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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I've been lurking for a while, getting my feet wet. I am Travis, a complete novice in the art of everything outside the realm of cats and dogs. But two weeks ago I went to a reptile show in Taylor MI and absolutely fell in love with dart frogs. I bought a book (Barron's "Poison Dart Frogs" by R.D. Bartlett) and like I mentioned have been reading dendroboard as well as other sites and have decided to take the plunge.
My first step is to see if I can even manage a terrarium. I've acquired a used 10 gallon aquarium, cleaned it with a weak bleach solution (as recommended on dendroboard) and am ready to build my first false-bottom rain-forest terrarium.
However I have a question that I haven't seen addressed and it's most likely because I'm the ONLY person on the planet that doesn't know the answer. Here it is. What is (an) egg-crate light diffuser? I don't even know where to begin looking for it. All can figure is that it's something like a matress topper like you would take camping or something.
I have another question about what you succesful folks prefer to use beneath the substrate. My book recommends 2 sheets of plastic screen or air conditioning filter material.
Hey, any help will be greatly appreciated.
I'm sure I'll be back with more questions soon.
 

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Travis,
Congrats on making the decision. By finding this board you are going in the right direction, There is a world of knowledge and experience on here. You aren't allone in your question. There are a lot of people that say "egg crate? huh?" I did. But all it is, is the diffuser for a flourescent light fixture. Lttle squares. You can find it in the lighting section of Lowes or HomeDepot (~$8-10) here's a pic http://www.terra5designs.com/
While you are there you can p/u 1 1/2 pvc couplers to support it off the bottom of the tank. And get some replacement screen for "filter"
I used the egg crate, covered by screen, covered by gravel, another layer of screen and then your soil. There are couple threads on here that are helpful and some have web sites with pics to explain the process. Good luck and remember the unwritten rule: If you build it you MUST show pics. Look in my gallery I think you can see the construction pics.
Mike
 

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I buy my egg crate at home depot. It is 10 dollars for a fairly large sheet of it. Egg crate is used as a Lighting Louver, diffracter, whatever you want to call it. You will find it back in the lighting section though at homedepot. My terrarium construction consists of, in step,

1 Pvc couplers, usually 1 in diameter is a good height.
2 Then the sheet of egg crate(you can cut a segment out to make a shoreline, as seen in this picture
IT can be done on either end, or in the middle
3 Any breathable, tough fabric. I have used weed control fabric, available at any nursery, or lowes, or homedepot.
4 THen I use a layer of gravel, hydroponics (LECA) works also.
5 Then another layer of the fabric
6 then the substrate.
In a ten gallon, I would either cut the pvc couplers in half, or find a shorter spacer, because their isn't much headroom. Maybe cut out the gravel layer to, or, just use gravel as your bottom layer, scrap the egg crate and pvc coupler Idea. Also, you should search the forum for "Vertical 10 gallon", or check out the choco hut link in the link section. These look good, and are much taller for darts. Anyway, be careful. THis is a VERY addictive hobby. It all started with me a little over a year ago, when I bought some mantella's. Now, I have around 40 frogs in my posession. Anyway, good luck. Pm me, or post some more topics with any further questions.

Ed Parker
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Mike and Ed, I'll stop at Home Depot tomorrow and see what I can find. BTW thanks for the link MIke, how do I check your profile though? Apparently I haven't figured that part out yet.
Also I like the idea of a taller tank, especially when it comes time to actually get some frogs going, but for now I want to make sure that I am able to build and maintain the right enviornment and go from there. Since the 10 long was free I'll start with it even though it is short on headroom. This is basically a trial and error session for me right now.
Construct a terrarium, add some plants, keep them ALIVE for awhile. If I can pull that off, then I'll move on to taller tanks and real LIVE frogs.

Thanks again for the help and the pics guys, it's a big help and I'll be sure to keep you posted.
 

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Travis,
Click on Gallery at the top, then user galleries I think I'm on page 5.
I have the progress of my viv on there.
Mike
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Eggcrate picture

Here's a picture I took last night of the eggcrate, that I just cut to size, for my first viv.



Got it at Home Depot, but I've seen it at Lowe's also and just about anywhere where they sell fluorescent lighting. I think it ran about $7 for a sheet that you could do 3 or 4 ten gallon tanks.

 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh... and btw...

I have two "Frost King" polyurethane foam air conditioner filters 15"x24"x1/4" that I bought, but I'm not going to end up using. If you want to use that to go on top of your eggcrate, you're welcome to them (free). Would save you just a few bucks. PM me or email me, ([email protected]) if you want/need 'em.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
answer to furizzl

furizzl said:
Is that tank a 56? Whats that tube on the back right side?
It's a 75 gallon tank... a bit distorted in the picture from having a wide angle lense on, I believe. The pvc under the eggcrate, are of course for support of the eggcrate. The long pvc piece in the left back corner is going to be where I'm going to put my waterfall pump inside of. I think that will be easier than having to rip up all of the substrate, plants and stuff... if I should have a problem with or need to replace the water pump at a later time. It's in the back and should be easily hidden from view once I've put in the foam/silicone/corkbark background, I hope!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again, another question or two...

Dunner97074 said:
Travis,
Click on Gallery at the top, then user galleries I think I'm on page 5.
I have the progress of my viv on there.
Thanks Mike.


RoLLi said:
I have two "Frost King" polyurethane foam air conditioner filters 15"x24"x1/4" that I bought, but I'm not going to end up using. If you want to use that to go on top of your eggcrate, you're welcome to them (free). Would save you just a few bucks. PM me or email me, ([email protected]) if you want/need 'em.
Wow, thanks for the offer RoLLi! That's awesome, but I'll have to pass. I picked up some material yesterday. I also got word of a free 20 gallon and stand coming my way soon. It's like it's meant to be. SWEET!

Those pics you posted are excellent and were very helpful. It turns out I knew what egg-crate was after all. I just didn't know what it was called.
I was wondering how tall your PVC sections are. The pic is a little dimensionally deceptive. (BTW, am I the only one who sees a gray alien silhouette instead of a black and white boston terrier face on RoLLi's post pic?)

I'm ready to go get a waterpump today and I was wondering what brands you folks are using and where you got them and how much you paid and yadda yadda yadda. Whatever anyone can tell me will be helpful since I don't know anything anyway.

Thanks verybody,
Travis
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That PVC STINKS when you saw thru it! UGH!

I was wondering how tall your PVC sections are.
I actually cut a bunch of PVC at 3 1/2 inches and mock set it up. It looked too high for this tank considering after I add substrate/rock/wood, at least in my mind. I used smaller diameter PVC at first, but I ended up ditching that whole idea and getting 3" diameter PVC for more support, and they are cut to 2 inches. By my calculations, though my PVC supports are probably shorter than some false bottoms, this size of tank will contain almost 6 gallons of water just in the false bottom reservoir. Landscaping this 75gal tank, with anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of gravel/soil/peat, I'm gonna have just under a foot of headspace to the top of the tank. I'm making this tank for a more terrestrial dart, a group of terribilis, so I think that will work out, aesthetically as well as practically. (I HOPE!) And this is just my final "show tank" ... I have two smaller tanks that I'm going to choose from, that I will set up for the terribilis when I first get them home. (something smaller so I can make sure the froglets are getting enuff food and all) I've been planning, reading, getting supplies for about a month and a half now... in a few months hopefully the frogs I want will be available (and I will still have money to purchase them, hopefully!).

I went to the Taylor, MI herp show too... Quality Exotics had some great looking frogs there!
 

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Travis,
Lay off the sauce man it's effecting your eyesight. 8)
Mike
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Stinky PVC and Travis gets called out.

RoLLI,
Yeah, that PVC does get to reeking after a while. I ran around my house trying to find what was burning!
Good luck with your vivs, that 75g looks like a winner to me. I'll be looking forward to future pics.

Dunner97074 said:
Travis,
Lay off the sauce man it's effecting your eyesight.
B U S T E D !!! :shock:
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The long pvc piece in the left back corner is going to be where I'm going to put my waterfall pump inside of. I think that will be easier than having to rip up all of the substrate, plants and stuff... if I should have a problem with or need to replace the water pump at a later time.
I agree compleatly but i dont know how much a small diamiter pipe is going to do. I had this curved peice of cork which i attached to the lid of a tupper ware thing for stability and it hides my pump I have enough problem fitting my arm down the corner trying to fix the pump as it is i dont think ull be able to stick ure hand down a 3-4 in pipe and then use it, but hey if u can u got one up on me :lol:. Maybe u should rig some way to like pull the pump up because its gonna be able to mess with the flo, and u will have too, in such a small space. I dk just a problem from my experience. :)

I dont now how people can seal the pump under the ground and not have problems with it. :?
 
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