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Old 02-29-2020, 12:48 AM
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Default Using growstone as a substrate

Hi everyone, I've tried searching for the answers but didn't find anything particularly relevant...

Has anyone used growstone as a substrate, not as a drainage layerbut actual substrate for plants in a dart frog vivarium?

Any reason why it would be significantly different than using turface?
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Old 02-29-2020, 04:21 AM
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Depends on particle size I guess. Fruit flies would definitely disappear into it if space between was great enough.
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Old 02-29-2020, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: Using growstone as a substrate

I was going to use growstone in my substrate mix but decided to skip it. Growstone was discontinued so it's hard to find and very expensive now. It's also very high in pH so you need do extensive flushing otherwise your plants will suffer.
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Old 03-02-2020, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Using growstone as a substrate

Quote:
Any reason why it would be significantly different than using turface?
Weight comes to mind. Turface is pretty darn heavy, whereas Growstone is crazy lightweight. I'm imagining a fair volume, given that (I assume...) you're talking use as a stand-alone substrate, rather than as a component of a substrate.

Finally, Turface isn't scratchy. Growstone is, like pumice. Not sure how much frogs would like interacting with it.

Quote:
It's also very high in pH so you need do extensive flushing otherwise your plants will suffer.
This too. I bought a big bag and spent some time and effort (mostly passive) getting it neutral. That said, I found it worthwhile.

Quote:
Growstone was discontinued so it's hard to find and very expensive now.
Huh. That sucks. Glad I have some leftovers still!
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Old 03-04-2020, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Using growstone as a substrate

I would recommend pond filter foam with leaf litter on top. Super lightweight.

Extra Large perlite would work as long as it's rinsed properly and you use a screen or other type of substrate to keep it from floating to the top.

Otherwise just do a false bottom with a thin layer of abg. I grow mostly epiphytes and moss so the abg is primarily for my microfauna.

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Old 03-04-2020, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Using growstone as a substrate

I guess maybe we could offer better suggestions with more info about your intended application. Are the plants to be terrestrially placed, or in small planters adhered to or integral to the background? I think most of us were assuming terrestrial...

Quote:
Otherwise just do a false bottom with a thin layer of abg.
Agreed, assuming "terrestrial". This is how I generally do my terrestrial stratum. From the top down, it's:
  • live oak leaf litter, atop
  • about 2" of ABG or reasonable DIY facsimile (collectively, "ABG"), atop
  • window screen, atop
  • Matala

However if "terrestrial" is a too-narrow assumption...well, I also really like mounting cork pieces with a bit of void behind them, and filling the void with LFS (just to hold the "ABG") and "ABG". Depending on the situation (how big a viv etc) "a bit of void" can be anything from full-on half-round all the way down to not-quite-flat.
  • Trailing plants do great planted here, and it's a great spot to "home" viney things that will adventitiously-root into (or onto) a cracked-cork mosaic, but appreciate a bit of soil too.
  • For plants that hate wet feet, you can pour Turface, Growstone, pumice, or other excellent-draining substrate components into these back-of-the-cork voids.
  • I have also found that broms & orchids dry-mounted to the "lip" or rim of such a piece of cork, will eagerly throw roots into the soil ("ABG") behind them, and get nice and fat and happy. It's like they can smell the nearby water or something. If it's too dry they won't find it, and if it's too wet they may find & pioneer it, but anything they start in there will rot back to the dry line.

Anyway - taking you a little afield, but perhaps you'll find it useful. Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2020, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Using growstone as a substrate

Grow stones are probably just being sold under a different brand name that is very cheap. The same is true with hydroton, there are many brand names for the same clay pellets. Unfortunately that is the downfall of calling things by a brand name instead of a generic term you might end up over paying for the brand name or losing the ability to search for it. I believe joshsfrogs calls it spig stone or something and I think glavel is another brand.
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Using growstone as a substrate

Thanks everyone for the responses.

My intended outcome for the tank I'm contemplating is for the plants to primarily be epiphytes, and/or vining up a cork mosaic background/side panels and was hoping to avoid the weight of ABG or similar substrates (plus ABG is not really available in Canada , it's very hard to get tree fern here), on top of leca/hydroton for the drainage layer and a substrate Barkat
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Old 03-08-2020, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Using growstone as a substrate

Well then, maybe this suggestion would work for you:
Quote:
I would recommend pond filter foam with leaf litter on top. Super lightweight.
Personally, even in my vivs without anything planted on the ground, I do:
Quote:
From the top down, it's:
live oak leaf litter, atop
about 2" of ABG or reasonable DIY facsimile (collectively, "ABG"), atop
window screen, atop
Matala
I don't buy real ABG, I just mix up something similarish. I do enough gardening etc to have a variety of substrate components on hand at all times. I like the tinkering and puttering. Just find some recipes and have a go. Point is - it doesn't weigh much at all. I like the bioactive service, to help process the snake shit...

Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Using growstone as a substrate

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgragg View Post
Well then, maybe this suggestion would work for you:





Personally, even in my vivs without anything planted on the ground, I do:





I don't buy real ABG, I just mix up something similarish. I do enough gardening etc to have a variety of substrate components on hand at all times. I like the tinkering and puttering. Just find some recipes and have a go. Point is - it doesn't weigh much at all. I like the bioactive service, to help process the snake shit...



Good luck!
Thanks for the help.
Cheers
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