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Old 06-10-2019, 10:57 AM
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Default Complete Video Series on Building an Automated Vivarium.

I built a 800 liter vivarium that is almost completely automated. It houses 2 dart frogs. I made a video series and compiled everything into this blog:

https://indukudesign.com/2019/06/10/...frog-vivarium/

In the series I show:
- The building of the structure
- Installation of the glass
- Installation of the lights, humidifier, fans etc.
- Automation with a Raspberry Pi
- Setup and planting
- The frogs

I would appreciate any feedback or comments (I will probably tweak and change things as time goes by).
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Complete Video Series on Building an Automated Vivarium.

First thing I can say is: Good on you! This is a very comprehensive and well-formatted document detailing your project. It's an attractive and creative setup. This is clearly a lot of work and I hope you are proud, because you should be.

My second thought is, there are a few hangups I noticed. I wouldn't call this an almost completely automated setup when two super important things --- watering and feeding --- aren't automated. One of those two things could be automated (through misting systems), although I don't know of any reliable way to feed frogs regularly yet. Also, some of those things don't really need software to regulate, just a timed outlet. Temperature, fans, and lighting are all things you could figure out the timing for and relegate to simple timed outlets without really considering the whole thing automated.

I also wanted to comment on a couple of things. Lumens and Lux aren't bad indicators of light, but they don't do much for plants. The best indicator for plants is PAR light. That's not easy to calculate after the purchase (as far as I know), but most plant-growing lights name their PAR ratings, as far as I have seen.

Also, if you don't know the sexes of your PDFs, it may be that one of the two surviving (possibly male) frogs beat another male to death.

I don't want to detract from the setup, though; I do think it is very well done. I was especially impressed by the custom air vents and the careful attention to electrical work.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Complete Video Series on Building an Automated Vivarium.

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Originally Posted by Kinstrome View Post
First thing I can say is: Good on you! This is a very comprehensive and well-formatted document detailing your project. It's an attractive and creative setup. This is clearly a lot of work and I hope you are proud, because you should be.

My second thought is, there are a few hangups I noticed. I wouldn't call this an almost completely automated setup when two super important things --- watering and feeding --- aren't automated. One of those two things could be automated (through misting systems), although I don't know of any reliable way to feed frogs regularly yet. Also, some of those things don't really need software to regulate, just a timed outlet. Temperature, fans, and lighting are all things you could figure out the timing for and relegate to simple timed outlets without really considering the whole thing automated.

I also wanted to comment on a couple of things. Lumens and Lux aren't bad indicators of light, but they don't do much for plants. The best indicator for plants is PAR light. That's not easy to calculate after the purchase (as far as I know), but most plant-growing lights name their PAR ratings, as far as I have seen.

Also, if you don't know the sexes of your PDFs, it may be that one of the two surviving (possibly male) frogs beat another male to death.

I don't want to detract from the setup, though; I do think it is very well done. I was especially impressed by the custom air vents and the careful attention to electrical work.
Thanks for the comments. I am quite happy with how it turned out. I have to agree that the vivarium is not fully automated. I thought about adding a watering system (and if I do something like this again I will include it). But I don't think feeding should be automated (it would also be very difficult with live foods). The interaction daily lets me see the animals and how they are doing and I like spending a few minutes doing it (the misting of the plants is also actually nice as I can see how everything is growing and if there are any problems).

Getting the right lights were quite tricky. The amount of information and contradictions on what is important is incredible. The "strength" in the end is actually less important than the spectrum (this also depends on the type of plants to some extend but again there is loads of information). Currently the lights are working very well and the plants are thriving - this is after almost a year.

I hope that the small male was not beaten to death - but I do not know for certain. During the time I was observing them a lot (during the day in any case) and there seemed to be very little interaction. I think the dead frog was a male and the two left are a male and female respectively. They were sold as young frogs and were apparently housed together for a few week prior to me getting them (they could of course have been bullying him then also). I will research this a bit more if I were to get any other frogs in the future.
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Old 06-16-2019, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Complete Video Series on Building an Automated Vivarium.

Nice work have you had problems with the dht22 sensor I had to get rid of mine and switch to a bme280 inside a pneumatic muffler to get a constant and accurate reading I found if the dht22 got wet event in the slightest even in a cover ie fogger or mistking it would fail I like your work I cannot code that's why I went with node red you only need a little coding knowledge for it
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Complete Video Series on Building an Automated Vivarium.

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Nice work have you had problems with the dht22 sensor I had to get rid of mine and switch to a bme280 inside a pneumatic muffler to get a constant and accurate reading I found if the dht22 got wet event in the slightest even in a cover ie fogger or mistking it would fail I like your work I cannot code that's why I went with node red you only need a little coding knowledge for it
Yes the humidity sensor does not work accurately and now permanently gives a reading of 99.4%. I got some non electronic temperature and humidity sensors and it seems that the temperature reading is still accurate and I still use it to regulate the fans and lights on hot days.

I did let the sensor dry out completely a few months back and the humidity reading was accurate for a while. But as soon as it increases over approximately 50% it will jump to 99.4% and stay there.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: Complete Video Series on Building an Automated Vivarium.

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Originally Posted by robroy865 View Post
Yes the humidity sensor does not work accurately and now permanently gives a reading of 99.4%. I got some non electronic temperature and humidity sensors and it seems that the temperature reading is still accurate and I still use it to regulate the fans and lights on hot days.



I did let the sensor dry out completely a few months back and the humidity reading was accurate for a while. But as soon as it increases over approximately 50% it will jump to 99.4% and stay there.
Yes same problem I had with it why I switched to bme280 inside a muffler I get a nice reading witch matches my macanical one perfectly but still nice job on it

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Old 06-17-2019, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Complete Video Series on Building an Automated Vivarium.

Beautiful terrarium, however I am sad to see you aren't making more use of the heigh you have. Perhaps you can add more of a dynamic hardscape?
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: Complete Video Series on Building an Automated Vivarium.

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Originally Posted by robroy865 View Post
Yes the humidity sensor does not work accurately and now permanently gives a reading of 99.4%.
If moisture gets into the humidity sensor, it can permanently affect it.

I used to leave my thermometer-hygrometer in terrariums at all times, but now I only put it in for about 15-20 minutes to test it once in a while.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Complete Video Series on Building an Automated Vivarium.

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Originally Posted by khaku2 View Post
Beautiful terrarium, however I am sad to see you aren't making more use of the heigh you have. Perhaps you can add more of a dynamic hardscape?
I agree that there is a lot of empty vertical space in the vivarium and I have been struggling a bit make use of it. I had several ideas of adding vertical boulders (like I did here https://blogfice.blogspot.com/2017/09/aquarium.html) but to stabilize them would take up a lot of space in the bottom - and I would still be worried about them toppling over.

The stump is actually an attempt to fill it a bit. But I thought I would add some plants (e.g. a mini palm like plant, small ficus tree) that should grow into this space - but they did not seem to do well in this environment.

Luckily the Coleus are growing very tall and I am leaving them to do so (rather than trimming them into a shrub like shape) - and now there is a forest like area with coleus "trees" growing right to the top of the net.

Also when the orchids bloom their flower spikes tend to grow vertical.

But there is still a lot of open space and I will spend a bit of time thinking on how to fill it up a bit more.

Last edited by robroy865; 06-18-2019 at 08:59 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Complete Video Series on Building an Automated Vivarium.

Empty vertical space is one of the #1 reasons for making some kind of background; either foam, cork mosaic, panels, literally anything that then lets you utilize attaching branches and cork tubes in the background. Flowers are great to look at for us, but are totally unusable for your frogs. Backgrounds with large branches however your frogs can make ready use of.
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