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Old 04-18-2005, 01:21 AM
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Default Some questions for my first Viv.

Alright, after reading the board and doing a lot of research the past weeks, I have finally decided that I am going to get some Darts! YAY! But now I have some questions as to how I am going to set up my tank and I hope you can help me. I have decided to take a route almost exactly like a tank by s.ling which can be found on the board here: My first question relates to the drip wall background. Is any type of acrylic paint ok to paint the raw foam?I also don't fully understand the use of epoxy. I have "sculpted" some hides out of styrofoam before for leopard geckos but I used tile grout and a different sealant to finish them. In a humid environment, these wouldn't stand a chance (they were also REALLY heavy) so I was hoping someone could explain to me the process of sealing the foam. I read something about an exothermic buildup that could melt the foam when using epoxy, so does anyone have effective concentrations or something that prevents this? I was also wondering where I could get some epoxy.

Next question, Will a false bottom and a water feature like a drip wall and waterall provide enough humidity for a thirty Gallon tank? I have seen so many mist systems but, there is no way I can afford those at least not until i get a summer job or something, so is there a cheap alternative?

Question 3: After using the false bottom and then LECA, is there a widespread substrate formula that is used by any of you? I imagine I will just do as s.ling did and mix coco bedding bricks w/ liquid fertilizer and some tree fern fiber. Does that work well for mosses and terrestrial plants? I read that some mosses need a slightly acidic soil to take well.

The next question I actually feel really dumb about asking; how do you attatch broms to ghost wood? Do you just drill a hole and then hot glue them into place, or do you have to do something special like wrap the roots in moss?

And last, I would like to hear some suggestions for plants to go into my 30 gal. I want at least two broms, a fern, moss, and some other air plants. I was just wondering what plants are fairly easy to care for but look and work great in a viv. and then where to purchase them. It seems like Black Jungle and T & C Terrariums are where a lot of people buy.

Also, almost forgot, I am planning on getting 3-4 Leucs for this setup if that should affect any plant or design suggestions.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and any help at all is very much appreciated !!!!
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Old 04-18-2005, 01:44 AM
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If you need more humidity, use a hand spray. Also, use a glass lid instead of screen.

For substrate I use eco-earth and orchid bark 50/50. Works good.

To attach broms I use paper clips or just wedge them in place in a crevice.

I like to get plants at home depot or lowes or the local nursery. For leucs, I would recommend plants up high as mine like to sleep at high as they can get.
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Old 04-18-2005, 04:39 AM
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I think I am going to do the hand spray thing. At home depot or the like you can get big pump misters meant for gardening for real cheap so I might go that route.

Another really dumb question, how important is a filter to go along with my pump? I though that the water constantly being circulated through the substrate filtered it for the most part.
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Old 04-18-2005, 04:45 AM
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If some of the substrate makes it through the mesh and into the LECA or false bottom, then it may get drawn into the pump. Many small pumps have a grate of sorts in front of the impeller chamber where the water is drawn in and propelled up through the output tubing. Relatively speaking, this grating results in a very small amount of surface area for input water. So, dirt and old junk can easily clog this grate and seriously degrade the flow of water into the pump. You could take the grate off and hope that the pieces are small enough to not clog and light enough to be shot out the output end with the water, but using a pre-filter is the easiest most-reliable way to go.

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