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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some advice. I have set up my first viv and am hoping to add my first ever frogs next month. Humidity is at 80-100% with hand misting. Plants and microfauna are THRIVING! BUT my temp is staying around 77°-79°.

I live in Houston so AC/ room temp is 70°-72° pretty much 24/7. I have a glass lid with a screen vent along the back. The viv is just consistently about 6°-8° higher than room temp.

I got 2 small USB fans but can't seem to get temps down much & they seem to dry out the viv.

So my QUESTIONS:
1 - Can these temps work or are they too high?
2 - Any advice on fan placement? On the light? The lid? On the vent? Blowing in or out?
3 - Has anyone else had this problem? What fixes could you recommend?

(PIC from 2 weeks ago. plants have grown even more)
Plant Water Pet supply Aquatic plant Grass
 

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Looks like an LED aquarium light, so the light is adding as little heat as possible but even LEDs add some heat. My guess is that in that aquarium without bottom front vents, there’s no cross current through the tank so no natural cooling via ventilation. In a front-opening tank with vents on the bottom of the doors as well as at the top, the heat naturally rises, pulling cooler room-temp air in through the bottom vents.

Placing fans on the vents blowing out of the tank might help. Maybe adding front vents for the fans, so there is at least a little air movement front to back. It would certainly dry things out a bit but your tank looks and sounds excessively wet to me anyway.
 

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I’ve used an aquarium as a viv before too. They’ll work, but need a little modification to work well. I too agree that you’re likely lacking some airflow. Fans will certainly help that. It looks like your build is already complete, but I’d also consider adding some vent(s) on the side if you’re wanting this enclosure long term.

In my aquarium build, I drilled a 1.5” hole around substrate level and installed an adjustable 1.5” screen vent. I feel as though it helped considerably. Leaf litter was able to dry off in between waterings, glass didn’t fog, etc.
Assuming you’re able and confident to drill the glass, I’d consider it. That’s just an based on my limited experience.

On a side note…I know top-only access is tough. It can still produce great results though. Don’t feel like you gave up when you finally buy something that opens up from the front. Most people will succumb to the pain of top-only maintenance. 😉
 

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What's the size of the tank. What are you using to check your temps. Heat issues like this are common in aquariums. Especially tank sizes that are considered too small for our frogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What's the size of the tank. What are you using to check your temps. Heat issues like this are common in aquariums. Especially tank sizes that are considered too small for our frogs.
It's a 10 gallon for pair of froglets. I'm panning on upgrading to something bigger in the future. Just trying to get started. I have a thermometer / hydrometer. Its analog. I tested it and it seems reasonably accurate.
 

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It's not accurate at all. You need to get an IR temp gun. You can find them for $12-15 on Amazon. I think they sell them at Walmart and target too. Hygrometers are absolutely worthless unless you spend a lot of money. There's no such thing as a good analog one. Same for a analog thermometer. Even if it's accurate it's only giving you a reading of the air directly around the thermometer.

The tank looks too wet. High humidity and high heat means your frogs can't thermoregulate. I would cover up the water area and add more leaf litter. Your substrate is saturated enough that you can skip misting for quite awhile. Especially if the frogs aren't in the tank yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's not accurate at all. You need to get an IR temp gun. You can find them for $12-15 on Amazon. I think they sell them at Walmart and target too. Hygrometers are absolutely worthless unless you spend a lot of money. There's no such thing as a good analog one. Same for a analog thermometer. Even if it's accurate it's only giving you a reading of the air directly around the thermometer.

The tank looks too wet. High humidity and high heat means your frogs can't thermoregulate. I would cover up the water area and add more leaf litter. Your substrate is saturated enough that you can skip misting for quite awhile. Especially if the frogs aren't in the tank yet.
No frogs yet. Trying to get everything dialed in first. There is just so much conflicting info everywhere.

Originally I had the front corner open just so that i could see if I need to drain my drainage layer. Didn't want standing water because I had read it can lead to bacteria. Then I read it helps keep humidity up to have 1/4 inch of standing water in the bottom. So I have been experimenting for a week or so.

I just want my frogs to do well once I get them.

What is the best way to read humidity in your opinion?

Thanks man
 

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Sticking your hand in and feeling is the best way. It's hard to describe how the air should feel exactly but it should be noticeably more humid and feel "thicker" but not heavy. We're trying to be above 70% overall, with gradients. It's nearly impossible to get gradients (temperature or humidity) with 10 gallon aquariums. Honestly I would just set up their permanent tank with a proper enclosure. You're going to find everything a lot easier.

When we talk about having water in the bottom of the tank we mean in the false bottom. Not somewhere the frogs can access it. Another tip I would give you for your permanent build is to ditch the leca. It wicks water into your substrate, oversaturating everything.

The more space you give your frogs the better. If you want the best chance of success, set up and dial in a permanent enclosure and let them grow with it.
 

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There is just so much conflicting info everywhere.
If I were you I would stick to this site for your dart frog information. At least until you get the basics down and it is easier to discern good, experience based, information that has been vetted by a large group of dart frog keepers and the internet at large that is full of some great info and some garbage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you guys all so much for your advice. I really appreciate it. I’ve been keeping fish forever, but these are my first frogs so I want to do a good job. I seem to have the temperature stabilized around 70 With fan placement. Now I’m just going to dial in my humidity. I drained the water in the bottom. I’m thinking I have 2 - 4 more weeks of experimentation before I feel comfortable adding livestock.

Would smaller, frogs be better suited for a 10 gallon? Maybe a pair of auratus? I’ve just read that tincs make good beginner frogs.

I’m fully expecting to be hooked on darts. My 55 gallon fish tank may not have water in it much longer.
 
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