Dendroboard banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m starting my first viv today. It’s a 24x18x18 (24L, not sure what order the LWH number is) reptizoo tank.

I have pea gravel for the drainage layer (needs to be washed before I do anything with it)
Food Cuisine Gas Font Dish


Here’s the substrate I have (I have 12 quarts more, it’s just not pictured)
Font Drink Advertising Glass bottle Recipe


I’ll post additional pics as I go!
A question about leaf litter: would oak work for it (or any other native trees?) or do I need to purchase specific leaves? I’m in the Appalachian mountains near the border of southern WV/KY.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
I think oak leaves will degrade very quickly which leaves you with a brown mess after a couple weeks.

I've found magnolia works very well especially if you bake them instead of boiling them ( I don't remember the temperature)

I don't know if you can find magnolia though.

Sent from my Mi 9T using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
I collect magnolia leaves to put in my viv. Just make sure they are collected from somewhere that doesn't spray pesticide or herbicide. You can find out how to disinfect them once collected by searching "disinfecting leaves" in the search bar here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update: The pea gravel has been thoroughly rinsed and looks very pretty (to me). I considered LECA but I like the look of the pea gravel more. I have a lot more gravel, how much more should I add to the tank (if any)?

Wood Wall Rectangle Gas Flooring


Excuse the table lamp sitting on top of the tank, I forgot to get bulbs for the light and I needed to see what I was doing 😅
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
4,762 Posts
I think oak leaves will degrade very quickly which leaves you with a brown mess after a couple weeks.
Oak leaves do ok in vivaria. I have some that are 6 months plus and will look as good as Magnolia leaves I put in at the same time. That being said I love magnolia leaves.

reptizoo tank.
These don't have the front ventilation that we like for dart frogs.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,285 Posts
I don't like local oak leaves as much as Southern Magnolia and Live Oak, but they can be used and might be a good choice for leucs (who might well be run dryer than all other dart species). Having leaves shipped to us is kind of crazy when you think about it, unless one lives in Antarctica or something where there are no other options. I like to microwave all my leaves before use (in an open Ziplok freezer bag, for one minute or until hot but not so hot the bag melts).

If you haven't yet, you might give some thought as to whether you want to use the styrofoam background. It won't play with plants very well, likely has places the frogs can get behind and freak you out, and it isn't really any better for climbing than glass (I'd guess; I toss those backgrounds and cover the back glass with contact paper so I can't see my wall).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,445 Posts
A question about leaf litter: would oak work for it (or any other native trees?) or do I need to purchase specific leaves? I’m in the Appalachian mountains near the border of southern WV/KY.
Leaves from northern trees don't hold up in tropical conditions. I use mainly live oak (You can get this on eBay or from dart frog specific vendors). I like to start my viv's off with a layer of seagrape leaves against the substrate though. It breaks down quickly and microfauna loves it. It's a great way to make sure your springs and isos have food right away. Live oak definitely holds up the longest though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If those are vents on the rear sides, you don't need to add any additional ventilation.
It is. The whole top of it is also a mesh material like the side vents.

If you haven't yet, you might give some thought as to whether you want to use the styrofoam background. It won't play with plants very well, likely has places the frogs can get behind and freak you out, and it isn't really any better for climbing than glass (I'd guess; I toss those backgrounds and cover the back glass with contact paper so I can't see my wall).
I took it out. I hadn't even considered the frogs getting behind it so I appreciate the advice. I ordered a backdrop to put on the back glass that I think will look much better than the foam anyway.

I picked up my first brom, though it's currently in a window as my tank isn't quite ready for it. It is beautiful and I couldn't pass it up when I was at lowes for the pea gravel. It's been washed thoroughly and I'm going to keep it outside of the tank for a while before planting just in case of chemicals or anything harmful.
Flower Plant Petal Botany Terrestrial plant


I picked up a few stones from the river behind my house (I live on the riverbank), but I haven't decided whether or not I want to use them (after cleaning them, of course) or if it would be better/safer to just purchase decorative rocks.
Also on the topic of decor, I have non-toxic acrylic paint, but I understand frogs can be sensitive to things other pets aren't sensitive to. Is it safe to use on decorations inside the tank? I'm considering placing a "fairy" house in the tank as decor, but I want to be sure it won't harm the frogs before I put any time into it.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,285 Posts
It's been washed thoroughly and I'm going to keep it outside of the tank for a while before planting just in case of chemicals or anything harmful.

I picked up a few stones from the river behind my house (I live on the riverbank), but I haven't decided whether or not I want to use them (after cleaning them, of course) or if it would be better/safer to just purchase decorative rocks.
The use of the terms 'washed' and 'cleaning' suggests that you may not be aware of common disinfection procedures for plants and hardscape. If you have considered these procedures and decided against, no offense intended; if you haven't, there are some good links (and lots of other good info) in the Viv 101 care sheet that you may find valuable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The use of the terms 'washed' and 'cleaning' suggests that you may not be aware of common disinfection procedures for plants and hardscape. If you have considered these procedures and decided against, no offense intended; if you haven't, there are some good links (and lots of other good info) in the Viv 101 care sheet that you may find valuable.
Apologies, I should’ve been clearer. I meant disinfecting.

I will definitely still study the care sheets as well as peppering y’all with questions as I go 😅
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,285 Posts
I will definitely still study the care sheets as well as peppering y’all with questions as I go 😅
I wasn't implying that you should stop asking questions, just so you know. I was just making sure you knew all the questions that are worth asking; once a person has figured out the relevant questions, they're 95% of the way there. :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,285 Posts
when would the proper time to introduce microfauna be?
I recall there are a bunch of reasonable opinions on this. If you put them in early, they'll have a chance to ramp up populations before your frogs go in. Not that this is entirely good, though, as new frogs can spend the first couple weeks eating only springs and isopods and making the keeper think they're not eating since no FFs disappear.

Whenever you add the microfauna, you may find it beneficial to save some back and culture them for your next viv (or for supplementing this one for whatever reason -- I don't recall what species of frog you'll be keeping, but I like adding springs to my thumbnail vivs regularly lately). Or you may find that a pain for no benefit to you. Hard to say. ;)
 

·
Registered
I currently only have Leucs. I've kept aurotaenia, auratus, bicolor and imitator in the past
Joined
·
1,384 Posts
Thank you so much for your advice. I've been reading the care sheets.
If I overlooked it, I apologize for repeating: when would the proper time to introduce microfauna be? How soon is too soon? I have springtails and dwarf white isopods.
I add them as soon as I add substrate. New tanks have a break in cycle where things get moldy that often freaks out new hobbyists. Adding microfauna as soon as possible helps speed up this cycle as the microfauna feed on the mold. I personally keep a 5 gallon aquarium mostly full of ABG mix with a layer of leaf litter. There is a plastic bag laying over the top to hold humidity in. I mist it occasionally and stir the whole tank mixing leaf litter into the soil when I am ready to top it off with new dry leaf litter. It is basically a dwarf white isopod and springtail culture. When I set up a new vivarium, I use the ABG mix from this tank. This way my substrate doesn't need hydrated and I don't have to worry about adding microfauna. Plus I don't have to worry with keeping cultures of springtails and isopods going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I haven't had time to post until this weekend, I've been working a lot.
I have been working on my viv in my free time; it is planted and (unless my plants don't thrive) pretty much finished. It's not heavily planted, but it has a good sized brom, black rabbits foot, asparagus fern, an orchid (Phalaenopsis), peacock fern, and 2 others I can't remember of the names of off the top of my head.
It does still look a little sparse to me but I know the plants will fill out some though and I don't want to overdo it initially. I might add a few more later on if it still needs more in a couple of months after giving it a bit of a grow out period.
I'll post a photo later when I get home if I remember so y'all can critique it.

It's only been planted for 3-4 days, so I'm not sure if this will be an issue in the long run or if it's a temporary problem, but I'm struggling with keeping the humidity up. I have a reptizoo digital thermometer/hydrometer. The temp is a constant 75-76 in the day and drops to 70-71 at night.
I've been hand misting 2-3x a day and I'm worried about overwatering the plants.
The tank has a fully ventilated/mesh top. It has additional vents on the sides.

Is there too much ventilation to keep up the humidity?
What humidity level does it need to be? I've seen a few different opinions on it (some say 80%, some say 100%, etc)
I read on a few threads here that covering the mesh top could help. Is this the case?
If so, what would work best temporarily/as a test to see if/how much it would help? I have a friend that can/will cut a piece of glass to fit if need be.

I apologize if this is repetitive and/or I've missed the answers in my searches
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top