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Old 01-13-2015, 07:53 PM
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Post AquaAurora's First Viv

Greetings! I'm new to vivariums but I've been into Freshwater Planted Tanks for a while as well as and Ripariums (used terrestrial plants with roots in the aquarium but leaves/stems above water) and Aquaponics (gardening with tank water instead of soil- similar but different from ripariums as aquaponics keeps plants out of the tank fish are in but is connected to the filtration system so still using the tank water, and typically uses edible plants)

On another forum I frequent (for planted tanks) I stumbled onto an off topic thread about vivariums and at the mention of darts I asked another member posting there about it and they pointed me at a seller for captive bred frogs and states that most are captive and not (too terribly) expensive. I got very excited at learning this as I've loved dart frogs since I was a wee child, I even recall writing a huge (wasn't suppose to big so big) report on them for school when given the option to choose a our own subject. I've always wanted one/some but never considered before as back then I assumed they were all wild caught or insanely expensive... after some googling turns out that's not the case now at least.... So thanks a lot VAnative.. this is all your fault with your viv thread over there, now I'm hooked too!! >.<
I immediately started diving into vivarium set up details.. and admittedly nearly downed a bit in all the info. But I think I have it down now.. at least the start of it... and with a LOT of help from my very handy and techy husband, should be able to set up something decent (I hope).

This journal will chronicle the long journey of getting a tank setup and functioning.. and all the bumps along the way. Sadly there won't be much for frog photos for a while but will have a lot of equipment and "how I/we set up __" shots.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:18 PM
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Default Theme & Starter/Test Plants

So before I started throwing cash everyone for the (MANY) supplies needed I did a quick test with some aquarium plants in a fake-ish vivarium setup (made emersed with misting). Its not prefect but its enough to move forward.. I want to eventually setup a tank with all emersed forms of aquatic plants. This is due largely in part by [this post/user's tank]:

That tank appears to be covered in riccia, with anubias, crypt, hygro, and bocopa. It made me think of emersed setups, which a lot of planted tank enthusiasts do as it tends to grows their plants faster than under water, and -as long as you avoid mold- you also get to be worry free about dreaded algae... So why not setup a permanent emersed enviroment? Yup definitely want to try that!
I hope to make something similar but with a lot of ghostwood and in a larger tank.. I'll also try to experiment with more variety of emersed plants including ug, downoi, swords, hc cuba, and more..

Here are some photos from the 10g 'test tank' plants, the are just on top of leftover clay media from aquaponics and I'm currently using a marineland led 6700k light on a 12 hour timer.
Plants tested include:
Anubais Nana var. Petite
Buce (sp unknown)
Creeping Jenny
Hydro sp. Japan
Hygro Corybosa
Ludwigia (sp unknown)
Pennywort
Riccia




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Old 01-13-2015, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

Sounds like fun, AquaAurora!
I have a planted tank, too, and have found many synergies between my planted tank (CO2 injected, DIY LED, etc.) and my vivaria. In the attached picture, you can see my Riccia. I used to have it covering everything, too, but it got to be a bit much. I just have it in there because it was covering the top of my planted tank and I was shading out things I actually care about ;-)

I do have other plants in my vivaria that are from my planted tank. Crypts do pretty well, though they don't grow as much or as fast emmersed. I have a ton of annubias, too. It grows really well in high humidity terrestrial environments. Keep it partially shaded, at least, though. Then there are always hitchhikers in the the Riccia that end up growing up. Java moss and java fern work well as does hygro (willow-leaved and giant). I know that some people have had luck with baby tears, too, though my planted tank is too deep to grow it well so I haven't tried it in my vivaria.

Best of luck on your new build and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I started with a 90 gallon planted tank and I still have it...but I have over 15 dart frog tanks that I have set up since then. It is addictive :-)'

Mark
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File Type: jpg riccia3.jpg (64.8 KB, 118 views)
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

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Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
Sounds like fun, AquaAurora!
I have a planted tank, too, and have found many synergies between my planted tank (CO2 injected, DIY LED, etc.) and my vivaria. In the attached picture, you can see my Riccia. I used to have it covering everything, too, but it got to be a bit much. I just have it in there because it was covering the top of my planted tank and I was shading out things I actually care about ;-)

I do have other plants in my vivaria that are from my planted tank. Crypts do pretty well, though they don't grow as much or as fast emmersed. I have a ton of annubias, too. It grows really well in high humidity terrestrial environments. Keep it partially shaded, at least, though. Then there are always hitchhikers in the the Riccia that end up growing up. Java moss and java fern work well as does hygro (willow-leaved and giant). I know that some people have had luck with baby tears, too, though my planted tank is too deep to grow it well so I haven't tried it in my vivaria.

Best of luck on your new build and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I started with a 90 gallon planted tank and I still have it...but I have over 15 dart frog tanks that I have set up since then. It is addictive :-)'

Mark
That's some very lush riccia! I hope mine gets like that (but covering a good portion of my tank). I'm gonna need the luck, being a first time vivarium setup.. hopefully I don't have any painful/expensive mistakes while learning ^^''. Oh wow, I hope I don't end up with the same ratio of aquariums to vivariums as you or I'm in trouble! With 7 active planted tanks and 2 fauna-less planted picos I'd have over 100 vivariums, yikes! "Sleep? who has time for that? I have 50 more vivariums to feed! Then get to change ro water on however many have water features.. replace burnt out bulbs.. prune plant.. mix up another 500 cultures of fruit flies and micro fauna." ugh x.x
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

The riccia grows thick like that if you float it in one of your high tech tanks. You will have to harvest it regularly or it will shade your other plants.

Mark
Also, I sent you a PM since we are the only ones replying in this thread anyway :-)
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:00 AM
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Default The Big List

So lets start digging in by going over the (huge) list of starting materials needed.
Tank: Tetra 40g breeder ($40 at Petco $ per g sale-giftcard ($10)=$30)
Silicone: (redoing tank seams-if you've seen a tetra tank you'll know why) GE II door and window clear using leftover no cost (original $6)
Tank stand: DIY by husband- possibly pine, stained and urethaned ($?)
Lights: (not decided.. probably) 3x cfl 13 watt 6500k + 3x clamp on reflectors (scavenged from another tank, no $ (originally $30))
Lid: Lexan polycarbonate (scavenged from another tank no $ (original $24+))
Background: Ghostwood (leftover/scavenged from other tank no $ (original $40 worth)
Background filler: Great stuff caps and cracks 16 oz ($4)
Substrate divider: Fibreglass screen $7g
Substrate (land): Atlanta Botanical Gardens mix (7g ($42-ouch))
Substrate (water): Black Diamond 'sand' or aquarium gravel (leftover (original $8 or 20))
False bottom: Egg crate (using leftover from another tank no $ (original $15))
False bottom supports: cut scrap pvc pipe no cost (original $?)
Bulk Head: 1/2" Bulkhead kit ($9)
Tubing: 7/8 od 5/8" id 10' clear tubing ($9) and reuse siphon tubing (under 1/2" od 6' long) ($?)
Sump: 10g (had-repurposed (original $10))
Sump media: Bio media leftover no $ (original $?) Foam/sponge media ($14) (still need to grab)
Pump: Aquatop pump 105 gph (got for cost of shipping $7 (original $35-had to buy with tank))
Heater: Eheim Jagar 75w heater (scavenged from aquarium no $ (original $23))
Other:
8x10" glass sheets to convert 10g tank to sump x3 ($6)
1/2" Glass diamond drill bit ($12)
1/2" pvc ball valve ($6)
1/2" pvc female adaptor x2($3)
5/8" x 1/2" nylon barb x mip elbow x2 ($3)
1/2" 10" pvc pipe (4$)

STILL NEED TO FIND:
Temp and humidity sensor (DHT22)
Misting system (Mistking?? would rather not be in triple digits for $ though...)
Quiet fans for vents on lid
Raspberry PI program (and other components (ribbon cable etc)) to turn on/off misting, fan, heater, lights)
RO filter (thinking Aquatic Life 3 stage RO system 50gpd) ($60-70ish?)

Happy to take input for the things in the "still need" section! Or anything from the upper list.. or something I may have missed! Have everything on there (excluding the "Still Need" section obviously) except the filter media foam as of today ^^

Damn that's a lot of stuff!! And I've not even gotten into the flora, micro fauna, or frogs and supplement/culture supplies yet x.x I don't even want to pull out the calculator to see how much $$ I'm throwing into this..

Photos of current sups acquired.













After talking with encyclia via pm .. I'm tempted to grab glass and seal the 40g breeder into 2 separate tanks.. or just move my 20g long riparium into the 40g and use the smaller tank for a viv but that limits my plants with only about 6-8" of grow height... too bad my favourite frog (tinc azureus) isn't a major climber.. could make a nice high vertical tank...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
The riccia grows thick like that if you float it in one of your high tech tanks. You will have to harvest it regularly or it will shade your other plants.

Mark
Also, I sent you a PM since we are the only ones replying in this thread anyway :-)
It grows pretty crazy is my low-medium tec tanks (medium light and liquid ferts but no co2), only thing that out grows it is the bloody duck weed ugh.. never can get ALL of it, grows into the riccia matts.

Last edited by AquaAurora; 01-15-2015 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:49 PM
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Default RO System + little more planning

Opps typo above, GE I not GE II.. hate that I can't edit post after a short time... expect plenty more typos from me!

Anyways it turns out I could get the RO system with a coupon I had for just $40 so not bad, just waiting on it now!.. Of cores I forgot to add the 1/4" tubing to the order (doh). So I get to stop by home depot again since I'm not paying shipping for a 2nd purchase.

After more mulling over on splinting the tank I'm not sure if I will yet. But IF of do it will be with a piece of glass that complete separates it, but I'll just do a water features on one side, the other side won't have a sump or exposed water so the aquarium heater I put in the water (to heat the viv) under the false bottom will have to be reachable (in case of issues). I'll probably bump out the back wall a bit to give access to the water for that side. Water feature side would have a wood with water fall and maybe a small pool of exposed water (wood will lead water into it) but not a.. basically mote like I originally was thinking. Tank will be split either 15g-25g or just right down the middle once I figure out plans for the 'new' side (plants, decor, and frogs).

Also think I will either scrap the lexan lids for glass or make a screen lid that fits snugly for anti fruitfly and frog escape then put lexan over it to reduce humidity loss. I tried looking around for aquarium lids today.. seems most of my lfs (local fish stores) like the plastic crap :/ I found an aqueon sliding glass top 36" but it doesn't give min and max width.. and the employees don't like you taking glass goodies out of the box to measure before you fork over $. If I go glass I may DIY with hinges and glue (and a few screen covered holes for ventilation).

But nothing is set in stone yet.. may change some ideas again...

Few more shots of supplies : diamond drill bit unwrapped (was in paper towel) and goodies for the sump and its plumbing, + assembled bulk head. Why a shut off valve? For water changes, maintenance, or malfunctions that require the sump be drained, so it doesn't effect water/humidity in the vivarium.


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Old 01-19-2015, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: RO System + little more planning

This is going to be fun!
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:24 PM
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Default 'lil update

Got RO system and grabbed a test humidifier to try modifying, if it doesn't work its real cheap so its not a biggie and I'll look again for another humidifier option. Hoping this thing will have enough umph to do the job though, hubby is excited to get DIY-y with the humidifier. Love getting him involved with tank projects, he's always so helpful ^^






Not much else going on.. We will be doing some furniture moving soon and I'm waiting to see what will be going where and if we will continue to use the main living room for tv viewing or move with the couch from there to the family room.. Want to place the viv where we will get to enjoy it more and need to know how I'll orient scape (wood) and such based on the room it goes in.

On another note I had a dream last night that I had 3 vivs, all 40g breeders put together to create a large scape look. Bottom left one sat like a normal aquarium, the one on the right was set so the 'top' was the front and the 'bottom' was a narrow side panel. The top left tank was above the bottom one and aimed to the original top was the front. They were pushed together (which realistically would make getting into the bottom one impossible) and had a flowing scape feel.. bottom left had a large water feature and let up into fake woof background (foam) mixed with real wood to look like a root base of a tree. The tall right tank use a huge piece(s) of driftwood to make a tree trunk and more roots. The top left was a tree branch off that trunk with a lot of foam used to make more of a raised platform and foe branches off the main branch... I think I'm thinking about vivariums too much if they're getting into my dreams now!

I'm aaaalmost tempted to impulse buy 2 more 40gbreeders before the sale ends (Petco $ per a gallon sale ends Jan 24th) buuut I should make sure I can actually get 1 to work properly before I try to have 3. If I did ever do this (major emphasis on "if") I'd get critters appropriate for the scapes (major climbers for the tall tank, canopy livers for the upper section, and ground level frogs for the bottom one).
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:18 PM
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Default sup update

Vick thing returned.. didn't notice the "warm steam" until I got home.. saw "humidifier $14.98" and just grabbed it.

I think I'll clean and dry out the future sump tank and put it togther soon now that I have all my media.


+ pillow stuffing (aka filter floss/fine filter bad minus compressing it into a shape) that snot pictured.

Also got the humidifier in


May fill it with my bottle of distilled water and see how it does filling the 40g (empty).. just need to adapt it via pvc or tubing

I may also take some time tomorrow and use wires to fake scape the viv with the driftwood (raise it to where it would be with the false bottom + substrate).

I realized why I had the odd 3 vivarium setup dream... I have 3 spare nice manzantia branches (from my ghostwood only order that was messed up.. stupid b&b..) that I was thinking of selling.. but I found they fit perfectly in the tank. So, if I manage to do well with the first viv, my second will also be a 40g breeder using the branches. Can't use them for the first project as they'd clog up the scape and shadow it too much. Then I'll just need to find a tall (30"ish) but narrow (12"-15") tree stump that's viv friendly (aka not a mold fest) with roots... and wait for the next $ per a gallon sale >.>''


On onother note, too tall for the viv but I grabbed this yesterday.. will be putting on my riparium for now.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:34 PM
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Default wood scaping

So I think we've decided to put the vivarium in the living room! It will be on an interior wall in a room across from a s/w facing window (blinds are usually down but still get a good bit of indirect/ambient sun). We'll have a couch to the left of the viv and probably 2 chairs across from it (by the window). To the right of the viv will be the tv and entry way to the kitchen (can't see viv form there). Really excited to put the tank there!

Here is a very quickly half arsed photo manipulation for a rough idea of what I have in mind...
I have 2 long pieces of wood that fork, would saw off the non main branch (have not done this yet-i hope its not as huge a pain as manzanita to cut!) and use those in the back, ding a bit of an incline/zig-zag uphill thing with notches for hiding places. Would use grate stuff to hold it all in place (probably also have platforms for initially putting it where I want it before adding the great stuff), also would carve out planting areas behind wood in the great stuff (drill for drainage down to false bottom so water did not pool, use screen/mesh and add soil). Or turn it into non moving pools of water for tadpoles or frog soaking (would change water every/every-other day with turkey baster).. Alternatively I may use nut shells for hides and mini water pools.
Twisted wood on the left would have a channel routed through it to force water flow to stay where I want it, all the huge splits in the wood would be sealed with.. something.. will ge1 door and window work on wood that's going to be wet? Water runs down wood into a little pond that the bottom chunk of the wood helps divide from the substrate. I'd most likely raise the bottom of the water area with pvc and egg crate covered by screen then sand, so its not too deep for the frogs (how deep would be too deep? if I try to keep it "not above their elbows" I don't know how high that is?). Would have higher elevated egg crate on pvc to keep soil from being saturated constantly.
frontal view only too lazy o mock up a few perspectives sorry.







And just to show what I meant about the manzanita branches themed tank here are some shots.. I'm almost tempted to ditch the emersed aquatics setup and use these with mosses and plants that stay short (mini orchids?) on the wood with simple leaf litter below. Would cut the end off the back right piece so it was more flush to the glass and do a more subdued water feature..... or use the neatly twisted frontal right branch to slowly trickle water down to a water feature.... I dunno >.< too many ideas not enough tanks!!!
(red marks show where wood touches substrate)


above view


Angled view
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

Very nice, good luck getting the water to do what you want... It tends to have a mind of its own. Unless you have waterproof channels, it's not going to stay in said channels.

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Old 01-28-2015, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

This is looking great! I love having the wood touch the sides. I always just drape it in a little sphagnum and it looks great. If the wood needs to be glued in the front, though, hiding the silicone is more difficult (craft paint could do it). If you can back it off the front glass enough to be able to get in there with paper towels/algae pad to clean the glass, you might be happier later. There are tons of vines you could plant along those branches, as well. My experience is that most frogs would take advantage of all of the aerial climbing spots. I like the hardscape a lot so far!

Mark
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:21 PM
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: sup update

What is that plant, btw?
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

Quote:
Originally Posted by VAnative View Post
Very nice, good luck getting the water to do what you want... It tends to have a mind of its own. Unless you have waterproof channels, it's not going to stay in said channels.

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Yeh that's true... I may rotate the water feature wood as it does have a natural channel but its split the whole way through (would have to seal the bottom).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
This is looking great! I love having the wood touch the sides. I always just drape it in a little sphagnum and it looks great. If the wood needs to be glued in the front, though, hiding the silicone is more difficult (craft paint could do it). If you can back it off the front glass enough to be able to get in there with paper towels/algae pad to clean the glass, you might be happier later. There are tons of vines you could plant along those branches, as well. My experience is that most frogs would take advantage of all of the aerial climbing spots. I like the hardscape a lot so far!

Mark
Thanks for the tips.. Don't know if I'd go the branch route yet mainly because I'm not 100% how I'd attach the wood to the glass(do not want great stuff all over the place), kinda want to do something like the Epophyte style tanks I've seen [hydrophyte's] and [Bunsincunsin's] I'd love to just glue the wood to the glass instead of visible mounting equipment.. but don't think great stuff would do the trick as just a small blob at the end of the branch (instead of an entire wall to help support itself, and the wood is not hollow to fill).
I didn't think about vines! I'd love to try the.. ah what was it called... something 'oak leaf' .... Ficus pumila var. quercifolia that's it!

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What is that plant, btw?
Oh sorry forgot to include the name, its an Alocasia and according to 2 members who helped ID it via photo on here (and knowing its from lows) say its Alocasia polly. Right now its on the 20g riparium.. but I'm thinking of doing some major reorganization and move all tall plants to the 55 and take out the shorter riparium and all aquatic plants to put in the 20.. but then I'm not sure how the fish will feel about loosing their needle leaf java fern blob... or if I'd get an ammonia spike.

Anyways when I was cleaning the plant off these little things (babies?) kept popping off so I stuffed them in the removed soil and misted it.. not sure if they're grow without the mother plant (like a fetus without a host/mother to nutrients?). IF (big if) they do grow I'll send one/some your way if interested.



And here it is on the tank
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

Those two tank builds you linked to are incredible! I had not seen those. Thanks for the links.

In my experience, you don't need to go the Great Stuff route everyplace that the sticks touch the glass. In fact, I have had a lot better luck with a big dab of silicone doing the securing, especially when the wood is anchored on two or more (preferably) sides. Silicone has been plenty strong for me and then I just drape sphagnum moss (until something better grows) over the junction between the glass and the stick. Of course, in most of my builds that have sticks touching the sides, the back of the stick is anchored in the background and I am just securing the other side of the stick. The more contact surface area, the better, though that means cutting the sticks to be flush with the glass.

Mark
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

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Originally Posted by AquaAurora View Post
IF (big if) they do grow I'll send one/some your way if interested.
Heck yeah, I'm interested. I'm going to send you some of the Pileas and dragons tongue in the spring as well. Assuming I can keep everything alive till then...lol

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Old 01-29-2015, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
Those two tank builds you linked to are incredible! I had not seen those. Thanks for the links.

In my experience, you don't need to go the Great Stuff route everyplace that the sticks touch the glass. In fact, I have had a lot better luck with a big dab of silicone doing the securing, especially when the wood is anchored on two or more (preferably) sides. Silicone has been plenty strong for me and then I just drape sphagnum moss (until something better grows) over the junction between the glass and the stick. Of course, in most of my builds that have sticks touching the sides, the back of the stick is anchored in the background and I am just securing the other side of the stick. The more contact surface area, the better, though that means cutting the sticks to be flush with the glass.

Mark
Which silicone product are you using for wood to glass adhering? GE I door and window?
Fun part would be cutting the wood to be flush. My husband and I sawed a manzanita stump in half for my 20g viv (can see a little in above photo), he cut I held it down.. the wood is SO DENSE it rattled all the little bones in our hands and all up through the arms, shoulders, and spine so we ached real bad for a day x.x Granted we were using a saws-all as the wood was not a conducive shape for other sawing methods.


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Originally Posted by VAnative View Post
Heck yeah, I'm interested. I'm going to send you some of the Pileas and dragons tongue in the spring as well. Assuming I can keep everything alive till then...lol

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Yay! Hope the green thumb holds up ^_~
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

The silicone I use is GE Silicone I and it just says "All Purpose" on the front. It adheres nicely to glass and most of whatever else I want to stay on the glass :-) I actually use this stuff to anchor other objects to the glass then I use Great Stuff around the other anchored stuff to get my Great Stuff backgrounds to stick well. Without other anchoring, I have been able to literally peel a Great Stuff background right off the back glass in a single piece.

I so hear you on the manzanita. It ain't easy to cut with anything but chainsaw and even then, you will be sharpening it sooner :-) It isn't 100% necessary to get it flush, but the bigger contact patch you have, the better the silicone will work as an adhesive.

Mark
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:24 PM
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Default humidifier test

So after doing my scheduled aquarium maintenance (today was water change time for the betta tanks + fauna-less pico in the living room) I decided to pull the humidifier out of the box and give it a 'test' before my husband helps cut off the handle so pvc/piping can be inserted. Make sure everything works and runs quietly
Its a
crane drop ultrasonic humidifier crane drop ultrasonic humidifier
, packaging photo is in an above post, and below is a quick collage of it working. Sadly I don't have access to a humidity gauge yet to know how high it raised the humidity in there for that short time... but visually I can get that "foggy look" if I wanted, and it runs quiet! Had to stick my head in the tank to hear it I washed out the reservoir with tap as it smelled then filled it with distilled water for the test. Just slapped my leftover lexan lids from aquarium uses on top for the test.. will make a proper glass and screen lid later after I figure out the magic of keeping eh front glass from being condensation crazy.
[click here for larger image]


Will post some before and after shots once the humidifier gets modded. May also try drilling a hole into the reservoir and setup a bucket of (RO)water with siphon so I don't have to worry about refilling multiple times a day, or detaching and reattaching the pvc/tubing fittings to flip it over and fill.




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Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
The silicone I use is GE Silicone I and it just says "All Purpose" on the front. It adheres nicely to glass and most of whatever else I want to stay on the glass :-) I actually use this stuff to anchor other objects to the glass then I use Great Stuff around the other anchored stuff to get my Great Stuff backgrounds to stick well. Without other anchoring, I have been able to literally peel a Great Stuff background right off the back glass in a single piece.

I so hear you on the manzanita. It ain't easy to cut with anything but chainsaw and even then, you will be sharpening it sooner :-) It isn't 100% necessary to get it flush, but the bigger contact patch you have, the better the silicone will work as an adhesive.

Mark
So is all purpose GE I silicone you're using usually covered by great stuff so its not exposed to the frogs or humidity? I'm curious how safe it would be if not covered up in that tormentor.... Though I's probably do a little blob of great stuff around a sealant and carve it to look a bit like wood then cover it in moss to make it visually more 'clean'.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

That humidifier will look pretty cool :-) I would save your effort in testing the humidity now. It doesn't matter what the value is now while you don't have anything in there to mop up the moisture and release it later. If you have a water feature in the tank and your vents aren't enormous, I can't imagine you having much issue with humidity. Also, you will have the reservoir from under your false bottom to help with humidity.

I usually just cram sphagnum in any big gaps. The dollop (that's a technical term) of silicone is usually not all the way out to the edge of the wood so cramming works. I also wrap it around a bit with sphagnum. The sphagnum cramming works well enough that all of the tanks I have built recently have backgrounds of siliconed pieces of cork with sphagnum crammed in between. Works great for me, though not my idea. I got it from pumilo.

Mark
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

So decided to work on glueing the glass in place in the sump... found out the hard way that the home depot window replacement glass is pretty sharp.. Duely noted and glass was sanded after the incident (btw 24 hours later I managed to rip open the wound when I had it un-bandaged to air out and de-prune my skin.. yay...). Had to ask the hubby to do the silicone work since I couldn't be too precise with the new cut. I zip tied foam and a cut portion of the under gravel filter plate to the pump to help keep I upright and from getting clogged/help reduce flow. Also I stupidly left the sharpie marks on the tank.. now I'm not sure I can get them off >.< going to try windex... At least this is my first tank and very calcium stain heavy so its not like I'd want to use it as a display anyways...



Need to razor off the excess and silicone the opposite sides (where blue tape is in photo).


I settled on doing the emersed aquatic plant setup with this tank after much mulling over.. mostly because of my lack of knowledge with orchids and other epiphytic plants I'd used for the branch setup.
I cut egg crate until my palm was killing me.. ended up changing the rotation of the wood after finally getting it to fit (doh >.<). Decided the new way make it easier to just gravity feed the trickle waterfall where I want it. SO now I get to make a bunch of ramps. Going to wait until pvc piping is cut (husband is custom cutting for me) to make the side walls and ramps so they'll fit properly. and I don't have to do any extra cutting later. I really like the look of the arch this way though ^^






And as a slight tangent.. I grabbed an unknown sp. of mini orchid at Giant to try just for kicks and giggles.. after a bit of reading online I learned they really need drainage (hole(s) in the planter/cup).. the one it was sold in had none so I decided to try a lazy epiphytic setup for it.. basically just pulled it out of the container and left it in its original substrate (which appears to be sphagnum moss) and used fishing line to lightly wrap it to a scrap of manzanita branch. I put it on the 20g long riparium for now, its not touching water but I'm hoping that having it near the water helps it humidity-wise. If it does well I'll consider planing more for a future branch setup. Fingers crossed I don't kill is instantly (btw this was one of those bs "just add ice (cube)" to water kind.. ugh.. great way to kill a plant..)
Any ideas on sp.? Also happy take take any pointers/tips on care.




The skinny white roots you see below the orchid is actually a clove of garlic I stuck in my riparium... its 27" long from roots end to leaf tip.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

Dry erase marker removes sharpie. Just take a black dry erase and color over the sharpie and wipe off with a paper towel, works every time.

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Old 02-03-2015, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: AquaAurora's First Viv

Quote:
Originally Posted by VAnative View Post
Dry erase marker removes sharpie. Just take a black dry erase and color over the sharpie and wipe off with a paper towel, works every time.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
Thanks for the tip! I already got it off though with windex on a wet paper towel and a little rubbing.


Husband cut off excess silicone and I got the sides previous covered by tape siliconed. Will cut excess in 24-48 hours. Hopefully we'll get the wood for the stand soon.. no idea how high it will be yet, have to see were "eye level' is on the couch that will be by it, and the other chairs to be moved into that room. Stand will hold tank and probably have a [rim] around tank to keep it place (will be drilled for bulk head) and a platform built below for the sump, then maybe a few shelves for misc items needed for tank care. Depending on how warm t gets between the sump and tank i may ask to have a shelf put in for the cultures to keep them warm (as the house is usually around 65-70F and I've read FFFs need 75F or more).. if its still not warm enough I may get a heat lamp for the cultures.

Right now I'm digging through emersed plants to find some nice ones to try so I don't end up with just all green (get some reds in there). [This thread] has aquariums but also some very lovely wabi kusa (mini emersed setups). I need to figure out some large plants max heights (swords and bigger crypts). I'm thinking of pulling put my diy emersed tub from storage and slapping a lid on it and another light to start converting more plants.. I'm thinking of scavenging pretty much everything from my 10g 'plant dump tank' as well as getting more sp. Would want to buy a few planting pots too.. or I can just take all the mini glass jars but they have no holes to let water through.
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