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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
First time posting here and im new to making dart vivs so please forgive my inexperience.

My Setup:
Exo Terra 12 X 12 X 18
Advanced Mist King Setup
Hydroton/ABG MIX/Live Moss/Live Oak Leaf Litter (from ne herp and joshs frogs)
Some Cork rounds for hiding
Bunch of broms from ne herp, some korean rock fern, maiden hair fern, and a ton of Air Plants i found at a tropical plants store in NYC (uploaded a pic of my plants waiting for my viv to finish they are all flowering now. Pic is a couple weeks old).

I used the silicone and great stuff (window and door the green bottle) technique but had some trouble covering all of the great stuff and in some places along the bottom of the background there are some exposed pieces of the great stuff. Would it be ok for me to go ahead and build the viv without going back with more silicone? If i go back I will need a lot of silicone which will probably take forever to cure. I already have had to wait almost a week for the work i already did to cure to the point where there is absolutely no acetic acid smell. I was able to patch the visible pieces with a glue gun (is this ok?) so I'm not worried about looks(it actually looks great) but I am more concerned that the great stuff will be toxic if it is exposed. I have a mist king system and no water features so it won't be sopping wet but will be getting misted a couple times a day.

Should i go over with more silicone and lose another week or so or can i start to assemble the tank and not worry about the exposed great stuff. I litterally have everything i need just waiting for the tank background to finish. Very frustrating! I plan on building a larger viv soon (possibly from scratch or a large exo terra) but I really want to get this one up and running. In the future i can use it as a quarantine or something to put them in if i ever need to clean or disassemble the larger one. I only plan on housing one or two darts for now in the 12x12x18 (propably Dendrobates auratus "Hawaiian" or any other extremely active dart. Recomendations please!).

List of mistakes i wish i could take back:

Using the green bottle great stuff: Its Yellow and doesnt say its OK for use with fish. Should have used the black bottle fish save stuff. Its comes out black, is safe for fish and i wouldnt have had to lay down a base coat of black silicone (saving time and money).

I used clear silicone over the yellow great stuff. Its hard to see if you covered everything and if you dont get enough coco fiber to stick to it you can see through to the yellow great stuff.

I used the wrong coco fiber that wasnt fine enough which caused the coating over the clear silicone to be patchy so i had to go back with a glue gun to fix (took forever).

Learn from my mistakes!


Thanks in advance for any replies.




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Ill try to hit on most of your questions...

In my opinion, exposed areas of great stuff shouldnt be an issue... several of my tanks I either missed a section or roots have pulled sections off.

Tillandsias are hard to keep alive in tanks becasue they need air flow to really do well, and most tanks dont have enough air flow.

You will want an area to drain water out, if you are misting a few times a day, at some point your false bottom will fill. Even if it is in a corner where you can squeeze in a turkey baster, just keep in mind you will have to one day.

I have many aurauts... too many most likely. If you want something that is active and out a lot, look more towards tincs.

Using hot glue is fine, but it doesnt always hold up very well, has a habit of peeling off under high humidity IMO, and in general is just bad at bonding. Again, wont hurt anything, just wouldnt make a habit out of using it in the construction of tanks.

So in the end, if you are happy how it looks, go with it.

Also... WELCOME! Hope you enjoy this hobby... I started with a 10g tank, and now I have more tanks than I can count on fingers and toes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Rizman! Very helpful!

I think I will go ahead with the build when i get off work today! This hobby is quickly blossoming into an obsession and I cant stop thinking about building vivs!

Its unfortunate to hear about the air plants not being suitable for dart vivs. I kinda had a feeling because i havent seen many in peoples setups. Looks like ill have to order some more broms and ferns online. Whats the best site for healthy plants? I know ne herp is in the middle of a move right now so they might not have the best selection.

Ill most definitely make a cleared area towards the front so i will be able to siphen out water when needed. I hadnt planned on doing that but ill surely take your advise and add it in.

Thanks Again
 

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I know that BonnieLorraine, Joshs Frogs, Tropical Plantz and maybe one or two others all offer plant packs and broms. You can check reviews on each in the forums with the classifieds. Just watch your weather forcast to make sure the plants will make it to you ok.
 

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I'd give you a reply, but I agree with everything Rizman already told you. Except for his comment "I have many Auratus", because I don't have any! ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just ordered an assorment of plants on BlackJungleTerrariumSupply.com. They have a nice section of plants suited for dart frogs. i hope the weather holds up!

Polyscias fruticosa 'California'
Begonia polygonoides
Anthurium scandens
Pilea glauca
Ludisia discolor var. nigricans Black Jewel Orchid
Tree Fern Pieces - 2lbs
Jewel Orchid - Ludisia discolor var. alba
 

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I'm new to dart frogs as well. One thing I've already learned is that the horticultural aspect of the hobby is VERY addictive- and expensive, lol.

Don't be surprised to find that some plants will immediately flourish under YOUR condintions, some will die almost instantly (like your Tillandsias), and others will fall somewhere in the middle.

Good luck!
 
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