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Old 04-16-2013, 12:04 PM
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Default Very Slow 55g Dart Viv Build

Hi everyone,

I have been lurking on here for a couple of months and have read what seems like every post (nothing like hyperbole) I have loved dart frogs for a couple of years i just couldnt afford the initial outlay for the type of set up i wanted, but now I feel like i can make a start.


The size is a major stumbling block so far, at 4ft x 16" x 16" so this causes things to cost more, quite a bit more. Even though the tank, canister filter and hood only cost me 15 from the local tip.

image

So that is where i am at them moment.

Leca, hydrofleece, coco background, and tubes for canister filter. Very basic stuff. as you can see i have some locally collected wood, the flat looking piece is oak and the other piece is unknown, so i will most likely throw it out, or cover is in clear silicone and then wrap it in moss. It is collected from the new forest (a large national park, american tourists seem to freaking love the wild horses ) , so i have no fear of pesticide use.


image


This is my pile of substrate mix, and charcoal is out of shot. I really miscalculated how much i would be needing, but you can never have too much substrate I have two other empty tanks which i have plans for mantellas and the other bumble bee walking toads, so it will come in handy later.


image

this is my various other bits, an epiweb branch and some mopani. Depending on what happens with the unknown wood, this maybe used.

image

This is a shot with the hood on, for a tip bought tank, i am surprised it works, too bad i won't be using it. I will be replacing it with LED flood lights that hang from the ceiling in a housing.


Ventilation will be achieved with 4 of these BPF - Round Cable Port Holes and Desk Grommets - Buy Online I like the idea of being able to vary the amount of ventilation, maybe to coincide this with seasons for the frogs. internal circulation will be achieved with Lepa LP70D12R Multi Speed 120mm Fan [LP70D12R] They are rather large, and i bought them on bit of a whim. they are made to work at 5v though, so i will be wiring them into separate phone chargers. They're large size allows for a high CFM at very low speeds and 0 noise. and oiless bearings? I think this means they can be placed at any angle and withstand a higher humidity. They will be in each corner at a 45 degree angle aiming at the front glass, i will make a housing of coco panel and hopefully grow moss on it.

So that is where i am at the moment, my plan is to have this tank "frog ready" for my birthday in September, which hopefully fits in with an amphib show over here


My shopping list so far includes but is not limited to:


-2 part glass lid with roughly 8 holes drilled, of 3 different sizes
-2 30w led flood lights, and to construct a housing to hang from the ceiling
-Misting system
-Timers
-Multiplug with surge protection
-Media for filter
-Plants plants plants
-Leaf litter
-Coco huts
-Infrared thermometer
-Much much more


For the feeders,


To swing this with the parents they will have to live in the shed. it is a brick and mortar shed but has ZERO insulation, so i will be insulating the shelves with polystyrene sheets and then heating with heat wire attached to a stat. The shelves will have mite paper on them. Hopefully this will keep them at a good temp, but i will have this nailed before i get frogs.

Feeders will include Springs (3 types) Isos (2 maybe 3 types) Fruitflys (3 types) and Bean and Grain Weavles. IF...

I get the leucs that i want, but i am scared there is a lack of height for them. I also love terribs, but i am not too keen on keeping crickets. Especially as this doesn't help with my ambition of Mantellas and Bumble Bee walking toads.


Please feel free to chime in, any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Last edited by calz; 04-16-2013 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Very Slow 55g Dart Viv Build

You don't have to do crickets for terribilis. Mine do very well on a main diet of bean beetles which are very easy to culture, don't attract mites, and don't smell.

Good luck on your build...looks like a lot of fun!
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Very Slow 55g Dart Viv Build

I didn't know that, i assumed crickets would be best because you can gut load them quite easily. I will look into bean beetles more I also read that terribilis don't pay much attention to springs and smaller isos, and tanks become over run with them. is this true?

It is alot of fun, i am surprised about the amount i have read and the amount of 'window shopping' i have done, for example, i want a rack, rather than the TV unit it is sat on atm. and i am already planning my second and third viv
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Very Slow 55g Dart Viv Build

Since I deal with larger frogs, the only time I use springs is with newly morphed froglets and on initial set up of the tank. It's rare that I've reseeded with them after that. But, I've never had an overabundance of springs in a tank.

With isos, I usually set up a tank with whites or greys which are an "average" size for the hobby. I've also thrown some oranges in some of the tanks (including terribilis). But even with these, there are never masses of isos running around. In fact, they're rarely seen. However, I've torn down tanks that have had tons of them in the substrate. I can only think that this is a good thing...keeps the tank clean. I also imagine that they are being eaten as they grow to adulthood.

I think you'll be very happy if you decide on trying out the beetles. They are by far the most easy to culture...takes very little work and no worries. Here is a thread on how to produce a lot with fewer cultures needed...
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/foo...n-beetles.html
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: Very Slow 55g Dart Viv Build

An update, I apologize for my lack of step by step photos and instructions. My camera is awful and i get lost in my world when i get started and forget.

The first thing I did was make a housing for the fans, i could have just placed them in the tank and protected the blades, but i thought that would look a bit odd, especially as i bought 120 mm fans, which look a lot bigger in a viv than in a PC case
All i did was cut some coco panels to the correct side and hot glued (add that to the shopping list) them to the fan. Then the back of the housing has mosquito netting attached, and the front, the netting is screwed in at all four corners, to give tension, and then the edges are glued. The finished product reminded me of this


The fans are running at 5v, powered by a phone charger. according to the specs sheet, it should be pumping out 38.83 CFM, at 900RPM. It is absolutely silent if you put your ear up to it all you hear is wind noise. At this speed the air in the tank should be circulated 9 times every minute.

They where then mounted in each corner of the tank, one blows across the tank and one blows at the front glass.





I wouldn't say there was a whirlwind in the tank, just a gentle breeze


The next thing i did was mix my ABG.

2 parts orchid bark
2 parts tree fern
2 parts charcoal
1 part sphagnum
1 part eco earth

My god was it dull to do. Smashing up charcoal, mixing it by hand, shredding sphagnum moss. i also made too much, but without anywhere for it to go, so i donated it to the parents to use in their hanging baskets. the most expensive dirt in the south of england

Even in the tank its very deep.



I think I put too much in, i just didn't want to waste it


So the ABG mix was complete, the fans where mounted. Now i needed stuff to make the small pool in the corner. It is only going to be a tiny pool, probably a half inch deep. but i needed something to go in the base of it, and then a way to keep the substrate out of it. So another trip to my local reptile/aquarium store to buy pebbles and sand. (adding to my ever growing shopping list)

*This store btw, has a good range of reptile bits. it is a very disappointing site though to see golden mantella and azureus in the same tank. the azureus have been there for about 3 months, and i fear they will be there much longer, as they are priced at 85. They where originally in the same tank as Leucs, i would not be surprised if some has walked away with 1 leuc and 1 azureus. *

I digress,

So the pool section is a bit thin layer of sand, then pebbles as a bank.




Very basic, but i feel it is effective enough.

Whilst i was shopping for pebbles and sand, i had a look at the viv decor and just had to get 2 coco huts, small exo terra vine and a real large vine.

The exo terra vine was broken in 2 places, but it didn't matter as i was going to cut it up any way. I also ditched the large unknown wood that i had, but kept the oak.



At the moment, the tank is very brown, but it is starting to take some kind of shape at least.

Please ignore the shite photos. Camera phones are the worst things in the world. and also please ignore the amateur hot glue gunning. I know its not an aesthetic build, but that is down to my complete lack of

A) Craftsmanship
B) Artistic ability

My shopping list is still vast, i hope to get the glass lid and lights next pay packet, which is another 3 weeks . Once these are in place, i can start thinking about planting and seeding with micro fauna. After that it will be prepping the shelves in the shed.



I have a question to ask.


Does the pool need to be filtered? I already have a canister filter tubes plumbed in, but in my stupidity the tubes wont reach the filter unit haha.

Thanks for looking.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Very Slow 55g Dart Viv Build

Update, for anyone who is interested.



Plant list:
Ficus Pumilia
Macgravia ? Guatemala
Cryptanthus 'Ruby Star'
Pilea depressa 'Sao Paulo'
Nephrolepis exaltata 'Mini Boston Fern'
Selaginella martensii 'Pin Cushion'
Tradescantia zebrina 'Purple Wandering Dew'
Asplenium antiquum 'Tongue Fern'
Peperomia caperata 'Ripple Plant



Lighting is just 2 standard T8s, one 5700k and the other 4500k they are alot brighter than the old aquarium hood, hopefully they will do an okay job at growth.

Because i ditched the hood, the top is covered with clingfilm, a bit ghetto but seems to work.

Obviously no frogs are in here, isos and springs will be here next week.


Cheers
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1.1.2 Excidobates Mysteriosus

Last edited by calz; 05-22-2013 at 11:25 PM.
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