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Well, I finally have some time off to start putting together my vivarium. I have gone back and forth regarding live vivarium vs ...fake/sterile - so I have supplies for both.

My BIG concern regarding living vivaria is mold/bacteria, etc at the very bottom of the vivarium - if the springtails, copopods, etc are in the substrate separated from the very bottom layer of expanded clay "pepples" by some kind of "cloth layer" to prevent "soil" from falling through. Then what is to prevent mold, etc from growing throughout the bottom layer of clay balls ???

I know most vivariums are built as living and I guess have no problems - but I can't justify spending a lot of $$$ on frogs just to watch them die - its just cruel.

Thanks,:confused:
 

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I am just a n00b so take this with a grain of salt (and someone more experienced can provide a better answer) but if you start with 'healthy' materials and do not let standing (stagnant) water accumulate or get up to touch the soil then you should be fine.

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To answer your question, nothing is preventing mold/fungus from growing. It is a natural process that occurs in any vivarium. There likely is some sort of mold growing in everyone's drainage layer, though it may not be visible to the naked eye. If you are using clay balls/hydroton there is not as much readily available organic material that can decompose and sustain large enough to notice fungal colonies. Still there is enough nutrients that wick through the substate barrier to sustain bacteria and some sorts of fungus no doubt. Don't worry about it. Naturalistic is the way to go if you are caring for dart frogs.
 
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