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Substrate Emergency... Need Wisdom

Discussion in 'Substrates/Bedding/Flooring' started by ReptileGurl, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. ReptileGurl

    ReptileGurl Member

    My night has been horrible I used sphagnum moss three or two days ago for my tanks, and now my frog tanks smell like something died. I spent literally eight hours cleaning out my herp room/tanks. I had to wash EVERYTHING, including the frogs (not literally, I just rinsed them off)! It still smells too...

    Nothing seems to work as a substrate for my amphibians/reptiles-besides-snakes. When it comes to the frogs, they either constantly get things stuck to them and end up looking like brown powder puffs, it stinks constantly, grows some fungus, or can't handle water.

    For my other reptile, it isn't as much trouble, but my problem is that I can't find that perfect substrate for them.

    So, what do you guys use? Also, where do you get it? I have so many moisture-loving herps that I'm trying to be cost effective while giving them a natural look. Is there any bulk soil I can buy that is safe for them?

    Thanks for any help given, it is much appreciated.
  2. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    Use vinegar to remove the smell. Put the frogs in a temp enclosure, spray the tanks down with white vinegar, wait 5 minutes, spray it again, wait 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

    For your frogs, have you considered a pebble bottom instead of substrate? You would just layer it so it would be fairly small on bottom, but what they would be walking on would be stones large enough they could not accidentally ingest them.

    What are your other reptiles?
  3. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    You want eco-earth and top it with a few large flat rocks.

    What kinds of frogs are you housing?
  4. pandorasbox

    pandorasbox Elite Member

    I vote ecoearth too - but make sure to put a layer of like medium river rocks below it for drainage
  5. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I have only one tank with a drainage layer and it was a disaster. It would get really soggy down there. I just use eco, or mix it 50/50 with organic potting soil, then plant some live plants in the tank. They will drink up any and all water down to the bottom. I have a hard time keeping them moist enough.
  6. skelly98

    skelly98 Elite Member

    use organic potting soil and coconut like schleglbaglel said, and do the planting with pothos, ivy, spider plant, philo , and bromeliads. those soak up tons of water and help keep humidity up.
  7. ReptileGurl

    ReptileGurl Member

    Thanks for the great replies. Also, the vinegar tipped helped the smell a lot.

    I thought of doing rock based substrate, but would the frogs like it? I want them to be as happy as possible. Also, any ideas for moss?

    Anyways, here is what I currently am housing:
    Cuban Tree Frogs
    Green Tree Frogs
    Red Eyed Tree Frogs
    White's Tree Frog
    Grey Tree Frog
    Pixie Frog
    Cricket Frog
    Fire-Bellied Toads
    Southern Toad
    Eastern Narrowmouth Toad
    Oak Toad

    and I really am interested in getting some dart frogs, but I'm still trying to learn more about how to make the perfect vivarium for them.

    Thanks for all the help!
  8. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    The only moss that is safe to use is live tropical moss. The spanish moss is very stringy and is a huge impaction risk. I don't think frogs would like a rock substrate, and it IS an impaction risk too.

    Your best bet is either straight eco-earth that is packed down, or a organic soil/eco earth mix, both with live plants.

    For your Pixie the best choice is the 50/50 mix, it allows for good burrows to be made. If it's a full grown pixie you should have at least 6 inches of substrate in a 40 gallon tank. Fully replace the substrate a few times a year. I would avoid planted things in this tank since he's just going to dig it up, but you could place a potted or fake plant in there for decor.

    They are going to tramp dirt into the water dish, it's just a fact of life. The water should be changed every other day anyway, so its not really a big deal. I replace the top layer of dirt every few months to keep stuff clean and spot clean the poop as needed.

    BTW that's a LOT of enclosures. You should post photos. We love photos.
  9. ReptileGurl

    ReptileGurl Member

    Great information, thanks. I'm already making a new shopping list for supplies. Do you know where I can buy live tropical moss, and is it possible for me to grow it? Does it grow fast? About the other live tank plants, what measure of lighting do they need? Is a specialized bulb required or can I just turn on the lights (please say I can just turn on the lights ;) )

    By the way, you are right, it is a lot of cages, which is why I was so frustrated when I had to clean them all at midnight, ha ha :D

    I'll definitely try to post photos, specifically after my shopping is done and all the cages look cool again. The cages posted on here are tough competition, so I'll have to try my best. The only cage that remained nice is the one for my obese southern toad, so maybe I'll post his. He is so fat (plus big for a southern toad - no, it's not a cane toad), and the pathetic part is I found him this fat. His leg was messed up, so I took him in and now he is my little fat baby. I think he is going to be the first diabetic frog.
  10. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

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