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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone. This is my first post. My wife says that I have a tendency to be long winded, so I apologize ahead of time.
I have been lurking around here for some time now, and other sites as well, gathering info and ideas as I go along. This is my situation. I was wanting to make a DF setup. Never had them before but have wanted to get them for some time now. During my researching I was trying to determine what type of setup that I wanted. False bottom, leca/Feather-lite, etc. The usual dilemmas that I would imagine we all go through.
Then it hit me. I have 2 Fire Belly Toads in a 20 gallon long. It is a basic setup using gravel as the only substrate. I have Java moss, Xmas moss, Java Fern and Anubias for plants. 2/3 water @ approximately 2"-2.5" deep with the 1/3 land elevated. I made two water features/falls out of acrylic sheet and covered them with river pebbles. Doesn't sound like much, and honestly, it isn't. But they seem happy. I've had them for 3 years now and they have veracious appetites and they call every day. Especially at night.
So I want to make them a new home first and then make the DF vivarium using the gained knowledge from this build.
Here's where you guys come in. I need suggestions on what to do. Going to use a 29 gallon tank. I believe that the FBT would do fine with a smaller pool of water. One sits in it quite often, while the other likes the land better. Looking through pages and pages of pics, I would like to add terrestrial plants also. Epiphytes, pothos etc. But I don't know for sure. I watched this video here I do not need that amount of water at the bottom. Not going to have fish. But I like the fact that the enclosure has water dripping from the walls and utilizes quite a bit of moss as well as other plants. I'm guessing those might be considered terrestrial.
I like the idea of making my own background with GS. Is this ok with the amount of water we're talking about? Design wise, having space for my FBT to move vertically would be ideal. Even if just a little. I know they can't cling like some DF, but I am pretty sure that they would appreciate the leg stretching. Anyway, I like the looks of the above video but would like more land for my FBT to walk around on. Looking for a good balance between vivarium/paladarium. If there is such a thing.
Here's my thinking. Please correct me if I am way off base. I would think that putting 2.5-3" of leca would be needed for bio-filtering the water. At least it couldn't hurt. Would I still need to put an egg crate over that to help with wicking water? I mean, to help keep water away from the soil. Would having a damp environment like in the video be a bad thing with a setup that has ABG for land?
I'm beginning to think that maybe I should wait for feedback from you before I ask any more questions. That way I don't ask unnecessary questions.
 

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Keeping FBTs for that long you must be doing something right so your setup must be pretty good. I found that frequent water changes and biological filtration of the water were both helpful.
GL with them...
 
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1) Well, for starters, post a couple of pictures. These really are worth a lot of words.

2) Have you searched other Bombina set ups?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Are you wanting pics of the tank I'm upgrading from? I guess I can tomorrow. Trust me though, nothing special.
And yes, I have researched other Bombino setups. I think that I've found what I'm looking for. Would like more vines and wood to attach Epiphytes. And of course, would need to make the pool bigger.
 

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That is certainly an attractive set up--but it is not how Bombinas actually live in nature. These are a temperate frog, not a rain forest animal.

You can do something really nice and naturalistic with a shoreline along the back, and some more appropriate plants. For example, Anubias and Cryptocoryne are tropical plants that like it somewhat warmer than the toads do.

Good plants would include:

Dwarf Sagittaria
Hydrocotyle
Lysimachia nummularia
Mondo grass or dwarf Mondo (Ophiopogon species)
Acorus or Dwarf Acorus

These can grow along the shoreline, or emergent. A simple naturalistic design might look like this:

Across the back--Acorus;
Along the shore--Dwarf Mondo
Rooted in the water and allowed to float--Lytsimachia or Hydrocotyle

I shall try to find a pic of a shoreline set up.
 

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O-kay....

Consider these two set ups:

https://youtu.be/z-IuZNo16UU

https://youtu.be/h7usdgNfcAg

I'm guessin' you like the first one--who doesn't ;)

But for Bombinas, the second enclosure is more species appropriate (with one correctable exception).

As this is supposed to be learning experience, can you tell me why? Let me point out that the first set up can work, though it really isn't good for the bromeliads either (a bit too humid and not bright enough).

Hope all this helps.

Addendum: Get a copy of Philippe Desvosjoli Popular Amphibians and Devin Edmonds Frogs and Toads. Fine books for any level enthusiast.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are you wanting pics of the tank I'm upgrading from? I guess I can tomorrow. Trust me though, nothing special.
And yes, I have researched other Bombino setups. I think that I've found what I'm looking for. Would like more vines and wood to attach Epiphytes. And of course, would need to make the pool bigger.
O-kay....

Consider these two set ups:

https://youtu.be/z-IuZNo16UU

https://youtu.be/h7usdgNfcAg

I'm guessin' you like the first one--who doesn't ;)

But for Bombinas, the second enclosure is more species appropriate (with one correctable exception).

As this is supposed to be learning experience, can you tell me why? Let me point out that the first set up can work, though it really isn't good for the bromeliads either (a bit too humid and not bright enough).

Hope all this helps.

Addendum: Get a copy of Philippe Desvosjoli Popular Amphibians and Devin Edmonds Frogs and Toads. Fine books for any level enthusiast.
I'm going to say because it should be semi-equatic. Not enough dry land area for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
On a side note. My wife suggested that I put together a DF tank first to get it going. Then while it acclimates, I will have time to work on a new FBT. I think that she might be on to something. Besides, she just have me the permission to go ahead and have DF. Doesn't get much better than that.
 

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Dude, no offense, but--yuor tank is fine! With just a little modification it would really kick ass!

1) You are correct that Fire-bellied toads are semi-aquatic, but the tank I posted is fine. The only small problem is the Dracaena which will outgrow the tank (I would replace it with Acorus).

2)Let me clarify something I wrote: When I said they are not a "rain forest" animal, I mean tropical rainforest--there are a few temperate rain forests!As these guys are from NE China and the Korean peninsula, they are certainly not tropical (there are a couple of tropical members of the family, but they're more unusual than pretty).

3) I would:
--Lose the large gravel in the aquatic section, replace with a much finer grade.
--Look into some temperate and sub-tropical aquatic plants which will be happier in moderate temps. I would use Hydrocotyle in the water, and some dwarf mondo on the shore. In the back right, how about a Korean rock fern in an elevated planter?

Q: Of the two things I posted, do you prefer the first one? Is that your idea for a dart frog tank?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Dude, no offense, but--yuor tank is fine! With just a little modification it would really kick ass!
Thank you for the kind words about my tank. I appreciate it.

3) I would:
--Lose the large gravel in the aquatic section, replace with a much finer grade.
--Look into some temperate and sub-tropical aquatic plants which will be happier in moderate temps. I would use Hydrocotyle in the water, and some dwarf mondo on the shore. In the back right, how about a Korean rock fern in an elevated planter?
I will get started on changing the gravel out soon. I like the plant ideas you have suggested. Question. On the land side, I don't have any soil. Will I need to put some in for the grass? If so, I'm guessing that I will need to put screen between it and the gravel?

Q: Of the two things I posted, do you prefer the first one? Is that your idea for a dart frog tank?
I do like the first one better of the two. No. My idea of a dart frog setup would be like the pic I posted earlier. The one you said would not be good for DF. But I am open to suggestions if it's better for the DF.
 

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I meant later!

Q: Does water drain freely between the land area and the water section?

2) What filter do you use?
 

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29 gallon( 30 x 12)!! would be just right for 2 toads. I had 4 get to adulthood in a 29 gallon then needed something larger for them.

if and when you have 10 mins to spare please have a look through my build log for any inspiration and tips that may or may not be of help to you:

Fire Belly Toad Terrarium Project 1 by s6t6nic6l | Photobucket

please read the notes of why I made them this abode this way.

good luck with your project

nic
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Q: Does water drain freely between the land area and the water section?
Yes. I have an under gravel filter on the floor. I siliconed a piece of plexi at an angle, from front to back, to keep the land side from shifting. So the water level is the same throughout. There is about 1&1/2" of gravel above the water line right now. Water wicks up through the gravel and keeps the moss moist. I purchased the smaller size pebbles for the water side and will be changing that today. So I will be able to add about 1/2"-3/4" more height to the land side. Also bought 3 Dwarf Mondo as well.

2) What filter do you use?
I don't run a typical filtration system. On each side of the tank I have plexi boxes with powerheads in them. I use filter floss sheet wrapped around the powerheads to catch any debris. Then I lay a filter media bag with carbon on top of the floss.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
29 gallon( 30 x 12)!! would be just right for 2 toads. I had 4 get to adulthood in a 29 gallon then needed something larger for them.

if and when you have 10 mins to spare please have a look through my build log for any inspiration and tips that may or may not be of help to you:

Fire Belly Toad Terrarium Project 1 by s6t6nic6l | Photobucket

please read the notes of why I made them this abode this way.

good luck with your project

nic
Hi Nic.
Actually, I have come across your build before. Good looking setup. I am definitely interested in reading your notes though. Understanding someone's thought process can give you something think about that you may not have otherwise. Thanks for the log.
 
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