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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2008, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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Groundcover suggestions.

Hey, I have a 90g paludarium, I am looking for a nice groundcover for the land portion that can stand lowlight as it will be shaded quite a bit by my other plants. It would be really cool as well if it would spill over my plexiglass divider.

Any suggestions?

I looked at a kind of fern that was called
Selaginella - Kraussiana however it was the plain variety not the variety shown in this link. Is this a viable option?
http://www.blackjungle.com/Merchant2...tegory_Code=FM

Also I have a 20g tall that has a slate background with grouted joints, What do you think about putting a creeping fig in there to grow on the background?

Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2008, 11:50 AM
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moss is an amazing ground cover. it makes the enclosure look really natural. and moss will spill over the divider, and grow into the water, and over the substrate in the water, and up the glass/divider on the other side, as long as you let it. but it grows very very very slow. just get a bunch of mosses. any you find locally (idk if there are any easy to find in kansas, but here in NJ its everywhere), java moss, taiwan moss, xmas moss, stringy moss, anything you can get; since in a big area, it looks better to see multiple kinds competing with each other.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Will these live in very low light? I have a 4' triple tube t8 flourescent stip light with plant bulbs.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 01:40 AM
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moss?
moss can live in very very very low light, and under water. if you have even just 1 wpg, the moss should be fine.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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yes the moss, sorry I forgot to put that.

On land what do they require? How do I get them nutrients?

I have taken the java out of my 5.5g and I pulled it apart a bit and then placed it directly on the coir/jungle earth/soil that I have in my tank. Will this be sufficent? Do I just mist it daily?

As far as collecting moss in Kansas, not around here anyway. Theres plenty of hornwort, cattails, and arrowroot, but other than those and the grass that grows everywhere thats it. Unless you count algea, which will grow anywhere.

Sorry about all the questions, I just wanna get this right.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Also do you think that fern in the first post would be good in my 20g for a goundcover?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 04:52 AM
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I have to disagree with the moss. Many people have difficulties, as often it is either high light, or it is temperate, and will not grow year round in tropical temps (especially if collected locally). Selaginella is a beautiful plant, but it can be touchy and sensitive. I've dealt with a couple species, and they seem to thrive in one area, and die off within weeks in others.

Creeping fig (ficus sp.) grows like crazy, even in low light, and is not in the least sensitive. It may not be the same kind of ground cover as a moss or Selaginella, but it will indeed cover the substrate in nice, thick leaved vines. It will vine over into the water, or you could use your java moss around water's edge. But as you pointed out, java does need to stay moist or it will die off.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 12:41 PM
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i never tried that moss.
and i disagree. java moss will grow emmersed, and that can live in low lighting easily. and most tropical animals need 80-70 degrees, which is just fine for the moss.
it cant be that hard, mine is making spores, and the spores are taking.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 05:20 PM
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Right, as I said, java is indeed a good choice. But for a majority of locally collected mosses outside of tropical zones, they may do well for quite a while, but eventually need a cool dormant period or they begin to die off. 70-80 degrees will not provide that.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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I think I will just stick with trying my java, my tank usually runs a temperature of 84 in the water, and then heats up toward the top from 84-110 in a 28" tall tank.

I might try the fern as well on the other side of my tank away from the fig.

I know I will have to trim that thing alot though as I have seen it take over houses. Do you think it will grow into my grout? I would like it to so that it breaks up the background. If it does well in the 20 and is managable then I might take a cutting and put it in my 90g to grow onto the back too. The fig I was looking at had a different leaf shape as well but it is no longer available from blackjungle.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 02:07 AM
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For the creeping fig, if you get the smallest one (quercifolia), it won't take over your house.

Java moss is OK but the color is dark, all the aquatic mosses except Fontinalis should work.

Most of the Selaginellas get too tall for my taste.

Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is sold as an outdoor plant but will grow fine in a viv, and it likes to trail into the water and grow immersed or partly emerse.

The smallest creeping ferns make good groundcovers too; Lemmaphyllum microphyllum grows warm for me in low light, and so does an unidentified Microgramma. Both will climb on rocks and woodwork too.

I like to mix things up, they eventually settle where they are happiest.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Dirt monkey thank for the reply.

I wa planning on getting that kind of creeping fig anyway as I like its leaf structure the best.

Is there anyway you could send me a couple small pieces of moss? None of our stores around here carry them.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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So creeping jenny.

I think this would be good to soften up the crisp edge I have where the plexiglass divides the land and water. However I was wondering will this attempt to climb up my other plants? And will it choke out my other plants. I wouldn't want that happening. I hear it can grow from only a single root, anyone wanna send me a clipping?

Thanks everybody for the help. I'm sure I'll still need lots of it.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I found this http://www.blackjungle.com/Merchant2...tegory_Code=FM.

Its the type of fern you were talking about. I like it but I don't know that I want to spend that much. That is absolutley insane for a 3" pot thats not full.
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