How to Make the Perfect Vivarium Substrate.

For all those who care for our magnificent native frog fauna at home. Share information on enclosures, feeding, which frogs to select, and general care advice.

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angel_saza
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Postby angel_saza » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:17 am

What a recipe! How well/long does this stuff store? I imagine that it'll last ages for somebody with a smallish tank. How long have you been using this recipe and have you come accross any problems with it? Is it necessary to use 2 different brands of spaghnum moss? Isn't the coir-peat brick and the coco-peat brick the same stuff?

Would this be suitable to use in a tank with a false-bottom. This'll mean that water drained through the soil with eventually come into contact with the frogs.

The propagation sand, is that really coarse? I've got some really coarse sand in the shed, which is supposed to go into swimming pool filters. It appreas to the the same stuff..

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Postby camnsue » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:39 am

Hello there,
wow, what a mix!! Is this suitable for GTFs? And also tanks with drain holes? (Although I am considering having a false bottom over the drain hole on the soil side).

Also, the seed-raising mix and pot n peat don't create a bacteria problem? I have been told not to use any soil in the substrate.

And can you just confirm that you DON'T have shares in Bunnings!! :lol: :shock: :lol:

Sue :D

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Postby angel_saza » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:09 am

Hmm... this is very tempting. I'm pff to Bunnings today, i might take a looksie :) I'll already got a soil mix ready to be put in the tank, but its only cocopeat and orchid bark. If my local Bunnings has all the same stuff then i'll get some prices :)

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Postby rockstar_jones » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:27 am

^ that orchid bark up there, is that the same one u expanded in the picture and use? if so i bought the same one, it has slow release unnatural fertiliser, (pink stuff throughout it).

Just wondering, also cool mix, sure is expensive though, it took me 10 buckets of cocopeat expanding crap to fill my tank.

Nice mix i'll keep it in mind next time i build a massive tank. I was considering to get some leaf litter, are fruit tree leaves ok as my trees should drop them soon... or i'll just take them lol.

Oh and is a gum tree branch ok to use in the tank? i got a big one yesterday about 5 feet that i'm gonna hack up.

Keep up the good stuff mate,

Jones

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Postby angel_saza » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:34 pm

I was gonna ask about those bricks because the Brunnings brand does have slow release fertilisers added. Also, i have no idea where i can get leaf litter from.. i've only got gum trees around my area and not really any good leaf litter. It's all full of bark and sticks

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Postby Aaron » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:53 pm

I have a branch from a eucalyptus in my tank. I remove all the loose bark till I was left with just the solid wood limb and I scrubbed it down with soap and tried to clean any mud and little creatures off, then rinse and then whacked it in the oven and gave it a good roasting. Helps dry it out and would probably kill most fungi and bacteria and then I varnished the log to help keep water out of it because previous attempts have led to the log rotting away and with the frog's doing their business on it - they can get smelly quickly.

Eucalyptus should be fine as long as the branch is clean and dry. I'd avoid pine and other more "European" trees which contain lots of sap.

Aaron

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Postby camnsue » Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:43 pm

Hi again

I found out today we should be getting our tank from ARC on Monday!! Woo Hoo!!! :D :D :D

So anyway I went out and bought everything on the list, got it all at Bunnings ( I support them too, where would we be without them! ... And my daughter works at Mitre 10!) and it cost around $35 like you said. But I am worried now that the Orchid Potting Mix coir block, exactly as pictured in your thread, does say it contains a slow release fertilizer....

Is there another Orchid mix I can buy to replace this, or is that the one you definitely use without a problem??

Sorry to quiz you so much, but I just wanna get it right from the start. I think your thread is great as I had been asking heaps about the best substrate, and was rapt when I read about yours.

Sue :)

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Postby angel_saza » Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:51 am

Did u previously state that you rinsed the stuff repeatedly? That makes much more sense now.. thanks

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Postby angel_saza » Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:57 am

Thanks, now i'll definately think about making some.. I'll have to but a large container with a lid so i can keep the stuff i don't use. How often do you renew the substrate?

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Postby camnsue » Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:42 am

Thanks for the follow-up. I'll rinse it well like you've just said and then set up the tank. Once we get it that is! I already have most of the plants I want to use, others are on their way (yay for ebay!), just need to find a nice peace lily...

I'm wondering what sort of container you do the final mixing in (eg, how large). I cansee you use buckets to do the expansion of the bricks, but does the final mix need to be in a wheelbarrow or similar?

Anyway, thanks again for the info.

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Postby angel_saza » Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:21 pm

I'd use a wheelbarrow. Just rinse it out and sit it in the sun for a while before you use it. Or you could buy one of the cheap plastic storage containers that holds just over 70 litres. Then you can reuse it later, breed crickets in there or something.

When i decide that i'm happy with my tank setup, i'll probably use this soil mixture. Stipe, how have you your tank setup, ie false bottom, then soil, or have you got another drainage layer such as gravel or clay balls? How have you kept it all separated?

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Postby camnsue » Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:53 pm

stipe wrote:its a false bottom made from egg crate 1cm of my holes drilled into the bottom of the tank (drainage). They a layer of the orchid bark then all soil dumped on top. Dont compact the soil. It will settle over time. Leave it all nice and fluffy.


I am probably going to put down a false bottom under the land area. I was planning to put a layer of coarse gravel or clay balls (if I ever find some that is!?), flywire and then the soil mix you described.

Are you saying you use the washed orchid bark as a first layer and then the soil mix? Or is there a brick of orchid bark also mixed into the soil??

Sorry to be so confused :oops: and even possibly confusing! :lol: :shock:

Sue

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Postby angel_saza » Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:41 am

Good luck finding clay balls in Bunnings. My local store didn't have a clue about what i was asking for. The clay balls are know as 'Hydroton' and you may have more luck finding them in a hydroponic gardening specialist store.

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Postby camnsue » Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:07 am

thanks so much to both of you.

I will have a look in Bunnings today, and I have a nursery I can try also, they specialise in Bromeliads etc so might be a good chance!

I am determined to be ready when this tank arrives. I don't think I could survive any other hold-ups!!!

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Postby rockstar_jones » Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:31 pm

^ +1

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Postby camnsue » Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:24 pm

rockstar_jones wrote:^ +1


Not quite sure what you're saying here Rockstar...maybe I'm just too old!!

Anyway, today I bought a 90 litre container (thanks for the idea guys!), but no luck with the clay balls. Got the same reaction Angel_Saza got at Bunnings so I went to the nursery. Still no luck but I managed to buy 2 more plants :oops:

But the guy there told me about a hydroponics place nearby. Just hope I don't have to wear dark glasses and a hat when I go there!! :shock: :wink:

Have looked at your new thread. The tank looks great, you can tell you've had a bit of experience putting these together. Congratulations. Love the fish in the water area. I assume the frogs won't eat them ??!!

Bye for now
Sue

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Postby rockstar_jones » Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:55 pm

lol sorry, what i ment as i was seconding what stipe had said about getting everything so you dont have to sit looking at an empty tank lol.

hydroponics should have it, shouldnt be to dear either. My reptile shop is also a hydroponic shop... how suss... and i got 50L of the stuff for $25, but i dont know if you will have the need for such a large amount, i still have a 1/4 of a bag left over.

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Postby rockstar_jones » Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:53 pm

hmm how much do the halide lights run for? in the future once i get more space i'm going to build a rather large viv, mainly tall. I figured halide lighting would probably be the only way to keep decent plants in there, especially at the bottom. They produce heaps of heat to dont they?

Once again, love ya water section.

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Postby camnsue » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:36 am

Hey guys,

Just getting back to the clay balls problem, I rang a place today, and they quoted $39 for a 50litre bag, & they don't do smaller. I don't know what to do now. Fork out that kinda money or go with a coarse gravel. Any opinions gratefully accepted!

Sue

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Postby angel_saza » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:43 am

What a rip off! Are you sure there isn't any other places around that have them? Although, if there isn't any other places around i guess that's why they're so expencive.

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Postby rockstar_jones » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:47 am

i got the same amount for $25, hmm.

You could make a false bottom out of foam and stuff like Bill and I.

Or just go with coarse gravel like you said, but it wont be moveable with this in it so set it up in the desired location.

then again you'd be sure to have a decent amount of clay balls left over, so if it ever flooded you could use it as a floatation device :lol: (clay balls float extremely well, eg 1cm of water will lift a stack of clay balls 10 deep above it.)

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Postby angel_saza » Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:11 pm

Juat a quick question about the soil mix. In the pics, i can see you used 2 different types of spaghnum moss.What brands and quantities did you use?

Also, where did you get your leaf litter from? Sorry if i've asked this before, i can't remember. Would compost be a suitable alternative?

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Postby rockstar_jones » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:45 pm

hey, add bunnings they have the two stipe pictured, over time the moss may come back to life if its near the surface in the mix, or you may choose to put some on the surface in a few areas anyway. So in bunnings there is a dried one, then a few in different bags. I think its amgro, which is in a clear bag and you can spot some green bits in it, that would be the best to use if you wanted to have a chance of it coming back moreso.

Just thought i'd share that, i thought about using peastraw form the vegie patch, as there is different levels of decomposed stuff... but i figured this last two seasons have been a bit to drouty to grow decent tomatoes legally, and that the peastraw wouldnt be to good either...

hmm

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Ann
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Postby Ann » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:29 pm

Bringing thread to top

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Postby melcoggio » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:44 pm

do you have a picture of your tank? i am going to be using a mix of coir peat, sphagnum moss, pearlite and orchid potting mix in my new tank.


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