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Old 06-29-2020, 01:45 PM
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Default Newbie with question. 20g long

Hi, newbie here still doing my research. My plan is to get 2 Azureus. I’m looking for something that will be easy for me. Just for reference I am 55yo female so I want something that isn’t going to be hard to build or take care of. I have a chance to get a 20g long, would this be acceptable? I really thought about getting a viv, but the 20g long is free, so that sounds good too! Is there anything I should know? Pros and cons are welcomed. Tia.
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

Hi Michelle,
Welcome to the board!

That primary difficulty with a 20 long is that it is a very short tank. By the time you get a drainage layer and substrate in the tank, there isn't much vertical space left. It's possible to do, and I have several froglet grow-out tanks this size, but you will be missing out on some of the climbing behavior that those frogs would be engaging in if you had a taller tank. The tank also looks kind of odd from an aesthetics standpoint because of the lack of height. If it was me, I would look into a little bit taller tank. A 20 high at Petco would only be 20 bucks and that would be a better shaped tank for dart frogs. Of course, ideally, a front-opening tank will make you happier in the long run, but that's a bit more money and/or effort :-)

Best of luck,

Mark
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

Out of the dozen vivs/terraria I have, two are top-opening/modified fish tank builds, and I don't like them at all.

They don't vent well and are hard to access. They are hard to light, since the side that is the door (i.e. the top side) also has to hold the light fixture. Also, making a top for a fish tank is much more involved than getting a couple sheets of plexiglass to set on the screen of an Exoterra. If you don't drill for drainage, periodic draining of the water in the void space is slightly more difficult from the top than from the front.

On the plus side, most frogs are less likely to jump vertically than horizontally to escape when you open the viv, but with tincs I don't think that's a worry -- they are easy to see if they are by the door.
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:18 PM
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Thank you both for your insight, it certainly gives me something to think about. Maybe I should just reconsider.
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

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Originally Posted by Michelleh View Post
Thank you both for your insight, it certainly gives me something to think about. Maybe I should just reconsider.
I will also add that while this hobby can be very cheap to maintain once you have everything setup it is expensive to get started. While a sizable chunk of that expense is the tank itself, it is likely not even half the overall expense to go from zero to froggy.

I would highly suggest either buying a bigger aquarium if you want to go that route, or better yet investing in a front opening vivarium. As others have said the whole fun of this is seeing the frogs and a 20 long is only 12 inches high. You will likely use about 2 inches for a drainage layer and a bare minimum of 1.5 inches for substrate meaning you will only have 8.5 inches of space left, then you have the black rim at the top (assuming this is a standard tank and not a rimless) so really its only about 8 inches of viewable height when looking at the tank straight on. That is not much of a window once plants/wood/rock are also thrown in there you won't get to see much of the frogs.

As a grow out tank, or a tadpole tank for communal raising its got possibilities all over it. But as your primary display you should consider other options. In the USA that is generally either an exo-terra and modifying it heavily to keep in fruit flies and humidity or buying an Insitu Ecosystems vivarium which is ready to go right away but expensive.

Hopefully this is helpful.
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

Here's my twenty gallon high tank (sorry for the glare).

I don't love the top opening, aspect of the tank. But it's manageable.






Edit additional information: I used to have this frog on a 15 gallon long, which was only 12" tall but the plants really didn't love the lack of height and, frankly, it was a pain to keep trimming the plants every week.

The 20H is still my least favorite of my tanks/terrariums. It's really hard to get passive ventilation to work in it.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

@fishingguy what is the framing material for the vented portion of the lid?

I was about to suggest a 29 gal for OP, but I couldn't immediately think of an easy way to vent it. I have a 29 with 2 pieces of glass as a lid that I use as a plant propagation tank, but not enough air exchange to recommend as a frog tank.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

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@fishingguy what is the framing material for the vented portion of the lid?



I was about to suggest a 29 gal for OP, but I couldn't immediately think of an easy way to vent it. I have a 29 with 2 pieces of glass as a lid that I use as a plant propagation tank, but not enough air exchange to recommend as a frog tank.
Window screen frame :-), cut to size then screened in. It's nice to use since it has the insert for the spline to hold the screen in.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:08 PM
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See, one of the reasons I even considered the 20 long is because I’m really short, lol, I can reach over that and do whatever I needed to. With the 20g tall that is just too high for me to reach over into and do whatever is needed. It is sounding more and more that I just need the front opening Vivarium.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

Front opening are way better, in my experience/opinion. I won't be putting together another top opening vivarium for my frogs (except as temporary homes for baby frogs)
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

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Window screen frame :-), cut to size then screened in. It's nice to use since it has the insert for the spline to hold the screen in.
Hmmm... I made an all screen top for a tank a long time ago using window screen frame, and I couldn't get the thing to sit perfectly flat and square. Maybe I splined it too tight?
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelleh View Post
Thank you both for your insight, it certainly gives me something to think about. Maybe I should just reconsider.


As a grow out tank, or a tadpole tank for communal raising its got possibilities all over it. But as your primary display you should consider other options. In the USA that is generally either an exo-terra and modifying it heavily to keep in fruit flies and humidity or buying an Insitu Ecosystems vivarium which is ready to go right away but expensive.

Hopefully this is helpful.



What type of modifications need to be made? I pretty much thought they were ready to go.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

Spend a few weeks looking on craigslist and/or Facebook Marketplace for used exo terra's. You can often find them for half price or better.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

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Hmmm... I made an all screen top for a tank a long time ago using window screen frame, and I couldn't get the thing to sit perfectly flat and square. Maybe I splined it too tight?
Yes! Loose is key. Well, not loose per se but not tight.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

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What type of modifications need to be made? I pretty much thought they were ready to go.
The only modification I make to exo terras is to add plastic pieces on top of the screen at the top, to keep the humidity in, and to put finer mesh over the non plastic insert portion, to help keep fruit flies in.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: Newbie with question. 20g long

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What type of modifications need to be made? I pretty much thought they were ready to go.
For an exo-terra it depends on your level of concern about fruit flies escaping. At a minimum you need to do something with the lid as fishingguy stated. Its easy to put a piece of glass or plexy on-top to cover up most of the screen lid (leave a gap to allow ventilation). One area people struggle with is the doors. I don't own an exo-terra (went with an insitu) but the doors can allow fruit flies to escape especially on the bottom where the glass meets the plastic. A lot of folks will put down beads of silicone to try and close this gap but I have read of folks doing other things as well such as attaching foam or pieces of weather stripping etc.

Other folks don't bother their tanks are in the basement in their own room and they just put fruit fly traps outside of the tank and keep pieces of fruit inside the tank to attract the flies. These latter are not 100% effective but cuts down on the escapees.

I went with the insitu because I decided I really didn't want fruit flies escaping and wandering my house. My wife would throw a fit if she found a fruit fly crawling over her toothbrush. For my next vivarium I plan to build my own which is an option for you if your DIY skills are decent.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:52 PM
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Once again I thank you all for the knowledge and info. Covering the top area with glass or plexi is something I can do, as well as adding a piece of weather stripping, things of this nature I can handle. I don’t want to have to do major things out of my league. This is easy, reasonable stuff. I have more food for thought. I really don’t want escapees.
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