What kind of substrate is best ?

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I am making a dart frog tank out of a 29 gallon aquarium. I will be making a foam background and I want a nice layer of substrate but I just don't know what to use.

I will have hydro balls and screen, some rocks so the plants roots can spread out, but I don't know what to put on top. I hear that "Eco Earth" is bad cause it sticks to the frogs. Is this true.

If you guys could give me some options, that would be great.

Thanks everyone !
Long live Frogs
Here is the substrate I use: (excuse the poor drawing)


3. Leaf Litter (Top)
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2. Clay (with some mixed organics) (Middle)
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1. Leca/Hydroton (Bottom)


1. Leca is a light choice for a drainage layer, but I have had good success with false bottoms as well.

2. Clay--I use mostly bentonite* mixed with redart*, calcium powder, and a small amount of eco earth and sphagnum. Mix with water until the right consistency. I actually use this same formula for the clay that I use for the background.

3. I use a mix of magnolia, almond, and oak leaves. This gives varying sizes to use in all corners of the tank and they break down slowly. A nice thick layer will support a good microfauna population for your frogs to eat. I usually seed with springs and isopods and throw a mushroom or two under neath to get them started.

This setup has worked really well for me, and I've tried quite a few background and substrate methods.

*These clays are VERY cheap and can be purchased dry, by the pound from most pottery stores.

Hope that helps!
-Michael

Some frogs.
michaelslenahan Wrote:Here is the substrate I use: (excuse the poor drawing)


3. Leaf Litter
--------------------------------------------------------------
2. Clay (with some mixed organics)
--------------------------------------------------------------
1. Leca/Hydroton


1. Leca is a light choice for a drainage layer, but I have had good success with false bottoms as well.
2. Clay--I use mostly bentonite* mixed with redart*, calcium powder, and a small amount of eco earth and sphagnum. Mix with water until the right consistency. I actually use this same formula for the clay that I use for the background.
3. I use a mix of magnolia, almond, and oak leaves. This gives varying sizes to use in all corners of the tank and they break down slowly. A nice thick layer will support a good microfauna population for your frogs to eat. I usually seed with springs and isos and throw a mushroom or two under neath to get them started.

This setup has worked really well for me, and I've tried quite a few background and substrate methods.

*These clays are VERY cheap and can be purchased dry, by the pound from most pottery stores.

Hope that helps!


Yea, I'll keep this step in mind for sure. I like the leaf idea. leaves everywhere.
Long live Frogs
What i like to do in my vivs as well as my animal free terrariums:


1. On the bottom I put a layer - maybe 1.5-3 inches of Hydroton, Leca, Growstone/Feather-Lite ,for drainage.

2. Next I put down the Screen Divider, right on top of the Leca.

3. Then lay on some firbark, charcoal chunks anything chunky that will take awhile to break down - on top of the Screen.

4. Next I throw on a layer - maybe an inch or less, of Long Fiber Spaghnum covered with leaf litter and patches of moss.


I think the most important thing in the vivs is make sure the plants have plenty of drainage or their roots will rot.

Todd
Leaf Litter is very important. Much more important than decorative moss (not sphagnum).

Magnolia leaves - large Size

Live Oak - Small size

Are they two most popular due to the long lasting ability - these types of leave resist breaking down and seem to last the longest.

Leaf Litter provides the frogs with security, refuge, barriers even microclimates for humidity and temperature.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Agreed on the leaf litter. Most of my tanks I don't even plant moss on the floor area anymore. I prefer to set up moss so it will cover a log or something like that.
I've been experimenting with an 2/3 ABG and 1/3 shredded leaf litter substrate, has worked really well so far. I just mixed up 10 gals of ABG/leaflitter and added 5 gals of turface, have high hopes for it.
-Field Smith
Some frogs...
I always try to put some (not a lot) of the larger nickle sized smooth aquarium gravel in any ABG mix to provide spaces for aerobic activity (bug pilates)
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".



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