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Old 03-14-2010, 07:48 PM
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Default Newbie With Questions :)

Hi all, I have recently become interested in Vivariums. I like the design of the Exo Terra 12x12x18. I would get the next size up but I have space constraints. I have been doing some research and I have seen several different ways of going about setting one of these up. One way seems to be using some eggcrate (light diffuser) and placing that on some equally sized PVC pieces, then having water down below. I like this, but I wonder that since there will be some sort of mesh keeping things from falling down there, is this more so that the dirt will not over saturate? Or will the plants be able to wick moisture through the small holes with their roots? The other way I see them set up is with the clay ball things, which is better and why?

Second, I know the Exo Terra comes with a background, but I would like to make my own soft of back ground. I would like one with some wood any a material that I can cover with the coco bark stuff to look natural. My question is, I always see plants attached to this, do they not need the a place for their roots? I am still deciding whether I want some soft of small waterfall on the back, I think it would look very neat but I don't know how difficult it would be to do. I want to be able to keep just about any type of plant I can, so I would love some recommendations for lighting.

I have several saltwater aquariums, as that is my main hobby, but I thought something like this would be neat to have as well. I don't know if anyone on here delves in that hobby too, besides D3monic .

Anyway thanks in advance, I would love any other tips and info you can give me.

~Jacob
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

WELCOME TO DENDROBOARD!!

To answer some of your questions, to keep the dirt falling through the holes of the egg crate you wrap it with fiberglass mesh, the kind in your windows to keep flys from coming in. It is cheap and can be found at any hardware store in the window area. Ten bucks will cover 5 vivs no problem.

I like this method a million times more than leca (clay balls). You can design it to have pond areas, spaces for a water pump and when your all said and done you have more water space cause you dont have 3/4ths of the area filled with leca. Search in the forum's under the secion members frogs and viv's you will se how to set it up or ask and we'll help.

Second quetion, if your making your own backgound. Many plants will attach to it. Vines like creeping fig will need to be placed in the soil (substrate) and will grown up the walls. Things like broms will grow roots which ancor themselves to the background. They dont need soil to grow/survive. In the jungles they grow right ontop of tree branches (planting broms in the soil will rot the roots). Also air plants if you have a taller viv they grow well on top where its not always wet.

My first ever viv had a waterfall, if you plan and design enought it is very do able. I have a pair if breeding frogs in the tank (20 Long) so even thought i was figuring stuff out, they seem happy.

Good luck, and hope this help

Shaw
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by laylow View Post
WELCOME TO DENDROBOARD!!

To answer some of your questions, to keep the dirt falling through the holes of the egg crate you wrap it with fiberglass mesh, the kind in your windows to keep flys from coming in. It is cheap and can be found at any hardware store in the window area. Ten bucks will cover 5 vivs no problem.

I like this method a million times more than leca (clay balls). You can design it to have pond areas, spaces for a water pump and when your all said and done you have more water space cause you dont have 3/4ths of the area filled with leca. Search in the forum's under the secion members frogs and viv's you will se how to set it up or ask and we'll help.

Second quetion, if your making your own backgound. Many plants will attach to it. Vines like creeping fig will need to be placed in the soil (substrate) and will grown up the walls. Things like broms will grow roots which ancor themselves to the background. They dont need soil to grow/survive. In the jungles they grow right ontop of tree branches (planting broms in the soil will rot the roots). Also air plants if you have a taller viv they grow well on top where its not always wet.

My first ever viv had a waterfall, if you plan and design enought it is very do able. I have a pair if breeding frogs in the tank (20 Long) so even thought i was figuring stuff out, they seem happy.

Good luck, and hope this help

Shaw
Oh alright, cool. I am thinking I will go with the eggcrate then.

Thanks! That is good to know, I like the look of broms a lot, so I am glad I can have those in there lol.

Alright a few more questions:

Do you need to use eggcrate all around the tank or just the back? A guy I know on here (D3monnic) used eggcrate on the back and then used some wood and this black foam stuff (what is that?) then covered the black stuff with some of the coco bark to make it look natural. I want to do something similar to that.

Second, I have been thinking and adding a small water feature would be neat. I am thinking a small pool down at the bottom that the waterfall drains into. My question is, how do I get it to look natural around the outside that will be seeing the glass, and around the edge of the pool that will be in the water? I still want the whole bottom to be submersed but I want only my little pool to be seen, the rest look like dirt or something, how would I do this, and still keep flow in the little pool, so the water from it can be returned to the waterfall?

I know you have to add a fog or mist system. Would you recommend one for this size tank? I like the look of a fogger/mister a lot so I think that would be a neat addition.

Also, would a pair of frogs (I know, no specific species yet) be ok in this size of tank?

Also, do frogs get along with other reptiles? A day gecko for instance?
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

Your broms will do good on the background, i find they do far better if placed on wood instead of the cocofiber background.

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/mem...waterfall.html

Here is a tank I built, Hopefully it will answer your question about the egg crate. I only use it on the bottom. On the 3 sides I coat them with black sillicone (or brown, this is whatever color see on the outside of your tank so what ever color you like) then use great stuff expanding foam to design the vines or whatever you choose to make. Then coat the 3 sides a second time with brown sillicone when this second coat if sillicone is wet coat it with cocofiber. (the first coat is just so you wont see the ugly yellow foam and the Great stuff actually bonds better to the sillicone better than the the glass.)

If you choose do do a water feature its easy see the picture I attached on the bottom to see how to use the egg crate to make a spot to hide the water pump, also you can see the pond area.

You dont need a fogger and a mister all you need is a squirt bottle to mist down the tank every day or two.

What size is your tank? If its the small 12x12x18 exo you will only be able to put some small frog since they'll need more room to roam. I dont know much about adding frogs with other animals, there was a thread awhile back about this, hopefully someone will be able to add the link for ya. . .

Shaw
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

Picture didnt post here ya go
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File Type: jpg PICTURE~!~.jpg (94.4 KB, 22 views)
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by laylow View Post
Your broms will do good on the background, i find they do far better if placed on wood instead of the cocofiber background.

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/mem...waterfall.html

Here is a tank I built, Hopefully it will answer your question about the egg crate. I only use it on the bottom. On the 3 sides I coat them with black sillicone (or brown, this is whatever color see on the outside of your tank so what ever color you like) then use great stuff expanding foam to design the vines or whatever you choose to make. Then coat the 3 sides a second time with brown sillicone when this second coat if sillicone is wet coat it with cocofiber. (the first coat is just so you wont see the ugly yellow foam and the Great stuff actually bonds better to the sillicone better than the the glass.)

If you choose do do a water feature its easy see the picture I attached on the bottom to see how to use the egg crate to make a spot to hide the water pump, also you can see the pond area.

You dont need a fogger and a mister all you need is a squirt bottle to mist down the tank every day or two.

What size is your tank? If its the small 12x12x18 exo you will only be able to put some small frog since they'll need more room to roam. I dont know much about adding frogs with other animals, there was a thread awhile back about this, hopefully someone will be able to add the link for ya. . .

Shaw
Oh cool, so they attach better to the wood? And how do people go about attaching plants to the wall? Some soft of metal hooks or what?

Oh alright, and I assume the foam is tough, but you can still push some sort of hook into it for plants?

So you put silicone on top of the foam again? What kind do you use? I know in saltwater we have to get a special kind because some have mold killers that are toxic for fish. When you put the silicon on the glass do you cover the whole glass or just put it in some parts? I mean that would be a lot to cover the glass and the foam.

Oh cool alright. What kind of pump do you use for the return to keep the water flowing?

Ahh thats good to know, I like the mist, but a squirt bottle would be much simpler.

Oh so one frog for a tank that size? Is it that more than one would be aggressive, or would even a pair need more room?

Another question, I saw somewhere that someone had a little water section, where they had adequate flow, and they added a couple neon tetras, I thought that was kind of cool. They can be kept in tiny spaces, so I thought that might be a neat idea.

Oh another question lol, I saw on here that only certain types of wood can be used, like ghost wood and other kinds. Wouldn't all woods develop mold problems?
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

Also, what kind of light would everyone recommend for this exo terra?
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

Here is a page on the black jungle site that helped me a lot with questions I've had. Check out the pics I think this will help.

Front-Opening Showcase Vivarium How-To

Elements of Vivarium Design

There are a couple pages to look at. Lots of ideas.

There are a lot of sponsors here on the site that will offer great water pumps, plants ect. Black Jungle has wood, pumps etc. I like NEHerb. for plants. You can search the sponsors here. THey are all great and super helpfull I just haven't used them all so I cant rate them all lol.

The wood most people use are Malasian (sp) drift wood or mansanita. Many local fish shops will carry this wood, not the big chains. To attach plants to this i usually use push pins. You can use fishing line to help string it up. I like to use the mesh that the apple and orange bags come in at the super market.

The sillicone is GE sillicone 2 it will say GE sillicone II. When you work with the great stuff it will be firm but not hard when dry.

The reason I say small frogs is mainly cause the tank isn't that big. If you want bigger frogs like Tincs, Leuco's or Auratus your going to need a bigger tank.

Hope this helps. Check out the links and let us know if you've got more question

Shaw
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

All I did with my broms is pushed the rigid stem into the foam. They hold just fine.

I ordered lots and lots of broms. So for my favorites have been

http://www.rainforestflora.com/minineos.php (ordering link)

PICS:

http://www.rainforestflora.com/image...e8X8PTI;72.jpg

http://www.rainforestflora.com/image...a8X8PTI;72.jpg

and this red waif

http://tandcterrariums.com/Bromeliads.html

http://tandcterrariums.com/images2/redwaif2.jpg

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Old 03-15-2010, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

Tanks for the links D3monic and Laylow !

I looked through them, so a frog can live in a tank with basically no bottom? I mean one with water on the bottom is ok for them? I figured they needed more than just a wall to climb around on :P

I have an idea I am writing out right now I want to have this all planned out on paper first

So you say small frogs, got any recommendations?
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacobnano View Post
so a frog can live in a tank with basically no bottom? I mean one with water on the bottom is ok for them?
I would strongly reccomend not doing a water bottom. The frogs like the bottom. They need leaf litter to hide in, they actually can't swim and will drownd in the water. A small shallow pond is one thing but a water bottom enough to keep fish in. . . I would say no.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

Yea I didn't want to have a full bottom filled with water.

I was thinking a little less than half, like the right side, filled with water, is that too much? Would the frogs still drown?
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Old 03-15-2010, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

What exactly is the measurement of your tank?
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:42 AM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

welcome to the 'board!! i too am a saltwater convert. i'm not giving it up, but just expanding into the darts. finally.
lots of great info here, so use the search function religeously!
dont forget to check the forum for sale ads. lots of smokin' deals on the goodies you need!!
good luck!!!!!!
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by laylow View Post
What exactly is the measurement of your tank?
12x12x18

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterbed fred View Post
welcome to the 'board!! i too am a saltwater convert. i'm not giving it up, but just expanding into the darts. finally.
lots of great info here, so use the search function religeously!
dont forget to check the forum for sale ads. lots of smokin' deals on the goodies you need!!
good luck!!!!!!
fred
Thanks! Yea I haven't either, I have 3 tanks right now, technically 4, but one is going down and going to be replaced by the vivarium

Thanks I will check it out!
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

I know people who just out leaf litter onto the glass bottom and it works.
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Newbie With Questions :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacobnano View Post
Yea I didn't want to have a full bottom filled with water.

I was thinking a little less than half, like the right side, filled with water, is that too much? Would the frogs still drown?
They'll appreciate the floor space much more than they will a water area that they can look at. Don't do a water area, maybe put some water-holding bromeliads on the background, nut pods, or a small water dish or something and just make sure the humidity is high enough - even without the water area that size tank might really be too small for anything other than a pair of imitators or a froglet grow out tank, do a lot more research on here before going through the trouble of building something that most likely you're going to totally redo .
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