I am in the planning stages of my first viv, an exo-terra (the largest size, i think its 18x18x24?) I decided on one for the dimensions and the opening front doors. I have read the posts here for a couple months now, and I think its time for me to post something
Well anyways, here are some initial questions.
1) Water features
I know I want to put some type of water feature into the tank, at least a waterfall/stream. Anyone have any good tips about setting this up? I'm thinking of having a small 5 gallon tank underneath as a place for excess water to drain into. I extensively read about the Paludarium the guy is constructing in the Vivariums section, and think that some type of pond area like that would be neat. Any thoughts?
I have to say that I like the azureus and the auratus the best, so one of those is going to go in the viv. How many of each do you think would do well?
I have read about people using just gravel as the substrate and putting moss on that. If you want to plant plants in the soil, do you just stick them in the gravel, or do you submerge little pots into the gravel? Also, what other good soils do people employ? I just want something that will work well and be maintence free (I don't really want to have to clean out the substrate is I can help it)
4) Keeping the viv FF proof
I have heard that some exo-terras are not FF proof. Anyone have any stories? I know there was a topic about a conversion someone was dong on their exo-terra, just looking for advice.
What lighting will work well? I want something that will make a bright, natural looking light, that will be good for the plant growth.
6) Maintenence free
I want to try and make this as care free as possible. Basically, i want to think before I leap, and make sure it is fairly easy to care for.
Whats a good way to keep the tank the right temp. If I have water moving through the tank, can I stick an inline heater to one of the pipes, or place one in the sump?
8 ) Ventilation
Whats the best way to keep air moving through the exo-terra type vivarium? I have read that airflow is good for the plants, I just need a good way to employ the method.
After looking at hundreds of pics here and other places, I have to say that I like the cork bark / foam background. I say one where one person put some foam on the cork bark, and covered the foam with coco fiber, and it looked really cool. Anybody else do that?
Okay, I have a notepad laying around here that is full of notes and questions, as soon as I find it I will post again. Thanks in advance.