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Old 09-22-2019, 01:38 AM
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Default Driftwood and dart frogs on Vancouver Island

Hi! Iím pretty new to the hobby and Iíve got a couple questions. Is it possible to use drift wood in a vivarium with dart frogs? And does anyone know about any dart frog/vivarium retailers on Vancouver Island? Iíve tried looking it up but Iím wondering if people whoíve been in the hobby for a while know about trusted retailers. Thanks! Also if this is in the wrong spot, sorry!
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Old 09-22-2019, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Driftwood and dart frogs on Vancouver Island

Can only answer your first question. Yup, driftwood is totally okay. However, depending on the tree species, it may decompose quickly in a vivarium environment.

Many people will recommend sterilization via baking or boiling to remove unwanted pests/pathogens.
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: Driftwood and dart frogs on Vancouver Island

Awesome, thanks for answering my question! What kind of woods are best for a vivarium then?
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Old 09-22-2019, 04:32 AM
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To be clear, you’re not using coastal driftwood?
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Driftwood and dart frogs on Vancouver Island

Dendrodragon,

Saltwater driftwood will have problematic salt content. You should soak beach-gathered driftwood in freshwater for a week or so before you use it. Freshwater driftwood (from lakes or rivers) will not have that issue.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Driftwood and dart frogs on Vancouver Island

Ahhh ok, thanks! How long should it be soaked for? Is there a way to tell if all the salt has been leached out?
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Driftwood and dart frogs on Vancouver Island

You can buy a salt tester(I don't remember what it is called) but they aren't super cheap. Also, always always always boil the wood before adding it to a pet's enclosure. If the piece is too large to boil, you can put it in the oven. Here is a good website for what you are doing:

https://www.thriftyfun.com/Sterilizi...%20handle%20it.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Driftwood and dart frogs on Vancouver Island

My style here is often to ask a bunch of questions, and make a bunch of statements, and just get the OP (you, here) thinking and pondering and answering your own questions eventually. So lemme start:

I'm guessing any oceanic driftwood from the surfy side of the island is going to be big-boles only - anything small would have been smashed off during arrival. I suppose on the sound side of the island you could get some gentle tidal deposition, and thus maybe some finer, more delicate pieces?

For encountering the most interesting shapes, in sizes "other than huge", I'd walk some small-to-medium creek banks and look in the flood piles up against big trees by the water, and where the eddies dump trash out onto the bank. You'll see whole trees with roots still attached. Lots of stuff will have the bark off -that helps a ton. And of course, no salt worries.

I think of your island as a pretty rainy place. I would think that a single winter ashore (what do you get? a "healthy meter" of rain a winter on the sound? 3x that on the west coast? a little every single stinkin' day? ha ha) would take care of pretty much all the salt in a piece of wood. I mean sure, get yourself a barrel, filler up with fresh, and weight that sucker down for a week. But I seriously, seriously doubt you need to.

As for "what kinds of wood" - whattaya got there, native species wise? For conifers - western hemlock, Sitka spruce, western redcedar, maybe a yellow cedar and yew? Grand fir? And hardwoods (ha - hard; not so much). Red and white alders, maybe a birch or two, definitely a couple maples and several willows. You got vine maple? That to my mind would offer the most interesting options for viv wood. Shape-wise anyway. Maybe some of your larger shrubs, if you could fine one in a flood-pile that had fallen into the creek and washed/tumbled downstream a ways. Maybe find some neat roots. You got wax myrtle there? I could see the base of one of those looking pretty interesting.

For viv longevity I'd guess cedar or yew heartwood would be your best bet. All your so-called hardwoods are gonna melt pretty darn quick. All your conifers are going to offer arrow-straight pieces, probably. Unless you can find a burl or a crotch, or maybe a little stump with remnants of the large roots.

You guys got a lot of crown or provincial lands there, you can just pick up a little wood and take some home? I'd do that, up a creek. You may find hunting for neat pieces of wood is as fun as keeping vivs! Who knows...

Get yourself a decent-quality folding pruning saw. You'll see a whole lot of stuff that's way too big, but sometimes those big hunks have a sweet little piece sticking off that'll fit nicely in a viv. Just needs to be removed from Big Daddy. It's nice to not be restricted to just what you can slide out of flood pile and carry off, whole.

On the west coast (USA) we mostly have all the same species as you. Plus redwood in NorCal - I love me some twisty creek-tumbled redwood root. I mostly find that darker woods, that feel heavy for their size (and not because they are soaked - because they are heartwood with all the sap tumbled off) make the best viv wood. Pale stuff that's super light? Won't last long. Could work fine for you though. My experience anyway - get some of your own, and tell us all about it eh?

You live in the wood mine, dude. Save your money for what you can't scrounge up, and just take a hike. Good hunting, and be careful out there.
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: Driftwood and dart frogs on Vancouver Island

Thanks for all the info/advice! I will definitely go out and look for some interesting pieces now, thereís lots of forest to look in haha
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