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Discussion in 'Vivariums and Terrariums' started by ArachnidSentinl, Apr 25, 2018.
This is incredible and inspiring! :O :O
Can't wait to see it all grown in.
Part 8: The Show Must Go On
One of my biggest frustrations with this project has been the somewhat poor adherence of the coco fiber to the silicone. I imagine this is entirely user error, as I suspect I waited too long between applying silicone and adding the fiber. If you brush the background or mist it aggressively, coco fiber starts to fall off all over the place. Of course, at this point it's impossible to reapply the fiber, so I've decided on another strategy: covering the background with vines. I think this will not only look amazing, but greatly enhance the structural integrity of the project.
Ficus pumilia has been my go-to, but you'd be surprised at how hard it's been to find. A lot of the major vivarium plant distributors are out, and I haven't been able to find it at local nurseries. I managed to snag some of the variegated variety (which is gorgeous) from Glass Box Tropicals. I planted it and attached it to the background with a staple of all things (manually inserted, haha). Research led me to believe this would be a difficult variety to establish in a vivarium, but I've seen new growth on these plants within days of being planted.
Of course, after I had gone through all the trouble to order ficus and have it shipped to me, I was grocery shopping the next night and found a giant Ficus pumilia in the store. I actually like the solid green variety better, so I grabbed some and planted it around the viv. I'm under no illusion that all of this ficus will be cooperative in the future. I'm not against trimming!
While I was at it, I mounted the Spyder Robotics hygrostat probe in the top rear of the enclosure, behind the radiant heat panel. I'm not sure if this is optimal placement or not, but I suspect it can't be within easy reach of the spray nozzles in order to give an accurate reading of RH (someone correct me if I'm wrong). The Herpstat 2, while capable of activating a mist system, will simply be reading the humidity; misting will remain on the timer for the time being.
I also added some more clean up crew to the viv, as it's starting to be in the final stages. I've already added some Trichorhina tomentosa (which seem to being doing well), but I also added a buttload of tropical springtails and some totally rad Porcellio ornatus:
These things are just awesome! I only added a few adults, but my colony is picking up, so hopefully I can add more later. I'm a little nervois the anole might screw with them, but we'll see. There seems to be enough foliage for it to work.
I tore down my temp enclosure and transplanted a particularly successful plant (lower left) into this one since I like it so much. Can anyone identify that plant? I really dig the silver stripes.
All in all, it's starting to look more lush. The wandering jew is totally blowing up, and the pothos is rooted and sprouting new shoots. Two of my spider plants are doing very well, too, and I look forward to them filling out the canopy a bit. One of my spider plants seems to be struggling and didn't really root (the one in the front left). Not sure what I'm going to do about this, or why it's even happening. I repositioned it a little and I'll give it some more time.
I have a Candoia carinata carinata on the way, arriving Tuesday. Stay tuned!!
Part 9: Move-in Day
I'm happy to report that the vivarium has a new denizen! Prior to finding the poor Chrysopelea, I had considered other small, arboreal snakes for this setup. Chief among those considerations were the arboreal Candoia, particularly the smaller species, Candoia carinata carinata. These are also fairly hard to come by, but I did some research and found some for sale down by St. Louis. I had one shipped to me this week, and I picked it up this afternoon! No idea on age or sex at this point (I know it's easy, just didn't check...I will later), but man, is it a cool animal. The pattern is really gorgeous, and it's phenomenally strong for its size!
Pardon the reflection in the glass of this next shot, but I feel it really shows the palatial scale of the enclosure compared to the snake. Its camouflage is so good, it's actually pretty hard to find it sometimes. Very cool animal.
At this stage of the game, all I have left is to make some small tweaks to the setup and wait for all the foliage to grow in! This build has been such a monumental pleasure so far, and it's awesome to finally see my idea come together. I'm considering some other builds in the future!