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  • 1 Post By Phxnoah
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  • 1 Post By Lokirathehunter
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:19 PM
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Default Planted Vivarium Build Log

Hello all, I think it's about time I properly introduce myself. My names Ruairidh (goodluck pronouncing it), I live up in the far north of sunny Scotland, currently finishing my final year of highschool. So, I am about to begin making or should I say redo my pitiful excuse of a vivarium for my crested gecko. Yes I know, it's not a Dartfrog vivarium. I'm sorry. I would love to own a couple of dartfrogs but it would be unfair on them at this moment of time in my life but I hope you don't mind me sharing what's likely to be a long journey with me.

Let me layout my idea, please chime in with any possible issues, suggestions or views, I will hopefully start getting some photos soon, although the actual build itself will not start for another couple of weeks as I need to order some things as well as clean the existing vivarium.

Design
So I was thinking of having a theme that follows that of the environment crested geckos originally come from, for those of you that don't know they come from Southern New Caledonia. I will probably be looking at features found on Pine Island and try replicate what I can.

Equipment
This is the equipment I've already got so I may as well use it, I think I'll redo the canopy and reposition everything though.
Lighting - Jungle Dawn 22w x1, Arcadia T5 fluorescent tube x1
Heat - Ceramic Heat Lamp 100w x1
Thermostat - can't remember it, will update when I get home/remember to
Temp reading - thermometer/hygrometer
Air movement - possibly a small fan, we will see
Tank - It's an exo terra and I think it's 60x45x60 I'll double check when I can though

Background
For the background I was thinking of incorporating a buttress root, vines and fake rocks. I may also add a small amount of silicone and substrate on to the background too. All of this would be carved out of insulation foam and the vines would be made from rope or potentialy even Pvc pipe. Here's a list of things needed:
- Foam
- Cement (brand to be determined)
- Acrylic paint
- Rope
- Silicone (would gorilla glue be a better option?)
- Substrate for background

Interior
I was thinking of cutting up and somehow sticking together bits of natural vine I already have as well as creating vines with rope, although I'm having second thoughts on using my own custom vines as it my be too much of a contrast. These would then be attached to the top or sides of the vivarium. I may also add a small piece of Driftwood and a couple of small bits of local rock

Substrate level
I've tried hydroballs in my first vivarium but this one I think I will give eggcrate a go, it seems cheaper and would be a more lightweight option. Substrate is an absolute nightmare here, it seems there is no such thing as peat moss or Abg here and I can't find anyone that ships it internationally, so any suggestions for a substrate that I will find in the UK would be really appreciated!
Items:
Eggcrate
Pvc Pipe
Mesh
Bulkhead
Valve piece thing for draining the tank
Substrate
Leaf litter

Flora
This is the really hard bit for me, I have very very little knowledge on plants and will really need help with this one, I think what I may do is make a separate thread solely for plants that will go into this vivarium. What I know I do need is large leafed plants, ferns and maybe even some broms, I'm not too interested in bright coloured plants or orchids I'd rather keep it lush greens for now.

Misc
The only thing I can think of to go here is I'm thinking of replacing my screentop with a glass top and adding ventilation to it, this isn't a must, just something to think about


Well that's about it for now, thanks for taking the time to read through my plans and if you have any input please don't hesitate to say. Next step is to clean out the vivarium and canopy so I'll be able to get some photos of that.

Ruairidh
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: Planted Vivarium Build Log

Hey, I'm probably just as in-experienced as you are so I'll probably stick around until the experts show up., but there are a couple things I do (surprisingly) know from reading threads. A great way to start is just to find what you're looking for on this website, because there's tons of content everywhere. Then if you still have any questions, ask.

I'm almost positive Gorilla Glue cannot be used, so stick to something like this (Silicone). https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-Silicone...-Caulk/3084585

Also, for your concern about substrate, Joshs Frogs (search it up), does ship items internationally, just not plants or animals. I've had a lot of success with them, and they're probably one of the most trusted frog stores out there.

Can't really help you with the plants, as I don't exactly have the best "green thumb" out there either. What I can tell you is to shape your vivarium around your dart frogs. If you want an arboreal species, go with plants that would fit them best. Same with the bigger darts, who'll most likely need horizontal space. Research different plants (Joshs frogs has a great description of them on their website), and find out what works best together.
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Old 03-22-2017, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: Planted Vivarium Build Log

also not frog keeper but have learned enough of here to start on my fully planted bio active viv for a BTS.
try dartfrog.co.uk my water system and plants will all be coming from there.
whenever i have rung always been very helpful.
they substrate as well.
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Old 03-27-2017, 04:07 AM
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Ge silicone 2 is a no go :/
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Planted Vivarium Build Log

Sorry for the late reply, haven't had Internet for a couple of days.

Phxnoah with regards to the silicone you linked, that specific one cannot be used as it has anti mould properties. I could have also sworn there was a gorilla glue that could be used in a vivarium although I may have it mixed up with titebond! I have had a look around Joshs frogs although I can't quite justify the $60 delivery charge for what I would be getting.

Mickg, Dartfrog.co.uk are very helpful, I've used them before although I have found their selection is poor and seems quite overpriced for what you get from it.

After a bit more digging I think I have found somewhere for substrate and a couple of other supplies. Should hopefully be updating with pics soon
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Planted Vivarium Build Log

Yes gorilla glue can most definitely be used and works very nicely.
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Old 04-10-2017, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Planted Vivarium Build Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokirathehunter View Post
Ge silicone 2 is a no go :/
Could you at least explain why?

Silicone II has been used numerous times for peoples backgrounds and I haven't come across any problems other people have encountered.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Planted Vivarium Build Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phxnoah View Post
Could you at least explain why?

Silicone II has been used numerous times for peoples backgrounds and I haven't come across any problems other people have encountered.
There are lots of threads discussing this. Many people have used it, but the information on that is outdated. One DB member recently wrote to GE asking about GE I, and learned, through their response, that they even use mold inhibitors in that formula. The search function is shaky at the moment, but there are good aquarium safe silicones to be found. The little bit more that they cost is worth the peace of mind, as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Planted Vivarium Build Log

This is one source for aquarium safe silicone, in black:

ASI Aquarium Sealant, BLACK, 10.2 oz
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: Planted Vivarium Build Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodswalker View Post
There are lots of threads discussing this. Many people have used it, but the information on that is outdated. One DB member recently wrote to GE asking about GE I, and learned, through their response, that they even use mold inhibitors in that formula. The search function is shaky at the moment, but there are good aquarium safe silicones to be found. The little bit more that they cost is worth the peace of mind, as far as I'm concerned.
I remember reading that thread. Aquarium safe silicone is the best way to go...it's a pretty cheap price to pay considering the total cost of the build and it's inhabitants. Just my opinion with no science to back it up, but if the chemicals in the silicone are affecting the dart frogs in a non-fatal way (think of how you'd feel living in a house with the smell of constantly wet paint), they'd have no way of exhibiting that discomfort. I'm a frugal guy by nature, but I try to keep the build materials as natural and safe as possible. Just my $.02.

Last edited by hp192; 04-11-2017 at 02:50 AM.
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:53 AM
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Default Re: Planted Vivarium Build Log

The biggest problem with GE II is that it can go bad in the tube. Nothing worse than having to clean up silicone that won't cure. Once it cures, it's pretty safe.
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Planted Vivarium Build Log

Just to clarify this is the silicone I will be using (probably in another colour) https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00...0iL&ref=plSrch

Should have some picture in the coming days
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Planted Vivarium Build Log

Silicone is always the great debate. But it is makes anyone feel better I have used GE1 for over 10 years in the aquarium hobby with zero ill effects. I've used it to seal tanks and to glue plants onto driftwood and to make backgrounds.
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