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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.
 

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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 😅
 

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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.
 

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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 😅
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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.
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Thank you for the advice! I searched humidity but I didn't sort by date. I'll be sure to search again and read through as much as I can.
As to hardscaping, this would be the wood and rock I've included in the tank, right? I have wood (driftwood from amazon and one sycamore branch) and several rocks (mostly disinfected rocks from the river behind my house), and a store bought hideout that looks like stone). The "vines" are artificial.

Anything that is problematic can easily be removed/moved.

Here's the picture. I'm open to any constructive criticism so don't hesitate to let me know what needs to be changed.
Plant Leaf Wood Organism Twig



Edit to add: I'm getting tincs :giggle:
 
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