Carnivorous plants in Vivaria – a Guide

Not sure if your plant is suitable for a Vivarium? Substrate Issues and Viv pests discussed.
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Philsuma
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Carnivorous plants in Vivaria – a Guide

Postby Philsuma » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:10 pm

Someone emailed this to me a time ago...if anyone knows who authored it, please LMK so I can give credit. It's a nice little piece.


Carnivorous plants in Vivaria – a Guide


Since it seems every week someone new is asking about CP's in dart tanks here is a quick guide to all common and a few not so common species and my thoughts on their suitability to dart tanks.

Aldrovanda: “water wheel plant” not at all suitable to dart frog tanks, not enough water, not enough light, too much nutrients

Byblis: not terribly suitable. Probably would grow just fine but they are fairly flimsy plants and the frogs would probably trample them to death

Cephalotus: “Aussie pitcher plant” not suitable, this species can be tricky to grow in good conditions; it generally doesn’t like to be kept constantly soaked, also doesn’t like water sitting on its crown for long periods.

Darlingtonia: “cobra lily”, temperate plant, generally likes cool conditions and air/cool water movement around its roots. Gets too large for most tanks anyways with its mature pitchers being up to 3 feet tall

Dionaea: “Venus fly trap” NOT SUITIBLE! This is a temperate plant that requires a cool dormancy to survive. Also needs a lot of light, full sun being the ideal, doesn’t grow well under fluorescent lights. A good-sized VFT could eat frogs the size of adult imitators.

Drosera: “sundews” there are around 171 known species, obviously I can’t comment on the suitability of all these but in general the genus does not like high humidity coupled with little to no air movement that is common in most dart tanks. Most species also like a lot of light, more than most dart keepers provide their tanks. Most species are probably susceptible to being trampled to death by larger frogs. I, personally, would be worried about larger Drosera species with recently morphed thumbnail froglets. Tinc group frogs probably have no worries.

Genlisea: “corkscrew plants” these will probably do quite well in dart frog tanks. Constantly wet soils, combined with warm temps are ideal for this genus. Being that this genus preys microscopic soil living organisms they are harmless to the frogs. Most have pretty flowers. Also, species such as G. filliformis, G. violacea, G. lobata and G. aurea are in cultivation and are also likely found in area’s that darts also live in Central and South America. Only issue is they may not hold up to constant frog traffic, might be suitable for an out of the way nook that gets decent light.

Heliamphora: “sun pitchers” not suitable, like very high light, metal halide is ideal, combined with cool temps (mid 50’s-low 60’s ideal). Also likes loose soil mixes. It is possible that one of the man made hybrids COULD POSSIBLY be used in a high light dart tank as they are more tolerant to higher temps.

Nepenthes: “tropical pitcher plants” yes these can grow in some dart tanks. However most do not like constantly soaked roots and like plenty of air movement around the roots. While I do know of individuals who have used these in dart tanks and have never heard of a dart being killed by one I do know of a grower in Florida who routinely finds dead tree frogs being digested in the Nepenthes pitchers in his greenhouse. Also remember that these plants are in all reality small to large vines. Most species will out-grow all but the largest dart tanks. In fact the species most suited to the conditions in a dart tank (as in it can take constantly soaked media) is N. bicalcarata but this species can easily and quickly grow to 6 feet in diameter. If you must try these in your dart tank I suggest species such as N. gracilis or N. ampullaria.

Pinguicula: “butterworts” temperate species are not suitable, as they generally need a cool dormancy. Mexican butterworts however potentially could do very well, especially mounted on a branch towards the top of the tank where there is plenty of light as they do like lots of light but they do well under fluorescent lights. Think of them as a highlight orchid. Like orchids they need air movement in order to do well, high humidity with no air movement will likely lead to rot. If you are growing orchids in your tanks and they are doing well give Ping’s a try as they pose no harm to frogs as most can’t catch a house fly.

Sarracenia: “American pitcher plants” these are not acceptable. They must have a cool-cold dormancy to survive or they will die of exhaustion. Also require very high light, full sun being ideal. A lot of species and hybrids will grow to big for most dart tanks anyway.

Utricularia: “bladderworts” terrestrial and “macro” species potentially can do quite well though you will not see any carnivorous action as it’s all subsurface; however they do have nice flowers. For terrestrial species try any you can get your hands on, U. livida and U. sandersonii are generally easy to find and ideal species to try. U. tricolor also excels. “macro Utrics” are sometimes called “epiphytic Utrics” though this is misleading as very few are truly epiphytic. I know of one dart frog keeper who has successfully raised U. humboldtii in bromeliad wells in the vivarium like the species is normally, but not always, found in nature though this is probably not a good practice if your frogs are raising tads in the broms. U. alpina is probably the easiest to find to try. It will probably do best in a mossy area with bright light. I grow it in some long fibered sphagnum that was placed on a branch close to the water so that the moss stays damp but not soaked. another plus is you can likely get ahold of species native to areas that darts are found. Stay away from aquatic species as these do trap and eat tadpoles in nature

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schreff
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Re: Carnivorous plants in Vivaria – a Guide

Postby schreff » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:46 pm

How bout some H. minor Akopan Tepui

Mahjimoto
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Re: Carnivorous plants in Vivaria – a Guide

Postby Mahjimoto » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:42 am

This is a very interesting topic, it has been discussed for many years but i myself do not want to risk a frog to science. I do know that a few years ago i saw a video where dart frog tads were being raised in the water funnels of a carnivorous plant ( wish i could find the video ) . Some of the carnivorous plants are gorgeous and would look amazing in the tank but as i stated i will not risk it.

Betta132
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Re: Carnivorous plants in Vivaria – a Guide

Postby Betta132 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:02 pm

Tree frogs in pitchers? Yep.
I know a grower who has a bunch of pitchers with traps over an inch wide. They sometimes find dead anole lizards in there, and once they found a small mouse in one.


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