Ficus pumila (creeping fig) and other "structure plants" - Q

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Apoplexic
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Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:44 am

Ficus pumila (creeping fig) and other "structure plants" - Q

Post by Apoplexic » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:15 pm

Howdy again folks! I'm looking to add some vine-age to my tat - after a very positive experience with a topper I will be putting together an amalgamated monster to rival Frankenstein's, and I feel like the cheapest method to add climbing aides, as well as the only way with side benefits, would be to use live plants.

I saw a few posts on here about Creeping Figs being used in tats, but there was little detail there. I understand they produce an irritant in the sap, but that seems unlikely to bother a crustacean unless they decide to rub their abdomens against it...but Darwin rules on those unfortunately and it's not a concern. A Facebook group made note that "all ivy is listed as unsafe," but as the broad category of "ivy" includes things like strawberries and grapes, I'm leaning towards try in order to gain a definitive answer.

The other concern noted was that plants which root in the substrate are unsafe for moulting crabs - if someone could tell me more about the "why" behind this I'd love to know, but irrespective any vine I would include would be rooted in a plastic tube and attached to a trellis of some sort outside of the tank before I move it in. I have no illusions of permanency with any kind of terrarium, so I'd want to be able to take it out if ever necessary.

Next up - other varieties of plants that would serve purposes other than pure decoration. Woody vines or hard-stalked plants that the crabs could climb without immediately destroying would be ideal, but those that thrive in our tats' conditions are hard to come by - wood tends to rot and humid plants are often fleshy and soft. Do the collective you have any other sorts of climbable plants suited for our crab homes?

Lastly - what do we know about the carnivorous plants, like pitchers and fly traps? Native to coastal Carolina, they would fit in the biome, but I am unsure if their digestive enzymes would bother our chitinous friends or not.


Sweet Pea
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:20 am

Re: Ficus pumila (creeping fig) and other "structure plants"

Post by Sweet Pea » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:56 pm

I've been keeping plants in my crabitat for years now. The hardiest plants in my experience are spider plants, asparagus ferns, pothos, and philodendron, and the crabs usually leave them alone. The creeping fig that I put into my tank died pretty quickly. I usually put them in in small pots and sink them into the substrate, because they don't seem to do well in the eco earth/sand combination. I'll also toss birdseed, which is mostly millet, wheat and sunflower seed and let it sprout. Barley is another one that will sprout well.

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