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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to order some leaf litter for my viv. I'm thinking about getting Magnolia, since I've heard it takes longer to decompose and that can be a good thing. But how much should I get? My viv is a 29 gallon. It has a little pond in one corner and a small driftwood piece that takes up a little bit of floor space. Would a one-gallon bag be sufficient? If not, maybe I should get two one-gallon bags. And if I do that, should I get one gallon of Magnolia and one gallon of something else? I don't know if it makes a difference, but the frog inhabitants will be two D. tinctorius.

Here's a photo of my viv to give an idea of the floor space I'm working with.
 

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Ive always used live oak for leaf litter. Id buy maybe 3-4 gallon size bags, you should have some left over.

There was a sponsor on here that sells live oak leaf litter, I just cant remember who ATM...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ive always used live oak for leaf litter. Id buy maybe 3-4 gallon size bags, you should have some left over.

There was a sponsor on here that sells live oak leaf litter, I just cant remember who ATM...
Thanks! I see New England Herpetoculture sells live oak. Which is perfect, because that's who I was planning to order from anyways.
 

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Magnolia does break down slower than most other types and for tincs and your size tank they would be just fine. In all of my vivs I use a mixture. First layer is a mix of banyan and strangler fig leaves as a base layer for microfauna. Those two types are where I tend to see very high concentrations of microfauna when I'm collecting them. My next layer is always live oak leaves. They form a nice tight layer. On top of that I'll either spread a few magnolia leaves, and usually a layer of sea grape (sometimes ripped into pieces) and ripped up or whole giant ficus elastica leaves. The last one is mostly for estetics because I like how they look in a viv. It's cool to see the left over skeletons they leave.

If I had to pick just one it would be all oaks or sea grapes.

For your tank 3-4 would be fine. If you wanted to avoid having to pay shipping get a couple of extras for when your initial layer breaks down.

Good luck!!
 
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I usually use an oak/magnolia combo (mostly oak with a few mag leaves on top)... the frogs will sometimes sleep under/lay eggs on the mag leaves, while a pile of oak leaves will have more surface area for microfauna.... I think the mixture looks more natural than just one type of leaf. Any of the kinds suggested would work well for you.
 

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I use a variety of different oak leaves, and magnolia leaves.
 

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Yup I'm with everyone.. I use different types... mainly a layer of live oak then magnolia... then a sprinkle of more live oak on top.
 

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I like maple for the lower layer because it breaks down fast and the microfauna seems to love maple. Then oak or tulip poplar. This year I collected some pawpaw leaves because of it's tropical look, but I have a feeling that those will break down pretty fast given how quickly they dried compared to oak leaves of the same size. If you are going to buy some, I would buy as much as you can. 2 gallon bags min.
 

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Yeh, one thing to keep in mind is that it's better to end up with a little more than a little less than you need.. as the litter breaks down over time, you can throw in the extra leaves.
 

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beware tho magnolia leaves are HUGE
to me they are unrealistic due to their size.
it's hard to find small magnolia leaves
 

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Black jungle sells th small mag leaves. I personally like live oak leaves or dark magnolia leaves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies, you guys are helpful! I ordered one gallon of magnolia and one gallon of live oak from NE Herp. Hopefully that will be enough for now, but if not, I can always order more. :)
 

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I actually also have a question with regards to the leaf litter. How thick of a leaf litter layer is recommend. Half inch? An inch? Afew scattered leaves? Or does it depend on the leaves used?
 

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I actually also have a question with regards to the leaf litter. How thick of a leaf litter layer is recommend. Half inch? An inch? Afew scattered leaves? Or does it depend on the leaves used?
I do a minimum of an inch...usually much more. Like others have said layering works great. I do about 3/4 of an inch of leaves that will decompose quickly (maple, many oaks, essentially most non-toxic deciduous trees), which I push down to compress them somewhat, not too much though. Then I put down about 1-1 1/2 inches of a mixture of magnolia and live oak (as Teddy said, the frogs use the mags as hides and the live oak works great for spring and iso production). So I end up with about a 2 inch layer.
Here is a pic that shows a good depth:
 

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I do a minimum of an inch...usually much more. Like others have said layering works great. I do about 3/4 of an inch of leaves that will decompose quickly (maple, many oaks, essentially most non-toxic deciduous trees), which I push down to compress them somewhat, not too much though. Then I put down about 1-1 1/2 inches of a mixture of magnolia and live oak (as Teddy said, the frogs use the mags as hides and the live oak works great for spring and iso production). So I end up with about a 2 inch layer.
Here is a pic that shows a good depth:
Thanks for this info and pic! I was thinking in my new tank a tight layer of aspen leaves (maybe 1 inch) and a light mixture of mags and live oaks about 3/4 inch thick. Would this work ok? Also, nice tank! What are those ferns in the back? ET fern?
 

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Thanks for this info and pic! I was thinking in my new tank a tight layer of aspen leaves (maybe 1 inch) and a light mixture of mags and live oaks about 3/4 inch thick. Would this work ok? Also, nice tank! What are those ferns in the back? ET fern?
I think the aspen leaves should be fine. 3/4 of an inch should be ok with the mag/live oak, but a little deeper would be better. If you have any other oaks locally, you can mix those in with the mag/live oak to make a thicker layer without having to buy more LL. Thanks for the compliment about the tank, that was a couple of months ago, its grown in some since then (but new pics don't show the depth of the LL). The back left and front right are ET ferns, the back right is a black rabbits foot.
 

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Thanks again. I do have some oaks near my area and will surely mix them in. Also, thanks for the info on those ferns!
 

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I do a minimum of an inch...usually much more. Like others have said layering works great. I do about 3/4 of an inch of leaves that will decompose quickly (maple, many oaks, essentially most non-toxic deciduous trees), which I push down to compress them somewhat, not too much though. Then I put down about 1-1 1/2 inches of a mixture of magnolia and live oak (as Teddy said, the frogs use the mags as hides and the live oak works great for spring and iso production). So I end up with about a 2 inch layer.
Here is a pic that shows a good depth:
OH, I think I need to add more leaves into my tanks now..

Steve
 
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