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False bottom and planting - how to (pics)

We've had several people ask us, about how we do the rocks up front in our tanks.

Pictures say a thousand words.

So here we go...

This is our drain cover. It's made out of eggcrate and screen. Hot glued in place. We pump the water out. The tube exits the top of the tank and goes to a pump. Yet to be installed, permanently. It has been tested and works fine.

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Lay the screen on the bottom of the tank, and stack the rocks as desired.

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Fill in behind the rock with hydroton. It gives the rocks some support.

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Fold your screen back over the Hydroton.

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Start adding your soil and bugs. There's a full culture of isopods and springs that go in. It's very shallow up front. Maybe a 1/2" or so. At the back up to 2"s. We don't use many terrestrial plants. Mostly leaf litter.

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Some bark. This will start to rot in no time, and will feed the bugs for a long time to come.

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Tons of leaf litter. More food for the bugs, when it starts to break down.

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Some wood decor. It gives the frogs somewhere to hide and rest. Also it's nice for them to climb on and mount plants.

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Some decorative leaf litter.

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Tada...done. Big Grin

Thanks for looking.


Nice write up. I essentially did this same thing yesterday when I build my Riparium. I assume this 'style' is for tadpoles correct?

EntoCraig Wrote:Nice write up. I essentially did this same thing yesterday when I build my Riparium. I assume this 'style' is for tadpoles correct?

Thanks and yes it is. Smile

Lose the rocks and it's a straight up false bottom.


How much water do you allow in the bottom for the tads? How often do your frogs actually deposit tads there? Do you do anything special to the water or just leave it as is?

Sorry for all the questions... Just want to weigh in all the pros and cons. It might be nice to have a few tanks that I dont have to check for eggs and tads in... Smile

The water is 1 1/2 inches deep. The more water the better IME. They drop tads in whenever I don't pull eggs. :wink:

All I do to the water is let it age. It takes a while for all the algae to build up.



How well do the frogs handle the tads? I worry that they might miss one, or not know that they have hatched and then lose a whole batch... Are they good Parents?

If you want good production, pull the eggs. This is just for fun, but they do transport them. Not all make it out either. They're cannibalistic...


Here a pic of an Alanis froglet we decided to grow up in tank. Momma on the left and junior on the right. He's about 6-7 months now.

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A tad in the same viv.

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