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I use Sphagnum moss, drift wood and bark (fir in my instance) but I prefer to source local with as much as I can. I stack my driftwood and bark in nice along the back making sure it's nice and steady and cram loads of leaves down in the cracks to fill large voids then cram sphagnum in to make it nice and tight. In some areas I like to bake clean clay soil from my yard and mix with peat for a rich soil covered with sphag for certain plants.
Aquarium tropical Moapa wood works great as well and is very rot resistant as is cypress i like to soak the cypress for a month before using it personally but it's probably ok not to. As already mentioned cork is good too I just prefer to use free or cheaper alternatives that are local as it's a little better for the environment as it's local.
 

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None of these tanks have any type of glue or foam so it can be done successfully and be sturdy. The one filled with broms is a 24x18x36 exo and I have moved it from one room to another without it falling apart. Since its all natural products just remember it will need to be redone more often as decomposition will be faster but that's half the fun anyway so not a big deal for me.
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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
You can disagree, but do you have any evidence to back up your opinion? What exactly in adhesives do you want to avoid? What's in the silicone that is so bad? Because in captivity, these frogs are living to be 15-25 years old. Considerably longer than their wild counterparts. How are they not healthy?
In my first post I state what I am trying to avoid:

Hello.
When I start putting my vivarium together, I don't want to use spray foam and plastic screen and any more chemical adhesives than necessary. I know plenty of people have used them with no apparent ill effects, but just being a person who avoids these types of things as much as possible anyway, I'd feel wrong making my frogs live surrounded by it, I just personally can't do it. I know that I'll almost certainly have to use some silicone adhesive, but I want to avoid any other chemicals that I can. I have some ideas for things that I can use as alternative for backgrounds and planters, but I thought I'd ask if any of you guys have some ideas too.
Putting in a nice water feature becomes more complicated. Any ideas for that would be helpful too. Even just alternative material ideas may be helpful.
Thanks in advance!
In fact I do have evidence. But as stated in the quote below I have no desire to debate about this. If you would like to have a discussion on this topic, you should start a separate thread about it. I am here for helpful suggestions.
Thank you.

Well if you want to be so literal, fine. I want to avoid using NOXIOUS chemicals as much as I can. I'm sorry but I don't see how you can say with any real certainty that avoiding these won't make my frogs any healthier.
I believe that it may. I have read too much about the effects that certain pollutants have on wildlife (and us) to feel that the chemicals that are in some materials used in vivariums are free of risk. Your view is a popular one, but unfortunately, I think also and incorrect one.
We should just agree to disagree right now, because I have debated this too many times, and I frankly just don't want to anymore. Its not worth the effort for me.
Please understand I'm only expressing my views and don't mean any offense, its difficult type things like this in a way that sounds polite.

Anyway, do you mean that the clay or the cork panels are heavy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
None of these tanks have any type of glue or foam so it can be done successfully and be sturdy. The one filled with broms is a 24x18x36 exo and I have moved it from one room to another without it falling apart. Since its all natural products just remember it will need to be redone more often as decomposition will be faster but that's half the fun anyway so not a big deal for me.
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Thanks for the advice. Those look great. The last one is my favorite. Sticking up in the last one, is that wood? What kind of grass is that?
 

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Those are cypress knees and the variagated plant is a bromeliad ( it was put in there temporarily) . I love using Cypress knees and personally can live without a background other than coconut fiber matting. Once plants cover them you can't see it anyway. =) it's hard to take pictures of tanks they never look as good with my photography skills lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Those are cypress knees and the variagated plant is a bromeliad ( it was put in there temporarily) . I love using Cypress knees and personally can live without a background other than coconut fiber matting. Once plants cover them you can't see it anyway. =) it's hard to take pictures of tanks they never look as good with my photography skills lol
Haha.
They look nice (the cypress knees). I don't usually like the look of bromeliads, but this one is different, a little more spindly than the short bulky ones and devoid of any pink. I like the coloring as well.
I actually meant the grass that is growing over the cypress knees. Do you know the species?
 

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The cork bark mosaic is using the same silicone that is already holding the aquarium together. If you want to avoid the silicone, you could use clay to hold the cork pieces in place. Or you could skip the background completely and have a tank view-able from different sides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Well thanks everyone for all the suggestions. This gives me some things to think about.
 

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You are aware that the biological products of the metabolism are noxious right? On that basis you have to exclude everything that can decompose into ammonia, humic acids and CO2.
Oddly enough if your worried about silicone being "noxious" the off gassing product of silicone is acetic acid which is the odor causing material in vinegar and is literally totally "organic" and biodegradable.

You have yet to cite any literature backing up your claim.

As for gorilla glue, anyone who is working with it should minimize any contact with it before it is fully cured as it is a potent iniitator for allergies and reactions to exposure. The nasty thing about it is that it can sensitize you towards other allergens as opposed to itself. Make sure to use the nitrile disposable gloves and not the latex ones.

Clay can be fine and worthwhile to use as long as you avoid using a bentonite that is going to expand on exposure to water. These do not form any kind of stable structure and it is only a matter of time before they give out. When you make your false bottom make sure that there is an air gap between the bottom of the substrate level and where you have the water. If you get contact between the two layers you can end up with a soggy substrate depending on its composition.



Some comments

Ed
 
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