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Old 08-20-2010, 05:37 PM
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Default Kirru's Tank

Howdy all, I was referred to here by a friend who has dart frogs and always loved them so i pulled the trigger and decided to get started.

A little about me. I am 20, I am in college full time and I have a 40g Breeder and 25g long mixed reef saltwater tanks.

I actually got a basic all in one set up with really nice features.. Here is what I mean, I bought a used Exo-Terra Terrarium, the $200 one that is fully loaded.. I mean loaded with stuff. I found it on Craigslist here in Atlanta and well right now I scored a great deal I think... Here is a list of what it contains.

Exo-Terra 18x18x18 Terrarium - $200
501 Canister Filter - $60
Retro light - $30
Exo-Terra Fogger - $50
Completely landscaped tank - Free
Live (i was told orchids) plants - free

My price... $50. It was a steal of a deal so I had to get it..

If you look at it straight on it looks as if it is at the edge of a river bank in the rain forest complete with small river and waterfall.

Finally here are some pics:





Let me kno what you guys think.. keep it nice, i am new at this and keep in mind that this set up was built for someone else, i like it but it may not be right or whatever..


Thanks!!
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:01 PM
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Definitely a great start for $50. I'd get some bromeliads and a few other plants but it looks pretty good.

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Old 08-20-2010, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

First of all welcome to the board.

The following is just my opinion:
The 18x18x18 tank is usualy about $100 new. Zoo med 501 canister filter $37 new. The fogger will depend on the model. and I am not sure of the light kit without more info.

Now here is the hard part. Has this set-up been used with animals in it before? If so then I would tear it all apart and start fresh. The plants you may be able to salvage by cleaning them in a mild bleach solution. The background and substrate should be trashed.

A little reading on this board will go a long way. At 50 bucks it sounds like you got a good deal.

But there is no way of you knowing what pathogens may be in that tank.
last thing you want to do is get yourself a pair of frogs that you are all excited about just to watch them perish because of an unknown factor from that tank.

Read a bit and search this board.. it is full of great info. Have fun setting up your viv to be your own little world and take WARNING! this is a very addictive hobby....lol
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

thanks, i'll look in to getting some.

do you, or anyone, know what type of plant that is currently in the tank?
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

looks like a couple of different jewel orchids. the darker one is a Ludisia of sorts maybe Ludisia negra.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobzarry View Post
First of all welcome to the board.

The following is just my opinion:
The 18x18x18 tank is usualy about $100 new. Zoo med 501 canister filter $37 new. The fogger will depend on the model. and I am not sure of the light kit without more info.

Now here is the hard part. Has this set-up been used with animals in it before? If so then I would tear it all apart and start fresh. The plants you may be able to salvage by cleaning them in a mild bleach solution. The background and substrate should be trashed.

A little reading on this board will go a long way. At 50 bucks it sounds like you got a good deal.

But there is no way of you knowing what pathogens may be in that tank.
last thing you want to do is get yourself a pair of frogs that you are all excited about just to watch them perish because of an unknown factor from that tank.

Read a bit and search this board.. it is full of great info. Have fun setting up your viv to be your own little world and take WARNING! this is a very addictive hobby....lol
Ok, this prices are based of local store prices. But then again i didnt buy them new so its nothing that i care to much about lol

Yes, the previous own had dart frogs in the prior to me getting it.

Wouldnt bleach hurt the plants? they are fake, but you said mild bleach so i may go for it.. I'd really hate to tear it apart and clean it as i am not sure how everything goes together to begin with and dont want to have a problem putting it back together. any advice on that?

yes, this hobby will be addicting and so it my saltwater tanks lol
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Jewel Orchids...
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Yup done the Reef bit for years. But frankly I enjoy the frogs much more.
Doing a bit of homework on this board will help guide you in which direction to go with when it comes to set-up of your tank. You will have many options and there is no "ONE" way of doing things. It will all depend on the frogs you intend to keep and even where in the home you intend to keep them.

I would start by reading here http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beg...beginners.html
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Tank will be kept in my room with my 40g saltwater tank. basement location. stays about 76-85* and is humid, thanks to the fish tanks lol

thanks for the link i will read it.. actaully now, cause i am bored..

i have read a lot of other sites, particularly the joshs frog site.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Sounds like you got a good deal on the tank and such.

To clean the plants give them a 5-10% bleach solution bath... Filter can be cleaned, but as far as the tank goes. Its a great idea to clean it out. Completely.

It would be very easy to build your own landscape, and much more rewarding imo. The 501 filters are fine, I've used quite a few of them over the years. BUT depending on what size frogs you get (and most of the beginner frogs need a lot of land), w/ that size tank, you'll want to keep your water feature small. I've had small water features go into a pot that drained directly into the false bottom so the substrate didn't get water logged.

Go through a few of the threads here, there are a lot of great build threads, and like mentioned , read through the beginner topics. You'll be glad you did.

Having 15 saltwater aquariums myself, I'd say the dart frog hobby is even more addicting. So welcome aboard.
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:32 AM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

i do like the water feature it has currently because it looks as if it is a small river bank. this tank does have a false bottom for the water to drain under it and the water is blocked off from saturating the substrate. yea it could be smaller but then again, i really like it and dont want to risk killing the plants when i remove them from there locations as i am unsure how fragile they are. if i had the know how to rebuild it in a day that would be one thing but i am not sure how the best way to go about doing my water feature. heck right now, some fish would be really cool and set off the 'river' part lol but back to topic. i'd like to know what this huy used to make the backing and sides.. looks like some sort of silicone but if it is... that is a LOT of silicone. maybe like 10 tubes or more
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

From the pics it looks like Great Stuff and silicone.
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

ok, i saw something in the FAQs about it and how to use it... maybe i'll give it a go.. maybe today maybe sometime in the near future

EDIT:

Would I use the Great Stuff product or will any one them work?
http://building.dow.com/na/en/produc.../pondstone.htm

Last edited by Kirru; 08-21-2010 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:38 PM
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I use the greatstuff pond and waterfall since its black
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronAcker View Post
I use the greatstuff pond and waterfall since its black
ok, how would you brown it out and make it look natural rather than complete black. gonna go find that in the FAQs i remember reading something about it.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Well my theory behind using the black gs is that it is not an eye sore when you do see it. You'd still cover it in silicone (i use either black or brown) and coco fiber/peat moss whatever.. but when you have a little great stuff showing through (if you miss a spot or what not) it isn't white/yellowish color showing through. In some places I intentionally leave some of the black showing through as it adds a little contrast in texture and color.

Here is one of my build threads... I used just about every method. Great stuff w/ silicone coco fiber, clay, and fake rock..

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...pic-heavy.html
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

ah, ok, that makes sense. i'll head up to petsmart and lowes and get all the supplies before i start the tear down.

Question though: Should I build the false bottom first before the wall or after I build the wall? I didnt see that anywhere in the FAQs for beginners
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

its a lot easier imo to build the false bottom first. egg crate, zipties, and a screen material.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

ok, so if i cant find the Great stuff pond and stone product, what else is there to use?
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

If you cant find the great stuff pond/waterfall, but want a black foam, HD sells another brand version,,, usually found near their pond/fountain filters and other products....
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:12 AM
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I saw some at lowes called Waterfall foam sealant. though, it said it wasn't bondable to silicone so would that be a problem to add brown silicone and coco fibers after it has cured and i shaped it?
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Howdy all, been really busy with school and work and then my mom went in to the hospital.. now that she is home I have time to fool around with this again. I went on a destroying spree and ripped everything out that was suggested... here is what it looks like (Just posting this from another forum I am part of)

Ok, here are some tear down pictures... took me about 40 min to get where I am at. That foam shit aint no joke. tho, peeling off the silicon made it slightly easier to remove.

from here, i will take it out side tomorrow and hose the shit out of it (literally and figuratively) and try to get the rest of the foam off the back wall off so i dont have to re silicone that over again, though I may end up doing it anyway.

As I was tearing it apart, found some blocks of wood. looks as if it is some sort of cork, soft and tear-able but eh, how should i sanitize it so i can use it again?

Also, when i ripped up the false bottom, i found a nice HUGE root system from the orchids. it was pretty neat and scary looking lol

Any suggestions on what I should do from here to make it look good? any designs that spark your interest?
Here is what I am gonna try to do:
I want to have a water fall where it pools in to one spot, I'd like to be able to use a fogger on occasion to keep the humidity up and constant. I also want as much floor space as possible.
If anyone wants to come over and help with the build let me know, I'll be glad to have it. Also, anything else I should get?







Any opinions or suggested are welcome, this will be my first build for this type of tank and will be the last for a long long time till I decide to go.. well bigger

Thanks

Also, the clock says 12:36... AM muwahahaha

Last edited by Kirru; 09-10-2010 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

my favorite tool at this point is a glass scraper with the razor blade on the end to get all of the extra stuff off from that point you can do the great stuff background or my favorite the kitty litter/clay background which is alot easier and not as messy but its up to you and also where do you live?
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:32 PM
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I have never heard of the kitty liter clay backgrounds... seriously. I'll have to see if I can find anything about it.

Yup, gonna find me a clean razor somewhere around my house lol but I'll probably do great stuff and those wood things.

This is gonna be fun..
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:54 AM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Just adding these pics to my build thread....





And I am updating it with new info. I just finished covering it in the garden mat. gonna do some more on thursday hopefully... i have decided to use GG and GS as a background media, mainly for conveinence. I'll be applying it directly to the glass and the GG i tried tonight on the glass worked very well... to combat the color from the outside I will spray paint the back glass black... possibly on the inside.. maybe the outside.. idk
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:44 PM
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Here is an upadate...

And it looks as if I had time before I went to work to take a few pics and here it is.. i want to have something that goes from the left rear to the right front pond.. like a stream of water or something...






Sorry for the quality, these were taken in a hurry
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:16 PM
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I feel like I am talking to a wall but here goes..

Got motivated to put the piece of wood in i picked up from Petsmart the other day and GG'ed it in place. Also tested the waterfall to the wood to see its projected path down to the piece of wood. Laid down a thin coat of GG to be carved out later for a little stream to the pond on the opposing side of the tank.

Not sure how it will look with out plants but I assume with plants it will look pretty interesting. I figure I need some Sphagnum to put around the top part of the channel and in the bottom of it to give it a nice aged look.

Anyone have any thoughts?
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Looks good so far. You probably already thought of this, but leave an easy way to access/replace the pump. You don't want to have to tear down everything if it goes out on you.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

No need actually.. along with my purchase of this tank i got this for free...
Terrarium Pumps and Filters: Zoo Med Turtle Filters at Drs. Foster and Smith

so my pump is on the outside. but if there is a problem i wont have a problem repairing the opening in the bottom of the tank or the pump itself
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Looks great so far! I think you are going to end up with a much cooler viv than the one you bought, even if it was a PITA to tear down.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Aight frogface.. tell me how cool it is now compared to the other one... this one doesnt have plants yet so it make look a little off.. for now.. muwahaha lol
..................
..................

Woohooo! Almost there. Had to put down a coat of silicone in the channel the water takes to the pond cause there were some major leaks. Hopefully this took care of that. Just got to let it set over night and can run a test tomorrow to see. Then after taking care of the water stream i started to use the rest of my silicone up, which was less that a quarter of a tube, so i filled in some areas to give it some.. green lol rather than brown look. looks 100x's better now.

Here are some shots just after putting it in.. note: on the back wall where there is moss, that is just put there just to make it look nice.. its not permanent.. yet.

What do all of ya'll think?








Thanks for checking it out once again!
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:31 PM
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Yup, I'm still liking it
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:39 PM
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Sweet! Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:23 AM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Yeah Kirru that looks awesome! Great job. I just finished my background. Now all I need are lots of broms
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:30 PM
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Thanks Sbye, I ment to post some more pictures yesterday but for the past week, accessing this site is near impossible. I can't access it from home but I can from school and on my phone.. go figure.

Anyway, here are some new pictures of it running with the water it really moves down the branch so i am going to have to add and shape the stream again. its a work in progress bit it looks great to me, adding the moss works great to cover up imperfections.





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Old 10-07-2010, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

Im liking the setup so far. Looks like its going to turn out pretty good. I dunno if this has been asked yet but what are you planning on putting in there?
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:27 PM
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so far, it will be just plants. i have to take down one of two of my saltwater tanks cause i am tired of dealing with it.. lol not sure what types of frogs i want to put in to it.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Kirru's Tank

The tank is looking very good so far.

I just wanted to chime in on the Jewel Orchids

The light colored one looks to be Macodes petola.

The dark colored one is Ludisia discolor and is not var nigrescians as one post suggested.

I would suggest putting the plants into a ziploc bag if you dont have anything else.

Bleach
1/4 cup to 1 gallon of water should be plenty for sterilization of the plants.. rinse your plants thoroughly before you soak them in the bleach solution
Also make sure the root systems are thoroughly rinsed so there is no substrate to retain the bleach solution. Unless its something hard to root I typically cut all the roots back to almost nothing before I sterilize.
I typically let my plants/cuttings soak for about 3 minutes or so. and then I rinse thoroughly for about 6-10 minutes to ensure all the bleach residue is gone. Also helps is to only do maybe 3-4 plants or cuttings at a time this way your able to pay more attention to each piece to see if it is rinsed thoroughly.

Ive also started rinsing with a dechlorinator which I dont think is all that needed for most stuff but its helpful with mosses.

I hope this helps and good luck to you. If you need some plants cheap let me know majority of my stuff is terrarium grown and most is frogfree.


Todd
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:15 AM
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Thanks for the info. Just a tad bit late. Everything died when I pulled it out. Which is ok. Means I can go for something that I really want.

Right now, I have decided that I need to redo the base of the "root" and make something that will connect all the way across to the pond, less than 3" so it shouldnt be to hard, right? wrong.. its annoying, but that is a water feature for ya lol
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:16 PM
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WOOT! Finally after so much hard work with this freakin water feature it finally doesnt leak. Now I just have to get a ABG mix that my buddy was masking for his tank.

Since I also have an external pump, I didn't think of leaving an access point in the bottom to get to the open area underneath. I will be cutting out a portion of the bottom, under the root to make it easier to get to the opening for the water to go up and out just to clean it out on the off chance it gets clogged. Plus, I think the tube has curled upward allowing air to get in to it cause air to get chopped up in the pump which is noisy. I'm so excited! it look amazing too
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