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What kind of substrate is best ?
#1
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
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#2
Here is the substrate I use: (excuse the poor drawing)


3. Leaf Litter (Top)
--------------------------------------------------------------
2. Clay (with some mixed organics) (Middle)
--------------------------------------------------------------
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.
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#3
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
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#4
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
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#5
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".
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#6
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.
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#7
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...
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#8
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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