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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. I picked up a 30 gallon X-tall aquarium with the stand for free. I'm planning this tank as my first thumbnail viv. I'm not sure which one yet. Here's the first couple of steps. I've cleaned the tank out well and applied the black silicone to the back and sides.



Here's the wood I got from Save-on-Crafts.

I really like the 1st piece:



2nd piece is ok:



I decided to make it look like one root mass. I think I'm going to use the 2nd piece in this position.


And I'm going to use the 1st piece in this position.


So that is fits together inside the tank like this.


I like that look. I also decided to switch to doing the background in clay because it will be hard to get the GS covered in silicone behind the roots.

I got my kitty litter.


Here it is all soaked.


Time to play with some clay.


Placing the first piece of ghostwood.


And the second.


Here's with them both in but still lots of clay to be added.


I built some little ledges into it.


Then, I began work on my clay substrate using the recipe for Lee's mix.
Here's the mix being baked to get rid of the moisture.


After baking I crumbled the mix of bentonite, redart clay and Turface into pea-sized or smaller pieces and then mix it with peat moss, coco bedding and some more Turface.

Here's the mix in the viv after a slight misting.


I got my calcium montmorillonite powder and spread it over the substrate followed by a nice layer of sand oak leaf litter. Then it was planting time.

I added in an Alocasia 'Polly' I found at HD along with some great broms I got from Michael (poison beauties).


Here's a good top view of the right side.


And the left.


It was still looking a little bare so I added some more.
Top view right-


And left-


Here's a fully planted view from the front.


I recently got the glass for my lid and the light for the tank. I'm using a Hagen Glo 24" double T5 hood and fixtures.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I've been thinking about adding an air circulation system and some mini orchids along the branches that stick out toward the front of the viv.


What kind would of orchids people suggest?
 

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Wow, awesome job! I just ordered a 30 tall at the local pet shop and will be doing a clay background for it, and a clay based substrate as well (kind of...) Your tank is great and has provided me with a little inspiration! Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll definitely keep updating. Seems like now is a good time for my foray into mini orchids (hoping to get in on Mr. Whitmore's collection sale).
As for the frogs, I'm planning on expanding my collection with a few imi morphs and some Vanzos in the near future. I think I'm going to save the 44 gallon corner tank I got on craigslist for the Vanzos so I have to decide who gets this viv. The choices are Tarapotos, Varaderos, or nominant imis.
 

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I have had these orchids growing for only a couple of months but they are thriving with very little/no airflow:
Restrepia trichoglossa
Scaphosepalum breve
Masdevallia nidifica
Pleurothallis grobyi
Haraella retrocalla
Pleurothallis fastidiosa(schweinfurthii)
Condylago rodrigoi
Restrepia dodsonii
Pleurothallis tribuloides
Some of them are in non vented vivs and some are in a partially vented exo. They are all blooming regularly and growing new growths. I tried to select my orchids based on them being "free-blooming". Hope this helps you out some. I ordered mine from AndysOrchids.
 

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very good start, looks great so far - I look forward to seeing this completed.
Personally I'd go with the Varadero's but thats just me ;)
 

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Looks good so far... did you leave the lay exposed or did you put a layer of peat on the top??

I have to agree, varaderos are pretty epic.
 

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I have had these orchids growing for only a couple of months but they are thriving with very little/no airflow:
Restrepia trichoglossa
Scaphosepalum breve
Masdevallia nidifica
Pleurothallis grobyi
Haraella retrocalla
Pleurothallis fastidiosa(schweinfurthii)
Condylago rodrigoi
Restrepia dodsonii
Pleurothallis tribuloides
Some of them are in non vented vivs and some are in a partially vented exo. They are all blooming regularly and growing new growths. I tried to select my orchids based on them being "free-blooming". Hope this helps you out some. I ordered mine from AndysOrchids.
Which of those are doing well in non-vented vivariums?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I haven't found an awesome skeleton to use in a viv yet. It's been done so well I don't think I can top it.

Cliff

Sent from my MB300 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I still would like to do the air circulation because others have mentioned having issues with CO2 buildup in the bottom of the deeper tanks like this that have no ventilation.
 

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I still would like to do the air circulation because others have mentioned having issues with CO2 buildup in the bottom of the deeper tanks like this that have no ventilation.
Yes, that is especially important if you are working with a land-loving species, using a lot of leaves and have isopods going on in the substrate. It was noted that a vent hole drilled in the bottom of the tank allowed the cooler air to be pushed up through the tank and through a vent on the top of the tank.
This will also reduce the amount of white hairy fungus in the tank, which destroys eggs.
 

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In the completely non-vented viv is:
Pleurothallis grobyi
Condylago rodrigoi
Scaphosepalum breve
Haraella retrocalla
and bulbo. minutissimum(i think i spelled that wrong)
Thanks. Those will do well in my vivs I think---they are vented but have 90 to 100 percent humidity most of the time.
 
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