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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all!

Since this is my first viv in years and definitely the first one done right, I thought it an appropriate time to start a construction/grow thread.

I'm planning a terrestrial vivarium for a pair (perhaps trio) of frogs. The frogs I will be getting will be primarily terrestrial so the design will reflect that. It will have an eggcrate false-bottom and a possible water feature, though I havent finalized that yet. I will be constructing a foam/silicon/peat/coco background. The substrate will be ABG mix covered with (primarily) magnolia leaves, as I have access to them. The plants will be pan-tropical including orchids, bromeliads, ferns, moss and other species.

Here's what I have so far:

30 Gal. Oceanic Cube
Odyssea 2x18w t5ho fixture
a beautiful stump piece on it's way from thedriftwoodstore.com - Thanks Rod!

Orchids:
1 Pleurothallis corniculata
1 Pleurothallis minutalis (oxios)
1 Haraella odorata
1 Dryadella edwallii
1 Masdevallia floribunda
and 1 Isabelia virginalis all from andysorchids.com. These are all miniature mounted orchids of similar requirements.

Today I am going to visit homedepot and our local reptile/amphibian store to get supplies to make my background. I need to get the stump piece before I can begin construction but that should come sometime this week.

Pics:

30 Gal. Tank:


dual t5 light in action:
 

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How fun, 30gal cube was my first breeder tank I made - perfect depth, and lots of floor space to put in the plants you want. Have a ton of fun with this one for me :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Will!

I just got back from shopping.

I got:

3 tubes GE II Silicon, Brown
3 Cans Great stuff Gap & Crack
1 Caulking Gun
1 analog timer
1 sheet eggcrate
1 roll fiberglass window screen
2 2' 4" PVC pipe
1 pack zip ties

From Home Depot.. wasnt expecting to pay $90, though I may have gotten extra which I will return.

I got a brick of compressed coir from the local reptile store. I wasnt impressed with them. They have a lot of animals but the manager was on the phone the whole time and definitely came off as cocky. The other guy didnt know what anything I was asking for was. I think I will be getting my frogs elsewhere.

Total cost so far:

Tank - $40
Light - $35
Driftwood - $30
Orchids - $85
Building supplies - $95

need to order: a pump & tubing, substrate, fly culture, springtails, more plants and frogs. Holy crap I have spent $285 already on a 30 Gal. tank.
 

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Sounds like a sweet project Mike! Avoid purchasing dart frogs from reptile stores for many reasons! Go directly to the breeder! I am in Denver but I don't work with terrestrials. I know a few people though if you want to give me a pm and tell me what you might be thinking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Pumilo!

I will send you a PM shortly.

I may be moving (cross fingers) to Denver over the summer. Colorado Springs is definitely not my scene, if you know what I mean!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My orchids came in from Andy's today.

Here are pictures of what I got:


Masdevallia floribunda


Isabella virginalis


Pleurothallis corniculata


Pleurothallis minutalis


Haraella odorata



Dryadella edwallii
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks Josh!

so I completed my false bottom with a single 4" PVC support in the center. I siliconed the edges on the front three sides as suggested to keep crap out! The back will be sealed with GS. And by the way, I will figure out some way of hiding the false bottom, I wanted to be able to see the water level and what's under the bottom so I left it visible.



Orchids getting some light and clean water (not out of the tap). As you can see, they are very small! :

 

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The minutalis and floribunda are my favorites of all yours. I am interested in seeing how you go about with the placement of all your orchids placement in the tank :).
 

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EOS eh? I used to work as a photographer in a nightclub called EOS and I shot with a EOS camera ;-)

Thanks for watching!
Yup...I shoot with an EOS too.... but there's a whole boatload of stuff called EOS... I discover something new all the time... the name has nothing do do with any of them though :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Today's update:

I used 2 cans of GS to make a background for my tank today. It's sitting in the shade curing right now.

Tip to newbies: DO NOT stand your tank up when the GS is still wet. I did, and 1/2 of it fell onto my false bottom. I put the tank back down and rolled the crap back onto the background then used the remaining 1/8th of a can to fill in the gaps a bit. I hope it sticks or I will have to do it all over again.

Here is a pic (pre-mistake):

 

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Today's update:
Tip to newbies: DO NOT stand your tank up when the GS is still wet. I did, and 1/2 of it fell onto my false bottom. I put the tank back down and rolled the crap back onto the background then used the remaining 1/8th of a can to fill in the gaps a bit. I hope it sticks or I will have to do it all over again.
Hahahahaha. That's why I don't use GS anymore
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just picked up a bunch of springtail/isopod cultures from Doug! Also collected some rain water the other day to use on my orchids. I hope they like it!

My GS background is probably done curing now. Tomorrow I'll carve it down and maybe add some more.

Shipment of ABG mix should come in tomorrow as well. I'll be able to attach my orchids, set up my stump and place my substrate & leaf litter.

I ordered 2 6000k t5ho bulbs which will come in the mail sometime this week.

Also bid on ebay for some cool viv plants! Hope I win ;-)
 

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be cautious about buying plants on ebay. there have been a few members here that have been screwed over by irresponsible sellers. just a word of warning.
 

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that minutalis looks nice and healthy. Just carve out a little square in the back round and put the mount in there and hopefully the moss and the orchid from the tree fern will spread out and blend it in. Dryadellas have also done really well for me in terrariums and are constanly in bloom when happy. Orchids make all the difference!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
that minutalis looks nice and healthy. Just carve out a little square in the back round and put the mount in there and hopefully the moss and the orchid from the tree fern will spread out and blend it in. Dryadellas have also done really well for me in terrariums and are constanly in bloom when happy. Orchids make all the difference!
That's a very good idea.. There isnt much of a chance of that sucker being re-attached. I think I'll follow your advice! I'm gonna head over to mi casa pretty soon and get to work on some carving. I need to pick up some fishing line to reattach some of the other orchids first.. Cant forget to do that!
 
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