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Re: Re: Filmy ferns and wardian cases

I have had remarkably good results getting filmy ferns to live in small 
and big containers. I use a soilless mix for the medium. I may add some 
charcoal or not and I keep it closed by using a good quality of Saran 
wrap. The lighter weight sarans have a far greater air exchange and the 
terrariums seemed to dry out very fast, ie. death. I use Saran so I can 
dampen the outer surface and press the Saran onto the wet area to make a 
seal keeping the moisture in. I put the containers either under lights 
or on a window ledge. I try to not let the containers be in a situation 
where the heat builds up like in a greenhouse, ie. avoid direct sun if 
possible. I have done this for years using round fish bowls and regular 
aquariums. I prefer a glass surface to a plastic because the Suran 
sticks and seals better. A mister bottle is a good way to water. I have 
some I have not opened for years and others tend to need water from time 
to time. You can also use good closing zip-lock bags when desperate.

Good luck. Betsy

Brian Swale wrote:

>John wrote
>>I've had what looks suspiciously like a filmy fern appear in in one of my older
>>gametophyte pots. I sowed the pot over four years ago with mixed filmy fern
>>spore I had collected just over a week previously on one of my trips to New
>>Zealand ( where I grew up ). The pot lives in a plastic bag and this is the
>>first sporeling from that sowing that has a filmy fern look about it. The bush
>>on my parents' farm was carpeted with various filmy ferns, so I'd like to think
>>I've a reasonable chance of being able to recognise one when I see it.
>>Does anybody have any suggestions on how to deal with filmy ferns? The humidity
>>here in Sweden is far too low most of the time, so I'm considering setting up a
>>Wardian Case using a small aquarium to house the fern. I've got a coolish corner
>>under some stairs and a short distance from a window on the shady side of the
>>house lined up for the case. A small leafy liverwort has appeared in the same
>>pot, so that'll probably end up there as well. I am a bit worried about mold, is
>>there anything else I should be watching out for?
>>The fern seems quite happy where it is, so I'm not going to rush things - it
>>only needs one failure to wipe out my entire stock of the fern.
>>cheers, John.
>I have used a variety of small air-tight containers for high-humidity ferns, with 
>mixed success, and usually ultimate failure.  Even large perspex containers 
>in the end resulted in failure, for a variety of  reasons.
>It is very easy to fail to maintain the cultures. They are easy to overlook. 
>Neglect is another name for it ;-((
>In nature, they are regularly washed by rain to remove slime moulds and the 
>like, and this doesn't happen in small terraria or Wardian cases. Also, in 
>nature they have a plentiful supply of fresh air, and that is usually not what 
>applies in a case.
>I suppose it would be possible to make a case that provided for spray 
>irrigation and took away the overflow - leachate.
>Another aspect is the usual difficulty of keeping the glass etc clean. Often 
>this gets covered with green algae. Usually these cases are difficult to get at 
>the interior of.
>Many of the NZ species can take bright light for 30 minutes+  per day.
>Remember that many of the NZ species grow pendant from the trunks of tree 
>ferns where they may get dried a little during daylight hours. They are fussy 
>about their specific requirements though.
>Which reminds me; about the culture of Psilotum nudum. I have found that in 
>a house it is quite capable of invading pots of other genera; tuberous 
>Begonia, Nephrolepus, and so on, The spore floats around with great ease.
>The prothalli of this species and probably of Lycopodium spp live a 
>subterranean life. The discovery and scientific work on them was done by a 
>Rev. Holloway in the 1800's who botanised in his spare time..
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