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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Soon I will start converting an aquarium into a paludarium. There will be no sliding windows at the front and ventilation, because I don't like this. Disruptive when looking in.

The ventilation will be regulated in the 30 cm high light box by means of a number of fans, blowing both in and out.

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3 fans are placed against the rear of the light cover, which blow gently towards the front window screen. If this is not enough, I will place another 3 fans above the windshield to keep the window clean from condensation.

2 fans are placed in the top of the cover to suck out warm air from the paludarium should the temperature become too high. This is controlled by a computer.

The lighting will consist of a Daytime LED bar of 1 meter, of which 2 rows (7000k) and 1 row (5000k). With a 36w power supply. In total 4700 lumens. This lighting is controlled with a TC420 controller to simulate sunrise and sunset.


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Since LED lighting does not give off much heat, I will equip the water stream that flows past the front window screen with an Eheim 2373 pump with built-in heating.

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How big is the aquarium that you are planning to convert and how much water will the water feature contain? From previous aquarium experience those 23xx pumps are pretty powerful and create quite a current, even on their lowest setting.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How big is the aquarium that you are planning to convert and how much water will the water feature contain? From previous aquarium experience those 23xx pumps are pretty powerful and create quite a current, even on their lowest setting.....
The total content is 400L or 0.4 m3.
The amount of water that will be placed in it is 25L, so in this case 5 cm high. I agree that this is relatively little water for such a hefty pump. But I have now extensively tested it by running the pump at half power, and placing an extra Eheim tap that is half open between the supply hose. This creates a very calm water displacement.
Another possibility could be to create an extra 'waterfall' by means of a T-piece. Since my choice fell on the Phyllobates terribilis, I would rather have more ground surface than the need for even more water.
 

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I don't like paludaria for dart frogs at all, but P. terribilis, being prone to foot rot, may not be the best choice. With the fans you are proposing, you might be able to keep humidity lower than the 90%+ that most paludaria run at (60% to 80% is best for the frogs), but unless you can keep the substrate completely drained all of the time, I would not put terribilis in this type of tank.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't like paludaria for dart frogs at all...
Explain yourself. Why do you think a paludarium is not suitable for poison dart frogs? So what do you keep poison dart frogs in?

With the fans you are proposing, you might be able to keep humidity lower than the 90%+ that most paludaria run at (60% to 80% is best for the frogs), but unless you can keep the substrate completely drained all of the time,
I will demonstrate that I can indeed get the humidity to 80%.
It will not be a swimming pool, the water is only intended to increase the humidity. The entire land area will be completely drained. In addition, there will be boulders on which the poison frogs can sit to dry.

Info:
These poison frogs thrive in the rainforests of the Amazonian lowlands. This is an extremely humid region that receives up to 5 m of rain per year and a minimum of 1.25 m. The area they inhabit is characterized by a hilly landscape, altitudes ranging from 100 to 200 m, and covered with areas of wet gravel and small saplings and relatively little leaf debris. They are land animals that live on the forest floor, but they depend on fresh water to support their young. (Bolívar and Lötters, 2004; Stewart, 2010)
 

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Sure :) I don't think paludaria are good for dart frogs because 1) our tanks are already very small compared to the wild - water features just take away surface area that the dart frogs can use 2) it makes the humidity difficult to keep low enough that the frogs can use evaporative cooling and 3) the water makes it very difficult to keep the substrate well-drained and dry. Most of us use standing water in the drainage layer to increase and buffer humidity. An open water area is different, however. Yes, these animals live in environments that receive a lot of rain and contain moving water. However, it is not 100% humidity all the time even in areas that receive the most rainfall. Also, in a natural environment, the frogs can seek out microclimates where the humidity and temperature are more comfortable for them. Even the largest of our vivariums don't give the frogs the same opportunity to seek out specific conditions. In tanks with open water, this is even worse because the evaporation is occurring so rapidly that the air is mostly saturated in most places in the tank (you say that you can manage this with fans, but it is a lot easier if you just don't have the open water). Again, you are correct that open water is present in their natural environment, but they don't live right next to the water all the time in nature. They need it to breed, but otherwise dart frogs don't hang out immediately next to water except for a few species (of which Terribilis are not one). Even in a large tank like yours, you are essentially forcing the frogs to live in conditions similar to the 1 or 2 feet closest to a stream. That is not where they live in the wild, but you are giving them no choice. The whole tank consists of conditions that would be found right next to a stream, not in the leaf litter-covered forest next to the stream which is where most dart frogs spend the majority of their lives.

Paludariums for dart frogs are mostly because their owners think they look cool, not because they reflect the conditions that are best for the frogs. You can make whatever decision you want to, but my purpose in writing this (again) is for anyone else out there that is thinking about making a paludarium for dart frogs. There are better husbandry practices available and those are what are best for our frogs.

Mark
 

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I 100% agree with @Encyclia .

Dart frogs are best kept in vivariums with no water feauture (s) lot's of leaflitter and dry substrate. Terribilis well are known for having the issue Mark described. So tbh for every species of dart frogs aside from Ameerega, it's highly recommended not to have any waterfeature.

If you look at footage of Terribilis in situ, you will find that most are found in dense planted areas with a lot of leaflitter. Their habitat knows a lot of rain and humidity but the forestfloor always dries fast.

My pair of Terribilis also spend most time of the day in the dryer parts of their tank and on top of the leaflitter. Same story for the offspring..



That aside,
I'm looking forward to see you build progress, looks like you are doing your research on the technical stuff. Waterfeatures sometimes can be done correctly, but it's really really difficult to do this correct without it beeing a hazard for the frogs.

Greets,
Tijl
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sure :) I don't think paludaria are good for dart frogs because 1) our tanks are already very small compared to the wild - water features just take away surface area that the dart frogs can use 2) it makes the humidity difficult to keep low enough that the frogs can use evaporative cooling and 3) the water makes it very difficult to keep the substrate well-drained and dry. Most of us use standing water in the drainage layer to increase and buffer humidity. An open water area is different, however. Yes, these animals live in environments that receive a lot of rain and contain moving water. However, it is not 100% humidity all the time even in areas that receive the most rainfall. Also, in a natural environment, the frogs can seek out microclimates where the humidity and temperature are more comfortable for them. Even the largest of our vivariums don't give the frogs the same opportunity to seek out specific conditions. In tanks with open water, this is even worse because the evaporation is occurring so rapidly that the air is mostly saturated in most places in the tank (you say that you can manage this with fans, but it is a lot easier if you just don't have the open water). Again, you are correct that open water is present in their natural environment, but they don't live right next to the water all the time in nature. They need it to breed, but otherwise dart frogs don't hang out immediately next to water except for a few species (of which Terribilis are not one). Even in a large tank like yours, you are essentially forcing the frogs to live in conditions similar to the 1 or 2 feet closest to a stream. That is not where they live in the wild, but you are giving them no choice. The whole tank consists of conditions that would be found right next to a stream, not in the leaf litter-covered forest next to the stream which is where most dart frogs spend the majority of their lives.

Paludariums for dart frogs are mostly because their owners think they look cool, not because they reflect the conditions that are best for the frogs. You can make whatever decision you want to, but my purpose in writing this (again) is for anyone else out there that is thinking about making a paludarium for dart frogs. There are better husbandry practices available and those are what are best for our frogs.

Mark
Thank you very much for your comprehensive answer. You convinced me to get off a water section. Instead of the larger water feature, I will make a small edge on the windscreen side to collect the excess spray water so that I can siphon off any excess water.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I 100% agree with @Encyclia .

Dart frogs are best kept in vivariums with no water feauture (s) lot's of leaflitter and dry substrate. Terribilis well are known for having the issue Mark described. So tbh for every species of dart frogs aside from Ameerega, it's highly recommended not to have any waterfeature.

If you look at footage of Terribilis in situ, you will find that most are found in dense planted areas with a lot of leaflitter. Their habitat knows a lot of rain and humidity but the forestfloor always dries fast.

My pair of Terribilis also spend most time of the day in the dryer parts of their tank and on top of the leaflitter. Same story for the offspring..



That aside,
I'm looking forward to see you build progress, looks like you are doing your research on the technical stuff. Waterfeatures sometimes can be done correctly, but it's really really difficult to do this correct without it beeing a hazard for the frogs.

Greets,
Tijl
You both convinced me to keep the water part out. I'm going to think about a different setup.

Thank you.
 

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If it's of any help, I'll post a link to a recent buildreport of mine. Maybe it might help you to show what I keep in mind when setting up a vivarium. (Mine was more on a budget than yours and way less worked out btw 😅)


I'm currently setting up a new tank aswell! Scaping vivariums is probably what I like best about the hobby, yet something you can't do every day haha.. So have fun and enjoy your build! I look forward to see your progress on your reworked aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If it's of any help, I'll post a link to a recent buildreport of mine. Maybe it might help you to show what I keep in mind when setting up a vivarium. (Mine was more on a budget than yours and way less worked out btw 😅)


I'm currently setting up a new tank aswell! Scaping vivariums is probably what I like best about the hobby, yet something you can't do every day haha.. So have fun and enjoy your build! I look forward to see your progress on your reworked aquarium.
Great Tijl, your building link, I can certainly get interesting information from it. But don't think it will be ready next month. I see a mountain of work coming before that.

I've seen you an expert in scapen at your award-winning vivarium last year!

Thanks again for the info (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
1.

First phase:

The removal of the old 8 cm high hard plastic light box, where you cannot reach the sealant with a knife because it is on the glass edge. Cut and break piece by piece ;)

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That's a difficult job, Robru. Such a hassle! What I do when I want to remove molding like that is to use a knife like in this link. Don't know if you have access to this kind of tool where you are. It's hard to see in the picture, but the blade of the knife can be extended far out of the handle and it has some flexibility to it so you can get it along the glass an up into the molding and still have room for your fingers on the knife handle. It is long enough to go up under the molding all the way on both sides and I have been able to pull the molding off all in one piece. Again, maybe you don't access to the tools and maybe your tank is designed differently, but once I cut the attachment of the silicone on both sides of the glass, I can pull the molding off because the little bit of silicone on top is not enough to resist me :) Maybe that could work?

Mark

Edited because at first it sounded like I was telling Robru that they weren't doing a good job :) The job is being done great, but maybe I can save Robru some time!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
That's a difficult job, Robru. Such a hassle! What I do when I want to remove molding like that is to use a knife like in this link. Don't know if you have access to this kind of tool where you are. It's hard to see in the picture, but the blade of the knife can be extended far out of the handle and it has some flexibility to it so you can get it along the glass an up into the molding and still have room for your fingers on the knife handle. It is long enough to go up under the molding all the way on both sides and I have been able to pull the molding off all in one piece. Again, maybe you don't access to the tools and maybe your tank is designed differently, but once I cut the attachment of the silicone on both sides of the glass, I can pull the molding off because the little bit of silicone on top is not enough to resist me :) Maybe that could work?

Mark

Edited because at first it sounded like I was telling Robru that they weren't doing a good job :) The job is being done great, but maybe I can save Robru some time!
Thank you for your tip, Mark.
In the Netherlands, these hobby blades are common. Everyone has one in the kitchen drawer.

296738


The main problem with removing the old cover was that the sealant was on top of the glass rim. So it was a hassle to remove the cover. He's off now after several hours work. I can now get rid of the sealant residue from the windows and then start cleaning.
 

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Thank you for your tip, Mark.
In the Netherlands, these hobby blades are common. Everyone has one in the kitchen drawer.

View attachment 296738

The main problem with removing the old cover was that the sealant was on top of the glass rim. So it was a hassle to remove the cover. He's off now. I can now get rid of the sealant residue from the windows and then start cleaning.
That's the one :) Glad you got it off, anyway.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #18
2nd stage

Because I have not yet received all the materials to build the light box in connection with the Covid lockdown, I will now start painting and restyling the furniture on which the vivarium will be placed. I already have the color in my head, that will be: Perfect Finish blackboard paint Black. Since the furniture consists of 12 panels, I will be working on that for the time being. Prime and paint several times ;)

296747
 

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Have you considered using back plastic foil (zwarte folie) instead of paint, might save you a lot of time?

Also how will you be providing access into the tank? You mentioned earlier that you didn’t want doors at the front. Will you have a way of feeding and performing maintenance without completely removing the light box?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Have you considered using back plastic foil (zwarte folie) instead of paint, might save you a lot of time
Yes, I did indeed look at that, but it became very expensive with good quality foil.

Also how will you be providing access into the tank? You mentioned earlier that you didn’t want doors at the front. Will you have a way of feeding and performing maintenance without completely removing the light box?
Because I am so stubborn not to install sliding windows, I build the hood in such a way that I can access everything neatly ;)
 
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