[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

NFC: Plants - and more

Christian C Burke wrote:

> Well, I guess you can't believe everything you read.  It sounds like you've
> done some experimenting with this, perhaps because you read the same thing.

No it's just that the stuff is growing like kudzu and I hated to throw
it out. :-)  So I expermented with different ways to use the stuff.

It's interesting, though.  Forgive me if this is off topic I'll kill
this thread if y'all want.  But my 20 gallon terrarium is a model of
self sufficiency.  I just put live crickets and water in it.  I
occaisionally prune back the plants when they reach the lid.  I have
never cleaned it once in about 2 years.  It has no odor.  The tank is
self cleaning.

This was an experiment, BTW.

The substrate is peat moss at the base, moistened and then packed into
the tank.

On top of that I added leaf litter and pine needles from outside.  I
also added some small pieces of rotting wood with all the fauna still on

I try to keep the substrate misted once a day, and "flood" it about once
a month where I just keep adding water until it almost reaches the top
of the substrate.  This helps to chase the crickets out of hiding so the
mantellas can catch them before the crickets grow too large.

I throw java moss on the substrate and keep it moist through regular
watering.  It still dies, and becomes part of the substrate over time. 
But when it is alive it provides hiding places for the inhabitants and
helps keep the humidity up.  The lid is just a screen lid so I don't
block air flow to keep humidity high.  Good ventilation can't be
sacraficed to reach high humidity levels.

I honestly don't know how many mantellas are in there now.  A couple of
years ago it was seven.  But I hate them.  They hide all the time, and I
never ever see them.  My wife swears they are there.  If you pick up a
piece of wood you can find one or two but I hate to disturb them.  The
red efts that they live with are far more interesting to watch.

While I don't much care for the mantellas, the experiment itself is the
only reason I keep them around.  I know they are there.  I put crickets
in and they disappear.  If they were simply dying, that is STILL
biomatter added to the tank so the experiment is still valid for me.  I
don't use fancy test kits of any kind, just my nose.  It always smells
pleasent and mildly earthy in there.  Never foul.  It's proved to me
that you can strike a natural balance in a pet environment that totally
eliminates the need for cleaning.

I had similar success with a saltwater fish tank using nothing but an
air stone and lights.  No inverts whatsoever.  Just a few fish in a 55
gallon tank that lived about 18 months without filtration.  The tangs
suffered lateral line disease but the other inhabitants did fine.  The
experiment ended when I moved from that house.


"I would remind you that extremism in defense of liberty is no vice; and
I would remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no
virtue." - Barry Goldwater

Follow-Ups: References: