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Old 02-29-2016, 07:33 PM
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Default New wooden 160ish gallon tank

Hi,

After being on and off (mostly reading) on this forum, I wanted to share my custom built tank.

I kept many frogs and lizards years ago back in Belgium and now (after moving to the US), I picked up the hobby again. My favorites were always iguanas and dart frogs and I'm a bit of a nature addict!

The exterior frame is made of wormy maple. The interior is all plywood, waterproofed to hold water (it's been flawless).
The ventilation is great, never have any fogged up windows and the humidity stays perfect with the waterfall and additional spraying.

The background I made with styrofoam + grout / color additives etc. I wanted to replicate an old Mayan temple wall (hence the red pigment) with vines growing over it.
The branches and vines are made with the same method but different colors and peat moss was pressed in towards the end. I have a few cork pieces in there but 95% of materials in there are self made and therefore rot resistant.

I believe simplicity is key to maintenance (in my case), that is why I kept the vegetation simple and hardy (as well as easy to find and affordable), as well as keeping the lighting very simple. I am using one UV 5.0 light and the rest are regular LEDs (daylight and warmer light). The plants grow great and the frogs are very happy. Of course I supplement their diet.

The water pump / filter is exterior so that makes it very easy and simple to maintain. It's located in the cabinet underneath.

It's a community tank (I know the discussion haha) and I have 6 frogs in there, all are doing amazing!

Thanks for looking!



























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Old 02-29-2016, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

Very nice, and water tight!
Love custom builds!
Any fish in the plan?
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:07 PM
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Lots of different frogs in there!
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

Thanks, I may add some fish but not in a rush yet.

Only 6 frogs but there is quite a bit of variety indeed.
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanderV View Post
Hi,

After being on and off (mostly reading) on this forum, I wanted to share my custom built tank.

I kept many frogs and lizards years ago back in Belgium and now (after moving to the US), I picked up the hobby again. My favorites were always iguanas and dart frogs and I'm a bit of a nature addict!

The exterior frame is made of wormy maple. The interior is all plywood, waterproofed to hold water (it's been flawless).
The ventilation is great, never have any fogged up windows and the humidity stays perfect with the waterfall and additional spraying.

The background I made with styrofoam + grout / color additives etc. I wanted to replicate an old Mayan temple wall (hence the red pigment) with vines growing over it.
The branches and vines are made with the same method but different colors and peat moss was pressed in towards the end. I have a few cork pieces in there but 95% of materials in there are self made and therefore rot resistant.

I believe simplicity is key to maintenance (in my case), that is why I kept the vegetation simple and hardy (as well as easy to find and affordable), as well as keeping the lighting very simple. I am using one UV 5.0 light and the rest are regular LEDs (daylight and warmer light). The plants grow great and the frogs are very happy. Of course I supplement their diet.

The water pump / filter is exterior so that makes it very easy and simple to maintain. It's located in the cabinet underneath.

It's a community tank (I know the discussion haha) and I have 6 frogs in there, all are doing amazing!

Thanks for looking!



























So I have a couple of questions about doing a wood build. First is the a special type of water proof that isn't toxic? Second how does the wood no warp? I think this kind of build would save a bunch of money.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

Hi,

The wood doesn't warp at all. The full interior is coated with PondShield. It's a non toxic epoxy suitable for commercial ponds and works great. It takes some preparation to get it installed as you have limited time but it works really well. You can get it at Home Depot.

Also, I used pretty thick panels which are less likely to warp and move around.
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

I really hadn't considered wood as a viv frame. It's a neat idea. The fake brick background I think is pretty neat. You did a nice job on the whole thing.
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

Thanks! I love wood so think it's nicer to look at vs a glass box. It makes it a more complete piece of furniture. My dream is to build an 8 foot wide tank or so...
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:52 AM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

It's hard to tell from the finished pictures, but is the bottom of the viv mostly water?
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

What kind of moss do you have growing in there


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Old 03-05-2016, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

The bottom is all water and I have cork installed above the water to add more land space to the tank. There's a good amount of water in the tank, the pump / waterfall runs 8 hours/day and has pretty good gpm.

I have javamoss and other tropical moss (ZooMed package or so) growing in there, as well as sheet moss. The packaged moss really took off well and has been spreading.

Last edited by SanderV; 03-05-2016 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:47 AM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

Based on your first post in this thread, you are already familiar with the reasons that mixing morphs/locales is frowned on by the hobby, but is there any particular reason why you chose terrestrial frogs as inhabitants for a vertical paludarium that includes no substrate or leaf litter?
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

I'm sorry you don't approve.

The tank has a good amount of land space and has substrate in several areas, as well as several levels and many hiding spots. It is a 160 gallon tank and I choose to only have 6 frogs, which gives them a lot of space to move around and develop in.
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanderV View Post
The bottom is all water and I have cork installed above the water to add more land space to the tank. There's a good amount of water in the tank, the pump / waterfall runs 8 hours/day and has pretty good gpm.
Hi SanderV -

Just wondering if there is a reason you only run the waterfall pump for 8hrs a day. I'm not criticizing, but curious. I also have a small waterfall setup in my new vivarium and plan to/have been running the pump 24/7. Not sure how long it will last that way, but it was only around $10 and easy to access/remove/replace if needed. I figure aquarium filters run constantly so why not pumps.

Just curious if you know something I don't that I should follow. Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

Hi,

No worries, there's no real reason. I do 2x4 hours and the humidity stays high in between. I didn't really have an agenda with it
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

Hey SanderV, looks great. Just curious about your experience with the pond shield epoxy. I've heard it can be quite a pain to work with as far as being difficult to spread and covering a much smaller area than advertised. I'm considering using it on a future build and just wondered what you thought of it. Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: New wooden 160ish gallon tank

Hi,

Thank you. I actually worked great. I do agree it probably covers a lot less than advertised but there are ways to thin it. I was also very generous with it and double coated it. One can should be plenty for a few tanks and is worth the investment in my opinion.

The epoxy worked great. There are also table epoxies which are cheaper but the Pond Shield is apparently flexible in case something shifts to avoid cracking.

I'm a big fan of wooden builds so was pretty excited to figure out a way to safely do it!
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