Live Plants?

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Herpetologist115
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Live Plants?

Post by Herpetologist115 » October 4th, 2013, 1:44 pm

Just wondering what kind of live plants I could put in with my herps?

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CR3SS
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by CR3SS » October 4th, 2013, 2:41 pm

By live do you mean carnivorous?

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Sam Bacchini
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by Sam Bacchini » October 4th, 2013, 5:49 pm

I'm guessing he simply meant alive...

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pete
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by pete » October 4th, 2013, 6:05 pm

What kind of herps?

Herpetologist115
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by Herpetologist115 » October 4th, 2013, 9:47 pm

Sorry I was in a rush... I was talking about plants that are alive not fake. Looking for ideas of some for my gulf coast box turtle and Pixie Frog or is it not a good idea? Just looking for info from a more experienced crowd.

Thanks, Luke

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by chris_mcmartin » October 5th, 2013, 3:23 am

Live plants in an indoor enclosure are very difficult to maintain with a box turtle...they will get dug up. An outdoor pen would be easier in that regard. I don't know how destructive pixie frogs could be.

A possible workaround is to use potted plants, with the enclosure substrate deep enough to largely conceal the pots. In other words, the turtle would be less likely to dig up the area around the plants themselves.

Hornemadness
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by Hornemadness » October 6th, 2013, 7:09 pm

With box turtles unless they are outside or you have a really big enclosure with deep substrate the plants will get thrashed. Outside with boxies I've used strawberries with success. Grass and various weeds work too but I like strawberries.

Jimi
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by Jimi » October 7th, 2013, 10:11 am

Not to be argumentative, but there is some more work-around indoor potential with boxies and live plants. I agree completely that the plants must be protected from the turtles. But if you incorporate planting areas into a fake-rock or other background - I'm thinking terraces, where the first step is too tall & steep for a box turtle to climb - it should be doable.

Some of the basal-rosette Sanseverias should do well. Zamioculcas is a slow enough grower that a small one should be compatible for a long time. Many terrestrial succulents would serve. There are also some pendant options, if you have a little height - a couple of Hoyas, that succulent known as burro tail, even perhaps some of the epiphytic cacti.

Chris' pot suggestion could also work. You can sink 2 pots, nested, so you can pull the plant(s) for deep watering etc, and not have the hole collapse.

Reversing perspectives (from protect the plants to protect the turtles) careful with poisonous plants - anything poisonous (e.g. Asclepias) should be out of reach, and also not likely to drop parts of itself into reach.

Good luck, and have fun. The more you look into this the more you'll find to think about and puzzle out. Compatible, adequate, and beneficial lighting, for example.

Cheers,
Jimi

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justinm
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by justinm » October 7th, 2013, 1:09 pm

www.blackjungle.com has a lot of nice vivarium plants, or check out any local greenhouses. I'm lucky to have two local greenhouses with interesting plants for sale.

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by chris_mcmartin » October 7th, 2013, 3:27 pm

Jimi wrote:Not to be argumentative, but there is some more work-around indoor potential with boxies and live plants. I agree completely that the plants must be protected from the turtles. But if you incorporate planting areas into a fake-rock or other background - I'm thinking terraces, where the first step is too tall & steep for a box turtle to climb - it should be doable.
Important tip, learned from a traumatic childhood experience: do not underestimate a box turtle's climbing ability! :cry:
A terrace, especially a natural-rock one, may still be scalable by an industrious turtle. And, if they're healthy, they can support their weight on their front limbs...and top a terrace or wall if they can reach it with their front legs while standing on their outstretched hind legs. Looks like a fat man with skinny legs trying to get the last bag of Oreos off the top shelf.

In any case, the placing of the plants in areas less prone to digging (no edges or corners of an enclosure) can help reduce plant mortality.

You make a good point about the double-pot technique on the plants.

Herpetologist115
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by Herpetologist115 » October 7th, 2013, 6:38 pm

Ok thanks, my box turtle is just a little guy - a few inches, slow growing, so for now I keep him indoors. So thanks for all the information.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by Kelly Mc » October 7th, 2013, 9:51 pm

For little boxes and adults I use sphagnum alot. ie green moss. Its not alive but when you hydrate it, it adds rich fauna dimension to the environment. I put in in their hides and bed it here and there. Its not so much for decoration but to provide familiar smells and tactility for them.

I feed them in shallow trays wide enough to walk in and keep the food clean, it works well and becomes iconic to them - they are less picky and more willing to eat and try different foods when habituated to a stationed feeding area. Its a zoo method in miniature for herps. works same.

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Re: Live Plants?

Post by Zach_Lim » October 8th, 2013, 8:17 am

Please note that true sphagnum is not the same as green moss.

Just a friendly, Zach reminder :)

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by Kelly Mc » October 8th, 2013, 8:30 am

Zach_Lim wrote:Please note that true sphagnum is not the same as green moss.

Just a friendly, Zach reminder :)

I think of you every time I mention dried sph-- moss

I dont know what else to term it that wont be confusing. But the ideal thing would be to clarify it.

Moss is important and so is the truth about it. Your right Zach.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by Kelly Mc » October 8th, 2013, 12:23 pm

When Zach first corrected me (graciously as is always his way) about the type of moss I had been calling Sphagnum - it was back when the moss we would use came in big bales, wired together in flakes, the same as a hay bale. Its not available here in amount like that anymore.

It is only available in much smaller cubes and its much pricier but its such a valuable media for environments that its worth it, imo.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Live Plants?

Post by Kelly Mc » October 8th, 2013, 6:52 pm

When using moss for localized enclosure enrichment, simple feeding strategy can be applied for almost any herp - to prevent its accidental ingestion. For box turtles its especially easy as even babies can be converted to thawed insects, and worms are less ambulatory so they are no problem. Inverts can also be mixed into composite food mixes.

Another way of using plantlife that would also serve purpose and not use up valuable floor space, is to place the pot beside the enclosure. If abundant the leaves can create an ovehang into the environment that ties in with the shelter area, and thats where the value is as far as the animal is concerned. In an open turtle table type enclosure this would work especially easily. Using flora that is lush and light, and perhaps placing the pots on cinderblocks would negate there being a sturdy enough tangle for the turtles to climb - for they are surprisingly resourceful. I once plucked an eastern box turtle 2 feet up a brick wall that he was being corraled in temporarily.

The strawberry idea is really cool, too. If you have a large enough enclosure with enough options they may leave them relatively unscathed as far as digging them up. Often creating a deep faux burrow satisfies them enough to not seek refuge in areas of sub.

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