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Hello all, my name is Steve, and I'm a Noob. Now that is out of the way, I have a couple of questions. I will apologize in advance if these topics have been covered elsewhere, but I racked my brain coming up with every search term I could think of and got little back that dealt directly with my questions.

First. I have yet to see a build that uses plywood for the back and bottom of the viv. Is there any reason for this? It makes more sense to me to build the areas that won't be seen out of plywood that is coated in a colored epoxy resin, rather than spending the extra for glass, then coating it in black silicone.

Second. I'm having difficulty figuring out just how important transmission of UVA,B and C into the viv is. I should say that my goal is a colony of D. leucomelas (say 6-8) in a well planted environment. I would also be open to suggestions for other arboreal species that would work as well as D. leucomelas in a group setting. Single species only display, of course! No mixing.

Anyway, how important is the transmission of UV light into the viv? Will I need to invest in a large piece of quartz, pyrex or borosilicate glass to allow for UV transmission? Has anyone been fooling around with PAR in their displays? I've been a reefer for a long time and run double-ended metal-halides behind quartz glass on my display tank. I think MH is too hot for a viv, so I'm leaning towards T-5's or LEDs. I'm open to anything anyone wants to suggest.

Thanks!

Steve
 

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i don't have a viv but as far as i know from months of research you don't need uv you need a certain color temperature from 6000-7000
 

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UV is not required for dart frogs. Really the only reason for lighting at all is for the plants, and a little light makes it a little more enjoyable to view your frogs.
 

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oh, i don't know if it was here or the vivarium forums (probably there) - there was a guy who built a vivarium mostly out of plywood and he expoxied it. Only the front was glass (and some was open air) - obviously not PDF tank. I'll see if I can find.

I can't...
but if you go to vivarium forums and search for wood and epoxy, there are lots of them. That group is less frog centric.
 

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Only advice I can give you is to put the big tank on hold and practice on something smaller. I have no doubt you will be much happier with the final result if you have practiced different construction methods and figured out how to plant a tank properly. You reefing experience may help you out slightly for overall tank layout, but thats it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies.

I saw one GINORMOUS plywood build from a member in the Netherlands (I think), no way I'm going that big. I'll keep looking for others.

I thought (assumed) that PDFs needed UV for vitamin A and D synthesis, kind of like tortoises, or reptiles. I realize that most people supplement with dusting ff's, but I would think that it would be better for the frogs if they made some of their own. Please lend some insight into this.

Tank size. Coming from an aquarium background, I always heard that bigger is better. I thought that the extra volume leads to a more stable environment. I assumed this would be the same for PDFs, no? My plan is not to just cobble some "monstrosity" together, but take my time and have everything in place before ever introducing frogs into the habitat. My plan is to have a tank built and decorated within the next month, plant it a month or month and a half later, after the concrete hardens and then wait another 3 months or so for everything to establish before putting frogs in. I was looking at March as an introduction month. Being a reefer, these wait times are normal (though not fun). :) If common wisdom says smaller is better, I'm all for it. My aim is to keep PDFs the best way possible.

Any other design ideas with respect to lighting? I'm curious to hear from others that are "experimenting" with lighting solutions.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh, If any moderator thinks this thread belongs somewhere else, feel free to move it there. I was thinking that plywood viv construction and lighting best belonged here.

Thanks!

Steve
 

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Thanks for the replies.

I saw one GINORMOUS plywood build from a member in the Netherlands (I think), no way I'm going that big. I'll keep looking for others.

I thought (assumed) that PDFs needed UV for vitamin A and D synthesis, kind of like tortoises, or reptiles. I realize that most people supplement with dusting ff's, but I would think that it would be better for the frogs if they made some of their own. Please lend some insight into this.

Tank size. Coming from an aquarium background, I always heard that bigger is better. I thought that the extra volume leads to a more stable environment. I assumed this would be the same for PDFs, no? My plan is not to just cobble some "monstrosity" together, but take my time and have everything in place before ever introducing frogs into the habitat. My plan is to have a tank built and decorated within the next month, plant it a month or month and a half later, after the concrete hardens and then wait another 3 months or so for everything to establish before putting frogs in. I was looking at March as an introduction month. Being a reefer, these wait times are normal (though not fun). :) If common wisdom says smaller is better, I'm all for it. My aim is to keep PDFs the best way possible.

Any other design ideas with respect to lighting? I'm curious to hear from others that are "experimenting" with lighting solutions.

Steve
If you mean this plywood/glass tank, here it is. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pa...-new-wooden-hill-stream-tank-constr-jrnl.html You need to seal the wood in epoxy or some resin to waterproof it, and then that's pretty much it. Glass really isn't expensive though...
 

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If you mean this plywood/glass tank, here it is. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pa...-new-wooden-hill-stream-tank-constr-jrnl.html You need to seal the wood in epoxy or some resin to waterproof it, and then that's pretty much it. Glass really isn't expensive though...
Yup, that was it. I was thinking that 3'x4' sheets of glass for the sides and bottom, plus a 4'x4' piece for the back would be pricey. I would think it would have to be at least 1/4" thick, possibly 3/8". That's why I was thinking wood back and bottom, plus partial sides would be easier to construct and easier on the pocketbook.

If I actually commit to a viv this size, it'll work out to be something like 360 gallons. That's why I'm trying to get feedback on whether or not anyone here has constructed "combination" tanks of differing materials. I had also hoped that, given a partial wooden construction, fitting bulkheads and other pass through holes would be much easier than drilling glass.

I await the judgement of the forum Elders on this :p
 

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Only advice I can give you is to put the big tank on hold and practice on something smaller. I have no doubt you will be much happier with the final result if you have practiced different construction methods and figured out how to plant a tank properly. You reefing experience may help you out slightly for overall tank layout, but thats it.
I'm totally 100% with this.... I started with a 125 and would have started much smaller if I could do it all over. It came out looking fine, but could have been much better if I had prior experience with smaller vivs.
 

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Like the dimensions.. gonna toss out though the same thing everyone else said. You can research forever, look at tons of pics, and for the most part.. most people end up unhappy with their first viv. So its good to practice on a smaller scale with various substrates, background, etc.

Leucs would be a great choice for that size tank.. depending on plants you may not need that high of lighting. I am an old school reefer myself. I run a $9 shoplight with 40w 6500k bulbs on my 55g leuc tank.

Anyways.. welcome to the board and the addicting hobby! :)
 

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I agree with the others....you should mess around with something smaller first.
Although this means you have to sink money into something you might not use or if you do use it then you have to get plants, lights, frog....then you have to turn around and make your larger tank and spend more money lol.

I agree with what they say however if you don't have the money you should go ahead and do the one you have in mind.
With the expences of the practice tank you would have spent enough to well cover the expence for all the glass instead of plywood
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Everyone,

So what I have is:

Start small

Go with glass

Lighting is not critical

I'm on it :)

Steve
 
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