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Old 09-06-2019, 12:16 AM
Fahad Fahad is online now
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Default Podocarpus - long-term safety?

I did a search and turned up a couple of hits with Podocarpus being mentioned but they didn't quite address what I'm thinking about.

The first is safety of the frogs. Many if not most of the plants we use in vivaria are toxic to one degree or another; when using and occasionally pruning back the usual suspects (philodendrons, ferns, etc.) I've never had any issues.

I want to use P. macrophylla 'Maki' as an analog/stand-in for South American Podocarps. While most of them are present at higher elevations, P. guatemalensis is apparently present at all sorts of elevations including lowland forests.

1. Potential toxicity: in a vivarium this tree will presumably act more like a shrub in terms of growth but will still require pruning.

When pruned the small plants immediately give off a relatively strong pine-y smell you'd expect from a conifer, and bleed a tiny amount of milky sap.

I could likely minimize releasing too much of that volatile scent into the air by only pruning one stalk on a given day and they do seem to heal fast.

Does anyone think that in a relatively large viv (36" x 18" x 36") that brief interval would produce too much of volatile compound into the air? Personally I think it's probably negligible.

With only a brief (seconds) and small 'bleed' I'm not overly worried about a frog coming into contact with sap.

2. Even if the foliage above ground is pruned to a small size I'm not sure how invasive or large the roots will get over time. Wondering if that will pose a physical threat to structural integrity of the viv down the road.

So has anyone actually used this species or anything similar for long periods of time in a frog tank?

Any anecdotes or feedback welcome.
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