Recently, I have some to the realization that I am not out of room in my bed room for tanks, it's that half of them are empty. I started planning one of the 65s (I have 4 on a rack, one has milk frogs) to put some darts into and make a display tank.
A local pet store had a sale on their reptile supplies, so I picked up some cork tubes for starters. I am going after a living branch type viv, and would like mosses/ferns/broms on each of the cork tubes.
I have been building backgrounds using sheets of pink foam so that if one day I don't want it to be a viv, I won't be tearing great stuff and rotted material off the back glass pane, but rather yank the insert out. I have done several tanks like this, got the idea from Gabe (frogmanroth) a couple years back.
Here is the planning stages. I had a buddy of mine, Rider, help me with the artistic view points as he is much better with them than I am.
It's hard to get an idea when we were planning it horizontally and it will be vertical in the tank.
I added some great stuff to break up the flat plane, and also carved the foam so it's not so bulbous and cloud looking.
In the tank to show the depth:
I made a subfloor, and added a PVC pipe drain to the middle of the substrate area so I can feed an airline tube (or larger diameter tube) down there and get rid of the water. This helps reduce the amount of slime that is taken up when you siphon from a water area. Unecessary? Yes.
While the silicone holding the PVC tiers down was curing, I covered the background with the silicone and dirt mix. I use whatever bedding I am going to be using in the tank. This time is sphagnum peat moss, long fiber sphagnum, bark chunks, some ground charcoal pieces, chopped mag leaves, pea gravel, top soil, etc. I have been thinking about adding some cat litter to it for shits, and I keep reading brent's (and others) work on it.
It stayed at this stage for about a week before I had a friend drive to my house and deliver some plants to help speed up the process.
A little closer up:
.... Philodendron 'wend imbe' ?
I had tto shut off all the frog lights in my room so I wouldn't get a terrible glare. I have plans for more epiphytes in here like ferns, peperomias, mosses, etc. If you have any suggestions and haven't seen my plant thread, post them up. I would like hanging stuff and going after a cryptic look.
Also I am plumbing a fogger into the tank and tapping the outlet into the far right upper cork tube so the fog comes out the "mouth" of the tube and fills the tank. Right now I put 2 full pieces of glass over the top to hold humidity and keep the plants going but I plan on adding a screen part to the very front to keep the front glass pane clear.
That brings up a problem. The four 65s that I have used to be angelfish grow out tanks and the center braces were used to being taut. They are not now and I have a gap. I thought about "euro bracing" it like it some reef tanks, with a piece of glass under the plastic trim, hopefully pushing it up, or siliconing a glass piece under the trim and then just removing the trim. I am no happy with these ideas really, what do you think?
Right now I have a single dual bulb t5 fixture over it but will be adding another.
Main problem... what do I put in it? All of my frogs have adequate homes, unless they are froglets and don't need upgrading. I never build a tank and then choose a frog, it's always the other way around, but I wanted a display tank for darts in general, so this is what happened.
Tricolor/anthonyi group? Retic pair? Terribilis? What would you say? Not asking you to decide for me, but rather stir the dead parts in my brain that have been killed off via silicone fumes and cheap beer.