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Discussion Starter #21
Gorgeous little beast. Congrats, it seems like you're having a great time with this hobby!
A lot of time, money and effort invested, with as many failures as successes - I think it's a passion not a hobby :)

Hi, I see you use Akadama in both your frog and plant growout tanks. Any details on granular size/grade?
Cheers
SteveC
Hi Steve, being in the UK I can't get Turface but wanted a clay based substrate (though I know it doesn't have calcium benefits like some), so opted for Akadama. It's advertised as 3 - 7mm grain size - i'll get my calipers out at some point and confirm for you lol

Link : https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00OVUWR6U/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Random photos.

Marcgravia sintenisii fresh growth





Oophaga pumilio escudo tank






Orchid and pyrossia sp. in situ





Ficus quercifolia growth

 

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Discussion Starter #24
Another build.

Materials used :

-South American Xaxim panels
-Cork branches
-Manzanita branches
- Akadama substrate

Lit by an AI Prime Freshwater HD and misted by a Mistking Advanced system

Plants :

- Philodendron Micans
- Marcgravia species (several varieties)
- Anthurium
- Microgramma

Neoregelia species are :

1 xFireball
1 xRaspberry Muffin
1 x Midnight Dung
1 x Tequila





 

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Discussion Starter #29
The Oophaga pumilio red frog beach enclosure with a couple of new bromeliads :

- Neoregelia 'small talk'
- Neoregelia 'flaming lovely'





Orchid sp. blooming (unsure on the species)





Begonia 'thelmae' blooming :



Nice christmas moss growth :



Think it's about time I start a new thread for these tanks
 

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I see it allot in recent frog vivarium builds. What's the reason you used it?
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I see it allot in recent frog vivarium builds. What's the reason you used it?
I have always used ABG mix in the past, but dislike how it breaks down and has traits of becoming anaerobic so looked for alternatives.

Two popular ones I discounted :

Turface is popular but the costs to ship over from the US are beyond stupid - I was quoted £50 for the turface and £250 for shipping!

Custom clay based mixes as seen on here are very labour intensive, whilst some of the ingredients are scarce over here.

So I looked for a substrate that would provide a high CEC, well drained and structurally / chemically inert - and akadama ticked those boxes.
 

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I have always used ABG mix in the past, but dislike how it breaks down and has traits of becoming anaerobic so looked for alternatives.

Two popular ones I discounted :

Turface is popular but the costs to ship over from the US are beyond stupid - I was quoted £50 for the turface and £250 for shipping!

Custom clay based mixes as seen on here are very labour intensive, whilst some of the ingredients are scarce over here.

So I looked for a substrate that would provide a high CEC, well drained and structurally / chemically inert - and akadama ticked those boxes.
To be sure I'm thinking of the right thing, akadama is a japanese clay right? I have a big bag of the stuff for making kokedama (plants growing in a moss wrapped clay ball). I wanna say it was around $20 for 5lbs.

I didnt realize this stuff was viv safe
 

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Where do your plants get nutrients from with an inert substrate? I really enjoy everything about Akadama in your vivs and your justifications make sense.
 

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Where do your plants get nutrients from with an inert substrate? I really enjoy everything about Akadama in your vivs and your justifications make sense.
I'm not sure that it is inert. In its regular use, the clay ball is built up slowly over time to allow more space for the rootball. It goes plant>akadama>wrapped in moss and string. Maybe once a year you peel the moss off, and add onto the akadama.

It comes in small loose clumps, but definitely firms up if given water and allowed to dry out. I have a failed kokedama that got too dry and basically turned into a rock.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
To be sure I'm thinking of the right thing, akadama is a japanese clay right? I have a big bag of the stuff for making kokedama (plants growing in a moss wrapped clay ball). I wanna say it was around $20 for 5lbs.

I didnt realize this stuff was viv safe
Yes it's completely safe to put in the enclosure - I have quite a few Oophaga froglets hoppng around underneath the leaf litter and directly on the akadama no problem :)go for it and see what you think :)

Where do your plants get nutrients from with an inert substrate? I really enjoy everything about Akadama in your vivs and your justifications make sense.
They get a certain amount of minerals, but yes i'd imagine it's nutrient poor. All the plants seem to enjoy it - Marcgravia in particular.

My reasonings for it are that I aim to use mainly epiphytic plants anyway, to create a canopy effect as seen in 'in situ' photos from source. These really appreciate structure of the akadama, meaning minimal stagnation or anearobic conditions.

I have to add that the colonies of isopods in these tanks (dwarf tropical woodlice and springtails) are booming in size - to the point I rarely have supplement the numbers even with pumilio adults and froglets munching on them.
 
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