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Cephalotus and Capallary Mats

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Joined
Oct 29, 2008
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1,570
Location
Saginaw, TX USA
Lets get right to the point, I'm thinking of setting up a vivarium and using a capillary mat as the only source of watering. The goal here would be a low maintance set-up that I would not need to bother with too much as I already have my "look at me NOW or I'm going to die" set-ups :-D.

Reading through Barry Rice's book he mentioned using capillary mats for Ceph's.

Anyone here every tried this? Thoughts?
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
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4,832
IMHO, A good top watering induces an exchange of gases in the root zone. Flushing out the bad and allowing fresh air in due to the induced pressure differential and water's natural cohesion.

Back when i was into Dupla/dutch style natural aquariums we would use heating cables in the substrate to stimulate this same process via temperature /density differentials

It may be the cat's meow.... but I'm just not sure how well pure capillary action alone would do over the long term.

I believe plant health would slowly decline (maybe months) unless some means of gas exchange is provided.

just my 2 cents,
Av
 
Joined
May 27, 2004
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77
Location
Michigan
I agree with Av8tor1. While watering via capillary action makes for a nice way to take care of your plants when you're on a vacation, occasional top water definitely improves soil aeration, while flushing away any bacterial build-up. I've been growing mine successfully with top watering alone for several years.
 

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Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
1,570
Location
Saginaw, TX USA
Sorry for the late reply, work decided I needed to be there more than usual.

Thanks for the info, in the reading they covered the gas exchange by using a much more open medium than normal perlite/peat/sand/bark 3/2/1/1. I was also considering using clay pots to help out with gas exchange, but that would mean giving up clear pots....I'll put some more thought into the gas exchange issue, something I really didn't consider enough. Maybe flood/drain every month.

I've been growing a few Ceph's in taller african violet self watering planters with very good results for a little over a year, but thats not long term so who knows what will happen in a few years. My water is very very low in minerals so that helps I'm sure, 70 from the tap and 0 by the time it gets to the plants, on my TDS meter and the lack of buildup on the soil supports the reading. So others may not share my results without the clean water. So that makes we wonder if I could make the mat work. It would be less water to the soil and I think that the Ceph's would prefer that.
 
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