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Thread: "Forest Floor" TxoTerra build..
05-30-2012, 01:41 PM #1
Leaf Litter "forest floor" ExoTerra build.
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It will be a "natural" planted Forest Floor 18" x 18" x 24" ExoTerra
* I will be utilizing a "forest floor" system from Selva..
* Since i would more than likely not be able to source any plants from the Gecko's (L.williamsi) bio-type, I'll be choosing a mix of plants suited to high humidity. I'll be trying to create some kind of levels in the flora. So some ground level plants (maybe some creeping/crawling/carpeting plants, some taller with sturdy branches to be utilized as climbing space for the Geckos, and a flowering plant of some sort).
*Substrate will be a light layer of organic soil and leaf litter (most likely Almond and bamboo leaves). I am also entertaining the thought of adding springtails and other beneficial micro-fauna to the substrate.
*A good amount of bamboo, i have a few ideas in the way of placement and décor to make it both useful for the animals and pleasing to the eye.
*I was going to scratch the idea of the background wall since there will be a lot in the way of bamboo for hiding/laying spaces. But after reading a few reports of the wall creating a sense of security, i am opting to use it and maybe plant on it!
*Lighting will be a dual canopy with a ReptiGlo 5.0 UVB on one side and a incandescent household bulb on the other (wattage to be determined based on placement of the basking spot). Also a 6500k grow bulb for the plants.
This is the concept of this project. Big thanks to Devin over at Selva for a great and solid product.
Last edited by JonRich; 06-20-2012 at 04:23 PM. Reason: typo1.0 F.pardalis (Ambanja), 1:2 F.pardalis (Ambliobe),1:0 C.calyptratus (Veiled), 0.1 C.alba (Umbrella)...........3.2.0 L.williamsi
05-30-2012, 01:42 PM #2
Well got my "Forest Floor" kit in the mail few days ago.
Started to play around with it.
This is pretty much the concept. This will be a limited substrate Forest Floor. Limited in the sence of it will only consist of a light layer of a ABG mix and organic soil and topped with a leaf litter. There will be no issue with drainage since the floor is elevated. All the plants will be potted and placed into the floor plate holes of various dimensions and hiden but the leaf litter creating the illusion of a natural forest floor.
Last edited by JonRich; 05-30-2012 at 01:48 PM.1.0 F.pardalis (Ambanja), 1:2 F.pardalis (Ambliobe),1:0 C.calyptratus (Veiled), 0.1 C.alba (Umbrella)...........3.2.0 L.williamsi
05-30-2012, 01:43 PM #3
First order of business was cleaing the ExoTerra , then fitting it with the kit. Went in really smooth and without issue.
The view of the bottom void that will later be painted or tinted over to hide it. (i will leave a section exposed to monitor whats going on under there.)
Ideally you don't want to use a background with this kit, it's designed to be a center piece and can/should be viewed from all sides.
This will not work with what i'm doing here. I will be housing animals that would welcome the security of a background structure. So i'll be using my existing ExoTerra foam wall. I just measure from the kit to the top and cut to fit. So now the foam background sits above the floor.
More pix of the void.
Last edited by JonRich; 05-30-2012 at 01:53 PM.1.0 F.pardalis (Ambanja), 1:2 F.pardalis (Ambliobe),1:0 C.calyptratus (Veiled), 0.1 C.alba (Umbrella)...........3.2.0 L.williamsiPost Thanks / Like - 0 Thanks, 1 Likesdrillman liked this post
05-30-2012, 01:45 PM #4
Limited substrate "forest floor" ExoTerra!
Rite now i'm playing the waiting game! Leaf Litter is "out of stock" allll over!! I have a nice plant selection coming in from BlackJungle later this week, then it will all move pretty fast.
Note:The above are googled images. I will have actual pix once they come in later this week : fingers crossed:
*C.metallica ( which i already have and pictured below. ) This is a dwarf Palm.
This is a dwarf Palm plant. C.metallica
It's 8" tall and planted in a 3" pot. I will be doing some moving around once the other plants and materials come in.
All done and planted.
Top view of the footprint of the PVC "forest floor" plate.
Last edited by JonRich; 06-20-2012 at 04:21 PM. Reason: typo1.0 F.pardalis (Ambanja), 1:2 F.pardalis (Ambliobe),1:0 C.calyptratus (Veiled), 0.1 C.alba (Umbrella)...........3.2.0 L.williamsi
05-30-2012, 02:19 PM #5
Now to get a bit more techinical.
The issue with drainage will go a little like this.
Most of the moisture would come in the way of mistings. (which will be done 3 times a day for 30 seconds each via a MistKing). Most of that water will be caught by the plants and the leaf litter then evaporate and add to the humidity of the enclosure. I do plan to manually water each plant at their base weekly, so the roots are seeing water. Whatever excess water from that will collect in the under-floor void and eventually also evaporate over time leading into the next watering.
I have a back-up plan incase it retains water. I am running a tube (provided with the kit) through the floor that is ran outside and connected to a fishtank airpump to pump fresh air into the void and aerate the tank as a whole. This will double as a drain tube to siphon water out of the void when dissconnected from the air pump.
I did some testing and this works better (faster for steady stream or water) if the line is ran out the front doors of the ExoTerra. But housing these fast Geckos it would be within my best interest to take the slow and steady rout and go through the top with the air/siphon hose.
Last edited by JonRich; 05-30-2012 at 02:26 PM.
05-30-2012, 04:02 PM #6
Looking good! You gonna hide the drainage layer at all from the front/sides?-Austin-
05-30-2012, 04:12 PM #71.0 F.pardalis (Ambanja), 1:2 F.pardalis (Ambliobe),1:0 C.calyptratus (Veiled), 0.1 C.alba (Umbrella)...........3.2.0 L.williamsiPost Thanks / Like - 0 Thanks, 1 Likesajb28221 liked this post
05-30-2012, 05:28 PM #8
That's looking great! Nice detailed build pictures.
05-31-2012, 03:18 PM #9
06-01-2012, 12:08 AM #10
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This is what $60 worth of plants looks like.(only the 6 towards the front) . Not too happy with this order, but i'll chalk it up as a learning experience.:rolleyes:
This was probably the only plant i was pleased with
Victoria Bird's nest fern