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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just picked up a new all glass aquarium from a guy on craigslist. Its a 30 X High (dimensions 24W x 12D x 25H). I love the height of it, and since it has the same footprint as my old viv there is no need to get a new glass lid cut/change the lights out/ect.

I learned a few things with my first build: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/members-frogs-vivariums/69211-first-viv-first-frogs.html
First, silicone and acrylic don't bond worth [email protected] Secondly, something in calcium supplements tends to destroy certain mosses if it comes in direct contact with it. Third, under PC bulb, plants can grow real quick, and frogs like to climb, so taller is better for the most part (IMO). And finally, Organic potting soil is not a good substrate choice (melts/rolls downhill in that humidity)...

So, for this viv I will be going a more traditional route - I'll be using the great stuff method over a false bottom and eco-earth substrate. Nothing too fancy here, but a time test and reliable method.

I will try to update here with pics as often as possible!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
First question:

Just can't manage to get these old hard water stains off the glass. I have read alot on a fish forum that I am a member of and have come to believe that the glass has actually been etched over time by the calcium deposits.

The tank is old (says it mas manufactured in 1987) so this is a possibility but I thought I would ask here first to see if anyone has a different method for removing it. a 30min soak in white vinegar was completely ineffective and given the intended inhabitants, I am weary about using harsher chems.

Anyone had success at removing old hard water stains with their own method?

My other viv had them a lot worse, but it bugged the snot out of me so I would really like to take them off it at all possible.


Q2:

To remove the rim like my first viv or not?
Your opinions?

Do you think w/o it it sorta highlights the hard water marks?
 

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For the hard water stains, a lot of people will use lemons or lemon juice. I have used coke in the past and it works great too. Plus they clean up pretty easy. Good luck with the build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gearing up to make a big mess:


All black errythang:

I had planned on doing the back in black silicone but in the end I decided to go with black silicone on both the sides too. I would like to think it gives it a bit more of a dark, deep jungle feel.

Here is a pick of one of the vivs future inhabitants:

0.0.2 Dendrobates Auratus
Micro Spots I guess?
Patrick Nabors Line
Parents are F1's, So I guess these guys would be considered f2's?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I put an extra coat of silicone on the sides to keep the white of the great stuff from shinning through.
I also created the false bottom. In front of the wood chunk will be mostly gravel and I will be able the siphon out excess water there and plant some marginals.


After the silicone dried I roughed out the Great stuff base and the wood structure.
 

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Looking good. Cant wait to see the final product:D The other one doesn't use great stuff for the background which is why he has a lot of depth. As you can see he as cork bark and fern panels or cork tile. I would shave down the great stuff to make it look like rock and for the silicone to stick on well. I use the same method with my first build which was a 60 gallon. I notice white spots from the silicone not sticking to well to the shiny Gs. Eventually, i would need to go back and do touch ups. So sand the great stuff. "Im assuming" this is your first build;therefore, you will eventually see all the mistakes one makes and how you can do things different next time. Make sure you have your humidity and temp right b4 you put PDFs in. Make sure you let the silicone cure for more than 24 hours or even days. Do a smell test. After you finish building. Put a lid on it, mist it and let it rest for a few days. Check for the faint smell of silicone. Hopefully everything works for you. Overall looks good.
 

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I agree this tank is a great size to work with. the only problems iv had with keeping x-tall tanks is the accessability(if thats even a word haha). i just bought my first exoterra tank recently and found that it it 100x easier to work with and clean and all that because of the opening front doors. but other then that good choice. its comin out great so far and i am looking forward to the outcome. BTW what kind of wood is that that is going to be down in the pond area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree this tank is a great size to work with. the only problems iv had with keeping x-tall tanks is the accessability(if thats even a word haha). i just bought my first exoterra tank recently and found that it it 100x easier to work with and clean and all that because of the opening front doors. but other then that good choice. its comin out great so far and i am looking forward to the outcome. BTW what kind of wood is that that is going to be down in the pond area?
Yeah... It wasn't easy to get that foam in there and I imagine it is gonna be a PITA to silicone/peat coat the bottom areas of that Great Stuff.

Most of the wood is collected locally around Lake Ontario. Then I submerged it in a big bucket with a weak bleach solution for a day. Afterwards I rinsed it and changed out the bleach water for straight tap and soak it in that fir another day or two, changing the water periodically to get all the bleach out.

There are two pieces though, the one on bottom included, that are that really dense Mopani wood they sell at big box pet stores.
 

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Yeah... It wasn't easy to get that foam in there and I imagine it is gonna be a PITA to silicone/peat coat the bottom areas of that Great Stuff.

Most of the wood is collected locally around Lake Ontario. Then I submerged it in a big bucket with a weak bleach solution for a day. Afterwards I rinsed it and changed out the bleach water for straight tap and soak it in that fir another day or two, changing the water periodically to get all the bleach out.

There are two pieces though, the one on bottom included, that are that really dense Mopani wood they sell at big box pet stores.
ok thats good i just wanted to make sure it wasnt a piece of wood that would deteriorate if submerged. yea with my x-tall tank luckily i didnt have to do the peat moss method at the bottom. the bottom 2/3 of the tank is filled with water with a drift wood shelf towards the top for my toads. it was just a pain to even out the substrate at the bottom of the tank/planting and to mess with the filters. i attached a pic so you know what im talking about. good luck though and i hope it isnt as big of a pain as you think it will be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
After the GS set it was time to silicone the background and attach some coconut fiber and peat moss.


This stuff is inspired by the fake vine that they sell at the big box pet stores. It is just old polypropylene rope coated with some brown GE silicone and more peat. I wasn't about to spend that kind of money on something so simple and actually think the DIY stuff is more realistic.


A view from atop...


After adding substrate...


Here come those DIY vines and a couple smaller pieces of driftwood...


And of course, planting...


I waited about 3 days after the last silicone application to add the frogs. They were a little freaked out at first I think. I'm glad I added as many under-story plants as I did because the first day they were in there it seemed their favorite activity was to climb to the highest point they could find before leaping clumsily towards the front glass.


I still have some viney/ivy type plants and a couple of crypts on order. I'm going to have to thin out some of the plants I currently have in there to fit them. This is only about half the plant species I hoped to pack in there but space limitations are going to force me to make some trade-offs. Next week, after I get the arrangement just right, I will try to post some nicer pics of the finished product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That turned out nicely! One thing I would do different is to get rid of that pothos.
Thanks. Yeah, the pathos is gonna be the first thing to get yanked when I start putting the rest of the plants in there. Its a nice plant but the large leafs can look a little out of place in smaller vivs I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Can you give me a list of the plants you have?
Not really.... I'm horrible with plant names, or at least the specifics. I can tell you that the broms pictured are neos (I think that would be the genus, but again, not sure). There is some anubis nana in the tank. Some of the moss is wild gathered and the rest is riccia That I grow out in an aquarium. The lower left corner is dominated by a species of arrow plant that they sell at the big box pet stores. There are also a couple stems of bamboo that do real well in there and a host of other, smaller plants, that i recently purchased from another member on these boards.

I have been wanting to post some more pic on here but I'm having a hard time getting good ones to come out. My cheapo camera isn't helping in those regards. If I get around to it I'll try again this weekend.
 
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