Planted terrarium noob need help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Planted terrarium noob need help

Ok I have dealt with aquariums a lot but never terrariums lol. Anyway I need a little advice on how to start it up I would like it to look very realistic as in as it would be in nature. So I don't want level ground and I would like a little water sinc I have a huge aquarium I'm gonna start smaller a 10 gallon aquarium with lockable screen lid. I have a marine land double bright led light. Any advice for me I heard u put an inch of rock in the bottom then moss then dirt is that true and this will have no direct sunlight so what plants will work with my lighting
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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I would also like to put a few insects that won't harm the plants any advice on that
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 05:13 PM
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I see not too many people really responded to this thread. It is over a month old as well. :/

I'm not an expert but I will try to help. I can't say much about the lights you are using because I have zero experience with LEDs. I use T5HO and 6500K 23w CFLs.
Lighting will be one of the biggest factors in good plant growth. Low light will equal weak plants that will eventually succumb to mold and root rot.

As far as substrate goes, most people create a drainage layer, whether it's terra cotta balls, or stones, or sand. This layer about 2"-3" inches is so that the plants don't drown. However, if you choose the right plants you do not need a drainage layer- but it really depends on what you are going for. Bog plants like Brazilian pennywort, java moss, and Riccia don't need much in the way of a drainage.
However, plants like peperomia, bromeliads, ferns, and philodendrons NEED drainage.

Also keep in mind plant placement. Imagine how each plant will grow in and where light will be afterwards. You don't want to plant things where it will be shaded eventually.

I've never heard of the sunlight thing, other than it heats up things fast. You would end up cooking anything alive.

As far as insects go, I'm not sure about that either. Some people put springtails and isopods into their vivs, but that mostly as a constant food source for dart frogs.

Another big bugaboo is tap water. Most people have tap water that is high in chlorine, calcium and other minerals. This is very bad for mosses, ferns, and orchids- not to mention frogs. I only use distilled and spring water on my vivariums.

I honestly recommend googling dendroboard. Great site for frogs and vivariums.

Good luck!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 06:24 AM
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all vivs need a drainage layer, if you do not have one the soil will turn anaerobic and smell like something dyed. as far as layers go, drainage, soil mixture (abg mix or custom mix), sphagnum or terrarium moss, then a leaf litter(magnolia or live oak) as said above springtails or isopods are excellent cleaners. with a set up like this all you have to do is mist daily and remove water from the drainage. this is my red eyed tree frog viv with same set up. I also use dual t5ho with a 6500k and a 10000k bulbs. by the way this is a 20 gallon tall with a joshs frogs vertical conversion kit
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