re: epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby goods » Mon May 09, 2016 8:01 pm

Marcgravias are a great genus of plants for vivs, but you don't want to use it there. If Marcgravias are not given something to grow up, they grow very funky. My recommendations are Sphyrospermum cordifolium or cf. buxifolium, Columnea microphylla, Peperomia fagerlindii or even the sp. Costa Rica that originated from Black Jungle. All have a pendant growth habit with leaves smaller than a quarter.
ZG

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Re: epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby joneill809 » Mon May 09, 2016 11:04 pm

Philsuma wrote:Oh and that Brom 'village' on cork tubes is outa this world. VERY cool.

Thanks! I put the brom field together for the resident pair of Sphaerodactylus grandi dwarf geckos. They hang out in the broms and deposit their eggs in there while helping out with catching flies that hang out at the top of the viv. The broms are tightly packed, so the big bodied tincs can get in there, but they have a hard time moving around, so they generally stay out of that area.

Philsuma wrote:A lot of the tank has the size and brom plantings to make it almost the ultimate obligate enclosure but you have Tincs in it - kinda funny.

I'm rethinking my collection these days. I have a tentative home for the Robertus, so this tank will be freeing up soon for new inhabitants. I was thinking of letting loose some nominant fants in there, but I would be open to other suggestions. My requirements these days mostly focus on bringing in animals of known lineages that are under-represented in the hobby. For instance, the Robertus are going to a new home, and R. summersi are coming in (not to this viv though).

goods wrote:Marcgravias are a great genus of plants for vivs, but you don't want to use it there. If Marcgravias are not given something to grow up, they grow very funky. My recommendations are Sphyrospermum cordifolium or cf. buxifolium, Columnea microphylla, Peperomia fagerlindii or even the sp. Costa Rica that originated from Black Jungle. All have a pendant growth habit with leaves smaller than a quarter.

Thanks Zach! I'll add some internet images for everyone so they can see what you recommended (and to make sure I got it right!). I think my favorite is Columnea microphylla - I'm sold on those red flowers:
Columnea-microphylla.jpg


I like the look of this P fagerlindii from Tropiflora:
Peperomia_fagerlindii-tropiflora.jpg
Peperomia_fagerlindii-tropiflora.jpg (43.88 KiB) Viewed 3439 times


I'm likely just cherry picking the most stunning images, but man those two are impressive. Here are the others you recommended:
Sphyrospermum cf. buxifolium.jpg
Sphyrospermum cf. buxifolium.jpg (227.49 KiB) Viewed 3439 times

Sphyrospermum cordifolium.jpg
Sphyrospermum cordifolium.jpg (56.97 KiB) Viewed 3439 times

Peperomia sp. Costa Rica .png
Peperomia sp. Costa Rica .png (282.91 KiB) Viewed 3439 times


Now I just have to track them down! Thanks again!
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

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Re: epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby goods » Tue May 10, 2016 12:00 am

You likely won't get blooms from the Columnea in viv (at least I haven't). It's rumored to need a pretty significant seasonal change to trigger flowers, but it is probably the most spot on for your cascading look. You can usually get it at Violet Barn.

Both of the Sphyrospermums can be hard to find. I only have cf. buxifolium right now. I know Bonnie used to sell cuttings, but it's somewhat slow. You probably want a good sized plant to start with.

Pep. fagerlindii should be fairly easy to find from hobbyists in good quantity. It also goes by Pep. percilata and has also been referred to in the past as sp. Panama.

That doesn't look exactly like the Pep. Costa Rica that I have, but it's pretty close. Mine has more flattened leaves and is solid green with little to no red in the stems. I'm re-purposing an old frog tank for geckos and can probably spare a decent chunk of this.
ZG

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Re: epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby joneill809 » Tue May 10, 2016 11:12 am

Thanks Zach! How fast does C microphylla grow in viv conditions for you? I've sent an email to the violet barn on pot sizes and I'm trying to estimate how many plants to start with.

edit :: let me see how the microphylla works out otherwise I may hit you up on the Costa Rica. Thanks again!
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

goods
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Re: epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby goods » Tue May 10, 2016 1:26 pm

It grows at a steady pace for me. I started off with one ~6" piece, and I had a nice 5ish growth plant within a year. It's not something that I trimmed often but it also isn't invasive, which is nice. One thing to note on it, this species seems to love being very humid but resents water sitting on the leaves for any amount of time. I wouldn't mist it directly, or if so, I'd have the fans blowing on it. It grew best for me in a 10 g vert with only 1" too screen that I misted once a week or so.
ZG

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Re: epiphyte recommendations for large vivarium

Postby joneill809 » Fri May 20, 2016 10:22 am

Thanks for all your help Zach! For all those interested, I posted the unboxing images from my C microphylla purchase here:
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=8875&p=65274#p65274
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/


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