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  #81 (permalink)  
Old 05-07-2012, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Well...

Good and bad...The following pics are today's progress(kinda good news...the jury's still out).
Bad news is my pond has a leak. That was my biggest fear. I have another game plan to attack it this week. It came after my not-so-gracious round or two of swearing. Thanks to a brainstorming session with my wife and son, my wife headed me into the direction of removing all of the bottom and the rocks on the bottom several inches and bank up the sides with a pretty substantial amount of Great Stuff for ponds. Making sure I have a smooth, clean surface on the side and bottom to adhere to. Worth a try. The rest of my ideas involved a considerable amount of ripping out, rebuilding, and a tremendous amount of cussing!

Here's the pics...

Full frontal...


Left brom...


Right brom...


Right side...


My first frog!(thanks to my son!)...


And LED's...


It looks better if you have a strong imagination and picture it with a waterfall feeding into a pond full of WATER!

Thanks, Chris.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Any thoughts? Are my 2 clearance broms to big for my tank?
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Yeah I'd say order some cooler smaller species-I just did and you'll be happy you did! Plus with the t5 unit they will color up nicely
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

i just want to say i love this tank!!! Next week i'm gettting a 120 gal that i'm going to convert into a palu... My only concern is that if you are putting dart frogs in there give them an easy out to get out of the water darts arent really good swimmers so please keep that in mind.. also i have question i have a mixture of spaghnum moss andd eco earth and i'm having a hard time drying it out enough so it can stick to the silicone any suggestions willl the oven method work
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:23 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

looks pretty good. I would have used black silicone for the slate pieces on the front tho
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:31 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildcatWalker View Post
i have a mixture of spaghnum moss andd eco earth and i'm having a hard time drying it out enough so it can stick to the silicone any suggestions willl the oven method work
I have done this many times and it definitely works. Leaving the door to the oven ajar is crucial...the moisture needs to be able to escape. Another thing to keep in mind is that opening the cells of the foam (i.e. carving it) will make the covering substance bond much more readily. The keys are: open foam, thick layer of bonding agent (titebond II is the best/easiest I have found...by far the best), and very dry coco/peat. You really can't go wrong with this method as long as you follow the steps.
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  #87 (permalink)  
Old 05-08-2012, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

I got all the rocks and sand removed. I've scraped the silicone and GS out. After seeing how the silicone didn't bond with the "pond wall" and the GS didn't seem to have much bite, then I've researched a little more and decided to try marine epoxy putty to seal it. Sound good or have any better ideas?
Yes, I definitely wish I would have went black for the slate to the front wall. I thought "clear" would match the glass and make a smoother transition. I was wrong. With the light hitting it, it stands out sorely.
I did remove the big brom from the left. I moved the smaller(yet still big) brom from the right and put it on the left.
I still plan on making it up to FrogDay(if finances allow) and buy a lot of appropriate plants for it.
I installed one of my two fans on the inside facing the front glass. I still plan to mount my other fan at the back of the canopy to pull air out.
I also mounted my temp/humidity sensor unit.
Tomorrow I get to help my step-daughter move. So, no more work until Wednesday.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

I think I have issues. Lol. This is my first viv. I have the humidity and temp monitor going and it tells me it is only 32%, give or take. I have troubles believing it considered it has the glass canopy on it(still planning on cutting a vent/screen portion at rear for fan/air circulation. I have the waterfall/creek going, the "pond", I had the fogger/humidifier going yesterday afternoon, and the glass is remaining covered. I have a fan mounted inside tilted towards the front glass and it is only clearing the first couple inches directly in front of it. I placed the sensor probe at the top center. Would there be a better place to put it? Surely, it can't make that much of a difference...for example, actually be 32% at top and 80%+ at bottom, would it? Defective monitor? It is a brand new Sunleaves digital one from Josh's.
A poor pic of what it looks like unplanted this morning.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

I also posted in the plant forums for any tips or advise on my initial plant selection that I bought yesterday.
Here is a link to that thread...http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pla...first-viv.html
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

The sensor should be low in the tank, where the frogs live. Thats the reading you want. There is a salt test you can do on your hygrometer, for it's accuracy. SALT TEST

Great viv!
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  #91 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2012, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Thank you! I did end up figuring out my rookie mistake. The "sensor" goes on the outside for the "outdoor" temp reading and the unit itself goes in the viv. I have it sitting on the rock ledge over the pond and it shows 87% and 80 degrees right now. I still have to fine tune it and monitor it to keep it in the appropriate ranges. For example, I have all 8 80w T5's on right now...I imagine overkill. Lol. So, I'll watch the temps and raise it or shut it down to 2,4, or 6 bulbs. I also plan on mounting my other fan. Just haven't decided where to place it yet. In the tank facing the glass too? Or mounted in the rear with an opening to pull fresh air in or pull old air out?
I was hoping to get started planting this morning, but work already called me in. As of now, I'm still planning on driving up to FrogDay tomorrow morning, but my checkbook is arguing that it's a bad idea. If I don't make it, then it'll be a day of planting. I'm still hoping to get a little feedback on my initial selection before I do plant, so I don't make too many mistakes or have to do a bunch of replanting.
Thanks again to everyone for their help and support!
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Quick, not-so-good, pics before I run out the door to fetch dinner.





If you can see the pics well, any suggestions or comments?

Be back shortly...after dinner and cleaning up my messes...lol.

Thanks, Chris.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:24 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

That looks really awesome only thing is the pond looks a little to symmetrical for my taste, but really cool none the less
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Yeah, I've been regretting the pond...
The thought has already crossed my mind to put a false bottom in/over the pond and make more usable for space for the leucs.
A little more thinking to figure out the best way to get what I want.

Ok...30 minutes later. I'm thinking I can just use more rocks to fill in the "pond" to make a false bottom at the appropriate height, use landscape fabric, then ABG. I'll leave a pile of rocks for the water to fall on/through. That way I can still have water pumping from below to power the waterfall and creek through the 2 canister filters.

Oh, then I can remove the tacky silicone from the top of the slate pieces. Lol.

Think this would work well? As always, any suggestions?

Thanks, Chris.

Last edited by kitcolebay; 05-13-2012 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Next question...(I'm always full of 'em)...

How long should I wait before adding my leucs? I heard several opinions at FrogDay. From doing a search, I saw the thread that says it's just important to wait long enough for the plants to root themselves if the frogs are big enough to move them. I got me some itsy-bitsy leucs...assuming they are no threat to rearranging the plants. Safe to add now(or after the possible pond alterations)?

-Chris
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

how long have the leucs been quarantined and how old are they?
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:23 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Hey Chris,
One of the main things to consider when introducing froglets to such a large tank is the availability/ease of access to food items. When you are dealing with small froglets, it is a much better idea to keep them in a smaller growout so they can find food easily. You can also keep an eye on their health much more easily in a simple growout. If you are planning on sending fecal samples out, the growout will make collection much easier as well. If you do decide to introduce your frogs, I would highly recommend setting up feeding stations (pieces of banana) so the froglets have a better chance of finding food. Still, it would be best to get some size on the frogs before putting them in such a large viv.
Good Luck!
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

The leucs are 12-14 weeks old. I bought them from Amanda from AZDR. Should I still have them fecal tested? If I remember correctly, Amanda said she has owned the parenting couple for many years.
Thankfully, there were many very helpful people at FrogDay today and several had made the suggestion to set up a feeding station or two with a piece of banana(already made it to the store for bananas, a mushroom, and a coconut). Thanks to Jon H., I have also put in a couple containers of springtails and isopods.
I do have the froglets in rubbermaid type container about the size of a casserole/cake pan. I put in damp papertowels, some ABG, some pothos, and the stuff that came in the containers with the frogs(not sure what it was).
I also bought a container of fruit flies along with the kit to make the cultures from Josh's Frogs. Shall I go ahead and feed them now? How much...about the size of a dime? How often...twice a week? Or more since they are younger?
Sorry...I know I have too many questions at times.
Thanks, Chris.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

this should help
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/foo...c-froglet.html
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:46 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Thanks Goof! Definitely helps!

I'm so excited about having these lil' guys and so nervous that something will go wrong! Looking forward to giving them a good home(hopefully)!

-Chris
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

OK...no more pond!

Pond filled...


Right side w/no pond...


Left side w/no pond...


Center w/fog started...


Same w/LED's...


Whatcha think? Better?

I think my new little friends are getting upset with me. They've been watching me work and don't get to do the walk-thru of their new home yet. Lol.

-Chris.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Waaaaaay better without the pond! You are well on your way to having an amazing dart tank Chris!
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Thank you Field...very much!

I'm trying...and learning!

Always up for more suggestions and criticism.

I wanna do right by my new friends, #1-6. Who better to tell me what needs improving than y'all? I'm very appreciative of all the help, advice, and suggestions!

-Chris.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

maybe some leaf litter would be good for the microfauna and if the frogs want to hide quick.
Those bamboo style plants kinda take away form the tropical feel a bit.
But if you like them go for it
Looks really good tho
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitcolebay View Post
Thank you! I did end up figuring out my rookie mistake. The "sensor" goes on the outside for the "outdoor" temp reading and the unit itself goes in the viv. I have it sitting on the rock ledge over the pond and it shows 87% and 80 degrees right now. I still have to fine tune it and monitor it to keep it in the appropriate ranges. For example, I have all 8 80w T5's on right now...I imagine overkill. Lol. So, I'll watch the temps and raise it or shut it down to 2,4, or 6 bulbs. I also plan on mounting my other fan. Just haven't decided where to place it yet. In the tank facing the glass too? Or mounted in the rear with an opening to pull fresh air in or pull old air out?
I was hoping to get started planting this morning, but work already called me in. As of now, I'm still planning on driving up to FrogDay tomorrow morning, but my checkbook is arguing that it's a bad idea. If I don't make it, then it'll be a day of planting. I'm still hoping to get a little feedback on my initial selection before I do plant, so I don't make too many mistakes or have to do a bunch of replanting.
Thanks again to everyone for their help and support!
Much better with the pond filled in.

I don't understand why the sensor IN the viv is not working for you. It should give you the option to read both "indoor" and "outdoor" with the sensor in the viv and the unit outside it (outdoor reading, being your viv and indoor being your home). The whole point is to put the sensor out of your window to read the temp and humidity outside, while the unit stays in the house for you to read. Right? So in theory, the sensor in your viv should give you the outdoor reading on the unit.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonSpirit1185 View Post
maybe some leaf litter would be good for the microfauna and if the frogs want to hide quick.
Those bamboo style plants kinda take away form the tropical feel a bit.
But if you like them go for it
Looks really good tho
It's a little hard to see, but I do have some leaf litter filling up the left side, some in the back of the center(behind the coco huts), and a little bit on the right. I thought it looked nice to leave a small mossy portion in the front uncovered. Should I cover it all with leaf litter?

As far as the bamboo, I was on the fence about leaving it in or out after I covered the pond. I may pull it out. I may leave it in...lol. My wife likes bamboo and I've tried to make this a family project and get my wife's and kids opinions on most of what I've been doing. So, some things may not look quite proper, but if the frogs don't mind and the family likes, then it'll probably stay.

I'd love to build it so it's a great/safe home for the frogs, my wife and kids love it, I really enjoy it, and it gets great reviews and approvals from you all on here that know your s#it!

-Chris.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shibumi View Post
I don't understand why the sensor IN the viv is not working for you. It should give you the option to read both "indoor" and "outdoor" with the sensor in the viv and the unit outside it (outdoor reading, being your viv and indoor being your home). The whole point is to put the sensor out of your window to read the temp and humidity outside, while the unit stays in the house for you to read. Right? So in theory, the sensor in your viv should give you the outdoor reading on the unit.
The "outdoor" sensor for this unit only does temp, not humidity. It'd be nice if it read both. I would like it better with just the tiny sensor camouflaged inside and the display sitting nicely outside of the tank somewhere. I imagine that it is originally made for the household and not terrariums. I ordered it from Josh's frogs and like it with it looks, the larger display, and the price. Once again, I'm a rookie, so I'll live and learn about some various products and keep my eyes open for one that I may like better. For now, this one is working great.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

I've already asked this in the beginner threads, but thought I'd post it here too since it follows my build and learning curve(lol)...

Will this be ok for a temp tank until they are ready for a bigger home?



Another question...I've done searches on it and haven't really found a optimal humidity level to keep for the leucs. There's quite a bit about what is ok, but while I'm still fine tuning and waiting for them to grow a little more, I'd like to get it as good as I can for them. Right now, even with top cracked on my big tank, the humidity is running around 92-95%. Shall I cut a small portion in the back to screen over for more circulation? I have one fan installed on the inside facing the glass and I haven't installed my other fan yet. Wasn't sure on the best placement. Shall I mount it inside also towards the front glass or place it at the rear over an opening to push or pull fresh air?
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:03 PM
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Default My new babies...

I'll be trying to leave them alone and have their space to get comfortable, but I had get a couple pics to shoe off my new babies. Lol.



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Old 05-14-2012, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

The tank is goin to be awesome for those little guys. I like the pond filled in much better. Good work.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Your tank is super nice and your Leucs look great!! I agree it looks better with the pond filled in, alot of room for you Leucs to do their thing!
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitcolebay View Post
I've already asked this in the beginner threads, but thought I'd post it here too since it follows my build and learning curve(lol)...

Will this be ok for a temp tank until they are ready for a bigger home?



Another question...I've done searches on it and haven't really found a optimal humidity level to keep for the leucs. There's quite a bit about what is ok, but while I'm still fine tuning and waiting for them to grow a little more, I'd like to get it as good as I can for them. Right now, even with top cracked on my big tank, the humidity is running around 92-95%. Shall I cut a small portion in the back to screen over for more circulation? I have one fan installed on the inside facing the glass and I haven't installed my other fan yet. Wasn't sure on the best placement. Shall I mount it inside also towards the front glass or place it at the rear over an opening to push or pull fresh air?
that looks like about a 29 or 30 gallon so I think it should be fine.Or maybe I am wrong and it is just a 10 but as long as it is just for a brief period it should be fine.
The humidity needs to be that high.
There is lots of people that don't even have any kinds of vent or anything.
If you have fans you don't really have to vent and the air can be exchanged a bit when you open the viv.
Yeah I would put a fan in the back opposite side of the water feature of course
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Hey Chris, it was really nice meeting you at Frog Day. I just had one quick question. Is the "old pond" connected to the false bottom? Or is it still designed to hold water? My concern is that over time that part of the substrate will be come waterlogged because there is nowhere for the water to drain.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Thanks guys for all the advice!

The temp tank is just a 10 gallon. I'd like to put them in the 150 gallon as soon as they are ready. If I understand correctly, the 10 gallon is just my "growout tank" until they are old enough and big enough to navigate and find food in the 150(I'll be setting up 1 or 2 feeding stations).

As far as the pond goes, I did connect the pond with the false bottom so I have 6 inches of water underneath all of it that flows through the canister filters and back up through the waterfall/creek. I didn't want any water just sitting idle or building up. No siphoning.
I just got home and with the front lids cracked open all day and the fan going inside the tank, it is still holding at 95% humidity. Lights shut off a little over an hour ago and it is still 77 degrees.

Thanks again for the compliments...means a lot coming from you experienced froggers!
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

My new friends have been in their tank for a week now and seem to love it. Climbing all over the place. They definitely love hanging around the water feature, climbing the vines, they have their favorite plants, and already hanging out in the homemade coco hut condos. I've made a few slight changes to the plants over the last week or two. Some are already taken off and I've already pulled a struggling begonia. Video and pics done with phone, so not the best quality.

Here is a short video I did the other day. The leucs calling are not mine. I happened to be watching a youtube video when I decided to turn around and hit the video button on my phone.
Phone video video by kitcolebay - Photobucket

4 of the 6 grouped up...


On the rocks...


About to leap...


...onto the hut.


Feeding time...


My fancy fogger and self-made outlet/switch center(outlets mounted behind the switches.


Filters and pumps...


Valves to control mist lines and "rain" head...


Any suggestions and/or comments very welcome!

Thanks, Chris.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Oh, and I know I mentioned this is my FIRST build..

I bought another tank with stand last weekend! Haha. I have it in storage for now. It is a 90-100 gallon that I picked up for $40. I'm already toying with switching my 120 gallon saltwater tank in my living room into a vivarium too. I really enjoy the learning and building process.
The frogs are great new pets to observe too. My wife says that she has no interest in them. I'm laughing my backside off because she is always looking in on the leucs and trying to find them all. She actually woke me up this morning to tell me all 6 are out and about. Lol. She also didn't put up any resistance at all when I talked converting one of our saltwater tanks into a viv for my frogs. (She wants "blue" ones!)
Now to think for another 6 months about the next design while I wait for my daughters stuff to move out of the garage(my workspace)!

-Chris
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

looks really great with the pond filled in. Have you thought about a longish, relatively thin piece of driftwood wt some broms coming out of what was the pond? Also, some nice vining cuttings to grow up the walls would probably look awesome in a few months time.
Looking much more natural now, looking forward to seeing it grow in.

Also, awesome job with the plumbing, especially for a first build!
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

Thank you Winstonamc! I may have to keep an eye open for a piece of driftwood that would look good across the middle. I had one that is in a "V" shape that was in the pond before I pulled it out. I like the idea of keeping a little open moss-covered area in the front, but adding a little more terrain and climbing area for them would be nice.

I do have some vine/crawling plants in some areas. Creeping Jenny and pilea on back wall are already starting to grab and spread. I took some cuttings of wandering jew and placed in two spots on back wall and on one spot on the old "pond" wall. I have one small planter with some english/variegated ivy that hope will spread along my self-made vines/misting lines. Although the ivy doesn't look too well at the moment. I hadn't realized that the roots started to pull out of the substrate and it started to dry out. I have the roots well covered now and well watered. Fingers crossed. I really love the look of the creeping jenny on the wall. I thought about getting more.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

My thoughts are running wild(and will do so for the next 6 months or so) about my next setup. I will be doing another big tank. Either my 90 gallon in storage or my 120 gallon saltwater tank. I think I have settled on Borja Ridge vents for my next frogs. If I understand correctly, they are another frog that does great in groups. Please correct me if I'm mistaken or if you happen to have anymore suggestions and frogs that do great in groups.

If there is no reason not to go with the "Borja Ridge", then is there any suggestions from knowledge/experience for key features to focus on when building their tank?

One more thought, if this is going to lead up to my next build, then should I start a new thread instead of adding onto this one?

Thanks, Chris
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:54 PM
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Exclamation Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...

I know this is a little late in the game, but I just came upon this thread and I think it's important.

Back to the EPDM liners... I would like to point out that there IS a difference in liners marketed for ponds and others. This information comes from someone who has worked in rubber chemistry for over 10 years, and currently makes rubber for every conceivable application.

For everyone who is reading this, cured rubber sheeting is safe for fish/amphibians/etc. whether it is made from EPDM, PVC, NBR, SBR, etc. There is nothing in the polymer itself that will harm your animals, once it is cured (which all liners are).

EPDM is used in aquatic applications due to it's water resistance. And price, but that's not really important here.

There is a huge BUT here. An EPDM (or PVC etc.) liner is not pure EPDM. In my experience, it's only about 50% polymer. The remaining 50% will be filler (carbon black, silica), color, plasticizers (oil), cure agents, antioxidants, antiozonants, processing aids, fungicides, etc. Some of these ingredients will ABSOLUTELY KILL EVERYTHING IN YOUR TANK.

The only real one to worry about is the fungicide/biocide. They are designed to migrate to the surface and prevent the growth of algae, bacteria or whatever. In a small environment it will concentrate and become much more powerful, killing everything in the tank.

An example of this was a military application where a mere 10% in biocide (about .1% increase in total material volume) resulted in killing off almost the entire population of fish in a test bay in San Diego.

If you live in California, you are luckier than most when it comes to this stuff. Intense environmental regulations make it very cost prohibitive to use the normally very cheap, but powerful additives. In the rest of the country, good luck.

If a product is marketed as proper for use in ponds, you are probably OK. If for pools, roofing etc. I would be VERY VERY cautious. The only real chance you have is that it is really old and the biocides have all migrated out, or they never put it in in the first, place.

I'm not trying to scare people unnecessarily but this should be the last word on rubber liners. It is possible to have material tested for biocide but it is very cost prohibitive (+$1000 per test).

Regrds,

Michael
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