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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok so Im at the store looking for Substrate stuff.
Got organic peat moss
Got 3 bricks of Eco Earth (was good deal for 3 pack vrs single brick even tho I only needed 1 brick)
Got some Cypress bed (for the tree trunk portion not the land section give the tree more texture)
Then seen Sphagnum moss but they all had miracle-grow (so I didnt buy any)

Is it bad to use miracle-gro in a PDF vivarium?

What is the role of Sphanum moss for a Viv?

And is there anything else I should add to my substraight mix that will help?

I have way more than I need for this small of a Viv but I'll get a bucket and lid and store the left overs after its good and dry.

Thanks for any help and info
 

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Don't use a lot of peat moss. It can stay soggy. Add some chunky stuff like orchid bark (the bag that's just bark and no perlite and other stuff) or charcoal bits. This opens up the substrate so it drains better.

You don't need sphagnum. I use a little bit of it, torn into smaller pieces. It holds moisture.

I don't use miracle grow products for my vivs because it usually has fertilizer added. I figure better safe than sorry.

eta: Carefully read the contents on the peat moss bag. Other than the gigantic bags, I find that most of it has stuff added, like perlite or vermiculite or fertilizers.
 

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I'm unfamiliar with Cypress, but everything else you mention is going be extremely wet with no drainage. In a humid PDF viv this will be a wet swampy mess. You need some serious drainage. Things like charcoal, orchid bark, tree fern fiber.
 

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Cypress mulch is good...adds to drainage. I've had a couple grow out tanks with just cypress mulch for substrate too. And no need to add any fertilizers; the frogs do a good job on their own...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Excelent thnx for all the replies
I went to Lowes got a bag of Orchid bark.
Ill run to the garden center when I get the kids from school and see about some charcoal.
I did see 100% wood chip charcoal at walmart (said no chemicals added)
was wondering if it would work but i didnt buy it.
The bag was super lite compared the the wieght of the other stuff same size bag.
Thanks again for all the help
 

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Hmm.. glad I read this one. I bought nearly the same stuff you bought. I bought loose sphagnum moss though, and an orchid mixture that has the cypress mulch and charcoal in it.

I think I need to remove some of my peat/sphagnum mixture and add more of the orchid mix and maybe even get more charcoal though. My tank stays quite wet and it doesnt seem like any moisture is getting through the substrate to the false bottom. My glass stays soaked and I cant see in the tank well. I dont have to spray to keep the humidity up, so something is definately wrong. Thanks for asking this question.
 

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Cowboy huh i dont remeber seeing it there (I looked at the charcoal section, it was limited)
Did u bust up the bricks with a hammer?
Yup just bust it up. I put it in a bag and smack away at it until it's about half an inch.

I have used the Walmart stuff with no issue just thought it smelled strong. The Cowboy Charcoal was less dusty and required less rinsing off. Also wasn't stinky. :p

Seems like it might have been somewhere else in the store, rather than with all the regular charcoal. Somewhere around the lawnmowers in the store I use, if I recall.
 

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Some of the Lowes have changed from Cowboy to FRONTIER brand. Either one is cheap and works great! Put it in a pillowcase to smash it up!
 

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The Cowboy or Frontier brand that Lowe's has is in a plainish looking paper bag. My local Lowe's keeps it in the cheap charcoal grill area, which is where all the other charcoals are as well. I think coco husk chips (not fiber) also work well with drainage. I remember seeing a picture of the Cowboy brand bag on here somewhere, do a search for it and you should be able to find the picture, just so you know what you are looking for.
 
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