Dendroboard banner

Leaf litter.... fresh from the tree?

4637 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Guest
Greetings, this is my first post, though I have been lurking for a long time. You all have provided lots of helpful advice. :D

So, my question is, if I am going to use oak leaves in, or on, my substrate, should I be actually plucking fresh leaves stright from the tree? Or find ones on the ground that are still sort of green? or find a pile of actually dead oak leaves that are all brown?

1 - 8 of 8 Posts
You want dried ones, AFAIK. Fresh ones would just break down in the viv. Either take some green ones and lay them out in the sun to dry, or find some dead and brown ones.
I have used both green leaves (taken off of tree and found on ground) and dried brown ones, and think both are fine and make it look more natural. I would use mainly dried ones for a top layer off leaf litter though, just cause of off-gasing (and wouldn't use them if there is very little or no ventilation). I usually mix the more green leaves into my substrate mix, but I do add a couple of them on the top of the dried leaves. Both will break down and need to be replaced, but thats sort of the point of it... as well as adding tons of comfort for the frogs.
I would also use the dried ones on the ground. The green ones may end up molding over. Not a pleasant site in a viv.

Hey, thanks for the replies. I have quite some time before I am ready to purchase some frogs. I just rebuilt my viv and need to get a few more plants, and then let it all fill in again.

I promise to post some pictures once I get a new battery for my camera! :roll:

So, another question: Since I am not going to be putting any frogs in the viv for a few months, should I even bother with leaf litter at this point? The reason I ask is that (before I tore it all apart to rebuild it) I noticed tiny little critters moving around in the viv sometimes. (like tiny white worm things, or itty bitty snails, or other very small bugs.) I thought to myself "hey maybe frogs would snack on those".

But without frogs living in the tank, wouldn't the population of such little critters, get out of control? And wouldn't leaf litter provide possible sources of these little organisms? Should I wait on the leaf litter until I am much closer to adding frogs? Or is it beneficial to get the stuff in there and "age"?.

By the way, I have never owed any dart frogs. :shock: But I have been doing research for a couple YEARS, and have built my viv specifically for this purpose. This forum board is the nicest bunch of folks I have yet encountered. :)

See less See more
So let me get this straight: I should find dried, brown, crumbly leaves? or dead leaves like as they fall off the tree in the autumn?
You would want dead leaves like they fall off in autumn. Crumbling leaves old leaves would not look nice at all. Honestly I've used a mix of both and haven't had a problem yet. My imitators are loving having leaf litter as their substrate. You could also try to find some magnolia leaves. Take a drive around your neighborhood and I'm sure you can find someone who has used magnolias to landscape with. They seem to hold up better and also dry out faster if your looking to use brown leaves. Just my $.02
I went for a hike in a state park today and collected some leaves for my tanks, I started picking up brown oak leaves from the forest floor when I came across a bottle of "cutter" insect repellant on the ground, (I hate people that litter). So I dumped all the leaves I collected and walked down the path about a half mile and picked some green ones from low lying branches. They're all green should I dry them out in the sun? should I "wash them"? when you put them in a tank, do you take them out if they start to rot? or do you just throw spring tails in and some more leaf litter? Shortly I'm going to begin working on a tank for my vents and wanted to try something different than moss (wich seems to die or get gross looking, especially after a fair amount of vitamin dust gets into it).

Does anyone here know exactly what the laws are concerning collecting plants from "public lands'? I've seen many small plants/mosses that would look nice in a terrarium/vivarium but the only places I know to find them are in state parks (some day I want 5-15 acres of my own wooded land).

thanks for any info
See less See more
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.