Sand or gravel?

sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)January 26, 2006

Hello, hello! It's been a while! Two kids definitely do keep me a lot busier than one! =) I do, however, finally have a chance to set up a terrarium again. It's a 30 gal. cube tank that I'm going to have FBTs in. I don't quite have all the landscaping planned yet, but I've got a good start. However, I was wondering what kind of substrate to use in the water part. I kind of want to use sand, because aquatic plants grow so beautifully in sand, but I don't know how well that would work with the frogs. If they're very active in the water, then the water will always be murky from the stirred up sand, and it might get into the pump and/or filter and clog them, which I DON'T want! So then of course gravel would be the obvious choice. What say ye with experience? Do FBTs hop around a lot in the water?

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iliketerrariums

Hi there, FBT? fire belly toads? I hope! If thats the case I can help a bit, I kept eight FBTs in a 55 gallon terrarium, they love the water and love to hide out in rocks and cliffs in and around the waters edge, when they are actually in the water all they seem to do is float around on the surface, I personally wouldnt use sand as it seems to get into everything no matter what! LOL! but if you decide to use it I can say that my frogs never went to the bottom of the pool and it was about 4 to 5 inches deep, I saw them dive a couple of times but it was always to catch small fish they are very good eaters but can only take smaller crickets/insects/fish, feed them insects that are a bit smaller than their mouths, remember, this was just the way it went in my tank, also I read about their natural habitat before setting up my tank =) thats why they lived happily ever after! LOL!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 1:44PM
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Cdfortin(GA)

Welcome back sahoy! They have this new procuct called "eco complete" - it's made for planted aquariums and it's pretty cool. It's kinda like mineral enriched gravel (doesn't cloud the water). Anyway I've used it with great sucess in my planted aquariums, and I don't see why it wouldn't work for your water part.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 9:27PM
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iliketerrariums

Ive used a similiar product in the past, its called Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil, its 100% Fullers earth, a natural mineral that has been kiln fired to create ceramic granules, non toxic and wont cload the water or float around to clog filters/pumps, contains no peat moss or compost that can cloud water, (thats right off the bag! LOL!) It worked very well and must be similiar if not the same as "eco complete" compare the two if you plan on using either one as the Schultz was under $10.00 (10lb)at HomeDepot =)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 10:16PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
Welcome back !! Had to stay away from the "glass boxes"
isn't it?? lol
Would think either one of the suggestions would work well
I like sand for planted tanks but you're right it does get into everything, Since you're setting it up primarily for thge FBT mmaybe just straight "aquaium" gravel??
gary

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 4:26AM
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Cdfortin(GA)

I've used the Schultz Aquatic Plant soil, iliketerrariums is right it's very similar to Eco Complete. I think Eco Complete has some advantages. First of all its black, which I find attractive. Second, it actually comes in a bag of water, because it's pre-colonized with bacteria. Also its a bit "sandier" than the schultz stuff. Then again, it costs 20-30 bucks for a 20 lb bag.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 2:01AM
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iliketerrariums

I would be willing to throw 20 to 30 bones at a 20lb bag,it would come out a bit more expensive for a 55 gallon, ($100-$150+tax! YIPES!) just due to the fact that its pre-colonized and comes in black, which I just realized would be a nice color to try! =)but the botton of my tank is under two foot square.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 11:42AM
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Cdfortin(GA)

Yup the eco complete is OVERPRICED. But it's great.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 6:31PM
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sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)

Thanks for all the input! I'm going with aquarium gravel, because I already had it, so it's free! I'm trying to do this as inexpensively as I can. I made a tree stump with some pieces of wood I already had and filled in the gaps with great stuff. It sure expands more than I thought it would! I probaby carved 70% of it off after it had cured. I've been taking pics as each step is completed, for those who'd like an online tutorial (borrowing my parent's digital camera). I'm going to get patio paint tomorrow and paint over the foam, and then maybe on Saturday or Sunday I'll plant it up! I'm so excited!! =) And of course I'll post pics when I'm done. Won't get any FBTs for a few months though, so that the plants can get settled.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 7:12PM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

I'm sorry to get off topic here: Sahoyaref, do drop by to the HP forum sometimes. Miss ya posting there!

GH

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 2:00PM
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