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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So im starting this thread to keep a diary of my first viv build ever. Im still waiting on the real stand to be made (it pays to have a woodworker in the family), so right now im using a folding table to work on. I have 3 big manzanita pieces as the main hardscape. The 2 that are touching the back glass are going to be siliconed in place first defore the great stuff/drylock background. Im planing to only foam the back glass and about an inch or 2 on the sides, i want to be able to see into the viv from the sides.
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Also have some smaller branches im going to put up higher.
 

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I1.3 pithecopus hypochondrialis; 1.1 dendrobates tinctorius "Pats"
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Congratulations on your first viv! InSitu makes a great product IMO. You get what you pay for; I'm ordering my 2nd Amazonia soon. What species will call the tank home? That will impact how you want to build: leucomelas probably wouldn't mind more uncovered glass. My tincs are pretty territorial and attack their reflection sometimes, and auratus appreciate more cover so neither of them would be best candidates for bare sides. Granted, I'm painting with a broad brush. You can mitigate bare sides by having it heavily planted and lots of hides. But for what it's worth, I regretted not building out the sides of my first tank because it reduced the surface area available for plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Congratulations on your first viv! InSitu makes a great product IMO. You get what you pay for; I'm ordering my 2nd Amazonia soon. What species will call the tank home? That will impact how you want to build: leucomelas probably wouldn't mind more uncovered glass. My tincs are pretty territorial and attack their reflection sometimes, and auratus appreciate more cover so neither of them would be best candidates for bare sides. Granted, I'm painting with a broad brush. You can mitigate bare sides by having it heavily planted and lots of hides. But for what it's worth, I regretted not building out the sides of my first tank because it reduced the surface area available for plants.
I really like the design of the insitu tanks, there was a few little things I didn’t like, but over all very happy with it. This tank is going to be for ranitomeya, so Im trying for a more branchy feel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, great stuff is a pain in the butt, but I got it done. Drylok is also kinda gloopy and gets EVERYWHERE but I got the first coat almost done. Next is a double check tomorrow for any missed spots, a highlighting of some of the background with a dry brush technique, and cleaning any drylok off of the glass and wood. There was some issue with the fans, but after much fighting and swearing I got them in, and I saw some large gaps that I’m going to fill with silicone and smash substrate onto.
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Make sure you rinse the drylok very well once you're done with the background. I lost everything I initially planted and still have some issues with plants growing up my background because I didn't rinse it enough. Looks great though. Can't wait to see it planted and then grown in. Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
After a very long stressful month, more progress on my thumbnail InSitu Amazonia. Got the stand setup, lights and mist king setup, substrate down. I got plenty of leaf litter to put on top of the substrate, but I want to get some plants planted first. I used bio dude bio shot so dont know if that’s going to help but can’t hurt right ¯\(ツ)/¯ ? Micro fauna is ordered and a bunch of plants, mostly vining for the background. Any recommendations or comments are appreciated. also got some cork rounds I might put in there.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you're looking for ideas or inspiration, here's my InSitu Amazonia for my thumbnails. They seem to be doing really well in there. Apologies for the condensation, just misted.
thanks, thats a great looking tank. What is the plant on the lower right, has a bit of red\pink on it and whats the one on the lower left, looks like a begonia?
 

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One thing: you have a lot of "negative" space in that viv (with just the few branches in there). I'd suggest adding a few more branches or larger plants to fill in that space. Darts are huge climbers (my thumbs actually spend more time off the substrate than on it) and will definitely use all that space that is otherwise going to waste.
 

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thanks, thats a great looking tank. What is the plant on the lower right, has a bit of red\pink on it and whats the one on the lower left, looks like a begonia?
I'm not sure. I bought them over a year ago and can't remember. I know the one on the left is a begonia, but that's all I can remember. I don't keep good records of my plants. I probably should.
 

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One thing: you have a lot of "negative" space in that viv (with just the few branches in there). I'd suggest adding a few more branches or larger plants to fill in that space. Darts are huge climbers (my thumbs actually spend more time off the substrate than on it) and will definitely use all that space that is otherwise going to waste.
Yes, you are correct. If I could do it again, I would put more branches in there. I do have three large branches standing up in the back that they climb on all the time. I also have a cork branch across the background that they climb on a lot. As the plants grow in more they will fill in the space. They are also all over the broms all the time too. But you're right, next time, I will put more branches in to fill in more negative space.
 

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Yes, you are correct. If I could do it again, I would put more branches in there. I do have three large branches standing up in the back that they climb on all the time. I also have a cork branch across the background that they climb on a lot. As the plants grow in more they will fill in the space. They are also all over the broms all the time too. But you're right, next time, I will put more branches in to fill in more negative space.
You don't have to work them into the background btw - I have a number of my vivs with "removable" branches in there (access, maintenance, etc.) that are just large / long enough to securely lean in the viv and thin enough to avoid weight being an issue.

Also cork cubes on the floor double or triple the usable area and can be added anytime. Always a win in my eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
First batch of plants came in from tcs, even sent me an extra. in the back is macgravia rectiflora, pellonia repens, and pellonia pulchra. On the left a macodes petulant, and on the right a syngonium rayi. Plus a pothos leaf that I’m trying to get to root before I put in my fish tank in the upper left and some leafs that came off the macgravia and pellinonia that I just stuck in there. Tomorrow the micro fauna and some bromeliads come in.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So, not a great day today, second shipment of plants and springtails and isopods came in. Springtails and isopods were DOA, and the plants had what looks like frost damage. I’m getting the Inverts replaced and I stuck the plants in the viv hoping they make it, the solanum doesn’t look too good and one of the broms really looked worse for the wear. Kinda disappointed, but I have hope that they’ll make it.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
a few more plants have come in, most of the vining background plants aren’t doing to great, except for the philo. About to say screw it and get a ficus. There’s a few more terrestrial plants than I had planned, but I was given some freebies with my last order so I had to stick them in there somewhere. Syngonium really seems to be happy, along with the broms and pellonia.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Small update on my tank. My macravia died which kinda sucks because that was one I really wanted to take off. I got a ficus that almost died, but is finally getting new growth. The begonias are lovin life. And the syngonium rayii has really taken off. Also the broms are getting roots:D
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