Live Plants In Reptile Cages?

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Callum Dureau, Dec 15, 2016.

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  1. Callum Dureau

    Callum Dureau Active Member

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    I've read about this on multiple sites, but it's all a bunch of mixed opinions. I know it's good for humidity and provides fresh oxygen, but there are also people saying that it attracts mites and that it is just too much effort to look after a plant and animal. Personally, I see more pros than cons but want to see other people's opinions.
     
  2. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've never done it, but I believe it is only suitable with certain reptiles. And then you always run the risk of them trashing the plants anyway.
    Hopefully someone else will come along that has more knowledge of this than me.
     
  3. Iguana

    Iguana Well-Known Member

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    Funnily enough I was just asking about this, was thinking of doing a live planted tank for my future PTS, but I've instead chosen to put in potted plants (in ceramic pots) inside the tank, as they like to dig, and would probably disrupt the roots.
    There's many pro's and cons, but I think it mostly depends on the species you plan to keep with live plants. Some may just destroy them, other species like geckos I think would work best with a planted tank as there isn't too much damage they could do.
    I do make normal Terrariums with just the plants alone in either a sealed or open top glass bowl or vase of sorts, and some plant species do amazingly in that situation, such as some ferns/tropical plants. That being said they most defiantly attract insects, mostly flying ones. But overall, they aren't too hard to care for, they don't need too much water, and could really add that extra feature to an enclosure.
    I think with the added element of an animal being there, particularly a large one, it could be very difficult to maintain both the plants needs and the reptiles needs, so finding plants that much the humidity or substrate type as reptiles is crucial.
     
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  4. Josch

    Josch Not so new Member

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  5. Callum Dureau

    Callum Dureau Active Member

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    Yeah, I was thinking of putting a couple of spineless cactus or some sort of air plant to put between some rocks... I'll just have to see what is available, and what is tough enough.
     
  6. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Reptile mites are not going to be introduced with live plants, they come from other reptiles, or from someone or something who has had contact with mite-infested animals or enclosure decorations. I use live plants (Pothos (Devil's Ivy), Syngonium, Phyllodendron & Spathphyllum in my GTP enclosures, and have done for years. I have a stock of these easily propagated plants in the shadehouse or on the verandah, and change them over about once every two weeks, allowing the plants at least 6 weeks spell after coming out of the snake cages. GTPs don't damage the plants physically, unlike large Carpets and other more active reptiles. I'll get some photos when my wife gets home (she has the best phone camera :)!

    Jamie
     
  7. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    Agree with Jamie. Throughout my keeping experience I have used live plants, or pieces of live or dried plants placed in my enclosures for either aesthetic appeal or as stimulation for its inhabitants. Some of these were sourced in the garden and sometimes from segmented bush on the farm and not once have I ever come across mites. Although many types of insects have come along with the plants. The most prevalent creepy crawlies were spiders and grubs, and these would usually be snapped up by the lizards anyway. As a kid I had a colony of Hemiergis peronii living in a large plastic tub, and often live plants would be growing in the soil. But that tub was almost an ecosystem in itself. There was no lid, so excessive humidity was not a problem. Smaller reptiles tend to do better with plants. My Netted Dragons are very good with dried plants, but the monitors and the frillies tend to crush them after a while. If live plants sound too difficult then dried plants can be a good alternative.

    EDIT: Probably, don't need to be posted here as none of these are live plant setups, and if they're not wanted here I apologise, but here's some photos of some setups with plants. Some of these are not current however, as I like to redecorate every once in a while. Probably one of the best things when it comes to keeping reptiles, is the designing of enclosures.

    Snooze.jpg
    Nettedsetup.jpg
    Setup.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  8. Callum Dureau

    Callum Dureau Active Member

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    Ok cool, I read a couple of articles on it and it said things like parasites and mites can get into your enclosure, but if you guys are having no problems with live plants then I think I will use them.
     
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  9. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yep, there will be mites on any natural objects you place in the enclosure, but nothing that will hurt your reptiles. Mites occur in and on just about anything natural or living (there are countless thousands of species and types of mites - you probably have them living on your body, especially in your nose...), but there is only one problematic one for reptile keepers, and it comes, directly or indirectly, from other reptiles.

    Jamie
     
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  10. Allan

    Allan Subscriber Subscriber

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    So good to see that some people still bother about creating a better environment for their critters instead of the plastic container keeping which is norm these days.
     
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  11. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Not really good examples because the plants are smallish, but you can see that I just have them in pots (with trays to allow watering every few days), either terracotta or plain black plastic. The girl with the small Phyllodendron is in pre-shed mode. Even small plants like these (I usually have more pots in the enclosures) add a nice "earthy" smell to the enclosures, and the plants absorb a lot of odours and organic gases given off by plastics etc. The lighting is LED striplight, which I buy in 5m lengths with a power pack (Arlec, from Bunnings), and cut into 50cm lengths, and join them with speaker cable wires, soldered at each end and connected with automotive wiring connectors in tandem so that I can light as many enclosures as I want in a bank, just by including them or not. 10 enclosures lit this way cost a total of about $60, they produce no heat and take up no space because they are stuck to the enclosure roof.

    Jamie


    20161216_211034.jpg 20161216_210554.jpg 20161216_210404.jpg 20161029_075351-3.jpg

    20161216_210709.jpg
     
  12. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Sorry about the broken text... couldn't figure out how to consolidate it! Oops I did figure out how to do it!

    Jamie
     
  13. Callum Dureau

    Callum Dureau Active Member

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    Yeah, it just makes the enclosures look good too...
     
  14. Yon

    Yon New Member

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    I was just coming to ask this question, so will jump into this thread instead :)
    are there any plants that are a definite no - go? We were thinking Zamioculcas zamiifolia - Zanzibar gem as they need not a lot of attention, and we have a large number already.

    Would i be correct in thinking that we couldn't leave the pretty decorating rocks in the pots? Or would they be okay there?

    Thanks :)
     
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