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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sometimes we Americans are so slow to get on the bandwagon. If these types of tanks were displayed, regardless of the critters inside, there would be more terrarium/vivarium interest and more manufactored products to go along with it. I'm lazy and would prefer to buy something streamline instead of always having to 'Do It Yourself' a la Home Depot. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy making things from time to time, but it never comes out quite like I imagined it to. :oops:

Check out what Jeff and Mike from Aquarium Design Group (ADG) put together:

This is a mixed species 'terrarium'.
http://www.aquariumdesigngroup.com/portfolio/content/Aquariums/Terrarium/3a.jpg

This is a paludarium.
http://www.aquariumdesigngroup.com/portfolio/content/Aquariums/Paludariums/pal-b1.jpg

Here is what they can do with a freshwater planted tank!
http://www.aquariumdesigngroup.com/portfolio/content/Aquariums/Live Plant Aquariums/lp1zW-d.jpg
 
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ive seen those other ones, just not the one you posted first. they are all awesome. those guys are great aqua/landscapers :D i need to get a camera like that. that first frog pic loks fake too. the colors are just too real for pics. ....im.....just.....just simply amazed right now.

Landon
 
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Just curious, but where are they located?
p.s. if no one objects, I'm going to split this thread in a bit from the previous one.
j
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeager,

As Landon said, Mike, Jeff and ADG are from Houston, TX. Everything you see is always as clean as it looks in the pictures. Most of what they offer comes in the form of 'Maintenance'. Many of their customers have these as display tanks in very prominent places where perfection is at an absolute premium. They also have a gallery of tanks at their place of business, which reminds me of an art gallery with living art. They actually have displayed works of art alongside of their tanks.

Yeager said:
Just curious, but where are they located?
p.s. if no one objects, I'm going to split this thread in a bit from the previous one.
j
 

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It looks awfull to me. The first viv must have been photographed the day it was made. I think these guys should get into collecting stamps. One of each type and color.
I don't think the moss will work on long term and the wood neither

The second type is one which never really works well in my experience. But that's personal.

The third again looks like a stamp collection to me. These fish will never be found in a tank like that in Europe. Too many fish also!!

Greetings from Europe

Remco
 
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do you have some european viv pics you could share with us?

Shockfrog said:
It looks awfull to me. The first viv must have been photographed the day it was made. I think these guys should get into collecting stamps. One of each type and color.
I don't think the moss will work on long term and the wood neither

The second type is one which never really works well in my experience. But that's personal.

The third again looks like a stamp collection to me. These fish will never be found in a tank like that in Europe. Too many fish also!!

Greetings from Europe

Remco
 
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Remco has a good point to some extent. From the pictures I've seen, a tank isn't something to be fully appreciated until it's grown for some time and is viable. The first tank, I agree, doesn't look all that great as a terrarium-- as a piece of art to temporarily display the frogs, it's better. The second tank also doesn't look that viable as a long-term display. The third one looks good to me, but I don't know that much about fish behaviors to know if there are too many. There is a large difference, to me, between something like the first tank, and those that Hans posted. Hans is a piece of art, but practical, and sustainable. Tanks that just have a few plants and a ton of moss make me nervous for the animals. You would not see a Dendrobatid sitting (for long) in full sun (lights form the tank) on a moss clump-- as I think that tank is to me. Give me a bit of moss, bunch of leaf litter and dirt, and some wood and that is a terrarium.
j
 

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Yeager,
I agree, but I guess were just dirty. The tank is "pretty" but no realistic to the frog's environment. And what no Pothos???? :p I hope my tanks never look that clean!
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and I couldn't disagree more!

1. I for one strive for something that is going to be beautiful. This is not to say that a pile of dirt and leaf litter isn't eye catching! :wink: I truly believe there is a harmonic balance that can be struck between beauty, naturalness and sustainability. *Remco, I don't know if they collect stamps, but maybe you should ask them yourself*

[email protected]

You must keep in mind that this piece of art was concocted through the eyes of the owner. Mike and Jeff directed a crew to put it together and continue to maintain it at pristine levels because it is in a place of business. That being said, they do not have even a fraction of practical familiarity or awareness that is demonstrated here on the dendroboard when it comes to frogs. To my knowledge, this is the one and only terrarium that they have ever built and continue to maintain.

2. The second tank is an eye-catching paludarium, which is TOTALLY sustainable. Mike from ADG creatively created a hidden plant box inside the tank. This allows for plant additions and subtractions according to the health of the plant and more importantly, artistic layout changes.

3. Europe is Europe and this is America. In my mind, the so-called 'Dutch' set-up that you are referring to has run its course. The ‘Nature’ style of aquariums represented by Takashi Amano is cutting edge and leading us into the next millennium of freshwater-planted tanks...just my personal opinion. I prefer to see lots of fish, especially schooling fish such as the ones depicted (neon tetras) in the aforementioned picture. If you didn't notice, there are only TWO types of fish; neon tetras and multi-colored discus, which makes for a boring stamp collection if you ask me!

Even if you like or don’t like any of the tanks, do you agree with the importance of variety to keep the hobby moving forward?

Sincerely,

David


Shockfrog said:
It looks awfull to me. The first viv must have been photographed the day it was made. I think these guys should get into collecting stamps. One of each type and color.
I don't think the moss will work on long term and the wood neither

The second type is one which never really works well in my experience. But that's personal.

The third again looks like a stamp collection to me. These fish will never be found in a tank like that in Europe. Too many fish also!!

Greetings from Europe

Remco
 
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Personally, whether it's vivs or aquariums, I strive to appreciate the animals' natural environment and replicate that rather than concoct some utopia. Sure, it's pleasing to the eye...but nothing at all like you would see the animal inhabit in the wild, and THAT would bug me to no end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
First of all, you're entitled to your own opinion. Granted, the above-pictured terrarium, for all intensive purposes, is not very natural. On the other hand, the pictured aquariums and paludariums look very natural, albeit not 'biotopically' correct! Anyway, are you honestly telling me that you are accurately emulating a biotope. Care to share a picture? I'm sure you noticed that many people on the dendroboard use coconut shells for shelters and other more practical items. However, I'm right there with you and trying to make a vivarium that looks, 'in my mind,' like a piece of a tropical rainforest using practical items that are available to us hobbyist (i.e., plants, bugs). All the while, keeping it as clean as possible and showable/presentable and not an eye sore in the living room.

Sincerely,

David

skylsdale said:
Personally, whether it's vivs or aquariums, I strive to appreciate the animals' natural environment and replicate that rather than concoct some utopia. Sure, it's pleasing to the eye...but nothing at all like you would see the animal inhabit in the wild, and THAT would bug me to no end.
 

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Good point David. Take what you want leave what you don't. On first look I thought the viv looked too clean, but on 2nd, 3rd, etc looks I see different ways to make my viv look more appealing to both me and guests of my home. Now I'm not saying I want my viv to look like the one pictured, I'm saying there are ways to improve your viv to benefit both schools of thinking. I've been to Costa Rica so I have seen what the rainforest is like and to be honest a lot of the rainforest floor is not covered with moss, leaf litteror anything. That was one thing that stood out to me. So simply by putting moss or leaf litter in our vivs we are straying from the naturalistic look and why? Because it looks better to us.
Just my 2 cents,
Mike
 

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I love discussing what a terrarium "should" look like. I am always stuck between and Amano "Natural Aquarium" style and an actual slice of nature. I don't think either one is right or wrong if we meet the requirements of the frogs, so I wouldn't say any of them are horrible. In fact, I like having both and seeing how both frogs and people interact with the different environments. I don't think we need to attack people for having "postage stamp" terrariums or for their "natural" terrarium having sphagnum moss from Canada. I think we can appreciate both even if we prefer one over the other (although I adamantly forbid my nephew from adding a purple castle to his fish tank :wink: ).

I haven't traveled the tropics like others on the board, but I did spend a couple weeks in Peru and found some thumbnails in their element. To dublicate that in a terrarium would be a bunch of leaf litter (3 inches + of the stuff), some broken sticks and a 60 to 80 foot tree, possibly with wide buttresses. This was in the lowlands, and we were far below the canopy with no beautiful orchids or clumps of epiphytes.

I did stay at a hotel near Machu Picchu that had trails through gardens filled with waterfalls, beautiful orchids and mosses. I overheard many guests stating that this "rainforest" was beautiful. It was, and it was very much like you would expect a rainforest to look if your experience was looking at specimen photos in books and perhaps at most of our terrariums! While I didn't like it better than the actual forests, I didn't like it any less. It was essentially the difference between an Amano terrarium and a "leaf litter and stick" terrarium.

Just some Sunday morning ramblings ...

AAA
 
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