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  • 1 Post By Levis
  • 2 Post By gonzalez
  • 4 Post By Socratic Monologue
  • 1 Post By Tijl
  • 2 Post By DPfarr
  • 3 Post By fishingguy12345
  • 1 Post By Levis
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:32 PM
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Default First time build 18x18x24

Hello everyone, this is my first post on this forum and would like to get everyone's perspective on my tank. I would love to add some dart frogs to this enclosure but would like to get everyone's opinions before I proceed with adding any animals to the Viv. This is the best pic I have for now, the plants are still in their pots and nothing is permanent. Under the big bromeliad is more floor space for the frogs to enjoy hidden from view. I know water features are frowned upon and I may just keep the waterfall but fill the pond with stones to avoid any danger. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

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Last edited by Levis; 08-07-2020 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

Unfortunately I donít think the pond or waterfall are great to keep in this dart frog enclosure. I hate ponds in my tanks from personal experience, flies die in them and they become gross, and in a 18x18 footprint it just takes up too much space. The waterfall will completely saturate your substrate if the pond is filled in. Water features tend to be way more inconvenience and hassle then is worth implementing. You also are gonna want to add leaf litter to your tank, the frogs hide in it and microfauna eat it when it decays.

Also should mention if those are monsoon nozzles in there you will not regret it if you replace that with a mistking. I used to use monsoons for when I kept chameleons, and they have a kind of short lifespan. My mistking is still going strong after five years and Iíve abused the hell out of the thing.


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Old 08-07-2020, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

I myself would fill the pond, skip the waterfall, pull out the substrate plants and cover it all with leaf litter (there is barely no area for frogs to even walk), and either replace the Monsoon or make sure the viv has a working drain (Monsoons can and do fail in the on position). Making productive use of the negative space with protruding branches and such will help make more usable space, too.

Frogs appreciate leaf litter, lots and lots of walkable surfaces, a thick layer of leaf litter, multiple hiding spots (cork tubes are great for this, as is leaf litter) and don't need or benefit from water, standing or running. They also benefit from leaf litter.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

Nice! thanks for the advice. There is leaf litter but it's all in the back, it's kind of hard to see in the pic. As for the monsoon it will have to do for now as I picked it up at a price I couldn't refuse, but if it ever gives out I will definitely switch to mist king. The water level of the pond is under the substrate.. and hopefully does not cause any problems.I actually used a combination of eggcrate and clayballs.the pond can easily be filled in if it causes a problem.

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Old 08-07-2020, 09:54 PM
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You had some great advice above already, but it looks like your ignoring it tbh. Please don't.

You will have to prevent the problem instead of solving it later. This tanks is not suited for dart frogs the way it is now.
Damage will be done at the expence of live animals..
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

Definitely not ignoring advice. The tank has no animals yet and I have no rush to put any in. I'm taking in all the advice and will either adjust the animals or the tanks.

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Old 08-08-2020, 06:38 AM
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That’s a decent first build. It’s definitely worthwhile observing how it all works and knowing that incorporate whether you appreciate its function as is or if you’d value having animals and changing it.
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Old 08-08-2020, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

Pond + ground cover plants + moss = very little space the frogs will actually USE

The Fittonia will eventually grow upright, same with the polka dot plant (that's what looks to be in the very right front corner).

The Pellionia repens you should take off the ground and lean it up against the background or some wood, it'll happily climb the wood or background, and frankly it looks better when it's climbing up and not covered in dirt (which will happen when frogs go on it in its current position)

If it were me: I'd remove all the moss on the ground.

Edit: the way it's set up now, I would expect the frogs will hide at the back under the bromeliad all the time, maybe that's what you're going for? If it's not, and you want to see the frogs, I would make the changes noted above and add a ton of leaf litter and hiding areas nearer the front (counterintuitively the more hides you have the less the frogs tend to hide)
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Last edited by fishingguy12345; 08-08-2020 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 08-08-2020, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

This is all great stuff, thanks everyone. When I get back to the viv, I'll make some changes and post some new pics. Till then any more suggestions are welcome.

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Old 08-11-2020, 02:37 AM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

Ok here's an update. I removed the water feature.. I left the pump in place as it will make for easy drainage when the time comes. However I left the pond area except I filled it in with rocks and moss to create a wetter area of the tank. I had some java moss that I filled it in with along with some other more aquatic plants. I moved most of the plants up to open up the floor space. I placed a cork tube for extra hiding spots . I did not have enough leaf litter to fill the whole tank, but I will get some more soon. I'm still in no rush to get any inhabitants. I am still making sure the equipment all works and I get a good grasp of the humidity and temperature of the enclose throughout the day. Again any helpful advice is welcome! Teamwork makes the dream work

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Old 08-11-2020, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

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Originally Posted by Levis View Post

I really like the change and not just saying that because of the removal of the water feature. I honestly think the plant placement really improves the look of this vivarium. Nicely done!
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Old 08-11-2020, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

Getting rid of the water feature is a step in the right direction. Now, I would keep a close eye on the substrate. If it's wet enough to grow moss on top of it, it is probably too wet for dart frogs. That gravel in the drainage layer is likely to wick moisture up into your substrate. Too-wet tanks can lead to infections in feet and legs. It is also likely to cause the overall humidity in the tank to be too high. Just make sure that your substrate dries out between mistings.

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Old 08-11-2020, 01:28 PM
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I would just get rif of the water completely..
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Old 08-11-2020, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

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I would just get rif of the water completely..
There is no more standing water in the tank. The area in the front corner is slightly more moist but the water level is below the substate. I see everyone's concern about substrate humidity. I will see what happens in the next few days, I don't think it will cause too much issue but I may be wrong. Thanks for the advice.

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Old 08-12-2020, 02:25 AM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

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Originally Posted by fishingguy12345 View Post
Pond + ground cover plants + moss = very little space the frogs will actually USE

The Fittonia will eventually grow upright, same with the polka dot plant (that's what looks to be in the very right front corner).

The Pellionia repens you should take off the ground and lean it up against the background or some wood, it'll happily climb the wood or background, and frankly it looks better when it's climbing up and not covered in dirt (which will happen when frogs go on it in its current position)

If it were me: I'd remove all the moss on the ground.

Edit: the way it's set up now, I would expect the frogs will hide at the back under the bromeliad all the time, maybe that's what you're going for? If it's not, and you want to see the frogs, I would make the changes noted above and add a ton of leaf litter and hiding areas nearer the front (counterintuitively the more hides you have the less the frogs tend to hide)

BOSS! I like it!!! BOOOM! Straight to the point and you know what your doing! I would love to see how awesome your enclosures look. I bought an exo terra that's made for paludariums, but that didn't happen. After I heard my friends frogs drown, I said forget about it! that's a wrap on a pond. It did break my heart cuz I think paludariums look awesome. But I'm all about the frogs!
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Old 08-12-2020, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

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Originally Posted by Levis View Post
There is no more standing water in the tank. The area in the front corner is slightly more moist but the water level is below the substate. I see everyone's concern about substrate humidity. I will see what happens in the next few days, I don't think it will cause too much issue but I may be wrong. Thanks for the advice.

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I think that our concern for the substrate humidity comes from minorhero's excellent experiment thread (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pa...substrate.html) that gives some great info on wicking in different drainage material types. It looks like you have some type of gravel as your drainage layer which has limited pore space in it. That is likely to produce wicking and wet substrate. Just keep an eye on it.

Oh yeah, and the substrate looks wet in the pictures :-)

Mark
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Old 08-12-2020, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: First time build 18x18x24

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Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
I think that our concern for the substrate humidity comes from minorhero's excellent experiment thread (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pa...substrate.html) that gives some great info on wicking in different drainage material types. It looks like you have some type of gravel as your drainage layer which has limited pore space in it. That is likely to produce wicking and wet substrate. Just keep an eye on it.

Oh yeah, and the substrate looks wet in the pictures :-)

Mark
I used zoomed hydroballs in the drainage layer. I also topped it with some eggcrate covered in landscape fabric. Originally I was not going to use hydroballs. However, my pump would get clogged up, so I removed the base layer and added the hydoballs. I also surrounded the pump in some pond filter for added filtration. Since I am not using the pump anymore it seems I could have stuck to the original plan . So far my humidity is staying at around 80% and I have turned off the automatic misting until I can get a better feel for the tank humidity. Thanks for the link, I am headed there right now

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