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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Plan: Create a large vertical paludarium for a small species of tree frogs out of a 40 gallon breeder. I'm on the waiting list for a couple of species of glass tree frogs (have been for years) and I decided to go ahead and build a quality tank to have fully balanced and established for when I can finally get ahold of these guys. I'm planning to build fake rocks, roots, potentially an epiweb branch or two, with a flowing stream bed at the base. I found a great place for ordering custom glass online and I'll be posting details as I go, but I have a few questions for those of you that have more experience with this.

1. Is a 40 gallon vertical too big for H. aureoguttatum or H. valerioi? I was planning to purchase a group of 5 or 6 depending on final cost and availability. Sometimes bigger isn't better when it comes to frogs, groups of frogs, and breeding. 20 gallons seems sufficient, but I want them to have room to grow, move, and behave more naturally.

2. I've noticed some people have in-tank breeding success, but many do not have breeding success at all. What are some specialized needs for the tads of these species? It seems like they'd appreciate algae, microfauna, good bacteria, live plants, places to hide, and some water flow/movement/current. I do not plan to exclusively breed in the tank, I'll pull eggs most likely, BUT I'd like to set up the possibility.... assuming I can at least get a pair.

3. Aquariums are not my specialty. I've pulled off some pretty good water features in the past, but what is the best way to set up the plumbing for something like this? I'd prefer to avoid setting up a sump if I can, but I'm willing to learn if I need to... mostly due to space and financial constraints.

4. I have zero experience cutting glass... I'm actually considering cutting a rectangular glass access door in the back (bottom of the 40 gallon breeder) to access filters, pumps, etc... setting up a false back too. I'm planning to drill and set up a mist king (one reason I'm trying to avoid a sump... the mist king system takes up some space).

Any thoughts? Something else I need to consider?

Of course I'll post as I go. I have a very clear idea of how I want it to look, but the plumbing needs to be done before the fun part so I have some decisions to make.
 

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40 breeder is an ideal size for a group of Centrolenids, I've bred them in smaller enclosures but would always recommend larger for two reasons: 1) it allows males to establish territories which promotes calling and 2) I've always had better success raising Centrolenid tadpoles within the same system as the adults and the larger the enclosure, the larger the water body. I don't really want to get into detail about the tadpoles now as that is a lengthy, yet still very open ended subject. For your enclosure design your only real option if your using a vertical conversion is to have a sump, but this is a far better option anyway as internal pumps almost always fail over time and maintenance and removal is a huge pain, also with a sump your increasing the water volume of your system by quite a bit which makes your water quality much more stable and easy to maintain which makes raising tadpoles in system that much easier. My standard Centrolenid breeding enclosure consists of a misting system, an inert carved cement background plumbed with drip lines, lots of philodendrons and other broad leafed plants, about 2-4" of standing water taking up the bottom of the enclosure, and a sump with a pump to supply the drip wall ( you want a slow seepage, not a waterfall or river!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info!

So do you think an external canister filter would provide too much volume or could I divide that volume safely into the drip walls?
 
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