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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So far, dendrobates are really easy. Since I have raised other anurans and many carnivorous plants, this has come second nature. In fact, I find them easier cuz my fruit flies breed like crazy and I don't have to buy crickets all the time. Crickets are a real pain, even more so if you ever tried to breed them. Also, I don't have PH problems and such that I have had in the past raising semi aquatic anurans in open water areas. Aquatic plants are REALLY hard to grow too, or if they do, they can die pretty rapidly, suddenly.

However, I never get a straight answer about cleaning a vivarium. Supposedly, from friends, as long as you keep the soil from getting water logged, pick up dead leaves, and occasional dead feeder insects, the vivarium will keep itself clean through biological filtration of waste with a good water pump and aerator underneath in the false bottom.

However, is it necessary to change the water often in the false bottom? I would also like to know how often you do you change the soil? I didn't use cocobedding, but a mix of sterilized bog soil (peat) from my bog garden, organic potting soil, shagnum moss, and gravel. I know peat will break down faster.

Should I scoop out the first inch layer of soil every six months? And rinse the shagnum ontop every couple of weeks? Should I remove Kole the tinc when I do this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
What about tanks with no pumps?

What do you do if your vivarium has no water pump? I may decide that if I get Mantella betsileo, or treefrogs. how do I go about maintaining that environment without throwing out soil every week?
 
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First i cannot comment on false bottom tanks as I have no experience with them nor do I plan to. I can comment on natural substrate bottom tanks like bed-a-beast, bark, mosses, etc. My tanks recycle feces waste dead leaves food copses very well. I can easily go a whole year without a substrate change. As for what I affectionatly call "hangers" poo found not in the substrate but on leaves, glass, and cage furniture i clean them off regularly with a spray bottle of water. Each year i remove all the substrate clean all the waterspots refresh whatever plants have overgrown, not survived well, etc. This has worked well for me. however my tanks are 30 gallons for 2-3 frogs I could imagine buildup in smaller tanks.
 

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At one time I had 7 - 8 false bottom tanks all with water features. Then I made one without a pump under the false bottom, but I still left a sump access that allowed me to change the water on a regular basis. I would drain it when the water would reach the egg crate from watering and daily "rain cycles" This arrangement worked out pretty well. All my new enclosures have drains without the eggcrate, just a couple inchs of aliflor (sp) charcoal and soil.
I usually keep the leaves in the enclosure unless the plant itself is rotting, it adds to the nutrients in the soil.
ED
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If I use your idea....

If I use your idea, about daily "rains" and then siphoning out the water, should I use gravel as base substrate with potted plants then? Constant watering like that could cause rot to the plants or soggy soil. I could put a layer of bark or shagnum moss over the top of the gravel to make it look nice. This may be my only option unless I want to pay a large price for a pond pump if I decide to turn my nepenthes terrarium in the basement into a vivarium too, or at least part of it. The tank is 5 feet x 18" wide x 3 feet tall! Or, just my spare ten gallon for any other anurans, like mantellas or hylids.

Do you still use soil?

Rain
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
oh yeah, you do use soil

Duh, yeah, you do have soil. But should I be concerned about rot, basically?
 
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