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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!

First timer and excited to be here! I’ve window shopped for years and my fiancée was kind enough to get me a Petsmart 18x18x24 Thrive terrarium kit for Christmas this year. I’ve started to build my dream vivarium and thought I’d share the progress. Let me know your thoughts!

Equipment
18x18x24 Thrive Terrarium (Modified Glass Top)
2 Finnex Planted+ 24/7 ALC 16in LED Lights
Old 100gph Aquarium Pump (turned to lowest setting)
Mistking Starter Kit v5 + Hygrostat/Thermometer
2 50mm Fans
Ultrasonic Mist Maker
Hardscape
Great Stuff - Pond
Slate Rock Wall
Lava Rock Retaining Wall
Cork and Ghostwood on the way...
(I plan to have water run down cork round and into water at front of tank)

Question... How often do you run your fans for ventilation? I plan to setup the mistking to keep 85%rh.

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Background looks nice. What’s your intention with the aquarium pump and what are you planning to keep in there? I think the general opinion for dart frogs is that the frogs don’t need a water function, and large/deep water areas should be discouraged, especially in a first tank.
 

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Agree that a water feature isn't useful for dart frogs.

Also, misting and ventilation will need to be dialed in according to your particular setup, ambient humidity, temps, etc. Misting should be done enough so that the plants get watered (once a day is a good place to start) but ventilated enought to dry their leaves within a couple hours at most. Targeting a RH isn't a good practice.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Background looks nice. What’s your intention with the aquarium pump and what are you planning to keep in there? I think the general opinion for dart frogs is that the frogs don’t need a water function, and large/deep water areas should be discouraged, especially in a first tank.
Small water feature. A little water running through cork round. There will not be a large/deep water area. Most of the front will be filled with sand that slopes to the right.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Agree that a water feature isn't useful for dart frogs.

Also, misting and ventilation will need to be dialed in according to your particular setup, ambient humidity, temps, etc. Misting should be done enough so that the plants get watered (once a day is a good place to start) but ventilated enought to dry their leaves within a couple hours at most. Targeting a RH isn't a good practice.
I bought the mistking hygrostat. Is that not useful? Everywhere Ive read about care, dart frogs need to be kept at 70-80F and 80%+rh. why wouldn’t I target that and set my hygrostat to 85%? Not being a smarty pants here, genuinely curious as a newbie.
 

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Generally speaking, focusing on trying to hit a specific humidity level leads to more problems than solutions.

A range of humidity in the tank will give the frogs a place to go to be more and less humid, similarly a temperature gradient allows them the opportunity to be more or less warm (temperature gradients are achievable with little input as the top of the tank will be warmer than ground level).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Generally speaking, focusing on trying to hit a specific humidity level leads to more problems than solutions.

A range of humidity in the tank will give the frogs a place to go to be more and less humid, similarly a temperature gradient allows them the opportunity to be more or less warm (temperature gradients are achievable with little input as the top of the tank will be warmer than ground level).
Got it. So do you think I should set a range of 80%-88%? This way humidity will raise and then fall before spraying again?
 

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That top is pretty slick. Is that the one it came with and you just put glass in instead of screen?
 

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Got it. So do you think I should set a range of 80%-88%? This way humidity will raise and then fall before spraying again?
Personally,I would set it at 70-75% or just skip using the hygrometer trigger on the misting system and just set it to mist at regular intervals.
 

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That top is pretty slick. Is that the one it came with and you just put glass in instead of screen?
Yeah, its the top it came with. I cut out most of the screen and replaced with glass. I did this as I didn't want the screen blocking light and reducing PAR. I also added two 50mm fans to the open vent for ventilation.
 

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Personally,I would set it at 70-75% or just skip using the hygrometer trigger on the misting system and just set it to mist at regular intervals.
70% humidity isn’t too low? I see 80% as the minimum on care sheets so just being super cautious as I want to do my best to care for these animals.
 

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Although so much marketed advice points otherwise, humidity cant really be dialed in to a stat number in a space with air exchange and evaporation physics happening. without extremis of closed factors of air flow and evaporation, which deviates from these effects in nature, and isnt healthy for the frogs.
It seems confusing but after a while you will discover why most of us dont focus on guages. I dont think i even have one.

Humidity in biome is cyclic, with gradients and variables, pockets of more, zones of less.

Its actually easier to let it behave along natural forces than attempt to force the forces.
 

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Although so much marketed advice points otherwise, humidity cant really be dialed in to a stat number in a space with air exchange and evaporation physics happening. without extremis of closed factors of air flow and evaporation, which deviates from these effects in nature, and isnt healthy for the frogs.
It seems confusing but after a while you will discover why most of us dont focus on guages. I dont think i even have one.

Humidity in biome is cyclic, with gradients and variables, pockets of more, zones of less.

Its actually easier to let it behave along natural forces than attempt to force the forces.
Thanks for the explanation. But darn... that was a 70 dollar learning lesson... ouch.
 

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I also used to use a humidity sensor, specifically the ZooMed hygrotherm. I think I used it to turn fans on when humidity got too high. I also have a Mondi thermo-hygrometer and mostly ignore the humidity readings. Now I just "keep an eye" on the visible humidity levels (long fiber sphagnum on plant mounts provides a great visual indicator). Of course I recently espoused this position regarding humidity on an orchid forum and got a very different reaction, some people really care about knowing their exact humidity levels.

Can the MistKing hygrostat/thermometer turn fans on based on temperature as well? My ZooMed one can, and I will likely use it again, to vent in summer when my temps soar up into the 80s. In my experience, high temps are more detrimental than fluctuating humidity.
 

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(long fiber sphagnum on plant mounts provides a great visual indicator).
I love this sort of hygrometer -- all natural, never breaks. :)

Frogs do the same -- they tell you when they're a little too dry by retreating to moister spots, and then you know the amount of moisture that you need to bounce off of in the daily fluctuations. Watching frogs' behavior in relation to misting cycles tells a lot (the same works for feeding, or temperature, or ambient noise, etc).
 
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