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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a piece of glass cut at my hardware store for a lid to my viv and I am noticing that the side that faces into the viv has started to smell kind of strongly. The whole viv doesn't smell so I don't think it is having much of an impact but I just wanted to make sure I am not gassing my frogs some how. I did give the glass a good wipe down before I used it. Any ideas on what causes this and if it is a serious problem?
 

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Lubricant would certainly have been used on the cutting wheel. There is really no telling what it could have been exposed to in their shop.
When I build my vivs from scrap glass, I cut the panes and sand the edges, then wash them with just a little liquid dish soap. Rinse them VERY well, dry them, and finally, they get a wipe-down with rubbing alcohol and a soft clean rag.
I have no idea what may have been on a pane before I got it, so I treat every pane as if it is contaminated.

Glass itself cannot be the problem. It has to be something on the glass. We've already covered a possible contaminant. A bacterial film growing on the glass could also be nearly invisible, yet cause a smell. If it's been on the viv for days, that could be a potential issue, but if you noticed it right away, you could rule that out.

It could also potentially be that now that the viv is better sealed, it is collecting and concentrating the natural smells in the viv, which then rush out with the warmer air trapped under the lid, upon opening it.

A description of the odor might help...chemical? earthy? foul and rotted? Oh, and how long was it in place before you noticed it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lubricant would certainly have been used on the cutting wheel. There is really no telling what it could have been exposed to in their shop.
When I build my vivs from scrap glass, I cut the panes and sand the edges, then wash them with just a little liquid dish soap. Rinse them VERY well, dry them, and finally, they get a wipe-down with rubbing alcohol and a soft clean rag.
I have no idea what may have been on a pane before I got it, so I treat every pane as if it is contaminated.

Glass itself cannot be the problem. It has to be something on the glass. We've already covered a possible contaminant. A bacterial film growing on the glass could also be nearly invisible, yet cause a smell. If it's been on the viv for days, that could be a potential issue, but if you noticed it right away, you could rule that out.

It could also potentially be that now that the viv is better sealed, it is collecting and concentrating the natural smells in the viv, which then rush out with the warmer air trapped under the lid, upon opening it.

A description of the odor might help...chemical? earthy? foul and rotted? Oh, and how long was it in place before you noticed it?
I will give it another wash. It was on for about a week before I noticed and I would describe the smell as chemical-ish but more foul and rotted. I do not notice the smell actually in the viv, just smells like wet plants and dirt in there.
 

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Did you have a screen top before you put this glass top on? If your viv is now completely sealed, you could have the lid staying humid and growing bacteria, mold, or fungus, causing a funk. I use a screen vent or two on all my vivs. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/63781-screen-vent-construction-how.html
If it turns out to be bacterial, a screen vent would help or eliminate that. If you wash the lid, and you start to notice the smell in a week again, it is bacterial/mold/fungal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Did you have a screen top before you put this glass top on? If your viv is now completely sealed, you could have the lid staying humid and growing bacteria, mold, or fungus, causing a funk. I use a screen vent or two on all my vivs. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/63781-screen-vent-construction-how.html
If it turns out to be bacterial, a screen vent would help or eliminate that. If you wash the lid, and you start to notice the smell in a week again, it is bacterial/mold/fungal.
I just gave it a good cleaning. If it comes back I will get the screen. Would the bacteria/mold/fungus have any harmful effect on the frogs in the viv? Thanks for the help/advice.
 

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I just gave it a good cleaning. If it comes back I will get the screen. Would the bacteria/mold/fungus have any harmful effect on the frogs in the viv? Thanks for the help/advice.
People have and still do, run their vivs fully sealed and frogs don't drop dead, but the benefits of ventilation are many. Your plants will do better. Your viv will smell fresh and outdoorsy instead of...well, I don't think I have to describe that to you. Your frogs could very well live longer. They don't live in 95% humidity in the wild. Living in such high humidity all the time could potentially cause respiratory problems. Did you know that if your viv is properly ventilated, your frogs can handle higher temperatures? Your frogs can use evaporative cooling to handle higher temperatures, but not if humidity levels are too high.
So, do you have to have a vent? No, but I have vents on all my vivs and would not do a fully sealed viv again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
People have and still do, run their vivs fully sealed and frogs don't drop dead, but the benefits of ventilation are many. Your plants will do better. Your viv will smell fresh and outdoorsy instead of...well, I don't think I have to describe that to you. Your frogs could very well live longer. They don't live in 95% humidity in the wild. Living in such high humidity all the time could potentially cause respiratory problems. Did you know that if your viv is properly ventilated, your frogs can handle higher temperatures? Your frogs can use evaporative cooling to handle higher temperatures, but not if humidity levels are too high.
So, do you have to have a vent? No, but I have vents on all my vivs and would not do a fully sealed viv again.
Thanks for the added info! I got the glass lid to keep the flies in but I will probably get a vented lid. I will try and use your tutorial but I might just order a lid from Dane. I'm in College and I have a part time job so time is limited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Pumilo...would using Noseeum work well enough as a vent to not only exchange air, but also keep the FFs in??
I'm not an expert but I'm pretty sure Noseeum was invented to keep mosquitos and such out of areas. Doug also uses it as his vent material in his screen lids so I say it is a pretty safe bet the FFs will stay in assuming you assemble the screen correctly.
 
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Pumilo...would using Noseeum work well enough as a vent to not only exchange air, but also keep the FFs in??
Yes, Noseeum will keep out the smallest of fruitflies. It does cut down circulation some, over a larger mesh, but keeping flies in their enclosures is important for obvious reasons. Not so obvious reasons would be that it is simply good husbandry, containing the flies helps prevent any spread of pathogens, too.
I do use Noseem for all my vivs except the 5 Euros I was given.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So just an update, I cleaned the lid very well, took out my little pond, stop using feeding station with a banana and im still kind of getting a smell and the viv now how a slight rotting smell which I would call more that just normal wet earth smell. It's not a bad smell just a little off. Not sure what to do next besides geting a vented lid but that is a lot of money without guarantee that is the problem. Any other ideas anyone?
 

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Do you have a false bottom with any standing water that my have gotten stagnate? Like in the supports or a depression in the substrate ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Do you have a false bottom with any standing water that my have gotten stagnate? Like in the supports or a depression in the substrate ?
I have egg crate on the bottom and I can't see any water down there.
 

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Geesh then I'm not sure, seems like you have checked all the obvious places. I have not had any problem with smells in the supports that hold up my bottom, but have read somewhere on here that someone did. Are your supports notched out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Geesh then I'm not sure, seems like you have checked all the obvious places. I have not had any problem with smells in the supports that hold up my bottom, but have read somewhere on here that someone did. Are your supports notched out?
They are not which is what I am suspecting. Just because I can't see the water doesn't mean its there. I am considering just redoing the bottom and substrate. This was my first tank so I didn't use ABG just peat,sphagnum, and coconut husk. Thinking that might be contributing
 

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I cant help with that I have only used the mix, But their are allot of threads about rotting substrate that might be it to.
 

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What do you mean by "eggcrate on the bottom"? Do you know what a proper false bottom is? You can't just put eggcrate on the bottom, it has to have risers and be able to elevate 100% of the substrate, above the top of the water line.
You either have to have a spot from the front or side, where you can SEE the water level, OR you have to have an "eternal" drain put in, so that it is impossible for the water lever to ever reach the eggcrate.
You substrate recipe sounds suspect, too. You have plenty to hold moisture, but not much to provide the excellent drainage that is required.
You need to reach in and grab a handful of substrate from way down deep and see what it smells like. Careful...it could be very rank.
 

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Doug, thats what we were talking about, The PVC supports having notch's in them so water dose not sit inside and get smelly, but I think your right about it coming from the substrate.
What do you mean by "eggcrate on the bottom"? Do you know what a proper false bottom is? You can't just put eggcrate on the bottom, it has to have risers and be able to elevate 100% of the substrate, above the top of the water line.
You either have to have a spot from the front or side, where you can SEE the water level, OR you have to have an "eternal" drain put in, so that it is impossible for the water lever to ever reach the eggcrate.
You substrate recipe sounds suspect, too. You have plenty to hold moisture, but not much to provide the excellent drainage that is required.
You need to reach in and grab a handful of substrate from way down deep and see what it smells like. Careful...it could be very rank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What do you mean by "eggcrate on the bottom"? Do you know what a proper false bottom is? You can't just put eggcrate on the bottom, it has to have risers and be able to elevate 100% of the substrate, above the top of the water line.
You either have to have a spot from the front or side, where you can SEE the water level, OR you have to have an "eternal" drain put in, so that it is impossible for the water lever to ever reach the eggcrate.
You substrate recipe sounds suspect, too. You have plenty to hold moisture, but not much to provide the excellent drainage that is required.
You need to reach in and grab a handful of substrate from way down deep and see what it smells like. Careful...it could be very rank.
I do know what a proper false bottom is...now. I have to admit my first tank was kind of a rush as I was excited to get into the hobby. I have done a ton of research since then tough so I know what a good false bottom should be. The eggcrate now is on little supports of Pvc but they are not very high or notched, about a half inch high.

I hadn't noticed any problems with it until potentially now so redoing it has kind of been put off but it might be time.
 
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