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Which, in general, are the best to use as leaf litter? I'm no where near the point of worrying about making tannins in the water. One of my aquariums has a nice big piece of driftwood that makes more than enough tannins to go around.
I like to cover the substrate with live oak leaves and then some magnolia on top of that. Magnolia makes good hidey spots for the frogs.

Being in NC, you shouldn't have much problem finding live oak and magnolia. I grab mine out of the yard, boil it a few minutes to get the creepy crawlies off of it, let it cool and dry, and ta da! :D

It's almost time for the leaves to start falling again. Fill up a couple garbage bags to get you through the year.
 

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This is exactly the information I was looking for, thank you all for your input!
I'm new to the area but I've never been anywhere in NC where there aren't magnolia trees around. I'll go scout out some leaves, bake them for a few minutes, and throw them into the viv. I've got a ficus tree and I read some people use those leaves, I might try taking a smaller leaf or two off that as well and see how it goes.
Thanks again for all your help!
Ficus will work too but will break down faster than oak, but that's ok. I use some maple leaves because it breaks down fast, for the microfauna.

Have someone who's been around a while point out a few oak trees to you. We have several kinds and once you've seen them, they are easy to spot.
 
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