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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
UPDATE: I've looked at Glass Box Tropicals and it seems like a lot of the stuff is out of stock. I'm also not sure what categories I should really be looking in at this point.

Should I be looking for more epiphytes (I think so, to at least some extent)? Should I be looking for vines? Just any clarification would be very useful. I'm thinking at least one vining plant and 1 or 2 more epiphytes, but could use some more experienced input.

EDIT: Just placed an order for a bunch of new plants from Glass Box Tropicals. Specifically I ordered 1 Monolena sp. Ecuador, 1 Peperomia angulata, 1. Philodendron sp. 'Peach', 1 Platystele jamboeensis, and 1 Restrepia cuprea.

Will those be enough to really fill things out (giving them time to grow in, that is)? Are there any other types of plants I should look into? I'd love to get some nice moss beds but there isn't nearly enough shade in the vivarium (and the bottom seems to stay a bit on the wet side, at least for now - I've got the fans circulating during daylight hours which should help).

My plan for any of the epiphytes that need especially good drainage is to actually mount their roots into the cork bark itself, as the surface of it is somewhat moist but the water actually drains out of it.
 

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The orchids should be tied onto the cork, ideally with a small pad of long fiber Sphagnum moss between their roots and the cork. Neither of those orchids will get very big or fill in much, but they will be pretty accent plants.

It looks like the Philodendron is the only vine you have. I don’t know that particular Philodendron, but the genus tends to grow quickly and can probably cover most of your background. You might want a secondary vine to provide some contrast, but probably something that grows about as quickly as the philodendron so it doesn’t get outcompeted. You could call Glass Box Tropicals and I bet they would have a good suggestion for a second vine.

I doubt your floor area is too bright for moss, what passes as “bright” under artificial light is often the same as “shade” outdoors. There are a couple moss mixes that you could buy and try spreading on the ground and the background - you’d have to religiously mist them multiple times a day to get them established, for a few weeks at least. NEHERP makes one and Glass Box Tropicals has one called Dusk Moss Mix, I haven’t personally used either but have heard good things about both.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I got a bunch of plants from them, though one of them died unfortunately (I forget which one). I want to order from them again, but I wanted to get recommendations first and they haven't gotten back to me with anything specific.

Also, one problem I am having right now is the floor of my vivarium is too wet - ie there is actual standing water in it. I know one solution is to turn the mister on less frequently, but I want to know what schedule I should hold the mister to (ie which times of day it should mist, and for how long) to avoid this problem in the future while also ensuring it doesn't get too dry either. It sprays from two nozzles at the very top of the cage.

Also, any advice on what I could do to immediately get rid of the issue (ie so I don't have to wait weeks for it to evaporate, potentially having it kill some plants in the meantime) would be great. I will need to have my friend over to change the MistKing schedule since I totally forget how to do it, but I don't know when he'll be available next.

I've also been culturing temperate springtails using a kit from Josh's Frogs, the problem is I can't see them at all so I have no idea how they're doing, and two nights ago my friend put them in a bag outside (it gets to below freezing at night here), so I brought them back in as soon as he told me where they were but I don't know if they might have all been killed. If anyone knows more about Springtails and whether or not I should keep culturing them (or just order a new batch) I'd appreciate it. I've also been looking for isopods but the places I've looked are all out of stock.

Last thing - I've heard people say I might want to use fertilizer to help the plants get started, but I don't know what fertilizer to use. Any help would be very useful.
 

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The viv needs a drainage layer, and provision for draining it. To adjust the misting to accommodate will lead to a viv too dry for mounted plants, and too dry for frogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
The vivarium already has a drainage layer - I made sure to set that up when I was building it. There is a 2" layer at the bottom separated from the main dirt with a substrate divider. How do I create a second drainage layer?
 

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Discussion Starter #28
It's that material that used to be offered by Josh's Frogs to use as a drainage layer. I don't know if it is full of water, because I have no way to check without somehow emptying out all the substrate and lifting up the divider. If I need to drain it, how would I do so without disrupting the entire vivarium?
 

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If I need to drain it, how would I do so without disrupting the entire vivarium?
You need to drain it regularly, before it fills.

With a viv that large, a hole with a bulkhead in the bottom would be the best way. Otherwise, you can sink a tube (PVC pipe, vinyl tube) through the sub into the false bottom and suck the water out (siphon, or giant syringe, or peristaltic pump) with a tube that you insert into the first permanent pipe. Make sure the permanent pipe/tube is either much too small for frogs to get in or cap it.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Okay. If the hole is in the bottom, how do I make sure none of the drainage layer material comes out with it?
 

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Screen (either DIY thing or get a bulkhead with a strainer), or a hole smaller than the material.

Also, reading back, I notice that you mixed sphagnum into ABG. That is going to make substrate moisture control very difficult (holds way too much water), so you'll really need to keep on top of draining, at the very least.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Also, reading back, I notice that you mixed sphagnum into ABG. That is going to make substrate moisture control very difficult (holds way too much water), so you'll really need to keep on top of draining, at the very least.
I only put sphagnum into the uppermost layer where the plants were, I did not mix it together with the ABG. I was just told that a thin layer of Long Fiber Sphagnum Moss should go right on top.
 

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If it were me I'd go the route of adding the PVC pipe down to the drainage layer instead of trying to drill it. In either case, just do some searches on here of people's builds to find examples.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Well, I realized why things were getting so soaked - we had accidentally set the mister to be on for WAY too long as we had misunderstood the timer. We changed it to normal, and for now we made two screw holes in the bottom to let water drain out, and I have left those open so that excess water can continue to drain out for a while. In the future I'm thinking of drilling a hole, putting some screen on the inside of it so no material aside from water can come out, then putting a little plug. Part of me is wondering if I might want to leave the bottom doors to the vivarium open to help the soil dry out just a little bit while things settle back down.

I also made a second order of plants from Glass Box Tropicals, including some moss mixture that I can see doing very well in this enclosure (I plan on using it to cover some areas where the coco fiber didn't stick to the foam if possible, as well as just some areas of the background where I can't put epiphytes). Also ordered more Springtails from Josh's frogs, because I don't know if the Springtails in my colony survived being put outside overnight. Plus, I got two extra packs to put into the enclosure immediately. Unfortunately, everywhere seems to be out of the dwarf isopods so I can't get any of those. I also ordered Dyna-Gro from Amazon, as I remember using it in past vivaria a while ago.

I still need some ideas for what kind of dart frogs would do well in this kind of enclosure. While I won't be getting any frogs for a long time (not for another 6 months AT LEAST), knowing what options would work well in such a large and vertically oriented enclosure would help me make decisions. I'd obviously want frogs that would use all of the space provided, which writes off D. tinctorius, and D. auratus since they are mostly ground-dwellers. Part of me has wondered if it would be possible to have two species with completely opposite habits (ie one almost exclusively terrestrial, and another arboreal species) coexist without interacting, but I'm not really into the idea of mixing due to the risks.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
UPDATE: For some stupid reason the order from Glass Box Tropicals was returned to sender, despite me being here. I think USPS screwed up and never tried to knock on my door. I'm just hoping that they will let me have my money back for the order since I never got it, and I want to order again. Then again I did email them on Thursday and have yet to get a response so I'm not entirely sure.

I also ordered 2 Springtail cultures from Josh's frogs that seem to be doing quite well, but I don't know the best way to transfer the springtails into the enclosure. I've heard springtails float in water, but I wouldn't want to have to pour a whole bunch of water into the soil considering I had problems with it being wet recently.

Any advice is appreciated.
 

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You might want to try putting the container holding the springtails in the vivarium, opening the top, and then blow them out with a straw or piece of hose. Depending on the type of container you won’t get them all out, but you’ll get a fair amount.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #39
You might want to try putting the container holding the springtails in the vivarium, opening the top, and then blow them out with a straw or piece of hose. Depending on the type of container you won’t get them all out, but you’ll get a fair amount.


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Tried this, but none of them would come out. They are in these little jars, if you look at Josh's Frogs' website on what their springtail cultures arrive in, that will show what kind of jar they arrive in. The annoying thing is I can see some moving, but I can't get them out and into the enclosure.
 

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Pour some (or all) out into another cup, then blow them off the top.

If you've got the 32 oz cxs, you may want to cut the cxs down to a manageble size anyway -- in those tall bottles, the springs at the bottom are going to asphyxiate. Anything taller than a 12 oz deli cup is bad, IME.
 
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