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I stopped using Matala once I figured out that aquarium filter foam does the same thing for way cheaper and is easier to cut and doesn't need a barrier under ABG.
 
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Drilling is fairly easy. You want to find a water ring for glass drilling (again, amazon) to hold water over the hole. Other than that, tape the opposite side of the glass you're drilling from with painters/masking tape to prevent chipping. Take the bit in at an angle until you have it started and let the weight of the drill do the work. It takes a minute or two to get through the 1/4" glass. I still recommend looking at other threads on it to get a more detailed explanation of the drilling process.
Thanks for the tips! My friend who used to work with glass all the time has all the tools and is going to help me. What size hole for drainage do you recommend? I haven't seen many posts about the size, but one poster said they do 16mm and put it about 1.5" up from the bottom of the tank

I think I'm going to hand-mist for now, since I only have one viv and it's small. It's a good practice to help my kiddo learn some more pet and plant care responsibility, too.

I have a sheet of the black low-density Matala on the way ... should be arriving some time next week. The viv still has a very faint acetic acid smell, so waiting for the Matala will give it a few more days to cure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
I stopped using Matala once I figured out that aquarium filter foam does the same thing for way cheaper and is easier to cut and doesn't need a barrier under ABG.
I'll keep that in mind for my next viv. :) Is that the Poret foam?

I found black Matala on eBay and I only need one piece to cover 18x18 of surface, and fiberglass window screen is like $6 at Menards.
 

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Thanks for the tips! My friend who used to work with glass all the time has all the tools and is going to help me. What size hole for drainage do you recommend? I haven't seen many posts about the size, but one poster said they do 16mm and put it about 1.5" up from the bottom of the tank

I think I'm going to hand-mist for now, since I only have one viv and it's small. It's a good practice to help my kiddo learn some more pet and plant care responsibility, too.

I have a sheet of the black low-density Matala on the way ... should be arriving some time next week. The viv still has a very faint acetic acid smell, so waiting for the Matala will give it a few more days to cure.
I actually recommend hand misting for new keepers. It helps in the learning process and experience. I actually sent you a PM with a link to the bulkhead I use. If your friend has everything you'll just need to find the appropriate hole size. I think my bulkhead is around an inch.
 

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I'll keep that in mind for my next viv. :) Is that the Poret foam?

I found black Matala on eBay and I only need one piece to cover 18x18 of surface, and fiberglass window screen is like $6 at Menards.
You have menards up there? They are one of the few places that sells a 100% silicone in black. It's my go-to place for silicone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
You have menards up there? They are one of the few places that sells a 100% silicone in black. It's my go-to place for silicone.
Yes, we do! I'm in the state right next to its homebase HQ of Wisconsin, so my metro area is inundated with them. :)
 

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I live in CO. I have to add water to my false bottom to keep the humidity up. I drilled several tanks and I siliconed in a 1/4 tube coming up the back and through the top of the tank in other tanks. I find the tube much better. You can drain all the water out vs not all of it. It's very easy and you don't risk cracking the glass. It's even cheaper. YMMV
 

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I'll keep that in mind for my next viv. :) Is that the Poret foam?

I use whatever foam on Amazon comes in the size I need, like this:


The size of the drainage hole you would drill would be specified by the bulkhead you use. I think a 1/2" bulkhead is a nice size if you can find them -- that doesn't take a 1/2" hole, that's the size of the tubing that connects to it. Different brands of bulkhead can have different sized holes needed. Buy bulkhead first, then choose hole saw size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
The size of the drainage hole you would drill would be specified by the bulkhead you use. I think a 1/2" bulkhead is a nice size if you can find them -- that doesn't take a 1/2" hole, that's the size of the tubing that connects to it. Different brands of bulkhead can have different sized holes needed. Buy bulkhead first, then choose hole saw size.
Got it. (y) @JasonE and I were PM'ing about this a little bit too. The bulkhead he recommended is 1/2" and he was saying the hole won't be the same size as the bulkhead.

Math + Me = o_O
 

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Socratic Monologue said:
The size of the drainage hole you would drill would be specified by the bulkhead you use. I think a 1/2" bulkhead is a nice size if you can find them -- that doesn't take a 1/2" hole, that's the size of the tubing that connects to it. Different brands of bulkhead can have different sized holes needed. Buy bulkhead first, then choose hole saw size.
Got it. (y) @JasonE and I were PM'ing about this a little bit too. The bulkhead he recommended is 1/2" and he was saying the hole won't be the same size as the bulkhead.

Math + Me =
This also bears attention. These nice folks in Florida https://pentairaes.com/contacts are glad to actually speak with you (yes, actually talk on the phone!) and can sell you a bulkhead and a glass hole saw of the right size for exactly that bulkhead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
So I'm still playing with my plant lineup, as I do more research about which plants tend to make auratus happy. I found out my auratus's breed group is from Panama, so not sure if that makes any difference as to what plants they prefer. But I found a couple threads from other auratus keepers that their frogs like things like rabbit's foot fern and Neo Zoe (both of which I'm planning on and growing out right now -- yay!), heart fern and baby's tears. It also sounds like darts in general like cryptanthus and anthurium, which I was also planning for. I have two cryptanthus already waiting to go.

Thinking of this revised lineup, based on that research and what I have already:
  • Background:
    • Aglaonema "red gold"
    • Anthurium -- either scandens or rupicola (they don't grow as tall as some other flamingo flowers, and it sounds like the leaves are popular egg-laying spots)
    • Neoregelia Fireball, Mo Peppa Please and Zoe (maybe 1 or 2 more, since I'm thinking of getting a tank mate for the little guy)
  • Foreground
    • Selaginella serpens
    • Davillia tyermanii
    • Cryptanthus carnosus, and maybe bivattatus if it doesn't look too crowded with two
    • maybe Fittonia albivenis, but likely toward the back of the foreground (is that a thing?). This one is growing really well in quarantine right now.
I'm not a green thumb or super nerdy about species names (yet) ... just trying to get in the habit of learning them to educate myself a little more on something I didn't know much about before. 🤓
 

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I don't see any peperomia on your list. They are fantastic terrarium plants and come in an almost unlimited variety.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
I don't see any peperomia on your list. They are fantastic terrarium plants and come in an almost unlimited variety.
Oh yeah, I meant to look into that, as I've seen it come up on numerous lists. Are you trying to convince me to nix something else? 🤔 Otherwise I wonder if I have enough space for all of them.

What variety would you recommend? This one is lovely and delicate, which might be a good contrast to some of the more angular/hard-edged-looking plants like the earth star.

 

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Oh yeah, I meant to look into that, as I've seen it come up on numerous lists. Are you trying to convince me to nix something else? 🤔 Otherwise I wonder if I have enough space for all of them.

What variety would you recommend? This one is lovely and delicate, which might be a good contrast to some of the more angular/hard-edged-looking plants like the earth star.

I'm not trying to convince you of anything. I'm just saying you should definitely consider them. There is just so many varieties and they're hard to mess up. You can find a peperomia perfect for every type of dart frog. They're just a personal favorite for their easy they are to care for and propagate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I'm not trying to convince you of anything. I'm just saying you should definitely consider them. There is just so many varieties and they're hard to mess up. You can find a peperomia perfect for every type of dart frog. They're just a personal favorite for their easy they are to care for and propagate.
I totally appreciate your suggestion -- I was mostly teasing about nixing something in favor of it. I definitely want plants that are easy to care for. Turns out my local organic/eco-conscious nursery has a few String of Turtles, so I don't think I can pass that up!

If I can't find the anthurium I'm looking for soon, I might bump that to a second viv build in the future.
 

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This tank needs Episcia species!

They're lovely gesneriads and if you start then up high they'll trail down the background.
 

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So I'm still playing with my plant lineup, as I do more research about which plants tend to make auratus happy. I found out my auratus's breed group is from Panama, so not sure if that makes any difference as to what plants they prefer.
I get a lot of inspiration as to what plants dart frogs prefer by looking at photos of their natural habitats.


Lots of leaf litter, big logs, leaf litter, big leaves, and leaf litter.
 
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