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-   -   looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice. (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/34409-looking-start-150gal-terrarium-need-major-advice.html)

madadi 11-23-2008 08:54 AM

looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
so i would like to start off by introducing myself. im from Chicago and ive wanted to start a PDF terrarium for a long time but never really headed in that direction. i had a 150gal tall tank and i had set up as an SPS reef tank. a little over a month ago i had a leak and i had to take it all down! i resealed it. took some time off and cried about it. so now im ready to start a new hobby that i can waste all my money on since the reef will be in another tank.

anyway, here are my plans and since its my first build, id like some advice if im going in the right direction or if im asking for trouble.

the tank is a 150gal AGA tall tank, 48x24x30in high.
lighting i'll retro 4 T5s with individual reflectors with 6500k bulbs.
mistking economy kit.
waterfall with a fogger in it for a cool effect in the morning.
external filter like an ehaim ECCO or marineland magnum to run the water fall.
false bottom built out of eggcrate and window screen.
GS for the back covered in ecoearth mixed in with some fake rocks built out of foam sheets and tile grout. a ton of great info and ideas about this on this site.
some drift wood on the bottom and back wall.
air circulation with some moisture proof, computer type fans.
the tank will house mostly different type of orchids and a few dart frogs.

now, it would be cool if i can make the water big enough to house some aquatic plans and a dwarf puffer or beta. ill try to do it 2x1foot and about 6in deep. should be about 5-7gal. the entire edge will be made so the frogs can swim out of just in case. i know this part will complicate the entire set up so its just a maybe.

still doing my homework every day. reading a ton of great info on this website and looking forward to meeting you all.

ChrisK 11-24-2008 02:27 AM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
most people are pretty down about a lot of the internal foggers, dangerous for the frogs, bad quality, etc

Link3898 11-24-2008 04:02 AM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
this sounds like a great plan to me :D you should start a build thread once you get started! (hint hint) with pics (hint hint) :p

Haroldo 11-24-2008 08:42 AM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
First off welcome to the board! You're local and probably 20 minutes (tops!) from me. If you need any help, I'm willing to lend a hand...Otherwise, looks like you've gathered the basics from the wealth of solid info here. Would be nice to see a photolog.

keekalmatter 11-24-2008 05:00 PM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
that should be a fun project. I have that tank but it leaks and I can't seem to get it sealed. I have a lot of ideas about how I could design it but have decided to put that off for a while b/c I got tired of trying to seal it.

Good luck and keep us posted. :]

kamazza 11-24-2008 05:09 PM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
I wouldn't put a dwarf puffer in there. They can be aggressive, they eat fish and if a frog is in the water it might like to have frog legs for lunch! I would go with a betta or even some tetras that are more native to the area where the frogs you put in there are from. Neons look nice and are small so you can have more... Just a thought/suggestion. Sounds like you have quite a fun project ahead of you. I cant wait to do a paludarium some day! Have fun with your project, keep us posted with lots of pics!

madadi 11-24-2008 07:14 PM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
thanks for the warm welcome everyone and for the encouragement.
i did not now the foggers are not recommended. i seen a great thread on here on how to convert a small Walmart fogger by directing the output into the tank. the result looked really great. that will probably be a better option then unless i can figure out how to make the internal fogger more safe. what is the problem with it anyway?
i have to agree that puffers get a little feisty and they pick on everything moving. a little school of neon tetras should look even better.

Hi Heraldo. i live right by midway airport. looking forward to meet some local frog breeders for when its time to buy. maybe you can help me out with that down the road.

i will definitely start a build thread. they are fun and its always full of advice. maybe someone else might have a much better idea then the one im trying to incorporate into the build.

do you guys inject CO2 into your larger terrariums that have a ton of plant life? for the most part, it will be a closed air system with a few vents to control humidity. im thinking CO2 might get a little low during the day and if the vents are too big to allow CO2 in, wont too much humidity escape?

postal 11-24-2008 08:01 PM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
Cant inject CO2 when you have animals in there. A 150 would be very difficult to catch the frogs... so you could CO2 after planting but before frogs/fish are added.

You would also have to change the water after CO2 before frogs/fish go in. I'm considering doing that on my new tank to treat the plants, but I already seeded pretty heavily with springtails, and of course the co2 would kill EVERYTHING but plants, even my seeded springtails.

A 150 with a water feature should stay pretty humid without much issue. Look for a poll on fans, you'll see a lot of people use recirc and venting fans in the tanks. A 150 could use a computer fan as a vent running 15 minutes every 1.5-2 hours easy without dropping the humidity too much.

madadi 11-25-2008 02:34 AM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
i did not know CO2 would kill the frogs. i figured enough will be converted to oxygen if there are a ton of plants. i was planing to use a very small amount but i wont risk it. maybe i will use some before i introduce any animal life. i want the tank to have some good plant growth and coverage before frogs go in. im sure they will fill less stressed in an established tank.

i will try to make some ducts in the lids that will recirculate air. some tiny doors in the ducts that i can use to control how much of the circulated air is recirculated or outside, fresh air.

is everyone using RO water or just tap water? i use RO-DI water for the reef so i was thinking to just use that. what is a good plant fertilizer? is low temperatures at night a problem in the winter? my tank is in the basement.

McBobs 11-27-2008 04:13 AM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
In regards to the fogger, cheap humidifiers from walmart seem to work best because they're reliable, easy to get to, easy to modify, and if everything goes to hell, a breeze to remove from the tank. Foggers that go directly into the water inside the aquarium are dangerous because they produce an amount of electricty to vaporize the water. Frogs could accidentally get in the water and get a nice little zap!

As far as RO/DI water, the vast majority of people on this board use it almost exclusively because tap water has a small amount of chemicals in it that can be detrimental to all living life in the aquarium. If you're worried about the nutrients that are being missed out on by using tap water, try using RO right to add those nutrients back into the water without all the chemicals.

For your plants and fertilizer...Easiest thing to do is add frogs and feed them! Frog poo is great fertilizer and you'd be surprised how fast some species of frogs can pile it up! Free and completely work free! Nothing better! ;)

One last thing, WELCOME to the board! It's always great to see new members doing their homework before they dive right in! Especially when making plans for a viv as big as you are, it really pays off to get things right the first time! Keep us updated on your progression and dont forget to add pictures so that we can all watch things come together! Good luck!

-Matt

madadi 11-28-2008 12:59 AM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
thanks for the great advice matt. so far i think i have enough info to get started. i will start with making the fake bottom first so i know how much water and land area i have to work with. once i get all the materials together ill start a build thread. i need to find some old pictures of the reef tank so you guys can see what it looked like and where the transformation started from :) a build thread without pictures is worthless. he he

postal 11-28-2008 08:34 PM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
Step 1 Read everything in construction threads.
step 2- plan. plan some more. look at the plan- make adjustments- plan again- draw everything out. look at it some more. adjust. draw the changes. look at it somemore.

Step 2 is REALLY important. The more you plan (and need to have read construction threads- to know how and why to do things- and see pics of vives you like for ideas) the better your tank will look, the happier you'll be with it when you're done, and the fewer "spur of the moment changes" that can be a real headache.

Just having a plan in your head doesnt work very well for a project like this. I personally think this is the biggest difference between- "WOW!!!"... and "yup... it's a tank". Of course creativity/design/ and construction ability play a big role as well. No craftsman or cabinet maker/furniture builder starts a project without a well thought out plan.

As for co2. I suppose if you *really* know what you're doing, and control it properly, small amounts of co2 could be added on a regular basis, however too much suffocates any living thing besides plants. Since it's heavier than air, it sinks to the bottom of the tank where the animals are. It also accumulates in the water (requiring water changes if thre are any fish) I've never heard of anyone doing that in frog tanks because of the risks. Only using dry ice to flood a tank of plants without any animals in it.

madadi 11-29-2008 07:19 AM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
thanks, good advice. i did draw up a sketch and im still working on the supplies list. im having a hard time selecting the brands that are safest to use, but im sure i can work on that by reading trough the build threads on here.

what is a good digital thermo/humidity meter that can also keep track of highest and lowest values. that should help me fine tune the vents to maintain optimum moisture and temps throughout the day and night.

for the ones that have the mist king systems, how often do you mist during the day. what is your misting schedule like? thanks

ChrisK 11-29-2008 09:09 AM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
it seems like noone else has a high opinion of them, but the exo terra thermometers and hygrometers work great

madadi 11-30-2008 01:59 AM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
i think they do have a probe so they are definitaly something i might look more into. not sure if they have the max and min temp and humidity saved though.

so how about that humidifier or sprinkler schedule. do you guys just do it for a few minutes in the morning, at night or throughout the day?

if i have a humidifier, is a mistking still a necessity? i might just add a mistking down the road since they can be easily added into the tank. can i just use the DIY walmart humidifier to start off?

loogielv 11-30-2008 05:29 AM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
i think adding the mister system later is fine. with a 150 gallon false bottom you'll have plenty of water to keep the humidity up, and w/ the fogger you're golden.

I personally like mister systems not for the humidity, but for the feel and look of rain. The plants look pretty when wet, etc. If its just for the humidity, keep it out until you're ready. If it's for the look, nothing beats it.

McBobs 11-30-2008 07:52 AM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
One thing that you'll want to remember is that a humidifier wont keep bromeliad axils full of water for keeping them alive and also for tadpole deposition. You'll have to mizt by hand still, but its a lot easier/faster when the humidity is already high from the humidifier. You'll want to hand mist to clean poop off of plants and keep bromeliads full. Really not much work, but still more hands on than a mist king.

ChrisK 11-30-2008 03:49 PM

Re: looking to start 150gal terrarium and need major advice.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by madadi (Post 308195)
i think they do have a probe so they are definitaly something i might look more into. not sure if they have the max and min temp and humidity saved though.

yeah they store min/max

Quote:

Originally Posted by madadi (Post 308195)
can i just use the DIY walmart humidifier to start off?

yeah just use the kind that has the circular output hole, i showed how to build a REAL easy one here: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...r-journal.html


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