View Full Version : Advice on substrate for black mangrove terrarium/riparium?

09/21/2017, 12:32 AM
Hi everyone! New user here, and just finished reading through the mangrove sticky, some really great stuff in there. I just have a few things where I was hoping maybe to get some advice or feedback from anyone here who has experience with growing black mangroves. Most importantly: what substrate mixture would be best for the kind of setup I'm planning?

Right now I have a black mangrove that's over a year and a half old, but I've abused it a bit with multiple transplants, cool and dry summer weather (Seattle outdoors), and I don't think it's loving the current substrate I have it planted in either. Here are some random photos I've taken over the last year and a half, most of which while it was planted in a 20-gal brackish aquarium:


At the moment, it is in a smallish plastic bin from IKEA (like in that moving container photo), which I had intended to just be what I moved it across the country in, but it's now been a couple months and I haven't gotten around to getting its setup ready yet. Until now!

I have purchased a 30-gal "Tuff Stuff" oval-shaped black plastic tank, and I'm hoping to make that the permanent home of this mangrove as I nurse it back to good health under strong lighting in my basement. My vision is something similar in concept to the tank shown in the photos above, but with a better divide between water and land, and the mangrove planted near the center between the two. I will keep it fairly brackish, but most likely let it fluctuate a bit with waterings and water changes.

And this gets me to my main question: what mixture of commercially available substrates would be ideal for a black mangrove? I've ordered some Mangrove Mud (which is already about 1/3 of its current soil mixture), and I'm planning to mix that with some crushed coral/limestone gravel and topsoil, but I'm not sure if this is a good combination, or what ratios I should be aiming for. From the ecosystems where I've seen these things growing in South Florida, I'd say a rich organic (anaerobic) mud is the goal, I'm just unsure how to best achieve that with what I can get here in Seattle!

Michael Hoaster
09/22/2017, 10:49 PM
Florida Pets dot com sells some rich, stanky mud I bet your mangrove would like. Potting soil should work too. Even yard dirt. You can cover it all up with at least an inch of sand to keep things pretty.