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First time doing a Naturalistic Terrarium

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  • First time doing a Naturalistic Terrarium

    Welp, first time doing this, so don't expect much. :P

    The plant is a Golden Pothos (which is still Pothos, so.....)
    Pardon the mess on the front glass. I'll be dealing with that.

    Substrate: Black Gravel(Lowes, as mine doesn't sell hydro/clay balls.....)
    Potting soil(Also Lowes)
    Eco Earth (Petco)

    Hardscape: Cork Bark, fake vine to the left, and a Zoo Med Hide. You know, the ones that have the removable top?
    Last edited by NovatheCrestie; 08-17-2014, 03:36 PM. Reason: Extra details

  • #2
    Good start. what's going in there? The pothos will eventually fill the tank and the fake vine is good for it to twine around. It looks a little bare so far, but you have hides for comfort and the plants will grow. I depend greatly on pothos to make my tanks work. If you haven't done so already, add springtails and isopods for cleanup.



    • #3
      A good start, but you'll need more plants. I'm assuming you're putting a crested gecko in there?
      If so I'd recommend a few more horizontal perches (you can find foam pipe covers at walmart for $2 for 4 of them and they're super long) and definitely some more plants higher up, it's too open.

      I don't know how well the gravel will do, doing what hydroballs do, i'd keep an eye on it. For live vivs, you'll want to root your ground plants well so their roots reach down and not outwards, so I'd use a funnel of sorts to stick down into the gravel layer to fill it up with water, about half an inch to an inch, and to keep it topped off there. It will also help a lot with humidity. That pothos is going to grow like a weed so I don't think you'll have to worry about any other plants for the ground, though you can certainly pop one more in there if you chose to.

      If you want to put real plants hanging (wandering jew for the win man... what an amazing plant), I'm sure you could find some suctioncup shower caddie things for the cheap (though I'd replace the suction cups with strong magnets, pangea sells some that are the same that are in the magnetic feeding ledges) because I tried that and the caddies kept falling. Too heavy. But it definitely has a nice effect
      Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
      Sovereign Reptiles

      0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
      1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny


      • #4
        The tank's for a Crestie, yes. You can see her alittle bit in the cork log. :3
        @acpart: I forgot about the cleanup part XP. And yeah, I'm aware it's abit bare, but I'm partially working with what I've got.

        @Mechanical8Dragon: Yeah, I'm aware it could use more horizontal stuff, so I appreciate the suggestion. As for the gravel, I was alittle unsure myself, but since Hydroballs weren't available...:/. Also, my dumb self forgot to mention this earlier, but the Pothos plant itself is in a pot still. Would that work, or am I setting myself up for disaster(And yes, the pot itself has holes on the bottom)? Lastly, I'll look into the hanging plant idea. I actually have a second fake plant like the top left one, buuuuut the suction cups for both are...quite frankly, terribad. :P

        Much appreciated on feedback from both of you guys. :3


        • #5
          There's nothing wrong with a plant left in a pot. A lot of people do it because it makes cleaning easier, but in a natural viv you don't really need to clean anything except for the decor and the food stuff because the plants with use the poop for ferts. All I do is turn the dirt around so the poop gets covered and then it'll break down and the plants will eat it. If you want the full on live viv part though, I'd take the plant out of the pot.

          One, it'll do a LOT better, and secondly, plants once they reach a certain size in a certain pot size, won't grow much bigger. you can control the growth of plants via their pot size (my grandma is like the garden queen, she knows everything, shhh i know this LOL) So if you keep the pothos in the same pot, it most likely won't get to it's full potential. It could potentionally cause problems for the plant too because it'll get root-bound (or w/e word you want to use) where basically it's just this HUGE blob of roots inside the pot with little to no more available nutrients, therefor preventing it from growing anymore. (omg im a plant-nerd like my grandma someone help me).

          But, like said, nothing bad can come of leaving the plant in the pot, if you don't mind the fact that once it fills up that pot, it won't really get that big. And you'll have to sub in ferts because it won't have access to the poop unless the gecko lays a turn on the top of the soil above the roots itself in the pot.

          haha yeah i hate suction cups... i don't know how people have such good luck with them because mine ALWAYS fall. I can't tell you how many times my poor geckos hopped on a plant and it just fell on them. Like why?! lol

          You could even use some hevy-duty string, like twine (you know what they wrap hay bales with? Yeah that stuff) and use it to hang things from by the top of the enclosure I know people using fishing string to tie things. It's practically invisible and can easily be woven through the mesh top of the tank. :P So you could even hang a little pot with a plant from the tip top of your tank.

          Toilet paper tubes are also a popular thing people use. It's cheap and hey, you're reusing something that would normally get thrown away and... when you burn through another TP roll you can toss out the old one and put in the new one. Same with paper towel rolls. And you can hang those or put them on the ground, etc.
          Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
          Sovereign Reptiles

          0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
          1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny


          • #6
            So removing it from the pot can/will optimize growth. Noted. And don't worry about it. Your plant nerdiness is helping a complete noob like myself XD.

            And yeah. Those fake ones would almost always fall off no matter how hard I tried to keep them sticky. The ones I used for my bearded dragon were just the same. When they gave in, they would fall, and sometimes ending with a cranky Beardie who was trying to bask. I'll probably end up using Command Hooks and Strips for the fake ones like I have for my Bearded Dragon's hammock. They're FAR better designed than those suction cups.


            • #7
              Originally posted by NovatheCrestie View Post
              So removing it from the pot can/will optimize growth. Noted. And don't worry about it. Your plant nerdiness is helping a complete noob like myself XD.
              On the other hand, If you would like to restrict the growth of a particular plant you just have to have, you can keep it in the pot. Prune the roots a little before reinserting it after processing. I've done this to my Ficus Benjamina tree and it works like a charm. Also, it lessened the transition time for this particular plant, as it was so big to begin with. Good Luck to you.
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              • #8
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                -Golden Pothos no longer potted.
                -One of the fake leaves now uses the only Command hook I have available right now.

                To-do list:
                -Obtain Foam Pipe Covers for higher parts of terrarium.
                -Get different Command hooks XD


                • #9

                  Sorry for double posting, but just decided to update since it's been ages. The Pothos plant's growing fine, it seems(had a few yellow leaves, but that was me unterwatering. Whoops.), but I get the feeling the substrate's gone down abit. Yes, I know about the lack of decor. I've got afew paper towel rolls, so I'll probably just use those.


                  • #10
                    I would move the light to the other side of the tank since it's shining down on the fake plant right now instead of the pothos. Make sure you are using a light bulb with at least 6500 Kelvin.
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