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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone incorporated charcoal into a background to try to boost springtail populations? I'm working on a fake vine/root background and I had the thought of gluing some pieces of charcoal to the back, kinda hidden behind the vines.

I want the viv I'm working on to be able to support microfauna populations that can withstand a large frog population.

I'll be using a clay substrate for my first time and this'll be my first chance to try to rely on microfauna as a nutritional food source.

Any success stories on sustainable microfauna populations for large groups of P
Pumilio???
 

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I wouldn't rely completely on microfauna as a source of nutrition. I've kept a pair of R. amazonica in a 10 gallon tank living on microfauna for a week or two at a time on occasion without seeing any changes in weight (they even laid eggs during these periods) but I wouldn't rely on it on account of when I feed dusted fruit flies, I know that they're getting the right nutrients.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wouldn't rely completely on microfauna as a source of nutrition. I've kept a pair of R. amazonica in a 10 gallon tank living on microfauna for a week or two at a time on occasion without seeing any changes in weight (they even laid eggs during these periods) but I wouldn't rely on it on account of when I feed dusted fruit flies, I know that they're getting the right nutrients.
I'm going to feed fruit flies, I just like the idea of being able to go out of town for a week with peace of mind
 

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if you want something that can support really high microfauna density, you might want to look at the clay substrates. Also I'd imagine there is some way you could build a background with substrate dammed up behind it. Another thing to keep in mind is a larger tank as far as floorspace goes, lightly stocked should support enough microfauna to not get depleted if you are out of town for a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Rush, I've been studying the clay substrate threads on here for a couple weeks and I'm planning on using the maximum recommended amount. My water feature is going to occupy close to half of the viv floor, so I think I can do roughly 5 square feet of clay substrate.

I'm sure it's in one of the clay threads on here, but I haven't come across any info on a "tipping point" for an effective amount of clay in a viv. It looks like people use about a 1 inch thick layer of it. Is there no added benefit from using a thicker layer of clay substrate? Will it compact under it's own weight if it's applied too thick?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Brandon, the cork tube refugium sounds like an excellent idea. I like Doug's idea of using substrate ingredients like orchid bark and leaf litter that will break down gradually to feed the springs.

Guess my original thought wouldn't have done anything to attract or feed the springs... still a rookie:eek:

Thanks for the links!! I'm definitely using this for my build.

Jon
 

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Thanks Rush, I've been studying the clay substrate threads on here for a couple weeks and I'm planning on using the maximum recommended amount. My water feature is going to occupy close to half of the viv floor, so I think I can do roughly 5 square feet of clay substrate.

I'm sure it's in one of the clay threads on here, but I haven't come across any info on a "tipping point" for an effective amount of clay in a viv. It looks like people use about a 1 inch thick layer of it. Is there no added benefit from using a thicker layer of clay substrate? Will it compact under it's own weight if it's applied too thick?
If you want create the best space for the microfauna skip the water feature. You'll have much better success for a larger population that way.

Your other attempts aren't as likely to succeed in increasing the population. The depth of the clay doesn't matter for production as much as the contact of the clay substrate with the leaf litter. So depth doesn't help....

Some comments

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Ed, I appreciate the info. That's good to know that surface area of the substrate is important, not depth.

I'm already committed to the water feature, I've been itching to try an elaborate water feature and this build is my chance:) The lost floor space to the water feature is why I wanted to see if I could get microfauna to establish in my background.

Any benefit to mixing in some clay substrate with orchid bark and leaf litter, etc. for a cork tube refugium?

Jon
 

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Any benefit to mixing in some clay substrate with orchid bark and leaf litter, etc. for a cork tube refugium?

Jon
When you mix them together your not getting what you want. The clay is going to compact around the added organics which then will decompose over time. Its the contact of the surface of the mineral containing clay with the organics that have come in contact with it in an aerobic environment. Your going to exclude air from mixing readily at that point which then defeats the purpose.
If you are going to continue with the cork log idea then you need a way to be able to add more organics in the form of leaf litter to contact the clay otherwise once the first round decomposes it is going to have little value. Also it has to stay moist and not too wet or dry so your going to need to be able to make sure the moisture content is correct.

Some comments

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again Ed.

I've decided to make a smaller pond section to allow for more substrate surface area. I've learned from this thread that the potential benefits of the background refugium do not warrant the complication it would add to my build. I'm overwhelmed as it is:eek: I have about half of my background done now and I like the way it looks, I shouldn't mess with it.

I've been improvising the entire way for this build, trying to learn everything I possibly can along the way. Info from DB has really directed me and given me the confidence that things will go as planned. This project is WAY too big for someone of my skill level but it's been a hell of a good time and it's been a great learning experience.

Thanks,
Jon
 
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