Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Use of ceramics or bisqueware in vivarium

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Nationality
    [New Zealand]
    Posts
    14

    Default Use of ceramics or bisqueware in vivarium

    Hey! I'm building a vivarium for green and gold bell frogs and I'm planning how to provide water to them. They're a reasonably water-loving/strong swimming species as far as tree frogs go. I would like a somewhat natural looking option if possible, and I have access to a kiln for firing. Is there any reason not to use fired clay in a vivarium? (either plain unglazed or with a clear glaze.) It would be ideal as far as shaping and utility goes - the plan would be either to make a 'bowl' to place in the substrate or to make a sort of bank shape and attach it to the tank walls with silicone (with the water area planted with emergent plants and containing sitting locations and such.)

    Bonus question, substrate related: am I safe to use ABG mix with these guys? They eat by lunging but are reasonably delicate about it (I've also seen them scoop things like leaves out of their mouths if accidentally ingested.) The only feeder insect allowed to roam free in the tank is large blowflies, which generally stay off the ground, but I would assume it only takes one incident for them to become impacted. Would layering the substrate so that there are a few cm without charcoal/bark/hazardous chunks like that work? Their current substrate is packed fine claysoil with a drainage layer beneath, covered by oak leaves (I know it's not ideal but it was a short term solution that worked well. The frogs were acquired as tadpoles at extremely short notice to save them from death.)

  2. # ADS
    Circuit advertisement
    Join Date
    Always
    Posts
    Many
     

  3. #2
    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Nationality
    [United States]
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    314
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Use of ceramics or bisqueware in vivarium

    It’s kind of a **** shoot with clay. Bituminous clay is often used in vivaroum builds since it’s natural but easily disintegrates with high moisture. I’d find the exact ingredients and only use food safe clay. Glaze is another matter as some of the pigments may be toxic. Officially I wouldn’t advise it without doing a lot of research on the chemical composition.

    As as far as ABG mix you should be fine but with one caveat. Instead of letting your prey items roam free I’d cup feed. Place the feeders in an appropriately sized deli cup in your vivarium. I use 16oz plastic cups. You’ll virtually eliminate any risk of impaction this way and the frogs can feed naturally.

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Nationality
    [New Zealand]
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Use of ceramics or bisqueware in vivarium

    Thanks - I'll head to the clay shop in town and ask about suitable clays there. I assume anything safe for an aquarium, clay-wise, would be safe for frogs? I'll definitely stay away from any pigmented glazes. Fired clay shouldn't be susceptible to moisture.

    The problem is that the flies are their staple insect, as I can breed them myself. I can't imagine being able to contain them in a cup unless they were refrigerated, and even then it wouldn't be for very long.

  5. #4
    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Nationality
    [United States]
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    314
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Use of ceramics or bisqueware in vivarium

    I’m interested as to whether or not you have any other feeder insects available. I know New Zealand has significant restrictions on non native animals. From what I gathered the New Zealand Blue Blowfly (Genus Calliphora) survives on decaying plant matter but some species only feed on carrion and waste. You may be at risk for exposing yourself and your frogs to disease with the wrong species. Also are you capable of collecting these year round?

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Nationality
    [New Zealand]
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Use of ceramics or bisqueware in vivarium

    In terms of cultured feeder insects, I can basically get what's available here: http://biosuppliers.nz/
    They also ate fruit flies when they were smaller.

    I started out catching wild flies for them, on the advice of a couple of sources (guy working at an aquarium shop who kept/bred frogs, neighbour who owns one, nzfrogs website) and then moved on to buying flies during winter, and then to breeding them myself.

    I breed a large (maybe 1.5 cm long at largest?) black-blue fly without much of a sheen; I'm not 100% sure of the species, though it looks a lot like the one you mentioned. I actually didn't know it might be able to breed on plant material. I chose it for its relative 'dopiness' and ease of transfer between containers. The flies are bred on mincemeat, placed in a container of bran as maggots (once they leave the media on their own), and then hatched into a cage where they eat banana or other fruit/sugar mixture until they're fed to the frogs.

    I also have a can of crickets in the freezer in case there's a lapse in my supply (the breeding method was discovered by trial and error, and I've had some issues with the flies not laying, or the pupae being parasitized by a smaller species of fly.) I remove the more chitinous bits (heads, legs, etc) and add vitamins/calcium like any other feeder. It's more an emergency or supplemental food. I also still feed them wild-caught houseflies/greenbottle flies on occasion, for the same reason as the canned crickets.

    They've also had waxworms recently (as a christmas treat I guess :P), which they're very fond of, but obviously high in fat so they're not getting more than a couple a week. I was thinking of letting the extras pupate into moths, which I presume would be lower fat?

    I could probably breed crickets but I've just never switched over - keeping them looks a lot more complicated and I think they're higher in chitin than the flies.

    Out of interest, are there any substrates which don't pose an impaction risk?

  7. #6
    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Nationality
    [United States]
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    314
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Use of ceramics or bisqueware in vivarium

    First off thank you. Your last post was a pleasure to read and very informative. If this method works for you than by all means continue as you seem to have it pretty well mastered. Here in the US were limited to crickets,fruitflies, roaches (restricted in some states), meal worms, horn worms etc. with very few fly species available. I’d definitely encourage you to keep good records of your methods. I fo recommend a varied diet and I wouldn’t recommend any one feeder as s constant staple but I must confess this idea intrigues me and I would love to hear how it progresses for you. Again thank you and good luck.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. My first vivarium
    By wbieker5 in forum Vivarium, Terrarium & Enclosure Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: October 27th, 2016, 10:40 AM
  2. First ever vivarium!
    By brhebert in forum Vivarium, Terrarium & Enclosure Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: August 21st, 2014, 10:59 PM
  3. Replies: 4
    Last Post: June 17th, 2014, 10:23 PM
  4. My first vivarium
    By fishtank in forum Vivarium, Terrarium & Enclosure Discussion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: June 17th, 2014, 12:39 PM
  5. New Vivarium
    By Lee in forum Vivarium, Terrarium & Enclosure Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: October 15th, 2010, 12:44 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •