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Old 03-11-2008, 01:59 AM
 
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Default Just finished my first viv

Hello everyone,

Seeing how I’m new to the dendroboard and have now become recently addicted to the hobby just by looking at everyone’s killer vivs, I decided I wanted to jump in and build a viv. I thought I’d post some photos to of my first one (hopefully not the last) and get some feedback on it. You know, good, bad, ugly as sin! Needs more, less? Anyhting would be appreciated.

Oh, and thats suppose to be a tree buttress, I tried!

I went from this;


To this;


It took about 5 days start to finish. Now all I need is someone to donate a couple frogs to go along with it! LOL

Just playin, I figured I would wait another week or two before placing any frogs inside. Also I'm having a small issue with the temp, I cant get it above 68 or 70 with just the lights, good, bad, suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

nice, i like the way the 'stump' came out, looks really nice
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

good job the background looks pretty sweet.
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:39 AM
 
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

Awesome! I think you did a great job on the tree, especially for someone with no experience. I think the hardest part about building a first viv, at least for me, is getting the motivation to work on it! I'm so scared I'm going to make a mistake or not know how to do something. Good for you that you just jumped right in there!

One thing is it looks like you don't have a lot of hiding spots in there. Is there any way you can fit a coco hut or something in those rocks near the front? I suppose this problem will be fixed once your tank grows in a bit, I can't wait to see what it looks like in a few months! Great job.
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:41 AM
 
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

WOW! For your first viv, that is amazing!

Can you explain how constructed the background? was it just insulation, great stuff, silicone, and coco fiber?
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:48 AM
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

GREAT JOB! Nice looking tank.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:06 AM
 
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

under tank heater will increase the temp about 5 to 8 degrees
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:20 AM
 
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

Thanks all,

The Background;
I used Styrofoam and Great Stuff to construct the background (great stuff to stick it all together like glue (nasty stuff)), smeared the foam with aquarium safe silicone and then layered it with bagged dry coco fiber. The trunk was covered with quikrete and sealed it with quikrete concrete sealer, which as far as I am concerned is much safer then an epoxy or resin during and after placement on concrete (from what I've read on the board) and I know someone that does it to there vivs and they have never had any problems. After I placed and cured the sealer on the quikrete I ran in the shower for about 10 minute cycles about 30 time throughout the day (to make sure it was sealed and no residue from the sealer.

Hiding spots;
I have to two coco huts hidden behind the plants (to the right and left and accessible) and two film canisters hidden in the trunk. Hopefully that will work for them for now, time will tell. Think I need more spots, I know I'll need leaf litter, right?

Temp;
I never thought of an under tank heater, I'll have to pick one up, Thanks!
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

you might wanna be careful with an under the tank heater, as im pretty sure I've read stories about there being issues with one of them under a viv because of the water in the bottom... im sure someone else could chime in on that to confirm it
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:40 AM
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

great job, did you use a different material for the tree stump?
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

really nice tank, i love the stump. i second carola, not a good idea to use an UTH with water, it causes stress fractures in glass. what are your temps now?
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:49 AM
 
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

I incorporated an under tank heater. I was given the advice to place it along a side wall instead of along the bottom. I believe the reason was to keep it from stressing the bottom glass which also contacts the water. Hopefully someone can give you a better reason why, or just tell you if putting it on the wall by your background will work.
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:20 AM
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

yea, putting it along the side is fine... I have done that with no problems

I think the issue as that if it was on the bottom you would be trying to essentially heat the glass and then heat the water with the glass, which would put stress on the glass. (I think that just made sense)
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

I double checked the thread to make sure i wasnt missing it anywhere, but how big is this beautiful viv? I cant tell by comparing to anything else outside or inside the viv....Just curious as to how big your first was....

Mad props on the way everything came out! I really like how you used insulating foam to carve and sculpt a tree buttress. Did you just use a razor to shape everything? Or did you go a different route such as a blow torch?
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:50 AM
 
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

Agreed, if the tank has a large "surface" area where the heater would be, I would not put it directly under the tank. However, I have one directly under my ten gallon but I don’t run it all the time and it works great. There is also a "thermostat" hooked up to it so I can regulate the temp with just a twist of a knob, like they say “To each there own...”
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:47 AM
 
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Default Re: Just finished my first viv

Thanks for all the replies, some great ideas and suggestions! Thanks!

"McBobs" I used a razor, knife and a heat gun. Torch in my hands is probably a bad thing. Oh and just an FYI to everyone that doesn't already know this, ya garden ivy doesn't work in viv's, at least the one I had didn't, not even a day, I found some creeping fig for a replacement, much better!

Thanks again all
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