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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 30x30x24H arcylic tank (90 gal) I built for fish, that I'm making into a frog tank. I'm going to divide it into quarters to keep different species. For decoration, I want to take a tree stump/w roots and cut it into quarters, to make it look like the base of a tree / forest bottom. What is a good wood to use? How worried should I be about rotting? Where can I get stuch a stump? Thanks - Tim
 

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Alot of people, myself included, prefer oak, because it lasts a real long time.
That is not to say you cannot use maple, poplar, etc.
One thing to watch for when picking up wood for terrarium use, I've found if you use a piece that feels real light, once it gets wet, it starts to break down real fast.
In my first dart viv, I made a real cool "bromeliad tree" that had 4 small neo species attached, :cry: it only lasted about 6 months. I don't know the species of wood, but it was about an inch around, and was real light.
Good luck!
 

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I agree, forget about trying to seal it. Chances are pretty good it would just end up peeling off.
If you choose good, dense wood, it should last a real long time, and support good moss and epiphyte growth...and springtails seem to like climbing on the wood.
 

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I think the best thing you could do is get a fiberglass or resin tree stump, it will last for ever and you can match the tree species to tropical areas...with large roots and such.
Back to Nature has some nice Amazona backgrounds wich have tree bases but they are expensive! I am making similar trees now after getting the same idea you have. I wanted a tree base that looked alive, not like it was just chopped down (although that would better match current Dendrobates' habitats...)
-Steven
 

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Osage orange and locust are also two very rot resistant woods. However, they are very hard woods, and the osage orange will really dull the blades on your chainsaw! I have several roots from osage orange trees that were blown over or exposed when the bank on which they sit was undercut by a stream. No signs of rot after 2+ years even though moss is growing on some parts of the wood.
 
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What about cherry? I forgot exactly what type of chery it was but it took for ever to saw becasue it was so hard. Do u think it wil work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've found some good cherry roots - but I think I may build a stump in the middle from a 5 gal bucket and cork bark. What do you use to attach everything? Silicone? Good stuff? The tank is arcylic and I didn't want to permanently attach anything that couldn't be removed later. Also: for heating, is there some type of thermostat controlled heater one could use in a dart tank? And one more question, what are those clay beads useful for that I've heard people use? Thanks
 

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The clay beads are called LECA and are used in the drainage layer of tanks, either by themselves or on top of a false bottom. A good layer of 2-3 inches is needed to make sure your plants have proper drainage and don't get water logged. They can be found online or at a hydroponics store. Gravel (heavier) or packaging peanuts are also used for the same purpose.
 
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Bog log, or other woods that are recommended for aquariums are very dense and don't break down readily over time. I have numerous rare plecos that do their best to actually rasp it away with little luck. Just for an idea for alternatives. It's not always cheap, but usually has a very gnarled and natural look.
 

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The technique has evolved from months of trial and error. It has taken me a long time to get to the point I am at now. It took a lot of problem solving since I had to come up with almost every step on my own. Making it safe for frogs was the hardest part. I was really limited by the amount of safe products I can use. If it weren’t for a terrarium/aquarium this project would be MUCH easier...I could have used regular paints, plaster, wire, ect...
This tree was made with a latex mold taken from a live tree. After taking the mold, I used epoxy resin to recreate the details of the tree...matching the color and such. It takes some artistic ability but mostly time. Many copies of the tree can be made from one mold.
If anyone can post the pic in the thread that would be cool... I dont know how to do that!
 
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