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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

New to this forum, but i have been in the reptile area for awhile. Been keeping herps since i was little. (23 now) My boss and i are both starting vivariums now and im looking for the best choices to use. He hasn't built any before, but i have so i do have some experience. I have kept numerous herps before but sadly had to give most of them up when i moved into my apartment near my college (no animals... how dare they?) Thats a little backstory but now to jump into the thoughts.

I have been doing some research for a good bit on what i want and what i am looking for. The only things that jump into my mind are "how" and "how not to". So far i am looking at using an "18x18x24" exoterra. I calculated the overall size in comparison to volume and this is slightly larger then a 29 gal. aqaurium. So my first question is could i get away with 4 or 5 frogs? or should i look more along the lines of 3 or 4? Oh and i am looking at acquiring Dendrobates auratus from JoshsFrogs.com. Primarily because from what i have read they do well for beginner to immediate and they tend to do well in groups.

As of now i am planning on a false bottom, but i am also looking to do a waterfall feature. My main question is how do people maintain the pump without it clogging and doing a simple water change along with if there is a waterfall, can it drain straight into the substrate without issues? Secondly i am still unsure of what are "safe products." I keep seeing people use different things and say some are good and some are bad.

Silicone? If it says 100% is that okay? variations of 100%?
Kitty Litter for clay mixing?

I dont want to kill people with a huge first post so i'll just wait and see who responds first.

If there are threads that would be fantastic for me to read and look at please just paste them and ill do that myself to save you guys typing and explanations. Unless you care to give me advice.

Oh and i'm from Maryland, US. If there are any other maryland herpers.

Thanks ladies and gents,
Wayne
 

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Hey guys,

So far i am looking at using an "18x18x24" exoterra. I calculated the overall size in comparison to volume and this is slightly larger then a 29 gal. aqaurium. So my first question is could i get away with 4 or 5 frogs? or should i look more along the lines of 3 or 4? Oh and i am looking at acquiring Dendrobates auratus from JoshsFrogs.com. Primarily because from what i have read they do well for beginner to immediate and they tend to do well in groups.

As of now i am planning on a false bottom, but i am also looking to do a waterfall feature. My main question is how do people maintain the pump without it clogging and doing a simple water change along with if there is a waterfall, can it drain straight into the substrate without issues? Secondly i am still unsure of what are "safe products." I keep seeing people use different things and say some are good and some are bad.

Silicone? If it says 100% is that okay? variations of 100%?
Kitty Litter for clay mixing?


If there are threads that would be fantastic for me to read...
Wayne
Auratus are nice frogs for any level really. Good choice.

Most people (myself included) wanted a water feature in their first viv, and I would guess that almost everyone skips it (myself included). It takes up floor space, and for a terrestrial frog like Auratus, that might be something you want to think about. Along with maintenance and taking up more floor space to build an access "box" for lack of a better term.

As far as what's safe, if you search Silicone or Kitty litter, there will be a bunch of threads for you to look at.
Hope some of that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As far as what's safe, if you search Silicone or Kitty litter, there will be a bunch of threads for you to look at.
Hope some of that helps.
I have been looking on here for the silicone and i think i'm going to avoid the kitty litter and stick with the great stuff instead. The main thing i keep seeing with silicone is naturally use 100% but then DAP and Bioseal issues. What is the general idea and though on what is safe to use and what isnt now?

Thanks for the help,
Wayne
 

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IMHO, kitty litter is way better than GS. It's easier, faster and more fun than GS/silicone/coco fiber. And it's less scary with all the chemicals in the silicone.. I'm not saying that people don't do it without any problems because there are many that do, but for me, kitty litter is the way to go.

Remember that when you're looking at the build journals on here, the backgrounds look amazing, and all the tanks that are freshly planted look like they could be in a museum, but after 3 months the plants explode and there's algae everywhere and you can barely see the background anyway.

One thing that I wish someone had told me before making my first viv is to think about where you will feed them, and make that area pretty viewable because watching them eat is one of the best parts of having frogs, and you want to actually be able to see them eat.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
IMHO, kitty litter is way better than GS. It's easier, faster and more fun than GS/silicone/coco fiber. And it's less scary with all the chemicals in the silicone.. I'm not saying that people don't do it without any problems because there are many that do, but for me, kitty litter is the way to go.

Remember that when you're looking at the build journals on here, the backgrounds look amazing, and all the tanks that are freshly planted look like they could be in a museum, but after 3 months the plants explode and there's algae everywhere and you can barely see the background anyway.

One thing that I wish someone had told me before making my first viv is to think about where you will feed them, and make that area pretty viewable because watching them eat is one of the best parts of having frogs, and you want to actually be able to see them eat.

Brian
Very true. That is one of the best aspects of keeping any animal. I just keep hearing issues of the clay breaking down or drying out and such. I completely understand the issue of the plants growing in and i am already planning ahead comparing the amount of growth from each plant prior to throwing in a bunch of plants without thought. Lots and lots of planning prior to construction. Getting everything situated first. Filtration is just the main issue that i am worried about right now.
 

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Keeping your pump clean is not hard. Get a four or five inch pvc coupling and trace its outline on your false bottom. Cut that trace out. Using a hole saw, drill holes around the pvc near the bottom of the coupling, 4 or5 should do. Next, find the next smallest coupling at the hardware store that fits inside the first leaving a small gap and that your pump fits into. Drill holes in it all the way around like the first. Silicone some screen around it. Now when you want to clean it, just lift it out and rinse the screen. You'll have to cut a place for the cords and hose in both the pvcs.
To drain and change water, run a hose through your background that you can siphon from. Make sure it goes to the bottom of your tank.
Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Keeping your pump clean is not hard. Get a four or five inch pvc coupling and trace its outline on your false bottom. Cut that trace out. Using a hole saw, drill holes around the pvc near the bottom of the coupling, 4 or5 should do. Next, find the next smallest coupling at the hardware store that fits inside the first leaving a small gap and that your pump fits into. Drill holes in it all the way around like the first. Silicone some screen around it. Now when you want to clean it, just lift it out and rinse the screen. You'll have to cut a place for the cords and hose in both the pvcs.
To drain and change water, run a hose through your background that you can siphon from. Make sure it goes to the bottom of your tank.
Hope this helps.
I think i understand that, but how would i cover the hole that would be coming up through the false bottom to pull the filter out to rinse it?

Or am i just not understanding the whole idea here lol? sorry. I'm more visual normally.

Thanks,
Wayne
 

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I have been looking on here for the silicone and i think i'm going to avoid the kitty litter and stick with the great stuff instead. The main thing i keep seeing with silicone is naturally use 100% but then DAP and Bioseal issues. What is the general idea and though on what is safe to use and what isnt now?

Thanks for the help,
Wayne
After studying this thread, http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/35720-bio-seal.html , I have decided to avoid GE Silicone 2 due to organotins. I use GE Silicone 1 but would not be afraid to try DAP either.
Another thread discussing silicone.
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/62516-silicone-question.html#post545394
 

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in my opinion, i think that you should skip the water feature all together. I agree that they look nice, but i think in your case it would be too much of a hassle, and take up to much room. Just my opinion though. I cant tell you what you can and cant do though haha. If you feel 100% confident in building it and making it work, then i say go for it.

Are you wanting a pond section, or just a little drip wall? Seeing that your floor space is fairly small, definitely shy away from the pond. It really does nothing for the frogs except take up space and pose a risk of your frogs drowning. If you go with the drip wall, make sure it drains into gravel rather than your regular substrate. Note that if you have a clay background, you cant have a drip wall. it will just wash away.

Good luck with your build!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are you wanting a pond section, or just a little drip wall? Seeing that your floor space is fairly small, definitely shy away from the pond. It really does nothing for the frogs except take up space and pose a risk of your frogs drowning. If you go with the drip wall, make sure it drains into gravel rather than your regular substrate. Note that if you have a clay background, you cant have a drip wall. it will just wash away.

Good luck with your build!
Ah Hah! Fantastic. This is something i was wondering about. I am not going for a pond or anything of that nature. The most that i even had slightly in mind was a small stream but i wasnt sure where to have it drain into. If it is a dripwall how would i go about making a dripwall rather then a waterfall? Just have a lower flow of water?

My original idea was to do a greatstuff back wall and on the two sides use a clay wall background. This way the backwall would be able to do a dripwall/waterfall and the sidewalls would be more "ecofriendly" for plants to grow in and around. From what i read great stuff walls arent quite as friendly for plants to grow in?

Thanks again,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After studying this thread, http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/35720-bio-seal.html , I have decided to avoid GE Silicone 2 due to organotins. I use GE Silicone 1 but would not be afraid to try DAP either.
Another thread discussing silicone.
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/62516-silicone-question.html#post545394


Since the topic came up i was at my local HD and Lowes and this was one of the best deals i found that looked like a potential good choice. Yes? Suggestions? If this doesn't look good what should i look for on the label other then 100% silicone?

Thanks,
Wayne
 

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ok first and most important. auratus do NOT do well in groups. auratus should be kept in pairs or trios (trios will not always work, and should be watched closely for aggression issues, however these may be hard to spot since they are subtle and you are new to this) if your getting froglets sure get 3 or 4, raise them and separate them as adults (you can always sell healthy adult frogs if you didnt want to keep the "extras")

as far as a water feature, keep your first viv simple. darts do just fine w/o any type of water feature. keeping humidity in the proper range is much more essential. plus, as others have said, its a real waste of space in a tank, your animals would certainly appreciate more usable space as well.

now silicone. i have used GE I clear silicone without issue. its available at any big hardware store.

james
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ok first and most important. auratus do NOT do well in groups. auratus should be kept in pairs or trios (trios will not always work, and should be watched closely for aggression issues, however these may be hard to spot since they are subtle and you are new to this) if your getting froglets sure get 3 or 4, raise them and separate them as adults (you can always sell healthy adult frogs if you didnt want to keep the "extras")

james
James,

As far as everywhere i have gone and done research on the different species and morphs most people have said auratus and leucomelas both do well in groups. That is coming from some people on this page as well. Along with various tanks i have seen on this page keeping them in groups. Is this incorrect?

Wayne
 

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yes it is. as i said auratus are NOT social animals. they do BEST in pairs. more than that and there is a definite risk of serious problems or the death of other animals from aggression issues.

what websites, BTW, say that auratus do well in groups?
james
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
what websites, BTW, say that auratus do well in groups?
james
One of the most stiking of the auratus morphs, the highland bronze morph is found at elevations as high as 5000 feet! Like all auratus these guys do well in groups.

JoshsFrogs.com

This is the only one i can quote right off the bat. I have seen others that said they are fine in groups and usually dont have issues. What would be a better frog to have in a group of 3 or 4? If there are some; I know i have seen some tanks with more then a breeding pair in them.

Thanks,
Wayne
 

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leucs are great communal frogs as are terribs. they are both suitable for a novice keeper and both are available in a few different locales.

james
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So far i am now leaning more towards either leucs, vents or aurotaenia. I have checked the different caresheets and know leucs are very common and vents/aurotaenia both being smaller (thumbnail) darts they may be more of a challenge just because of size, but they are the better choice for my 55 and do well in a community.

Wayne
 
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