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Old 07-29-2020, 09:22 AM
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Default Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

After lurking for a while reading the forum and reading Lotters et al I've decided to go with 2-3 P. terribilis mints. It looks like the last time there was a similar thread was 5+ years ago, well before In Situ tanks were on the scene. I also wanted to go in more depth than the basic care sheet. I'm going to purchase the enclosure, construct the custom background and plant the vivarium next month and I'll start a separate thread with pictures once that happens. For now hopefully I put the thread in the right place and it isn't too long. I am thorough

Enclosure: Amazonia by In Situ Ecosystems (22.5x24x17.5" or 40.5 gallons)

Substrate: A huge advantage of the Amazonia is no need for a false bottom. I'm going to use synthetic Epiweb as a drainage layer at the bottom of the sloped floor which is set up with a drain to a reservoir. For the soil layer I like Biodude's Terra Flora, which will be covered with a layer of peat moss and topped with oak leaf litter. I want to limit direct contact between frogs and soil as to avoid impaction. Obviously microfauna will be established before the frogs are introduced.

Water: Mistking with de-chlorinated water. I was tempted to do a water feature but for my first frog tank I'm going to keep it simple. Ambient humidity is high due to local climate so one round of misting for 7 seconds should be sufficient to attain 80-100% humidity. I will follow this with a circulation fan for 20-30 min to prevent foot rot in the frogs and root rot in the plants.

Temp & lighting: Ambient temp in my reptile room is low 70s. Just in case I have a backup heat lamp but I'm not going to cook the frogs. I'll use the LED light that comes with the Amazonia. I know UVB is unnecessary.

Background and hardscaping: I plan to use the great stuff foam-frog safe silicone-abg method to attach cork bark and driftwood to the custom background. Based on pictures I've seen of these frogs in the wild I will focus on wood-based background as opposed to rocks. They are more terrestrial so while I'll provide climbing spots it's not a major focus. I'll provide cocohuts as breeding sites.

Plants: 2-3 Bomilead Neoregalias, 2 orchids (Encyclia prismatocarpa, Encyclia Alata Majus) mounted near the top of the viv with better access to airflow. The main background vine will be hoyas and/or philodendron. At substrate level, I’ll have Nile Begonia, Hemagraphis sp and Fittonia albivenis of Verschaffeltii variety, and maybe some button fern. Is this enough to get started? I want to balance a well-planted viv with plenty of floor space for these (mostly) terrestrial dart frogs. Has anyone noticed their mints favoring a specific plant in your enclosure? Are any of these plants I mentioned at the substrate level unable to support these bulky guys?

Feeding: I'll establish some ff cultures on my own and in a pinch I have access to store bought cultures very close to my home. I'm excited that these guys can handle larger prey, such as pinheads, as adults.

Supplementation: Repashy, kept in the fridge and replaced every 6 months. In an emergency I have a relationship with a local exotic vet who has seen my herps in the past.

Is there anything obviously incorrect or anything essential which I've omitted? Any general feedback or comments from P. terribilis keepers?

Thank you,

Jack
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Last edited by JackReidMarx; 07-29-2020 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

Sounds like a nice setup!

You will want to use RO or distilled water instead of dechlorinated tap water if you weren't planning to already. Its much less convenient but the benefits for plants and maintenance outweigh the negatives. Plus there is an argument that its better for the frogs as well.

Once you get the tank setup you will figure out the misting schedule. There seems to be no predicting this in advance since your humidity level is controlled not only by your tank, the vents you have open, but also by the amount of substrate you have, the number of plants, the type of plants, how big those plants are, and how healthy they are.

Regarding target humidity, there seems to be two schools of thought. One school says 80-100% humidity is correct. The other says 60-80% is correct. I tried the 80-100 when I first got my tank but quickly veered towards the 60-80% school. The reason was that the frogs seem to be fine at that humidity level, and I want to be able to see my darn frogs ;P At humidity levels in the 90s the glass has too much condensed water on it to see much.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the insitu fans are not powerful. I also have an insitu with the fans installed and I was surprised by how ineffective they really are. I thought they would clear up any condensation in a few minutes, but that is not the case. I do a single heavy misting in the morning for 40 seconds. The fans start up a few minutes later and run the rest of the day. It takes about 6 hours after the misting before the glass is clear again and the plants leaves are relatively dry. Anyway I suggest using a smart power strip to control your lights and fans. You can do mechanical timers if you really want, but smart power strips are nice because you can create different schedules if that's your thing and they are compact by comparison since you probably want a power strip anyway.

My last piece of advice is definitely start your fly cultures at least 1 month in advance (earlier if you don't mind the hassle). You will just be tossing the flies in the meantime but once you get your frogs it will be nice to have everything ready to go.
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

I don't keep terribs, but just wanted to say kudos for all the planning and thought you've obviously done so far.
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Old 07-29-2020, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

I'm terrible with plant names, but as a general rule with terribilis, you don't want anything that can't handle a good trampling. Also, they very much will climb if given the opportunity. I often find one of my yellow males at the top of their 18" enclosure.
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Old 07-29-2020, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

Cant wait to see the pictures!
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Old 07-29-2020, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

[quote3102670]

Regarding target humidity, there seems to be two schools of thought. One school says 80-100% humidity is correct. The other says 60-80% is correct. I tried the 80-100 when I first got my tank but quickly veered towards the 60-80% school. [/quote]

The 80 to 100% is canonized nonsense.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

Do you still need a substrate barrier with the epiweb and ABG mix in the Amazonia
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:13 AM
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Those Encyclias aren’t really terrarium plants. One, I think they’ll rot. Two, they’re pretty big.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DPfarr View Post
Those Encyclias aren’t really terrarium plants. One, I think they’ll rot. Two, they’re pretty big.
Thanks for the input. I was concerned about size as well. I thought the fans and proper mounting would mitigate rot. I'm not 100% set on Encyclias - this is why I posted!
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:47 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmc View Post
[quote3102670]

Regarding target humidity, there seems to be two schools of thought. One school says 80-100% humidity is correct. The other says 60-80% is correct. I tried the 80-100 when I first got my tank but quickly veered towards the 60-80% school.

Thanks for this - I noticed this discrepancy across different websites and forum posts. Good to know since I'm in a wet place to begin with, and the vents should help me achieve 60-80%.

Last edited by JackReidMarx; 07-30-2020 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Do you still need a substrate barrier with the epiweb and ABG mix in the Amazonia
My assumption is you still need a substrate barrier but I'm not sure. Perhaps someone experienced with these tanks can illuminate?
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

Have you bought the In Situ yet?

I’ve been watching them for a while and there’s a lot to love about those set-ups, but in my opinion they’re too small for adult Mint terribilis.

Wrong footprint too — I’ve noticed my frogs like to ‘wander’. Longer footprints give them that unbroken space to traverse without turning in circles.

Back when I was on Facebook this was sometimes an unpopular opinion and there’s always someone with a different take on it — I’m really not here to change anyone’s mind, but it’s just my opinion they’d fare better long term, and be much more entertaining to watch — in a bigger and longer footprint. Say 36” x 18” at minimum.

Of the 3 types Mints seem to be the very largest. I haven’t measured her but my female is a beast.

Totally up to you, it looks you’re doing your homework.


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Old 08-01-2020, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackReidMarx View Post
[snip]
Feeding: I'll establish some ff cultures on my own and in a pinch I have access to store bought cultures very close to my home. I'm excited that these guys can handle larger prey, such as pinheads, as adults.[snip]
They eat *a lot* LOL.

As for larger prey, pinheads are tiny. My sub-adults and adults take 1/4" crickets with no problems and a lot of enthusiasm.

I occasionally offer isopods and waxworms -- infrequently as even the softer bodied isopods look to have more chitin than I'd trust to give too frequently, and waxworms are fatty.

(Terribilis are really easy to overfeed because they're unstoppable killing machines.)

All of my adults will take prey as small as melanogaster and as large as 1/4" crickets and waxworms, and would probably take a run at something larger if I let them. Only my yellows will pay attention to tropical springtails, the Mints and Blackfoots consider them beneath their notice.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Amazonia Setup for P. Terribilis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fahad View Post
Have you bought the In Situ yet?

I’ve been watching them for a while and there’s a lot to love about those set-ups, but in my opinion they’re too small for adult Mint terribilis.

Wrong footprint too — I’ve noticed my frogs like to ‘wander’. Longer footprints give them that unbroken space to traverse without turning in circles.

Back when I was on Facebook this was sometimes an unpopular opinion and there’s always someone with a different take on it — I’m really not here to change anyone’s mind, but it’s just my opinion they’d fare better long term, and be much more entertaining to watch — in a bigger and longer footprint. Say 36” x 18” at minimum.

Totally up to you, it looks you’re doing your homework.
No, haven't bought it yet, and I was surprised nobody else brought the footprint up. I know that's a con of the build because terribilis like the larger footprint. On the other hand, they also really don't like wet feet. I'm willing to trade a couple square inches for the built in drainage and ventilation options, which will help prevent foot rot, as we discussed in my other recent thread. Plus I don't have to ff-proof it (to the extent possible).
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