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ABG not draining too well
I'm really pleased with my first viv build and it's looking good a week and a half after planting.

However, I'm surprised to see the ABG remains very moist all the way down to the separator. The false bottom (the irregular-shaped lightweight stuff that Josh's sells) has 1/2 to 1 inch of water at the bottom, and the rest is moist but not soaked, which I believe is correct.

I thought the ABG was supposed to remain only lightly damp while the water filters to the bottom. Did I possibly pack it too tightly? I did use a thin layer of sphagnum on top of it to help the viv retain humidity, but that shouldn't affect the ABG all the way down.

Three of my bromeliads are attached to cork but the one that I planted seems to be dying back a bit. Not sure if that's because of the ABG being too wet, acclimatizing, or it just doesn't do well planted.
A girl named Joey.
Yeah... ya don't want to plant any Bromeliad. They will not do well in vivarium soil. Place them all on high wood.

Try to get some picks of your viv and false bottom.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Hey Joey. Did you use hydroton clay balls for the false bottom or something else? I used hydroton on my first viv and it wicked water really well which kept my substrate moist. If you are still concerned about the moisture level you could try dropping the water level some to see if that does anything. Worst case I would dig up some of the ABG and mix in some Turface (I get mine at the local John Deere landscape supply) which may help it drain better. I think Chuck did something like 3 parts turface, 1 part ABG. I do this in all my vivs now (mostly turface with pockets of ABG where I am planting) and it drains much better.

But like Phil said, I'd move the brom up onto the background. The improved drainage should help your other plants though. Good luck! Looking forward to seeing the new build!
Jim from Austin |
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
Philsuma Wrote:Try to get some picks of your viv and false bottom.

I will do that tomorrow.

Thanks for the advice about the bromeliad. It was by far the biggest one and at least one of the zillion things I read about broms was that you can plant the stolon in the soil. So on both of your advice, I made a cork round into a little "stump," attached the brom to the side, and put a little cup of water in the top for potential tadpoles. I already have a brom on a log so I may save it for another viv, but I think it looks kinda cool. It was already growing roots so at least I didn't kill it. Big Grin

Jim, I described the false bottom as "the irregular-shaped lightweight stuff that Josh's sells" -- I know sometimes it's made from recycled glass and this is also made from recycled materials but I'm not sure which. They definitely wick water, because they're damp at the top though not soaked.
A girl named Joey.
Okay, here is a shot of the bottom part of the vivarium. We left the screen separator a little long to make sure the ABG didn't migrate downwards.


Here is a closeup. Sorry about the reflections. Here you can better see the 1/2 inch of water at the very bottom, and at the top where it touches the substrate it's damp but not soaked.


And here's a look at the whole thing short of two weeks after planting. I should mention that aside from the bromeliad in question (on the lower left), everything else is growing (or at least holding its own). The hardscaping isn't permanent and there will be a lot more leaf litter. I just wanted to get the springtail population going without burying the new plants too much.

A girl named Joey.

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