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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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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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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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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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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/general-discussion/93643-selling-young-pumilio-obligates-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/parts-construction/63732-clay-substrate-how.html

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/plants-supplies-classifieds/91675-pumilos-clay-substrate-sale.html
 

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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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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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"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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Careful with feeding stations in main tanks. Ive had/have mites that will come and destroy your springtail population.
 

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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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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/parts-construction/88101-clay-calcium-substrate.html

This is Ed's quote from that link
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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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.

s
You didn't answer the question either :p Why wouldn't you use it?
 

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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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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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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 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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You didn't answer the question either :p 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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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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