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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2008, 05:17 AM
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Default best leaf litter?

i have been searching and cant find a thread on all different kinds of leaf litter.i thought maybe i would ask about the types of leaves and maybe get a few pics too.im not sure what the "football" shaped leaves are but i like those
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

you might be thinking of live oak or magnolia
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

it depends what your goal is, some are better for microfauna and some are really long-lasting or might look better
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

micro-whata? yes i do want something that looks good.(small 3in or so)
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iridebmx View Post
micro-whata? yes i do want something that looks good.(small 3in or so)
haha - some will keep the springtails and other small bugs going better like maple, it sounds like you probably want magnolia. you can buy them from sponsors on here
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?



what are these?........something like this .is this a leaf that will break down too quick?are there any other leaves simaler to this that are native to ohio
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Those are magnolia leaves, which work very well
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Not to be rude, Im pretty certain that those are oak leaves. Thats what I use in my tanks. The Magnolia leaves are much larger than oak, but oak breaks down quicker. The oak leaves are fairly common in North America and can be found and used as long is it is not in an area that has been treated with pesticides. When I gather my oak leaves I always put them in warm bleach water and let them soak. I then rinse them with just water and lay them out to air dry, just to make sure all the bleach residue evaporates. Hope that helps....sara

Here is a link to a pic example of dry "Live oak leaves" although they do not always have the indentation at the tip, mostly just rounded.
http://amadeo.blog.com/repository/1044155/3229416.jpg
Here is a link for magnolia leaves. As you can see, they are much larger.:
http://campus.murraystate.edu/academ...oliaLeaves.jpg
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

I think the leaves of magnolia trees in the northern climates are quite smaller. I took a bunch from a neighbors tree last week and they ranged from 3 to 5 inches. That being said oak and magnolia leaves hold up better over time in the high humidity conditions of a vivarium. Many people use leaves just for looks, but they can be great homes for microfauna (springtails, woodlice, etc). These small creatures are great food for young frogs and they keep the adult frogs active as they forage through the leaf litter. I think a blend of a variety of species of leaves helps maintain a constant decay which the microfauna lives on. Keep with mainly magnolia and oak, but throw in a little maple or something different to give a little variety to your growing microfauna population.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Leaves come in all sizes but look at the shape that's how to tell a leaf from a leaf
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

I think you are thinking of 'live oak' - which we don't have in Ohio. I could be wrong, but if we do they are not very common. They look like Magnolia.

One thing about picking them up from outside. In Central Ohio the county fogs for mosquitoes - west Nile virus. I don't use anything from around here in our tanks. Just not worth the risk of pesticides.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sveight View Post
Not to be rude, Im pretty certain that those are oak leaves. Thats what I use in my tanks. The Magnolia leaves are much larger than oak, but oak breaks down quicker.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Very true. I wouldnt risk it either. Being in Florida, there are plenty of swamp areas and such for these trees (both magnolia and oak) to flourish. Since there is so much land out there, it doesnt get fogged at all. The only reason I am debating what these leaves are because my parents have both types of trees in their yard, so I have easy access to both.
I reccommend pm'ing frogtofall and asking him. He is a plant expert and can tell you without a doubt....sara
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Fogging really sucks up here. They don't give out any advance notice - you just hear them coming.

We have had to make some mad dashes around the house to close windows when we have heard them - because that is the last thing we need in our house. I know some still gets in through the AC - but we try to wait a while before we turn it on after they spray.

You would think with people outside & kids playing they would announce it - but they don't.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Thats horrible! Couldnt you contact someone to complain? There could be severe allergies to this fogging and people could get really sick.
I know in areas I have lived before they spray the ditches during rainy season, but I have heard that they are spraying minnow eggs to feed on overpopulating mosquitos. These sessions were unannounced, but I figured that was because it wasnt harmful. HHmmm...makes you think though...sara
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

melissa i live in galloway and it is a protected area(educational use only) next to the big darby....many deer,small fox,coyotes it is a block down the street from my house (darby estates)(hubbard rd.) and they did not spray my neiborhood aLL summer .i should be good shouldnt i ?



can someone tell me a few to stay away from?

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Old 11-17-2008, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

They are likely spraying BT...which is harmless unless you happen to be an insect that can be infected by it.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

if they sprayed here i would not use them.even if it is thought to be harmless(no offence,dendrobait)i will be on the look out for some!what are you guys using?
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

I use magnolia, English oak, bromeliads that dried out lol, maple (rots super fast creates a nice humus layer for microfauna) etc.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Yeah I use lots of maple (both whole and also crushed in my hand), mist it down then put oak on top of it
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

The leaves in the picture are magnolia and I am 100 % positive on that. Almost all oaks are either lobed or have serrated edges. In general the oaks will break down quicker than the magnolia. Generally the magnolia leaves will also be very large although you can get smaller leaves from unhealthy trees or from certain cultivars such as 'Russet' or 'Little Gem'. Both have smaller leaves than the standard southern magnolia.

I personally use the oaks because they seem to be better for microfauna like springtails and the leaves are smaller which look nicer in the vivarium.


Hope this helps a little
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:36 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Since we don't know where the photo was taken AND we have nothing for size reference this will be a guessing game. That being said, I agree with Sara, they look like Live Oak leaves for 2 reasons....

Magnolia leaves have an acute tip where as Live Oak tend to have broad leaf tips. Also, Live Oaks often produce leaves with multiple shapes, contours and sizes. The Magnolias, here at least, produce fairly consistent shapes and contours with varying sizes.

I use a combo of Live Oak and Water Oak in my vivs. Water Oak leaves are just about the perfect size. The average leaf measures just about 3"x2". I like Live Oak b/c they seem to last a long time (not as long as Magnolia though). Magnolias here are gargantuan leaf producers and those leaves look out of place to me unless its in a viv 75gals and up. Thats just me though. I think others probably like them anywhere.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:09 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

I hate to drag this back to the top, but wanted to tell the OP that in Ohio we do have a species of oak that is similar to the live oaks of the southern US called shingle oaks. They are found throughout the state, but the bad news is that they never seem to be found in large numbers where they are found. And unless you know what to look for you will most likely walk right past them and never know that they were there. They do work nice in terrariums, and are a favorite of mine.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Oak leaves break down at different rates. I`ve had red or scarlet oak leaves last longer than magnolia but white oaks leaves are closer to maple in how fast they break down.
I`d think those were magnolia as I`ve never seen so many live oak leaves unlobed and magnolia tend to pile up under the plant while oak all come off at once at one time of the year.
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frogfarm View Post
Oak leaves break down at different rates. I`ve had red or scarlet oak leaves last longer than magnolia but white oaks leaves are closer to maple in how fast they break down.
I`d think those were magnolia as I`ve never seen so many live oak leaves unlobed and magnolia tend to pile up under the plant while oak all come off at once at one time of the year.
This isn't true for the oaks here in Florida. Its a continuous thing for the Live and Water Oaks on my property. Thats why we need to know where the picture was taken and need something for size reference in the picture.
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:52 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

They could be from a number of different trees.. for example swamp magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) leaves do look like that once they are dry... as do some other trees...

There are eight species of magnolia native to the USA and some have very large leaves (like the southern magnolia (M. grandiflora) or Bigleaf magnolia (M. macrophylla))...

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Old 01-10-2009, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Around here I am pretty sure that sycamore leaves work just about like maple leaves in terms of decomposition right?

Also any one have some tips for collecting the leaves? I never seem to find "piles" of leaves, or even a layer more than 1 leave thick under trees. Any ways to avoid picking individual leaves( which takes for ever )..
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

They don`t look spatulate enough for water oak. Your right Antone they don`t seem to be spear tipped enough for magnolia. I was probably sent live oak leaves instead of magnolia.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Are there any leaves that one *can't* use as leaf litter for their viv?
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:11 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

what i'm starting to do is put down a good layer of common leaves that breaks down and is great for the microfauna that the frogs love to search for and eat, and then put some nice magnolia leaves on top for looks.
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Has anyone ever tried Cotton wood leaves? Here in the part of Arizona where I live the only leaves I have access to that I won't have to buy are cotton wood so I want to make sure they are safe before I put them in my terrarium.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

definitely, i crush up maple and mix it with whole maple, mist it down then put oak on top - probably will try magnolia on top next


Quote:
Originally Posted by themann42 View Post
what i'm starting to do is put down a good layer of common leaves that breaks down and is great for the microfauna that the frogs love to search for and eat, and then put some nice magnolia leaves on top for looks.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: best leaf litter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac View Post
Around here I am pretty sure that sycamore leaves work just about like maple leaves in terms of decomposition right?

Also any one have some tips for collecting the leaves? I never seem to find "piles" of leaves, or even a layer more than 1 leave thick under trees. Any ways to avoid picking individual leaves( which takes for ever )..
You could stop by my house and rake the yard ...
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