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Faerie Garden Enclosure

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I'm hoping to create a hisser habitat in the form of a glass-enclosed faerie garden.

Faerie gardens are mad up of tiny plants, little houses and other faerie sized furniture.  I thought the bugs could hide in the little houses and amung the plants.

My substrate is a composit of conut fiber, small wood chunks and other organic material.  I think plants would grow fine on it.

I also think many types of moss would grow fine.

My question is, are there plants I shouldn't have in there because they are dangerous to either hissers or millipedes?

 

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Most normal terrarium plants should be OK, mosses, Pothos, etc. I think if it's poisonous, the roaches won't eat it, or at least won't eat a lot of it. :P Very interested to see how this project goes, hopefully someone with experience setting up these types of enclosures can chime in.

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Your going to need LED or a T5 lighting system for best results. In my experience even shade tolerant plants can't handle the general "darkness" indoors. And once you see the effects a T5 system can provide, you will wonder why it took you so long to get one.

The plants will also need to be fed, around the six month to a year mark as they consume the soil nutrients. (Use your judgement based off of the rate of plant growth and whether it looks strong or weak)

 Now before people flip out over the topic of fertilizer and animals Maxsea in a dilute form is safe, it's seaweed based and widely used for carnivorous plants, (which keel over and rapidly die if you give them a too strong of fertilizer, or a soil with to many nutrients.)

https://www.californiacarnivores.com/products/maxsea-16-16-16-fertilizer

Just dilute the fertilizer even further than what the link suggests (Maybe 1/4 tsp to two or more us gallons of water) As an added benefit this is a foliar food so you can very lightly mist the plants while minimizing run off to the soil. Less is more with plant food.

Mosses are slow growing and will likely be consumed, it was the first thing my crix ate, you will need distilled water, or rainwater if you want to seriously try the moss, and in a captive setting they actually need bright lights.

Good luck with this idea, it sounds awesome.

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3 hours ago, Tleilaxu said:

Your going to need LED or a T5 lighting system for best results. In my experience even shade tolerant plants can't handle the general "darkness" indoors. And once you see the effects a T5 system can provide, you will wonder why it took you so long to get one.

The plants will also need to be fed, around the six month to a year mark as they consume the soil nutrients. (Use your judgement based off of the rate of plant growth and whether it looks strong or weak)

 Now before people flip out over the topic of fertilizer and animals Maxsea in a dilute form is safe, it's seaweed based and widely used for carnivorous plants, (which keel over and rapidly die if you give them a too strong of fertilizer, or a soil with to many nutrients.)

https://www.californiacarnivores.com/products/maxsea-16-16-16-fertilizer

Just dilute the fertilizer even further than what the link suggests (Maybe 1/4 tsp to two or more us gallons of water) As an added benefit this is a foliar food so you can very lightly mist the plants while minimizing run off to the soil. Less is more with plant food.

Mosses are slow growing and will likely be consumed, it was the first thing my crix ate, you will need distilled water, or rainwater if you want to seriously try the moss, and in a captive setting they actually need bright lights.

Good luck with this idea, it sounds awesome.

What is a t5 lighting system/  Or, how would you suggest setting up the light.

I would imagine I would need to shut the lights off at night, to give the hissers some dark time.  I could also just bring the cage outside during the day and let it have sunlight, then bring it back indoors for the night.

Hopefully I can get this set up in the next week or so and can post pictures!

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A T5 lighting system is a very powerful lighting system AND bulb designed for putting out stronger, brighter light. Bulbs have been made for the reef, reptile and plant hobbies and they blow normal lights out of the water.

http://m.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=23758&cmpid=03cseYY&ref=6194&subref=AA&cmpid=PLA_G_6194&gclid=CJim3K7xkdQCFQgHhgodKGsBVg

You would get bulbs in the 5,000 to 10,000k range, to make it easier you can buy full spectrum light bulbs made for reptiles or a dedicated growlight. (Lights made for freshwater plants work too)

Given the way the spectrum changes over time bulbs may need to be replaced once a year, I don't know how pressing that is for the purposes of simply growing plants, but I don't take chances with my carnivorous plant collection and change the bulbs anyway.

Many high end T5 fixtures even have built in timers so you can easily change it to match the yearly light cycle and even simulate a sunrise, and sunset.

This will easily be your most expensive purchase but it will pay off in the health of your plants. Not to mention how pretty they make things look.

http://m.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3733+10704+32451&pcatid=32451

This is an LED fixture, while similar to the T5 is is not as powerful, but it's cheaper, and I personally seen good results with other people's setups, and for your purposes should also work. I've never personally used one myself, preferring the slightly more powerful T5.

Welcome to growing plants, or other sun worshipping critters, having fun yet? ;):P

I just noticed you mentioned bringing your cage outside, I can think of easier ways to get steamed hissers, ;) glass/plastic or any enclosure really will heat up to deadly levels if hit with direct sunlight outdoors. Not to mention plants also get stressed with constant movement. This of course over looks just how heavy your set up will be once completed, and possible pests infesting it from outdoors. (Oh don't forget about stress from sudden humidity and temperature change)

So really moving your cage back and forth is not a viable option, you will need to place it in your brightest room, while avoiding prolonged exposure to direct sun and get a lighting fixture.

Edited by Tleilaxu

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don't use hollow aquarium decorations! I got a castle one for my hisser thinking it would be cute (and it was) and she got her head stuck in a tight curve of it I think. I had to saw it to get her out.

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Yes, it would be difficult to carry outside and I certainly do not want steemed hissers!

The only problem with the automated light settings is that they are probably not useable to someone like me who doesn't have enough sight to see the controls.  I could ask someone to help me set it up, perhaps.

But yes, I am having fun.  I wasn't aware that moss needed so much light!!

 

The decorations I would use would be on the large side to provent any bugs from getting stuck and to make it relatively easy for me to catch them.

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Hi, this is a wonderful idea, I love it. 

If you can set the thermostat that heats your home, you can operate a timer for your lighting no trouble. 

Also, online alpine plant nurseries can provide very useful miniature plants that will flower for you under T5 lighting. 

Heres a couple of different layouts where I have used Alpines. This Vivarium houses Loboptera decipiens cockroaches and measures 8 inches X 8 inches X 8inches. 

Hope this helps. 

All the best from Bill :D

 

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Those... Are glorious. Well done, fellow grower of plants.

Now spill the beans, what type of T5 bulbs are ya using.

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Hi, thanks for the input, that means a lot.  

I use LEDs myself, I find the dawn/dusk/variable light very convenient.  I use a TMC brand Ultima 1500 Growbeam Tile, along with one of their controllers. They are designed for aquariums, but the light is so convenient I bought one for this little display vivarium. 

I would love to see some of your set ups, perhaps in another thread as we are a little way from the OP's question. 

Thanks again from Bill. :D

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5 hours ago, Bufo Bill said:

Hi, thanks for the input, that means a lot.  

I use LEDs myself, I find the dawn/dusk/variable light very convenient.  I use a TMC brand Ultima 1500 Growbeam Tile, along with one of their controllers. They are designed for aquariums, but the light is so convenient I bought one for this little display vivarium. 

I would love to see some of your set ups, perhaps in another thread as we are a little way from the OP's question. 

Thanks again from Bill. :D

http://arachnoboards.com/threads/my-bug-torture-box.275092/

Well I have not updated that thread in a while, the plants have had it really rough with several consecutive moves and such they now look horrible, but alive, hopefully next year I can resettle them and they can truly recover.

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I've started using LEDs over all my planted tanks, and I'm very happy with them. They're not as hot as the T5 bulbs, and use less power, though they're a bit more expensive initially. I'm using fixtures with four rows of 3w LEDs in them. I got them from eBay. I've also got a plant grow-out container with an LED grow-bulb I picked up at Home Depot for $50, and it is incredibly bright. I even managed to get one of my nearby orchids to bloom on the light that was being filtered through two layers of clear plastic tote walls, it is so bright! 

 

If you're still getting started on planted tanks, now is a good time to start off right instead of wasting money on crappy lighting. I'm very interested to see how your setup looks! 

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Sorry! I got excited and forgot your initial question!

 

As for plant species, it might be worth your while to visit Josh's Frogs' website. They have a sorting feature that allows you to select plants by the pet species you plan to house with them. If they don't list your pet species, you can contact them and ask. To the best of my knowledge, they grow their plants organically, so you don't have to worry about systemic pesticides like the ones on most big box retailers' plants. I'm new here, so I hope it's okay to refer people to JF.

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