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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just about to embark on building my first viv (probably for Darts). I've gone for an Exo Terra 60x45x90. I have read this may be too big for a first viv but I learnt from keeping tropical fish that it won't take long before I want to expand!

I have some questions that I wouldn't mind some answers to folks:

I am putting a false bottom in as I am planning on installing a water feature - I know! Another no no for a newbie due to potential humidity problems, but I can always turn it off. 1st question then is can I use an external tropical fish filter/pump rather than a submersible pump. I figure that if anything goes wrong with the pump if it is external I can sort it out. There will be a drilled hole at low level for the water output (input into the filter) which can also double up as a drain.

2nd question - heating. I can't find anywhere that suggests the best way of heating the viv. Do I have heat pads on the side/back of the tank, or a cable under the substrate? I'm not keen to put an aquarium heater under the false bottom as once it is in there it'll be a nightmare to get out if it fails. The temperature in the room that the viv will be situated in will not be warm enough to keep the tank at the right temperature.

That's it for now, but I'm sure there are going to be other questions as I go along.

Thanks in advance.

Jase
 

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Welcome.

First, the viv can never be too big.

Second, the filter outside the tank sounds fine, assuming you're going to make everything water tight, frog and fly proof.

Third, how cold is the room you're planning on putting it in? I find that room temperature along with the lights for the tank is fine, unless you're putting it in an unheated and uninsulated room.

And the room temperature reminded me that you will need to keep the tank at the right temp, but you will also need to keep the flies at a temperature where they will breed fast enough. Room temperature again for me is fine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, Thanks for the reply.

The room is a living space so is heated and and insulated but can get 'chilly' in the winter, especially if no one is in the house. I was planning on using LED lights (Finnex 24/7 Planed +) so will that produce sufficient heat? I'm thinking that if the viv is fitted with heating then at least it is there should I need it.
 

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I just got done setting up my first tank and I was worried about the temp also. I have found that the tank temp stay pretty stable around 70. The room it's in stays between 69-75 and the tank is just slightly warmer then the room temps.
 

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Hi, jaseg. I'm also about to install a water feature with false buttom, and just like you I've an external filter (mechanic/biological) i will use for my project. Some say that a normal small 4W pump is enough, but i think the filter is a nice touch to extend water changes.

Will you just leave a hose at the bottom of your viv, (under your false bottom) as water intake for your filter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi, jaseg. I'm also about to install a water feature with false buttom, and just like you I've an external filter (mechanic/biological) i will use for my project. Some say that a normal small 4W pump is enough, but i think the filter is a nice touch to extend water changes.

Will you just leave a hose at the bottom of your viv, (under your false bottom) as water intake for your filter?
Hi Graugarrd,

I see the advantage of an external filter being that a) it aids to keep the water clean and b) it is external so if anything goes wrong with it there is nothing mechanical inside the tank that means that I have to destroy the internal background to get at it.

I am planning on drilling a hole in the bottom corner (where I can get at it) where I am planning on putting a valve of some sort. This is so that I can close it, remove the filter input and be able to drain the tank every now and again to either reduce the level of water (due to misting) or to do a water change. It may be a t-piece which I can attach both the filter too and a drain. I'm not sure yet, but heading out tomorrow to a couple of fish shops to look for something - before I drill the wrong size hole!

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just got done setting up my first tank and I was worried about the temp also. I have found that the tank temp stay pretty stable around 70. The room it's in stays between 69-75 and the tank is just slightly warmer then the room temps.
Doing some temperature monitoring over the next week.

I think I may still add a heating cable under the substrate just in case. Do these need to be separated from the weedblock material, with a layer of substrate, that I am going to put on top of the false bottom?
 
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