Plants for a southeastern biotope green anole/green tree frog bioactive enclosure? Beginner-friendly ideas?

Wayfarin

Arachnoknight
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Hello folks!
I think that many people are acquainted with "biotope" aquariums, in which fish, invertebrates, and plants from similar regions of the world are added to a fish tank to replicate a natural ecosystem as best as possible.
I myself am rather partial to biotopes.
However, I don't believe too many people are acquainted with biotope setups for reptiles and amphibians.
Nonetheless, I had planned to create one such vivarium in an old 30-gallon tank that our red-eared slider outgrew.
It would probably be a paludarium, either with or without fish, representing Florida or some other southeastern state.
It would probably house 1-2 green anoles, at least 1 green tree frog, and a group of southeastern killifish, like bluefin killifish, pygmy killifish, and least killifish (actually a livebearer).
Because not many people create biotopes with reptiles, there isn't much information on what plants would be best for this.

(Because it's a biotope of the southeastern US, I unfortunately can't use pothos, which is not native to the US.)

I'm also looking for a beginner-friendly plant that can tolerate the damp, humid conditions that the anole/anoles would be living in.
I suppose that the springtails/isopods don't need to be considered a part of the biotope, since I planned to use dwarf white isopods and white springtails.

(It's important to note that I may not actually finish this project. It all depends on what we can afford to take care of.)
Thanks! God bless!
 

Farouche

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You can look up what plants are available to you online and other garden centers, and then go type in their species name on Plants of the World Online to see if it matches the region you need. You can use the "location" tag also (see the "More" section in the drop down menu), I sometimes look for broader plant families + location to see if there's any member of, say, the begonia family, that's from the region I'm interested in.

Individual plant pages comes with a short description saying it it's an epiphyte, tree, shrub or whatever, and if it's from a wet tropical biome, dry tropical, etc etc etc.
Just make sure you're not trying to fit a tree into a 2x2 enclosure, possibly check for toxicity or fumes (terpenes etc) depending on your animal.

Sorry I don't have a magic, quick solution, but these tools help me personally.
 
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Wayfarin

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I would love to add flytraps and pitcher plants, but I'd be worried they'd eat the animals!
 

schmiggle

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I would love to add flytraps and pitcher plants, but I'd be worried they'd eat the animals!
I wouldn't be worried about a flytrap in that regard, but I would be worried about the light level, as well as a complete lack of winter dormancy. Same story for sundews, butterworts, and bladderworts, although I'd bet the latter don't care as much.

English ivy isn't native to the deep south, but iirc you can grow it in moderate light levels and it is present there; it doesn't require winter dormancy. You might also try Virginia creeper. It is native, but I don't remember if it wants a winter dormancy. I don't know how either of those will do with waterlogged soil. If you can provide high light levels, there's quite a few deep south bog plants that grow near carnivorous plants, particularly orchids, grasses, and sedges, iirc. Sphagnum is a good option, and many species/varieties tolerate lower light levels than carnivores would.
 

Wayfarin

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I wouldn't be worried about a flytrap in that regard, but I would be worried about the light level, as well as a complete lack of winter dormancy. Same story for sundews, butterworts, and bladderworts, although I'd bet the latter don't care as much.

English ivy isn't native to the deep south, but iirc you can grow it in moderate light levels and it is present there; it doesn't require winter dormancy. You might also try Virginia creeper. It is native, but I don't remember if it wants a winter dormancy. I don't know how either of those will do with waterlogged soil. If you can provide high light levels, there's quite a few deep south bog plants that grow near carnivorous plants, particularly orchids, grasses, and sedges, iirc. Sphagnum is a good option, and many species/varieties tolerate lower light levels than carnivores would.
The flytraps would be kept indoors.
 

schmiggle

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The flytraps would be kept indoors.
I know, I meant with bright LEDs. But even then it'd be rough, especially since you have no good way to provide winter dormancy.

What about tillandsia? You'd also need artificial lighting, but Spanish moss is native and could be pretty neat if done right.
 

Wayfarin

Arachnoknight
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I know, I meant with bright LEDs. But even then it'd be rough, especially since you have no good way to provide winter dormancy.

What about tillandsia? You'd also need artificial lighting, but Spanish moss is native and could be pretty neat if done right.
Tillandsia usneoides? That might work.
Any suggestions for other Tillandsia species? Tillandsia fasciculata?
Can epiphytes really be bioactive plants? Don't the plants for bioactive enclosures need to be rooted plants?
 
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Wayfarin

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Beginner Friendly biotope sounds a lot like an oxymoron.
How so? I would think that many biotopes would not be very demanding at all, since they function as natural ecosystems replicating their outdoor counterparts.
 

The Snark

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How so? I would think that many biotopes would not be very demanding at all, since they function as natural ecosystems replicating their outdoor counterparts.
A natural balance of all living organisms within a given area. When we had a class from a local university at the arboretum I was working at the discussion of our arboretum being a biotope got started. After about 2 weeks of everybody and their dog chiming in I ducked out to work in the cactus area.
The most memorable comment was, paraphrased, "There is no such thing as a true stasis biotope. It will always have instability. Nature demands it. If a biotope were possible we wouldn't have even a fraction of the diversity of living organisms we presently have."
 
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