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We noticed a common question that people interested in gardening have been asking search engines lately: “Can I use real plants for my non-bio active enclosure?”.
If you have a reptile or amphibian as a pet, you might be wondering if you can use real plants in your non-bioactive enclosure.
A non-bioactive enclosure does not have a living substrate or a cleanup crew of microorganisms and invertebrates. It is usually easier to maintain than a bioactive enclosure, but it can also look less natural and appealing.
The good news is that you can use real plants in your non-bioactive enclosure, as long as you follow some simple steps and tips. Real plants can provide many benefits for your pet and for you, such as:
- Improving the air quality and humidity in the enclosure
- Providing hiding spots and enrichment for your pet
- Creating a more aesthetically pleasing and naturalistic environment
- Reducing stress and boredom for your pet
However, not all plants are suitable for non-bioactive enclosures, and some may even be harmful or toxic to your pet. You also need to consider the lighting, watering, and pruning needs of the plants, as well as the potential risks of pests and diseases.
In this blog post, we will answer the question of how to use real plants in your non-bioactive enclosure, and provide you with some steps and tips to make it easier and safer for you and your pet.
Step 1: Choose the right plants for your non-bioactive enclosure
The first step is to choose the right plants for your non-bioactive enclosure. You need to consider several factors, such as:
- The size and shape of your enclosure
- The temperature and humidity requirements of your pet
- The lighting conditions in your enclosure
- The substrate type and depth in your enclosure
- The compatibility and safety of the plants for your pet
Choose plants that are small to medium-sized, and that can fit comfortably in your enclosure without overcrowding it or blocking the ventilation
Choose plants that can tolerate the temperature and humidity range of your pet’s habitat, and that do not require frequent misting or watering
Choose plants that can thrive under low to moderate light levels, or use artificial lighting if needed
Choose plants that can grow well in pots or shallow containers, or use plant anchors or suction cups to attach them to the walls or decor of your enclosure
Choose plants that are non-toxic and edible for your pet, or that have sturdy leaves and stems that can resist chewing or digging
Plants that are suitable for non-bioactive enclosures
- Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
- Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae)
- Air plants (Tillandsia)
- Succulents (Crassulaceae)
- Ferns (Pteridophyta)
Step 2: Prepare the plants for your non-bioactive enclosure
The second step is to prepare the plants for your non-bioactive enclosure. You need to do some cleaning and quarantine before introducing them to your pet’s habitat. This will help prevent the introduction of pests, diseases, chemicals, or foreign materials that could harm your pet or damage your enclosure.
Some general guidelines are:
- Remove any tags, labels, stickers, wires, or plastic pots from the plants
- Rinse the plants thoroughly with lukewarm water to remove any dirt, dust, or debris
- Soak the plants in a mild bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) for 10 minutes to kill any bacteria, fungi, or parasites
- Rinse the plants again with clean water to remove any bleach residue
- Repot the plants in clean pots or containers with organic potting soil or sphagnum moss
- Place the plants in a separate area away from your pet’s enclosure for at least two weeks to monitor them for any signs of pests or diseases
Step 3: Arrange the plants in your non-bioactive enclosure
The third step is to arrange the plants in your non-bioactive enclosure. You need to consider the best placement and layout for the plants, as well as how to secure them in place. You also need to make sure that there is enough space and ventilation for your pet and for the other decor items in your enclosure.
Some tips for arranging the plants are:
- Choose plants that are suitable for the temperature and humidity of your enclosure. Avoid plants that are toxic or have sharp edges or thorns.
- Use pots, baskets, or hanging devices to hold the plants. You can also use driftwood, cork bark, or rocks to create natural-looking platforms or ledges for the plants.
- Arrange the plants in a way that creates visual interest and variety. You can use different heights, shapes, colors, and textures of plants to create contrast and harmony. You can also group plants together or space them apart depending on your preference.
- Secure the plants firmly in place to prevent them from falling or being knocked over by your pet. You can use wire, glue, or zip ties to attach the plants to the enclosure walls or ceiling. You can also bury the pots in the substrate or use rocks or other decor items to weigh them down.
- Leave enough space and ventilation for your pet and the other decor items in your enclosure. You don’t want to overcrowd or overheat your enclosure with too many plants. You also want to make sure that your pet has enough room to move around and explore without getting tangled or injured by the plants.
Best Plants for Your Non-Bioactive Enclosure
Here’s a list of the very best real plants to use in your non-bioactive enclosure:
These are low-maintenance plants that do not need soil or pots. They absorb water and nutrients from the air through their leaves. They can be attached to branches, rocks, or walls with glue or wire. They need bright light and moderate humidity.
These are colorful plants that have a rosette of leaves that form a cup-like structure. They can hold water in their cups, which can provide drinking water for your reptile. They can be planted in soil or attached to branches or rocks with glue or wire. They need bright light and high humidity.
These are lush plants that have feathery leaves that create a tropical look. They can be planted in soil or attached to branches or rocks with glue or wire. They need low to medium light and high humidity.
These are beautiful plants that have exotic flowers that come in various colors and shapes. They can be planted in soil or attached to branches or rocks with glue or wire. They need bright light and moderate humidity.
These are hardy plants that have thick leaves that store water. They can survive in dry conditions and do not need much watering. They can be planted in soil or attached to rocks with glue or wire. They need bright light and low humidity.
What is a non-bioactive enclosure?
A non-bioactive enclosure is a type of terrarium or vivarium that does not include live plants or other organisms.
Can I use real plants in a non-bioactive enclosure?
Yes, you can use real plants in a non-bioactive enclosure, but you will need to take extra care to ensure they receive adequate light, water, and nutrients.
What are the benefits of using real plants in a non-bioactive enclosure?
Real plants can help to create a more natural and aesthetically pleasing environment for your pet. They can also provide oxygen and help to regulate humidity levels in the enclosure.
What are the drawbacks of using real plants in a non-bioactive enclosure?
Real plants can be more difficult to maintain than artificial plants, and they may attract pests or introduce harmful bacteria into the enclosure. They may also require additional lighting and watering equipment.
What types of plants are best for a non-bio active enclosure?
You should choose plants that are non-toxic and able to thrive in the conditions of your enclosure, such as low light or high humidity. Some good options include pothos, spider plants, snake plants, and ferns.
How should I care for real plants in a non-bio active enclosure?
You should research the specific care requirements of each plant you include in the enclosure and provide adequate lighting, water, and nutrients. You may also need to prune or replace plants that become overgrown or damaged.
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