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Old 04-09-2013, 05:50 PM
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Default is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Want to get a pair of pumilio but I heard a clay substrate is very recommended. I currently do not have a clay substrate but ABG substrate. If I do go with a pair of pumilio what can I do to be sure that froglets will get enough calcium?
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

From my understanding, the froglets (and the frogs) get the calcium from the clay by direct contact with it. You could just buy some clay from a member here, and put the clay in a spot in the vivarium where the froglets could directly contact it...

EDIT: In the past, people did not use clay substrates and the froglets were fine. The extra calcium helps, but they do not NEED the clay.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goof901 View Post
From my understanding, the froglets (and the frogs) get the calcium from the clay by direct contact with it. You could just buy some clay from a member here, and put the clay in a spot in the vivarium where the froglets could directly contact it...
This is only the partial benefit to why clay is good. Froglets indirectly obtain it from contact with the clay, but the froglets also get it from springtails that are to hard to dust.

ABG works but you don't get the same results from clay.

Also Pumilo sells clay and also has a recipe on how to make it here. Just search Clay Substrate.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

It is recommended for Oophaga because froglets often would sometimes randomly drop dead once they reach 4-5 months of age, and that has been linked to Calcium deficiency. If you don't plan on breeding pumilio, or you don't even know you have a pair, it is always good to have clay substrate because sometimes the frogs have other plans. Oophaga froglets can absorb the much needed calcium through their stomach patch via the clay, and then feast on calcium-rich microfauna that have been living in the clay until you find them or they are old enough to pull.

Clay substrate is also good for supporting large colonies of microfauna and providing them a place to stay away from the frogs and keep up a massive population (deep in the substrate), and clay substrate gets the best drainage, so a clay substrate vivarium could last a very, very long time.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

It's not absolutely necessary. It is a very helpful tool in raising young obligates. In the past, pumilio froglets have been raised successfully without a clay substrate, but they do not always do well.
I've always called the problem "Pumilio Four Month Death Syndrome". Shawn refers to the same thing in this thread http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/gen...ates-what.html as MOODS, it stands for Mysterious Obligate Offspring Disappearance Syndrome.

It's linked to a possible calcium deficiency and a calcium enriched clay substrate can be helpful in preventing this. Particularly if you can also incorporate some UVB lighting into the viv.

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...trate-how.html

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pla...rate-sale.html
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Last edited by Pumilo; 04-09-2013 at 07:08 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

I knew you would post here Doug, was curious just how long it would take. Doug is, in my opinion, is one of the best people to talk to about bugs. He has been doing the hobby for a while and understands them pretty well.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

I feel alone on this side of the room. Clay substrate is in no way a must for pumilio. Calcium supplements are a must. Clay substrate is thought to be beneficial but does not replace the need for calcium supplements.

I personally do not use any clay based substrate. Although I have no objections to it, I have no interest in it. I value it, but I also value the substrate that I use. I have raised a lot of pumilio froglets to adult hood with virtual no loss. I do pull the froglets as soon as I find them and raise them in smaller tanks where I can better control their food.

My growout tanks are very well seeded with springtails which I feed with Repashy Bug Burger (available at many of our sponsor (with the exception of myself right now - an oversight)), which contains calcium. Springtails eat the bug burger, gain calcium, and the pumilio froglets eat the springtails. I also use bug burger in all of my breeding tanks as feeding stations, instead of the common fruit.

Don't get me wrong, clay substrate has it's place and is a great substrate.

Brad
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

"Feeding stations" meaning just patches of Bug Burger available to the microfauna? Do you place that on top of leaf litter or below...or both?

I have researched the clay substrate and am tempted to make some myself. I am new to pum's and hope to see successful breedings and have juvies make it past the dreaded 4-5 month stage. Am very interested in all the options discussed here.

Have also heard of some just dumping/sprinkling clay on top of leaf litter. Is this common?
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:18 PM
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Careful with feeding stations in main tanks. Ive had/have mites that will come and destroy your springtail population.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Well, why wouldn't you? Almost entirely positives for using the clay substrate for Pumilio.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

I use clay.

But - more Pumilio are raised on other substrates than on clay - and it isn't EVEN CLOSE.

So be careful regarding blanket statements.

s
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Well, why wouldn't you? Almost entirely positives for using the clay substrate for Pumilio.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goof901 View Post
You could just buy some clay from a member here, and put the clay in a spot in the vivarium where the froglets could directly contact it...
I'm just curious. Can you mix ABG with the clay? Or as mentioned above, just put the clay in some places and ABG in the rest of the tank? I'm going a stump build and was thinking maybe putting the clay all around the base of the stump then using ABG everywhere else.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

You didn't answer the question either Why wouldn't you use it?
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitneyd88 View Post
I'm just curious. Can you mix ABG with the clay? Or as mentioned above, just put the clay in some places and ABG in the rest of the tank? I'm going a stump build and was thinking maybe putting the clay all around the base of the stump then using ABG everywhere else.
Here is a thread talking about that
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...substrate.html

This is Ed's quote from that link
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
You don't want to mix it into the ABG mix... That to some extent nullifies some of the benefits. The clay should be it's own layer. You can use pockets of ABG for the plants but the frogs should be able to contact the clay and the interface of the clay/leaf litter area is where you get maximal productivity of the microfauna. This has been spelled out in multiple discussions.

Adding clay to the ABG mix itself is also likely to compact the ABG mix reducing some of the reasons people use it as a soilless planting mixture.

Some comments

Ed
So if you put clay in some parts of the viv, but not all parts, they would get the direct contact benefits, but not the microfauna benefits. It's better than no clay at all, but not as good as a layer of clay throughout
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Because not everyone has the same experience or beliefs.

Or time.

Or money.

Plenty of people have done just fine without clay. It's not the end all / be all.

I see the logic in it - I've switched over. Of course my backyard in summer is an easy bake oven so it makes the process much easier for me.

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You didn't answer the question either Why wouldn't you use it?
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frog dude View Post
It is recommended for Oophaga because froglets often would sometimes randomly drop dead once they reach 4-5 months of age
out of pure curiosity, did they drop dead "often" or "sometimes?" Those seem, at least to me, to be two contradictory terms.

For the people who have used clay substrate - have you kept track of any changes in mortality rate with your pums? I think some type of data might be useful just to see how beneficial this type of substrate is.

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Old 04-09-2013, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

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Originally Posted by cml1287 View Post
out of pure curiosity, did they drop dead "often" or "sometimes?" Those seem, at least to me, to be two contradictory terms.
Thank you for pointing that out, as I thought I got rid of the word 'often' from my message and replaced it with 'sometimes', but apparently I didn't. MOODS, by no means, happens 'often', just a bit more frequently then say Ranitomeya species.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Hey Brad, do you mind elaborateing on your pumilio substrate that you use? I'm starting to get into pums and looking for other substrate options besides clay. Thanks

David

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dendrobati View Post
I feel alone on this side of the room. Clay substrate is in no way a must for pumilio. Calcium supplements are a must. Clay substrate is thought to be beneficial but does not replace the need for calcium supplements.

I personally do not use any clay based substrate. Although I have no objections to it, I have no interest in it. I value it, but I also value the substrate that I use. I have raised a lot of pumilio froglets to adult hood with virtual no loss. I do pull the froglets as soon as I find them and raise them in smaller tanks where I can better control their food.

My growout tanks are very well seeded with springtails which I feed with Repashy Bug Burger (available at many of our sponsor (with the exception of myself right now - an oversight)), which contains calcium. Springtails eat the bug burger, gain calcium, and the pumilio froglets eat the springtails. I also use bug burger in all of my breeding tanks as feeding stations, instead of the common fruit.

Don't get me wrong, clay substrate has it's place and is a great substrate.

Brad
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

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Originally Posted by SDRiding View Post
You didn't answer the question either Why wouldn't you use it?
The OP posted that they already had ABG as a substrate, I don't see a need to discard this and set up with clay instead, starting from scratch your choice. I personally now use a mix of tree fern fiber, fine shredded orchid bark and charcoal, all over a bed of sphagnum. Variety of feeders and leaf litter to me is more important than substrate if you don't consider leaf litter part of the substrate. I would also advocate a variety of leaves in the leaf litter.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

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Originally Posted by NM Crawler View Post
Hey Brad, do you mind elaborateing on your pumilio substrate that you use? I'm starting to get into pums and looking for other substrate options besides clay. Thanks

David
I've used and tested several substrates but have since settled one, NE Herp's substrate mix. Although I've mixed it with clay in the past, I don't mix it with anything now. Out of the bag and into the tank - simple and effective!

I like this mix over standard ABG as it seems to bread down slower - I also like the color. =)

Both myself and NE Herp have it avalible on our sites, with further information.

Brad
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Ive used ABG, straight sphagnum & clay ...
My plan is to use clay in all of my tanks, for all of my frogs ... not just Pumilio.
I also plan on incorporating UVB on all my tanks too.

Is it necessary? ... Absolutely not.
I've been plenty successful without it.

Why do I choose to use it then? ...
Bc for myself personally, any additional benefit whether it be large or small, is worth it for me. Plus if used properly, the life of clay as a substrate is substantially higher than soil from what I understand.

Why do others not use it? ...
I think price plays a big factor. Purchasing clay is not cheap compared to using soil.
By the time I'm done building all of my tanks, I'll probably be close to $1000 in the hole, just in substrate.
Another factor is probably that clay appears to be a tedious process to make it properly & I'd rather just pay someone to make it for me.

To each his own ... as stated, plenty of people are plenty successful without the use of clay.
You dont need it. Its a luxury to use it IMO & is all personal preference. Much like most other aspects of our hobby.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Thanks for providing your experiences with the different substrates. Due to the failures of the internet to convey tone, my question was misconstrued as a statement. I've only seen positives to clay aside from initial setup cost.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

A little off topic but, I am curious.. Pumilo mentioned supplementing with UVB light.. anyone do this/care to share their method? (other then Lexan and starfire material being used).
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Interesting discussion.

I might grind up my leftover hot wing chicken and bayback rib bones into a fine power and integrate it into the substrate.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

This thread is making it a tough decision for me. I have a group of pumilio coming. I already have the ABG, but it isn't too late to go with clay instead.

Torn....
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamble View Post
Ive used ABG, straight sphagnum & clay ...
My plan is to use clay in all of my tanks, for all of my frogs ... not just Pumilio.
I also plan on incorporating UVB on all my tanks too.

Is it necessary? ... Absolutely not.
I've been plenty successful without it.

Why do I choose to use it then? ...
Bc for myself personally, any additional benefit whether it be large or small, is worth it for me. Plus if used properly, the life of clay as a substrate is substantially higher than soil from what I understand.

Why do others not use it? ...
I think price plays a big factor. Purchasing clay is not cheap compared to using soil.
By the time I'm done building all of my tanks, I'll probably be close to $1000 in the hole, just in substrate.
Another factor is probably that clay appears to be a tedious process to make it properly & I'd rather just pay someone to make it for me.

To each his own ... as stated, plenty of people are plenty successful without the use of clay.
You dont need it. Its a luxury to use it IMO & is all personal preference. Much like most other aspects of our hobby.
Nicely put Nick. I umm...guess I'll just go cut some glass.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

thank you everyone for all the information!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

I do have a couple of tanks I acquired from someone else set up with clay, I have to say they are easily twice as heavy as the tanks I have set up if not more, so for those with racks that should be considered. Doing the best for yuor frogs as what most of us are about, expense aside there are a lot of right ways things can be done. It's nice when a civil discussion can ensue when these questions are asked, as for absolutes, there are very few
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Some of my pumilio tanks have clay backgrounds and some do not. None of them have clay floor.

The reason for clay substrate seems to be making calcium available to baby pumilio through direct absorption or eating springs/isopods that have collected calcium by moving through the substrate.

I have three questions.

First, is their any actual data showing that clay substrate helps reduce MOODS.

Second, if I am feeding dusted fruit flies, calcium gets on the leaf litter and brom leaves. If the frogs are walking in the leaf litter and sitting on leaves and springs/isos are moving through the leaf litter, wouldn't the same processes take place that take place with a clay substrate, maybe even more so?

Third, many of the MOODS deaths happen after the babies have already been taking dusted fruit flies, sometimes for months. Is a clay substrate making any difference at that point?

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Old 04-20-2013, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

I have been using ABG mix for several years now and have recently begun to create a pocket here and there on the tank floor for clay. No big deal, easy to do. I have no idea what the actual statistics are or science is, I just know that the more bases I cover, the better off my frogs probably are.

I also dust regularly with a couple different supplements from different manufacturers. I have also started redoing the tanks and vent locations to accommodate the addition of UVB, both for the plants and the frogs.

I do know some serious breeders who use only clay substrate covered with leaves for their grow out tanks and seem to be having success with it.

You don't have to spend big dough or days mixing, just get a bag of Turface from a good garden center and that works fine. Looks just like kitty litter, only I believe it has been fired.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

Just a thought: If calcium deficiency is a problem for the pumilio froglets, would it not be possilbe to aid this by adding a uvb bulb to the viv? I know from other reptiles that UVB is imperative or else metabolic bone disease is very likely, so could this not be a fix for froglets as well?
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

It could however unlike reptiles, we don't have anything that allows penetration. Glass filters UVB and even the mesh most people utilize for vents filters majority due to the small holes. You would need the wire mesh that are on top of reptile enclosures, however that would prevent a problem a it would allow FF escapes which no one wants.

On a large tank this is much more plausable due to the unlikely nature of FF escapes at the top (depending if it is a tall tank or not). Also with the large mesh holes it would be harder to regulate the humidity.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VenomR00 View Post
It could however unlike reptiles, we don't have anything that allows penetration. Glass filters UVB and even the mesh most people utilize for vents filters majority due to the small holes. You would need the wire mesh that are on top of reptile enclosures, however that would prevent a problem a it would allow FF escapes which no one wants.
This makes me wonder... Why don't more people use Starfire glass? You'd be able to solve both those problems since UV can penetrate it and fruit flies can't.

Is it the cost?

I've haven't looked into finding it locally yet, but Glass Cages sells it for $10/sq ft. So it's like $20 for an 18x18x24 exo. That doesn't seem to be that bad to me.

Obviously, using both starfire and a clay substrate would be the best. However, if costs were a concern and you were choosing one over the other... I would think the glass would be a better option since it is easily reusable (please don't hate me Doug haha)
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: is it a must for clay substrate for pumilio?

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This makes me wonder... Why don't more people use Starfire glass? You'd be able to solve both those problems since UV can penetrate it and fruit flies can't.

Is it the cost?

I've haven't looked into finding it locally yet, but Glass Cages sells it for $10/sq ft. So it's like $20 for an 18x18x24 exo. That doesn't seem to be that bad to me.

Obviously, using both starfire and a clay substrate would be the best. However, if costs were a concern and you were choosing one over the other... I would think the glass would be a better option since it is easily reusable (please don't hate me Doug haha)
Starfire glass? Can you tell us more? I'm unaware of this.

Starphire Glass | Home <---- ? That stuff?
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:39 PM
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This makes me wonder... Why don't more people use Starfire glass?
Working on that as we speak. I'm waiting on a UVB radiometer, but will be testing two brands of lab-quality glass hopefully in the next few weeks. Unfortunately it is significantly more expensive than standard glass, though. We'll see.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:39 PM
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Whoops, my bad... it's starphire not starfire. It's a low iron glass that *supposedly* allows for higher transmission of UV.

Either way, I may have answered my own question with this thread:
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...nsparency.html
Doesn't look like starphire would be the way to go for UVB, but there may be other options? I wonder what Michael ended up doing...
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:41 PM
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Working on that as we speak. I'm waiting on a UVB radiometer, but will be testing two brands of lab-quality glass hopefully in the next few weeks. Unfortunately it is significantly more expensive than standard glass, though. We'll see.
Snuck that in right before my post... That's awesome you guys are working on finding something. That thread I dug up kinda bummed me out haha.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:47 PM
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Snuck that in right before my post... That's awesome you guys are working on finding something. That thread I dug up kinda bummed me out haha.
I'm excited to test the glass, but I agree that the information found online isn't promising, which is probably why it's not already been marketed for this purpose. Still, can't hurt to test & see.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by carola1155 View Post
... Obviously, using both starfire and a clay substrate would be the best. However, if costs were a concern and you were choosing one over the other... I would think the glass would be a better option since it is easily reusable (please don't hate me Doug haha)
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:36 PM
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Marcus a member from England used the EU version of Starphire glass on his obligate tanks and posted pictures of his frogs basking. Although the pass through maybe a small percentage compared to a screen or nothing at all the low iron glass does allow for some. Wither it is worth the hassle or not is up for debate. I will be interested to see what Mike's test results are.

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