Paludarium background "Cocotek mats"?
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:41 AM   #1
rowdaddy
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Paludarium background "Cocotek mats"?


I'm planning on turning an old 55 into a paludarium. I intend to have a drip bar that sends water over the background. I've seen projects that used eco web & epi web in order to have a continuous planting area for ferns, mosses, and orchids. Since i.like to support local businesses, I looked around. The closest thing i could find was Cocotek Mats, from a hydroponics store. Would this work in the application I'm taking about. My main concern is the rate of decomp.. I can't find anything that says how fast it breaks down. It says it is biodegradable, but are we talking 6 months, one year, 10 years? If anyone has used this product before and can shed some light on this topic, i would greatly appreciate it.


I'm thinking about going with the 1" thick mat instead of the 1/4" mat. If that makes any difference.

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Old 04-01-2013, 01:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Paludarium background "Cocotek mats"?

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Old 04-01-2013, 10:02 PM   #3
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I haven't used it myself...

Is this the stuff they use to line hanging baskets with?

I don't really know, but I think if you have a dripwall or something similar in a paludarium it will probably decompose quicker due to the warmth and moisture. Even so, I think it would take a while to decompose completely, and your plants would probably have time to grow into/over it.

People have also used treefern fiber slabs, and if there is an orchid supplier near you, you may be able to find some there. I've occasionally seen them for sale in some reptile/pet shops, but they are usually quite a bit more expensive.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Paludarium background "Cocotek mats"?

It is similar. My research tells me it's coco fiber & latex. I'm thinking/hoping that it will last long enough for plants to grow in.

Not to sound like a hippy, but tree ferns are a bit over-harvested.

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Old 04-02-2013, 02:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowdaddy View Post
Not to sound like a hippy,
LOL! If you love nature in tanks, then you should love nature in nature = conservation. Anyway, I've used coco-fiber in that application and it lasted for years. I say go for it.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Paludarium background "Cocotek mats"?

Then I will! Lol

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Old 04-02-2013, 02:14 PM   #7
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No clue how long it would last on you, but coco is pretty bomber and should last a good long time. I just don't know how well the latex will hold it together under it's own weight, the weight of plants and the weight of the water absorbed. I think pulling itself apart might be an issue.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Paludarium background "Cocotek mats"?

I assume that they should last for at least six months. (One person on another forum said that they last 18 months)

I think if I plant it it with ferns, moss, and orchids, by the time it does disintegrate, it's have root structure in place

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Old 04-02-2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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I imagine the latex will decay fairly quickly in that sort of environment. I set up a tank in the beginning of February, and the rubber bands I used to hold anubias and java fern onto driftwood are starting to fall off now.

I'm fairly certain that you should have some pretty good growth by the time the latex deteriorates, but I'm not sure if there may be any harmful byproducts produced that could affect the critters in the tank.

About the tree fern, I'm not certain, I've heard a lot of mixed information in regards to harvesting it, and some of it sounds like the current stuff is being confused with an older type that is either extinct or endangered. I'll have to look into it a bit more, I think it's good to be aware of these issues.


Anyways, when you get around to setting up, you should post some pics
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Paludarium background "Cocotek mats"?

I think that it should be ok. I've looked all over frog.forums, and.hear a few references to it being used.

I'm thinking about going with ecoweb. From what i gather, it works well and had a very slow rate of decomp

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