Dendroboard banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In addition to some coconut husk, peat, and leaf litter I am wanting to put some nutrient rich soil in my next build.
However... What soil is safe? Certainly not the soil from my yard and I'm concerned about putting miracle grow potting mix in there as well for obvious reasons...

I have heard that the organic soils from miracle grow are safe?

The plan is to create a false bottom using egg rate, PVC, and weed barrier. Then a layer of leca or hydroton, then weed barrier, rich soil (what I'm inquiring about) , then coconut/peat mix and then leaf litter.

Any advise is welcome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
josh's frogs has a abg mix soil I have used in two different tanks and the plants thrive and grow well. Never had any problem plus it is a descent price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,318 Posts
Typically you don't want to add true soils as they compact over time, become overly saturated, and can go anaerobic from excessive saturation and compaction.

Stick with either the ABG, Clay or turface which is then covered with leaf litter. All three of those will provide for the needs of the plants, and the second 2 won't compact over time.

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Well I suppose that does bring up a good point... I guess I do not need a second drainage layer.

Ed your just everywhere on here aren't you! Thanks again man!

A couple of questions about clay.
What kind of clay? Can I use the kitty liter clay we make clay backgrounds out of?

And what is turface? This is new to me.

Oh! And are those organic soils a compacting type soil ? Or are they even safe?
What about mixing it with sand or bark or something to make it drain easier? Vermiculite?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,318 Posts
Ed your just everywhere on here aren't you! Thanks again man!
Actually if your titles weren't on things I was interested in I would probably pass them right by...

A couple of questions about clay.
What kind of clay? Can I use the kitty liter clay we make clay backgrounds out of?
There are a number of different methods people use for clay. What those of us who use clay are attempting to do is recreate the habitat a little better for the frogs, provide the optimal feeder invertebrate conditions (the area where the clay substrate contacts the leaf litter is generally a high activity zone), provide shelter for the microfauna, and ideally provide a method for calcium in the diet. You can use some of the kitty litters (and that is where people who try it for backgrounds got the idea) but you want to work it to ensure that it has structure before you place it into the tank (if you don't ensure it has structure then it acts as a big hardpan and doesn't readily allow water to penetrate it). This thread goes into a lot of the background http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/general-discussion/22990-ultimate-clay-based-substrate-thread.html
I would also suggest pming Pumilio (Doug) to ask for the link to his thread (since I couldn't find it offhand).

Turface is a clay material that is partially fired (it has a projected lifespan of 20 years or more) and is used to create the reddish areas for running the bases and the pitcher's mounds. It drains quickly, provides a lot of the same benefits seen with clay substrates, and works well with the microfauna and is cheap and easy to use. It runs somewhere around $15 for a 50 lb bag and can be purchased at some lawn and garden centers (like John Deere Lawn and Garden Centers) or for a significant cost in shipping.. sent to you.....


Regardless of the substrate, you want to ensure an air gap between the bottom of the false bottom and the top of the water underneath. This is very important to prevent the substrates from becoming overly saturated.

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/ge...0-ultimate-clay-based-substrate-thread.htmlOh! And are those organic soils a compacting type soil ? Or are they even safe?
What about mixing it with sand or bark or something to make it drain easier? Vermiculite?[/QUOTE]

If you are purchasing soils from a store, you need to carefully read the labels and avoid any that say, wetting agents, manure, perlite, vermiculite... Keep in mind that many of the organics you are adding to help it drain are simply going to break down and compact.

My personal preference is to not use them at all and go with either clay, turface or a shallow layer of turface covered with a thin layer of clay.

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,318 Posts
These posts always intrigue me to some extent.. The emphasis in the posts like the one above is on the plants and how they do (which is what ABG mix is targeted towards) while clay and turface are aimed more at the well being of the frogs. I have to admit that I am often surprised that on this forum there is often the emphasis placed on the plants over the frogs.

Ed
 
  • Like
Reactions: ChrisK

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My main concern was simply that there would not be enough nutrients getting to the plants and eventually kill them or cause pale colouring.

The mix I have in my 20L right now is Seachem's flourite then coconut husk and sphagnum with leaf litter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,318 Posts
Here is a picture of plants growing in clay..in both cases the plants had been growing in the clay for more than a year.. I've posted other pictures on here of assorted plants growing well in clay..

The flourite is similar in the cation exchange ability of the clay and turface but both of the latter are much cheaper.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so from what I have read so far it sounds like a mix of Peat, Coconut husk, charcoal, bark, kitty litter and maybe some laterite (to make me feel better) sprinkled in would be a good choice, well draining soil?

And for calcium...
a small bag of Aragonite?

hmm... or could I just get those coral calcium pills at the health store, break them up, and sprinkle them about?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,318 Posts
so from what I have read so far it sounds like a mix of Peat, Coconut husk, charcoal, bark, kitty litter and maybe some laterite (to make me feel better) sprinkled in would be a good choice, well draining soil?

And for calcium...
a small bag of Aragonite?

hmm... or could I just get those coral calcium pills at the health store, break them up, and sprinkle them about?
That mixture isn't going to duplicate what we're discussing.. and it isn't a good method to provide calcium.

Ed
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top