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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Im a fourth yr vet student and have just set up my first DF terrarium :) I did a lot of research before finally deciding I just needed to get on with it, but as usual, once the frogs were here, felt pretty stupid and unprepared lol

I got a lot of contradictory advice from different ppl, but heres my set-up and any comments (please be constructive!) or advice would be very welcome :)

I set up a 45x45x60 Exoterra terrarium - about 30G i think - with a false bottom made up of an undergravel filter and some substrate divider

Lesson 1 - these are hard to get in when youve already made the expanding foam/cork/peat background for above it! Mine fell partly down and had to be suspended with tape (which is now buried)

I have a waterfall running down the back of a piece of cork into a cork stream and then into a small shallow pond at the front of the terrarium

Lesson 2 - ponds dont behave, they like to be empty and it takes ages to get them stable! Perforated (folded over and sealed) duct tape seems to work well underneath gravel and substrate divider!

At the minute I'm using the eco-terra peat stuff that expands and its nice and deep and moist all the way through, continuously draining into the reservoir and recirculating.
Q: Should I put som orchid bark or similar over the top?
Q: I have scraped the top layer off sporadically and dished some springtails in, but how else should i be keeping it clean?

The water inevitably evaporates and when it does i top it up with tap water treated with something to remove the chlorines/chloramines. Is this enough? The guy in the local exotics shop said it should be fine, as did the breeder who supplied my frogs so i went ahead but have now heard the horror stories lol

I have a peace lily and some ficus which are thriving but my staghorn died pretty quickly and my heat lamp keeps frying the pothos at the top of the tank :(
Q: Can anyone recommend a/some ferns which like a wet envt?
I also have a young brom in a log which I drilled a hole in, but that seems to be going yellow... :( Is it just me who is planticidal??

My 100W heat lamp seems to keep the tank steady at around 25, almost always between 24 and 27 but there have been a few cold snaps around here and the house has been cold dsepite the heating being on so the temp in th viv dropped to 20 - I had a major panic and started wrapping it in foil and insulation and all sorts - how long until the chill starts to pose a problem? We had it under control within a couple of hours but i was slightly terrified.
Q: Any tips on how to control snaps like this?

And so to the frogs (sorry about the epic long post!) I have a pair of tincs (brazils) and a pair of leucs (banded) at present in the viv and all seem to be doing well (Ive had them a month now). I spoke at length to the breeder and he said they had been kept together as juveniles and should be ok, very unlikely to fight or interbreed due to the size/conformation difference etc I was quite happy with this and so far so good, but should I be panicking? I would like them to breed when they're mature and would never keep hybridised tads.

As for food, i have a local supplier so i buy a FruitFly culture every couple of weeks and that keeps me going without the hassle and smell of doing my own. I throw a few FFs in early every evening.
Q: How nutritious are they??

I also buy microcrickets and feed them every morning, some say gut load, some say dont so I dont know what to do! At the moment I dont - When i get them i put some fresh lime pieces in and then i dust them with a Ca/D3 supplement before feeding them. I usually put about 20-30 in but theyre hard to count and there are always some inevitable dead ones in there. The frogs seem to feed well and Ive never seen any crickets left over or escaping, despite what ppl say about them growing big and causing problems - I hope I'm not missing them!

Last bit i promise - I bought some sponge mushrooms to put in the tank to give it a bit more vertical space as all of the darts seem to love climbing. I was hoping to secure them with cocktail sticks but this wont work with the contours of the back of my viv. Can i just silicone them on to the side panels? If so, any tips on how to prevent the frogs escaping long enough to get them stuck on? One of the tincs took a bid for freedom the first time we tried but we caught him up within minutes and seems no worse for wear :eek:

Lesson : Dont assume DFs love the warmth and humidity enough to not want to leave. Wait until theyre asleep! ;)

Anyhow, thats me done. Sorry for all the questions - I'd just like to know if im doing anything right, would like to avoid casualties at all costs!

Thanks so much in advance for your help

xxx
 

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ok. lets see if I can help.
Q1- Eco earth is fine. Adding orchid bark will add more structure to the soil, and keep it from compressing. There is no need to scrape the top layer off at all. Seeding your viv with springtails is a great way to help keep things clean, and seeding your viv with isopods is also good. Both also provide supplemental food.

Q2- Staghorns aernt good viv candidates at all. Most get HUGE. Pothos are lower light plants, and Im not suprised that your heat lamp is frying them. Consider alternate heating options, as darts dont appreciate this kind of heat either. There are lots of ferns that will work just fine, and keeping the humidity up will definitely help. Do a search here for ferns and a bunch of viv appropriate ones will pop up. Your yellowing brom could be a few different things. Might need more light or could be drying out- wioth out pics its hard to tell

Q3- 20 degrees c is FINE for a night time temp. I would consider this optimal actually!
27 degrees C is not too hot either, and my leucs actually wont breed onless temps are approaching this. I wouldnt go much higher, but it is perfectly acceptable. I wouldnt worry about the fluctuation, it is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE

SEPERATE YOUR FROGS! Leucs and tincs can and will interbreed. If you want breeding its better to have your pairs in their own vivs.

ffs are a fine staple diet for your frogs. I don't have a complete nutritional profile, but its the standard food for them. Supplementing with quality calcium and vitamins is key to success. Supplement their diet with springtails, isopods and crickets for more diversity.
If you have the ability to gut load your crickets, do it! You have nothing to lose from this, and your frogs can only benefit. Hold them for at least 48 hours and gut load before feeding.
Q4- I wouldnt silicone anything into your viv now that there are frogs in therE. If you are set on it, take your frogs out, and don't return them till the silicone is cured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the help

I guess I spoke too soon anyway because now i appear to have lost a leuc :confused:

I cant c him anywhere in the viv and theres really not that many places for him to hide. Ive had the room in pieces but cant find it anywhere dead or alive :'( Hoping for a miracle now.

What can i use to cover the mesh on the top of the viv other than perspex which goes cloudy and warps?

:( Wish my little frog back again for me

x
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Found him :) Somehow he survived ten hours out of the tank. I will never again proclaim the law of sod.

Just tried to upload some pics but wont work so will hav to put them online first :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hardly - its a student house lol - he may have been saved by the fact my exoterra viv appears to be leaking from the back - it had made a big wet patch on the floor unnoticed as it was behind the unit. Perhaps that was wat kept him moist enough. I dont kno, I just kno im incredibly lucky and wont be so stupid again.

Now got to try and fix the viv or start a new build lol
 
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