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There are many ways to house dendrobates successfully. There are false bottom, naturalistic, and true bottom tanks to name a few. There are also countless variations of these, for example a naturalistic tank with a false bottom.

Any tank with the substrate raised off the glass is considered a false bottom tank. The substrate is raised to keep waste and organics from sitting in the water and polluting it. By keeping pollutants out of the water it stays cleaner. Another reason for raising the substrate is to provide room for a submersible heater. Heaters are not to contact anything but water therefore can only be used in a tank with a false bottom or a resevoir outside the tank.Some people use false bottom tanks to elevate plants out of the water and keep them from rotting. Most of the commonly used terrarium plants don't do well planted in soil that stays continuously wet. We set up a false bottom tank and documented it as we went along, to see what we did follow the link.

The naturalistic tank is certainly the most beautiful tank, it consists of real soil (or similar substrate) and live plants, and may not be as difficult to maintain as you first thought. Naturalistic tanks provide some of their own food source. Look closely and you will see small insects and such climbing about. A tastey treat for a hungry dart frog. Live plants help to breakdown pollutants in the tank such as nitrates. They also provide many hidding places which surprisingly persuede your frogs to hide less. They hide less because they are more comfortalbe knowing safety is only a speedy hop away.

A true bottom tank is the opposite of a false bottom tank. The substrate of a true bottom tank rests on the glass and is usually gravel or a similar medium. The best medium I have used is leca (lite expanded clay aggregate), because of its light, pourous characteristics. A true bottom tank is by far the easiest tank to set up. In its most simple form a true bottom tank consists only of gravel, a hood and the tank itself. The addition of potted plants, hidding places, heating pads, water pools and the like, make it complete. True bottom tanks will need to be cleaned more frequently then other types of tanks. The main reason for this is the smaller amount of water in the system. A smaller amount of water means toxins can build up more quickly. To learn how to build your own true bottom tank click on the link.

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