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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm totally new to Dart Frogs and Vivariums and kind of got into it by accident. My 10 year old daughter did a school report on Dart Frogs and within a couple of weeks we were putting a tank toogether for frogs.

We would like to do a second tank, this one is an Exo Terra 24Hx18Dx36L. I don't have any of the skills that the members here seem to have and couldn't begin to duplicate the incredible and elaborate backgrounds that I have seen here, so I'm going to start with a simple tree fern panel background. and some nice wood. Has anyone done a simple tank like this and made it look nice? If so could you post some pictures to help a noob out with some ideas? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Tom
 

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Try and go with the cork mosaic with driftwood approach if your are a beginner, simply because its easy to get a hold of the items. You silicone the driftwood into place and silicone cork pieces around the driftwood leaving a small gap between each piece and stuff long fiber sphagnum moss in between them. You could do the same method with tree fern panel but it won't look as nice until the tank is grown in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I already have the fern treee panels, but I'm not oppossed to going another route, do you have a photo of wht you described?

Thanks
 

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I have done a few tanks with just tree fern plaque bg's and I really like how they turn out. One it is good for space saving so allows for a lot of useable space. Also saves on weight of the overall tank. As for plants, I find they root very well, and moss loves it. I keep the plaques moist and all sorts of growth comes out of them. Working on a 37 gallon right now and going to use a combo of tf plaques and gs with tf fiber.

Id say if you have them go with it!

Vinny
 

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If you already have the panels then by all means give them a go. no point in wasting them. You just need to apply a generous amount of silicon to the back and rub the panel around before setting it in place.

IMO, the tree fern panels won't look at "natural" when the tank is still growing in. But as mentioned before, plants love to grow on it.
 

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If you already have the panels then by all means give them a go. no point in wasting them. You just need to apply a generous amount of silicon to the back and rub the panel around before setting it in place.

IMO, the tree fern panels won't look at "natural" when the tank is still growing in. But as mentioned before, plants love to grow on it.

Beat me to it...

I'm not a fan of the cork with the sphagnum stuffed in it since over time the sphagnum breaks down, works loose and the frogs can still fit behind it...so I'm not sure why that tactic is so popular.
This can also happen with the tree fern backgrounds if you have ones with voids, or edges that aren't square. I simply backfill them holes with clay and let the clay setup. As long as you don't have it under a direct heavy spray of water, the voids stay filled.

Some comments,

Ed
 

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I put tree fern on the back, but not on the sides. Then I siliconed a big branch in midair. Then I planted moss, plants, and put an exo Terra branch in front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here are some pics of my vivs, simple and pretty, sides are covered in treefern with driftwood.









Enjoy :)



I really like your bottom tank, how do you attach the wood to the panels? Do you have pictures of the build as you went and finally has this tank filled in more since that photo?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thank you to everyone for the replies and the photos, please keep them coming!

I really would like to try to make one of the incredible backgrounds I've seen here on the boards, but like I said, I'm afraid I would wreck a nice tank!
 

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Here's my tank when I first set it up and was figuring it out the placement of my plants.
Not the greatest picture, but two walls have tree fern panels glued onto, then added driftwood and vines to give it more depth.
I have no updated picture, but the panels have a lot of moss growth and my ficus grows easily onto them.

 

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although no one has supplied pics, tree fern is an excellent medium for growing moss. if kept at the proper moisture it will commonly sprout moss and ferns on its own. (i will say that this takes a LONG time) i have 2 tanks that are about a year old and are just starting to get some nice (albeit tiny) moss growth on the panels.

james
 

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Was going to start a thread of all my tanks and frogs but figured ill post this here. The first pic is a 20g H vert with TF plaque bg. Like james said under the right conditions it will sprout mosses (i think these are actually a type of liverwort, not sure) The other is a 20 g H vert that im currently building. Its not the tree fern plaques, just gs and tree fern fiber.

Vinny
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Here's my tank when I first set it up and was figuring it out the placement of my plants.
Not the greatest picture, but two walls have tree fern panels glued onto, then added driftwood and vines to give it more depth.
I have no updated picture, but the panels have a lot of moss growth and my ficus grows easily onto them.




How did you attach the driftwood and vines to the tree fern panels?


Can you get an updated picture? Thanks!
 

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Ok, made some quick shots of my tank to show you the progress.
But don't expect any awesome photos, me and cameras don't go well together :p

As you can see here I have moss growth on both sides


Not the best pic, but inbetween the driftwood and plants you see moss


My substrate is also made of tree fern panels, so here you can also see the moss


And last a pic of the sidewall


As for attaching the driftwood and the vines;
Before gluing the panels on to the glass I cut out holes where I was going to anchor the vines so they would stick well and filled up with silicone.
The driftwood are made of several pieces that are also glued together with silicone (at the back so it's not so noticeable)then anchored down to the styrofoam with silicone before adding the panels. It's quite sturdy IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow, very nice!

Forgive me for all the questions, but I'm new to this, why did you put styrofoam on the driftwood prior to attaching it??
 

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Wow, very nice!

Forgive me for all the questions, but I'm new to this, why did you put styrofoam on the driftwood prior to attaching it??
No, the bottom/ground is made of styrofoam and then the panels on top of it.
Since my driftwood are large/tall, they cover from the bottom/ground and almost all the way to the top.
Seemed like a good idea to anchor them to the styrofoam for stability and then adding the panels instead of just letting the wood rest on top.
 
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