Best trees for leaf litter in closed chamber

Pearly

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Just wanted to see if and what experiences you guys here have had with using leaves for top cover and what are best (safe and practical) leaves for that. I have lots of oak leaves around but we know they are not good. Plus they are very spikey. I have saucer magnolia tree the leaves are large and leathery and she drops them year around. Would those be ok? Other trees in my garden are Bradford pear and sweet gum that's all (plus bunch of oaks:) but neighbors have other trees and I bet they'd love me coming over help raking
 

SarahChelonoidis

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I buy 'Indian almond' leaves (Terminalia catappa) that they sell for aquariums for my leaf litter and have been quite happy with them.
 

Pearly

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I used mulberry leaves, green bean tree leaves and lots of others that I don't know the names of :rolleyes:
I envy you for the mulberry tree. I'll plant some bushes and vines this spring... Most of my leaves are those small spikey oak leaves. I wish I had shreader to mulch them but I don't. Willhave to manage with what I have till fall (moss and ground cover plants)
 

Pearly

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I buy 'Indian almond' leaves (Terminalia catappa) that they sell for aquariums for my leaf litter and have been quite happy with them.
Those are expensive! The place that sells them here charges few buck for 1-2 leaves! But I will definitely look into this. Thank you for this idea
 

Pearly

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I think any leaves that are fully dried out will be OK.
Yes, I do too. You guys just gave me an idea, I think I'll save my oak leaves and try to get my hands on a shreader (loan or rent one) and use that in the outdoor enclosure. They are good mulch in a sense that they take forever to break down so if I can chop them up to soften the texture I think the torts will enjoy getting themselves burried in them.
 

SarahChelonoidis

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Those are expensive! The place that sells them here charges few buck for 1-2 leaves! But I will definitely look into this. Thank you for this idea

Oh wow that is pricy. I buy a giant bag of the extra large leaves for about $20 bucks. It's an ample amount of leaf litter for the 20sqft I cover. It isn't a brand though, so I have no idea if it's sold outside of where I buy it (which probably isn't helpful since we're not in the same country).
 

Pearly

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Oh wow that is pricy. I buy a giant bag of the extra large leaves for about $20 bucks. It's an ample amount of leaf litter for the 20sqft I cover. It isn't a brand though, so I have no idea if it's sold outside of where I buy it (which probably isn't helpful since we're not in the same country).
Yeah, the only place I saw that sells those is a private aquatic store and they have like 1-2 leaves packed in ziplock for couple of bucks. If it's a big leaf they sell it broken into smaller pieces, this way people get the illusion of larger quantity. Actually I haven't looked into online amazon or ebay... I never think about checking those first! I am so 20th century low tech!
 

Pearly

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Well just fyi for those of you who like the idea of bioactive substrates, I'm just learning that dry live oak leaves are being sold for dart frogs vivaria, as are magnolia leaves. I'll do more research on the topic but for now feeling pretty excited about the prospect of using all the leaves that are just getting ready to start falling off my oak trees. They also sell dry magnolia leaves for dart frogs. I have 1 big magnolia and several big oaks around my house so can start experimenting immediately. The only thing is dragging the bugs from the garden inside... Magnolia leaves are big and will be easy to just manually remove any uninvited guest, the oak leaves I'm ginna have to figure out how to deal with...
 

Anyfoot

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Well just fyi for those of you who like the idea of bioactive substrates, I'm just learning that dry live oak leaves are being sold for dart frogs vivaria, as are magnolia leaves. I'll do more research on the topic but for now feeling pretty excited about the prospect of using all the leaves that are just getting ready to start falling off my oak trees. They also sell dry magnolia leaves for dart frogs. I have 1 big magnolia and several big oaks around my house so can start experimenting immediately. The only thing is dragging the bugs from the garden inside... Magnolia leaves are big and will be easy to just manually remove any uninvited guest, the oak leaves I'm ginna have to figure out how to deal with...
We use dried leaves all the time for our hingebacks. This includes oak and Holly.
Never had an issue. They love to hide in a big pile of leaves. Eventually all the leaves decompose to substrate. We just throw more in. Also, worms,slugs,snails, pillbugs etc use the dried piled up foliage for cover.
 

Pearly

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We use dried leaves all the time for our hingebacks. This includes oak and Holly.
Never had an issue. They love to hide in a big pile of leaves. Eventually all the leaves decompose to substrate. We just throw more in. Also, worms,slugs,snails, pillbugs etc use the dried piled up foliage for cover.
Yeah, I want more pillbugs and earthworms but not really other bugs, definitely no spiders! They freak me out! I'd be scared to put my hands in that tank
 
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