0.0.3 Dendrobates Leucomelas
Phase 1 of my Cloud Forest-inspired vivarium is complete!
I have a few prior posts on this build, but lots of changes have occurred since those posts and I’m really happy with the current status of the project. The biggest structural change was sending the vivarium off for surgery, to make it vented with sliding glass doors at the front. This made building and maintenance 10000x easier. I parked the idea of a water feature until I keep a species like glass frogs, or atelopus (if they ever arrive in England) that have breeding preferences for laying above and/or in running water. I would also want an even larger build and still keep the water element on the small side. But I digress…
The inspiration for the build is a mid-elevation montane rainforest on the slopes of the Andes. Rather than selecting a specific country or micro-region, I wanted to include a variety of plants that spanned across Peru and Ecuador and even into Colombia, but all inhabiting a similar eco region/climate. I want to add mini orchids in future that appreciate temperature drops, so selecting plants (and frogs) that appreciate lower temperatures than their lowland cousins was essential for me.
In future, I am leaning towards stocking the vivarium with an army of Ranitomeya Sirensis ‘Highland’, but am also heavily considering Ranitomeya Variabilis ‘Southern’ and Ameerega Silverstonei.
The hardscape consists of a cork mosaic and sphagnum moss mosaic background, Manzanita Wood for the branches, a large trunk of Millennium/Mystery wood (same tree as redmoor root/spiderwood), liana vine, and some Seriyu (I think?) stones. There are also random pieces of unidentified wood dotted around, such as the large stump on the left hand side. The base layer is filter foam method, carved to flow down from back-right to front-left in imitation of the slopey cloud forest terrain.
Many of the aroids came from an Ecuagenera import. All did very well apart from the Philodendron Lynnhannoniae. This guy dropped all of his leaves after coming in looking very tired. I have chucked the rooted stem in the viv to see if it might miraculously recover, but I am not holding out hope.
Phase 2 of the vivarium will be to add mini orchids, some vines and branches higher up in the viv, and upgrade the lighting and technology generally. This will come once the vivarium has grown in more.
The 3rd and final phrase will be adding frogs 🐸
120cm x 60cm x 90cm
48” x 24” x 36”
180 Gallons (US)
P. Verrucosum sp. Mindo
P. Villamagense Paru
Marcgravia Umbellata Red
Various other Marcgravia Sp.
I deliberately only added 3 large bromelia to (hopefully) ease egg and tadpole deposition visibility from my end. I’ll add some tadpools or film canisters once frogs are in.
Enjoy the view from the green corner of the room. It really brings the space to life and just being able to view it gives me a real sense of calm.
And the vivarium’s most attractive angle in my opinion…
99% of everything I did in this build was filmed, and look forward to sharing the 6-part series (thanks for this recommendation @Gemma ) on YouTube.
Thanks for reading, happy to answer any questions! Which frogs do you think should live here?