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Old 03-28-2009, 11:17 AM
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Default ABG Mix Recipe.

Hi,
I tried searching for ABG Mix and Atlantic Botanical Garden on a few forums on here and found nothing.
Does anyone have the Recipe for the ABG Mix for terrarium substrate.
Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

The ABG mix is 2 parts tree fern fiber, 1 part peat moss, 2 parts cocofiber, 1 part charcoal, and 2 parts orchid bark.
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Perfect! Thanks.
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scream-aim-fire View Post
The ABG mix is 2 parts tree fern fiber, 1 part peat moss, 2 parts cocofiber, 1 part charcoal, and 2 parts orchid bark.
Where did you find that info so that others can see it? Thanks Josh.
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

lol yea that is true merek, i got it off of brians tropicals cite, Ohio dart frogs and fish
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

I've never used or heard of using coco fiber in an ABG mix, but I know there are variations in most people's batches, including mine.

I use approximately:

1 part milled peat (sometimes more)

1 part milled sphagnum moss

1 part fine charcoal (sometimes more)

2 parts fine tree fern fiber

2 parts fine orchid bark

I just eye it out really, never have tried to get the ratios perfect. Instead of searching ABG Mix, try ABG recipe.

Mike
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scream-aim-fire View Post
lol yea that is true merek, i got it off of brians tropicals cite, Ohio dart frogs and fish
Thanks. I appreciate the information.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

heres another cite that has a recipe for ABG mix, little different from brians tropicals

2 parts Ground Tree Fern Root
2 parts milled Sphagnum Moss
2 part fine orchid bark
(i cannot emphasize *fine* enough here, it's hard to find)
1 part sphagnum peat moss
1 part charcoal

soil
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

what kind of store do you get the charcoal at? Is it called Lump charcoal? I need to get some for my springtail culture
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Teezy View Post
what kind of store do you get the charcoal at? Is it called Lump charcoal? I need to get some for my springtail culture
Cheapest place is Lowe's or Home Depot. Cowboy brand or Frontier brand Lump hardwood charcoal. Toss some in a pillowcase and smash it with a hammer.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

ok cool that's exactly the brand i was looking (Cowboy)
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:28 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Toss some in a pillowcase and smash it with a hammer.
hope you love black upholstery !
The ABG on josh's frogs has shredded up long fibered spagnum in it, are there variations to the recipe?
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:04 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ICS523 View Post
hope you love black upholstery !
The ABG on josh's frogs has shredded up long fibered spagnum in it, are there variations to the recipe?
The recipe calls for "milled sphagnum". That is the shredded up long fibered sphagnum you are seeing. Same thing. You do want to be careful playing with the recipe too much. Especially with the tree fern fiber. If you take the chocolate chips out of a Toll House, all you're left with is just another cookie. Here is a link to another good ABG thread. The TRUTH about ABG Mix!!
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

This thread goes into the ABG ingredients: Genuine ABG vs. ABG equivalent

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeiKVR6 View Post
There are a few different recipes I've commonly thought of as actual ABG mix (or equivalent):
Verison 1: 2pt Tree Fern fiber, 1pt peat, 1pt charcoal, 1pt sphagnum, 2pt coco, 2 pt orchid bark
Version 2: 2pt Tree Fern fiber, 1pt peat, 1pt charcoal, 1pt sphagnum, 2pt orchid bark
Version 3: 2pt Tree Fern fiber, 1pt peat, 1pt charcoal, 2pt sphagnum, 2pt orchid bark

I personally don't see peat being a good thing. It breaks down faster than coconut fiber would, and it can compact.

Tree fern fiber is very important, since it helps keeps the soil "airy" and virtually never breaks down. Without Tree Fern fiber and orchid bark - it's not going to work like ABG mix regardless of the other ingredients. Soil must be allowed to breathe to build beneficial bacteria, support plant life, and support microfauna.

I've heard people using "organic" potting soil mixed with orchid bark, sphagnum moss, and charcoal call it "ABG equivalent". It's not! potting soil will quickly break down, and 90% of it contains other unwanted ingredients.

A good substrate should never exceed 50% of "soil" ingredient. (meaning coconut fiber, peat, or potting soil) More than 50% will get soggy very quickly. Ideally it should be around 35-25% of the mix, as it would be in ABG. The "saving money" thing goes a long way in this economy, so I completely understand people wanting to mix substrate themselves. Unfortunately the most expensive ingredients (orchid bark, sphagnum, charcoal, tree fern fiber) should make up the majority of the mix.

Other info:
Charcoal = Fine/Medium grade
Orchid Bark = Fine/Medium grade (home improvement store bark works, but it's usually large grain. Zoo Med reptibark IS fine orchid bark. )
Tree Fern Fiber = Fine/Medium grade (I've heard just fine being used - but we've had good luck with both)
Coconut fiber & "Coir" = Same thing!

I hope this helps!
A few sponsors sell ABG Mix (Us included: NEHERP Vivarium Substrates).
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

I have to ask this because I am still a little baffled... And do not really cook... So how much is 1 part??

I see this and it seems extremely simple to make, but have no clue how much 1 part is. Planning on going to the local green house to get this stuff.. And is the charcoal you guys are talking about in the lawn and garden section or should I look somewhere else.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

1 part could be anything; it depends on how much you want to make (example: if you wanted to make 10 cups of ABG, then each part would be 1 cup, and if you wanted to make ten gallons of ABG, then each part would be 1 gallon, and so on).
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frog dude View Post
1 part could be anything; it depends on how much you want to make (example: if you wanted to make 10 cups of ABG, then each part would be 1 cup, and if you wanted to make ten gallons of ABG, then each part would be 1 gallon, and so on).
So just take a bunch of equal amounts and mix it up. Other then the ones that call for two and just double whatever you are adding then correct??

And with the charcoal, what area of home depot or lowes shoud I be looking in for it. Pretty sure it is not the stuff we throw on the grill.

And holy cow thanks for the fast response!
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

actually the cowboy lump charcoal at Lowes is actually the stuff u can use for the grill....its in the grill section


edit: this is what it looks like

http://www.lowes.com/pd_44516-37442-...ntity_sold%7C1
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:40 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Crazy never would have though lol. Now to find the orchid bark. Seems that all the stuff that I have found has some sort of fertilizer in it.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:47 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

if i'm not mistaken i think petsmart had some
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Smash up your charcoal OUTSIDE where you can spray it off with the hose, trust me! And, no matter what, be prepared to have to take a shower fairly soon after, you'll be covered in charcoal dust LOL
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Cowboy brand or Frontier brand. A lot of the Lowe's around here are now stocking Frontier.
Mess free crushing method is to take an old pillowcase (because it will ruin it). Fill it up no more than 1/3 to 1/2 way. Drive over it about 4 or 6 times.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Isnt tree fern fiber the same stuff that hanging fern planters are made of? I've always just used the activated charcoal from the pet store made by Marineland. I know it's a bit more expensive but it's the perfect size and works great.

Last edited by JaredJ; 08-06-2012 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaredJ View Post
Isnt tree fern fiber the same stuff that hanging fern planters are made of? I've always just used the activated charcoal from the pet store made by Marineland. I know it's a bit more expensive but it's the perfect size and works great.
We should be aiming at about a 1/4" particle size to help add voids and gaps between particles. Marineland is only half that size or smaller. So yes, it would work, but is not ideal. It's more than "a bit" more expensive! Their 40 oz size is about $19 online. That's 2.5 lbs which comes to $7.60 per pound. Actually more after shipping. If buying the smaller sizes, the price goes up quite a bit.
Cowboy or Frontier run about $6 or $8 for an 8.8 lb bag. Roughly, that's under $1 per pound. That makes Marineland 8 times the price.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Yeah, I always got the big jugs of Marineland from my LFS for $12 but I just picked up an 8.8lb bag of Cowboy at lowes for $6.99.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Plus, the extra Cowboy/Frontier will come in handy for springtail cultures.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:25 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaredJ View Post
Isnt tree fern fiber the same stuff that hanging fern planters are made of? I've always just used the activated charcoal from the pet store made by Marineland. I know it's a bit more expensive but it's the perfect size and works great.
most of the planter inserts that i have seen are made from coconut coir. tree fern fiber would work as well but it is alot more expensive than coir for that use
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumilo View Post
The recipe calls for "milled sphagnum". That is the shredded up long fibered sphagnum you are seeing. Same thing.
is it really the same? milled sphagnum is finely ground. long fiber is very coarse and i imagine it still is pretty coarse even when 'shredded'. i wouldnt want to use too many components that are milled, this would compact and become heavy.

i used to make a somewhat similar mix to ABG but i have always replaced the sphagnum and peat with coir only because it doesnt mildew or break down. in hindsight, replacing both probably made the soil too sterile. i was going to make my own again until i saw NEHerps recipe...its just like i would want it already. i will save the DIY for when i have a large rack to setup lol.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Ok, then what's the difference between the peats. Lowes has a bag of Sphagnum peat moss in the greenhouse area, then outside they have a bag of just peat moss. Aren't they the same?
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

I'm looking to setup (3) 10 gallon tanks as grow out tanks for my plant cuttings and possible future frogs. I have peat, sphagnum moss, charcoal, coco fiber chunks, and orchid bark. The one thing I can't find locally and will have to order will be the tree fern fiber.

From what I've read in this thread, the tree fern fiber is a very important ingredient. To get an immediate start on doing some cuttings, is it possible to substitute the tree fern fiber on one tank or even all together? Possibly orchid bark, sphagnum moss, and/or charcoal? I've read another members thread about planting cuttings and I believe the main or only thing used for those was the sphagnum moss.

Any suggestions on the best way to set up these 10's would be greatly appreciated! Like I said, immediate purpose is to have a tank for cuttings and long term goal is to have these 3 setup for future frogs using my cuttings for the growth.

Anything beyond my first viv is still all new to me. I have done a plant list now for my tank and have about 15 types of broms/tillandsias and about 30 other plants.

Thanks, Chris
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumilo View Post
Cheapest place is Lowe's or Home Depot. Cowboy brand or Frontier brand Lump hardwood charcoal. Toss some in a pillowcase and smash it with a hammer.
Awesome! Very helpful
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Every time I mix my abg it gives off a strong tobbaco smell! Normal?
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxFrogWrangler View Post
Every time I mix my abg it gives off a strong tobbaco smell! Normal?
I smokey smell is normal from the burnt charcoal. It should pass quickly and soon smell outdoor fresh in your viv.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

A little bump. Was hoping to get a little guidance or suggestions about my last post on the previous page.
Thanks, Chris.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Tropical Plant Products. Treefern Fiber
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Sorry to bump an old thread, figured it was better than making a new one. What is the purpose of the charcoal?
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfish View Post
Sorry to bump an old thread, figured it was better than making a new one. What is the purpose of the charcoal?

It's talked about some, here. The TRUTH about ABG Mix!!
It allows for good drainage, sweetens the soil, and, see Ed's comment, here.
Quote:
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Look up terra preta....

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Old 05-22-2013, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Just finished reading on tera preta, interesting! What are your thoughts on this section?

"Fresh charcoal must first be "charged" before it can function as a biotope.[33] Several experiments demonstrate that uncharged charcoal can bring a provisional depletion of available nutrients when first put into the soil - until its pores fill with nutrients. This is overcome by soaking the charcoal for two to four weeks in any liquid nutrient (urine, plant tea, etc.)."

Should I pee on my charcoal first?
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

What do you think about substituting turface for the charcoal? It would be cleaner and be a good source of calcium. And I have a lot of it.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: ABG Mix Recipe.

Yes please pee in your coal and let us all know how that festering smell works out for ya lol..
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