Red cap cacti with blue death feigning beetle enclosure

Anonymity82

Arachnoprince
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Aug 12, 2011
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Hello All! New to plants here. I just set up a new blue death feigning beetle tank and figured I'd give this a shot. I'm not expecting a whole lot and mostly I'm going to leave it alone unless it looks sad. I buried the plastic container it came with the soil it came with. There is some sand on top and the container isn't touching the bottom so there is at least half an inch of sand/walnut shell below the drainage holes that are in the plastic container. I cleaned it off in case there was insecticide on it. The soil in the plastic pot has these white little rock things my girlfriend said was fertlizer. From what I've read you don't feed them very often like only in the summer and only a couple of times. I'm not expecting much or planning on much to happen. I'm hoping it grows incredibly slowly or not at all but doesn't die. The lighting is all artificial but it's on the top and only a couple feet away from it.

Any suggestions or tips? Should I not worry about feeding it for a very long time since it already has fertilizer in the soil with it? Do I need to switch the tank around occasionally so each side of the plant gets sufficient lighting? Thanks for any tips or ideas!
 

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Albireo Wulfbooper

Arachnosquire
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The little white rocks in the soil are generally a substance called perlite, which isn't actually a fertilizer - it's used to regulate moisture. It's in most potting soils. You'll need actual fertilizer during the growing season (the soil it's in likely originally had some added but it's probably depleted by now). Your cactus should be okay with the artificial light as long as it has a decent spectral range. Fluorescent light should be okay. LEDs are a little tougher to make work but it's possible. There are LED kits for indoor plants that use a mix of light colours to achieve something decent for growth. If it's getting sunlight on one side only it may eventually start to lean despite the overhead bulb, so you might want to occasionally rotate the tank or the pot to keep it growing relatively straight.
 

Rhino1

Arachnobaron
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Jan 9, 2019
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Looks very cool, good job, I'm really into naturalistic vivariums.
Just a bit of info regarding the red cap, this is almost an entirely human manufactured plant, it is usually kept in almost complete darkness for a short period before being offered for sale, this depletes any chlorophyll in the plant top which results in the spectacular pink/red/purple colouration, although there are mutant strains that are copyrighted by particular companies that will not produce chlorophyll, it is usually grafted on to another species usually hyclocereum (spelling?) Which is a very tall growing, upright species. So don't be discouraged if the top reverts back to its natural colour - dark green/burgandy colour over time, or if the top falls off and there is a bamboo skewer poking out of it (I know it happens lol) if the plant thrives in your set up, the base may eventually outgrow the tank in height so maybe don't go too crazy with feeding it, maybe a half rate liquid feed once a month to keep it healthy.
Good luck
 

Anonymity82

Arachnoprince
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Aug 12, 2011
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1,585
Thanks! I was thinking of removing it and replacing it with another small succulent. But I guess I can just keep it and wait and see what happens too. I may buy some succulent miracle gro and just use a tiny bit of that once a month like recommended. I used to have live plants in my old fish tank and a tiny tiny amount of fertilizer did amazing!

I'll just keep an eye on it for now and if it doesn't become loose (roots/base dying) or the cap doesn't get soft (I wont stress about color change) i.e. rotting I'll just see what happens! They had so many little succulents to choose from. I originally planned on just buying a couple of air plants but I changed my mind when I had a look around. Thanks again!
 

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Smotzer

Arachnoknight
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Jan 17, 2020
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What you’ve got is a grafted Gymnocalycium sp to what looks a Hylocereus sp. “Moon cactus”. I’m right there with @Rhino1, I wouldn’t expect this to be an extremely long lived plant. They’re done extremely fast and cheaply, more of a gag than something to keep around for a long long time. I would highly doubt you have one of the mutants. They sell because they are colorful not because of any real attributes. I have taken apart these box store grafts and have usually found them done so poorly that there was no chance or real survival, they’re often not even remotely healed, bad grafting all together. Usually incompatible.
 

schmiggle

Arachnoprince
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If the top does develop chlorophyll and fall off, you could plant it independently; as I understand they're relatively hardy cacti. Not sure how it would do without drainage.
 
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