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Old 06-10-2009, 04:17 PM
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Default Intro and my few questions..

edit: sorry for horribly long post, main question in bold.

Hey guys I'm new and really really interested in keeping frogs. Keeping aquariums and crab vivariums at the moment. oh and im still schooling. Anyway I've done quite a bit of searching but there are still some questions which I cant get answers to. and i would really like to get PDF (if its legal) but i did read that some tree frogs (which are legal) are much hardier and better to start off with. so maybe i'll do that. so anyway as for my questions:

1) Substrate. I know its best to use stuff like Peat Brick and the orchid substrate stuff, ABG, Sphagnum, coco fiber and things like this. but i was just wondering, im having live plants inside and so would i need any kind of soil at all? and i have spare potting compost lying around, is that usable? also, is it okay to let the frog's excrement rot in the tank to do some fertilizing? i will be trying to cover all the bare ground with live moss if possible.

2) Vivarium (with small pond) or Terrarium? My tank is a 20+gal (maybe 22-25?), neither long nor tall, pretty squarish. depth is abit less though, and will have a misting system. If i go terrarium i'll include a small shallow water bowl. using LECA for drainage layer. but which is easier to handle/maintain, and is better for the frogs and is it bad to let the water be non-agitated and standing? you can call it stagnant. (even if the water is changed every day?) either way, i think a water feature (pump) is a little tough in a small tank with only a couple of inches of water.

3) I read a thread on this forum advising to stay away from using PC and aquarium cooling fans for ventilation and, probably, cooling, cos they dry out the tank rather fast. I have a rather hot (90+F on warm days, even in shade) and humid (varies from 60-90&#37 climate here, so with the automatic mister, would a fan for better ventilation to prevent overheating inside the tank be fine? (running either 24/7 or just in the day)

4) I'm using corkbark for my background. is it absolutely necessary to silicone it to the back of the tank even if its more or less flat and touching the back of the tank? what happens if i fail to do this? and how do you attach plants, or moss for that matter, onto it?

Thanks a bunch guys. and sorry for all the very newbish questions.

Last edited by trece; 06-10-2009 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Intro and my few questions..

Not sure about the answers to some of the questions regarding misting systems and such, but I use - I believe it is called - jungle dirt for the top layer of my substrate [I do a false bottom, then a screen, then a mixed layer of LECA and Bio-sphere balls (the kind that some people use in aquariums) with a thin layer of beaked moss over that and then the jungle dirt. I plant my plants into the jungle dirt and they have done very well. I cover most of the dirt over, however, with a layer of live moss.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Intro and my few questions..

I'll answer the cork bark question, because I use this a lot. You should secure it to the back because otherwise, your frogs will manage to get behind it, however tight it fits. While this may not harm them, it's probably not where you want them hanging out. The cork bark will also tend to fall forward over time, especially if vines and other plants manage to grow behind it. Bromeliads can be attached by drilling a little hole for the stub end of them, then supporting them in one of several ways. (You can attach them with silicone, support them with bamboo skewers pressed into the cork, use dental floss or fishing line, etc. Once they have established their own support system, you can remove your own supports.)

If the cork bark hasn't been "sterilized," it may begin to grow it's own mosses, and I've even had it sprout ferns where it is kept extra wet. I use cork bark a lot for drip walls in which the water trickles down it. Otherwise, vining plants simply planted in the substrate nearby will readily climb and cover it. A particularly nice clinging vine plant for this is the Ficus pumila quercifolia that has myriads of tiny "oak-like" leaves.

One of the tricks I use when I have something other than a circulating waterway with a pump, is to use an aquarium bubbler under a layer of gravel with the standing water. Oxygenating the water prevents the growth of the stinky anaerobic bacteria. If you have pretty good lighting, you can also float some Ricca moss on top of the water, which will totally cover it and utilize wastes. Most dart frogs seem to appreciate this moss on water arrangement. You wouldn't have to change the water, merely add to it for evaporation loss.

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Old 06-10-2009, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Intro and my few questions..

1. There are many great substrate recipes on this site and on the internet. And about not having substrate because you wont have any plants.. well im not to sure. I wouldnt think it would be a problem, but it would cause it helps to maybe to absorb some of the frog excrement.
3. I have a pc fan and my humidity is at 91% and temp is at 72F. It doesnt seem to be a problem if you have a almost fully enclosed enclosure. The only problem with these fans is you have to make sure they are frog safe, you dont want any frogs missing there toes.

4. My concern to this is the frogs crawling back there and you not being able to see them. If they will fall over and if there are bigger plants on them, i can see it being a problem. has some great how-tos on attaching plants. Anything from wooded skewers, fishing line to silicon and hot-glue are all great.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Intro and my few questions..

Cork bark I use it a lot:

1. It has a propensity to wick water and also bend and deform. I have never used it as a drip wall but if the bottom remains in standing will wick and bend...sometimes slightly...other times greatly.

2. My Vents have taken full advantage of the bending and even seperation of the bark to hide all the time, it seems. When I redo their viv...I will not have any cork bark for them to create shelters where they don't come out and add to their elusivness for an already shy frog.

3. Broms root on it nicely.

Overall Cork panels make a great background and so easy to use...I prefer it to GS and pressed coco substrate.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a bannana
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