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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I just got a new glass top screen for the tank I am making a vivarium in for dart frogs. However, I noticed it had absolutely no ventilation holes in it, so I decided to make some in the plastic part of the top. I put 49 1/8 inch holes across the whole strip, but I am now wondering if I need more or if I made too many holes for the ventilation. Can someone help me out please?
 

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It isn't as simple as how many holes you have for ventilation.

There are other factors: your household humidity, how often you'll mist, style of tank (is this an aquarium that you're retrofitting for frogs? Is it an exo terra style terrarium?)

Pictures would also help :)
 

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Welcome aboard!

I'm so bad at the maths.... that said near as I can figure out each 1/8th inch hole has a ventilation area of .012 square inches. So 49 of them produces roughly .6 square inches of ventilation. This is definitely inadequate for any type of tank. To give you an idea most people converting an aquarium will leave a 2 inch wide strip screened in down the entire length of the aquarium and may or may not cover up some of that to control humidity. An exo terra will typically do something similar though some will do a little more or maybe a little less. An insitu vivarium has 2 strips at the top plus the under door vents.

I agree pictures will help. But I think you need to rethink vents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome aboard!

I'm so bad at the maths.... that said near as I can figure out each 1/8th inch hole has a ventilation area of .012 square inches. So 49 of them produces roughly .6 square inches of ventilation. This is definitely inadequate for any type of tank. To give you an idea most people converting an aquarium will leave a 2 inch wide strip screened in down the entire length of the aquarium and may or may not cover up some of that to control humidity. An exo terra will typically do something similar though some will do a little more or maybe a little less. An insitu vivarium has 2 strips at the top plus the under door vents.

I agree pictures will help. But I think you need to rethink vents.
It isn't as simple as how many holes you have for ventilation.

There are other factors: your household humidity, how often you'll mist, style of tank (is this an aquarium that you're retrofitting for frogs? Is it an exo terra style terrarium?)

Pictures would also help :)
To answer the tank question, it is an old aquarium tank that I don't trust with the seal at the bottom, so I resealed it and am turning it into a vivarium It is a 30 x 12 x 24 tank with no lid, so I looked up different places and they told me to buy a glass top to prevent escape routes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome aboard!

I'm so bad at the maths.... that said near as I can figure out each 1/8th inch hole has a ventilation area of .012 square inches. So 49 of them produces roughly .6 square inches of ventilation. This is definitely inadequate for any type of tank. To give you an idea most people converting an aquarium will leave a 2 inch wide strip screened in down the entire length of the aquarium and may or may not cover up some of that to control humidity. An exo terra will typically do something similar though some will do a little more or maybe a little less. An insitu vivarium has 2 strips at the top plus the under door vents.

I agree pictures will help. But I think you need to rethink vents.
Also, do you have any link that has a top like that, because I can't find one. The one I have has two inches free, but is not covered at all so the frogs will escape with no problem.
 

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Also, do you have any link that has a top like that, because I can't find one. The one I have has two inches free, but is not covered at all so the frogs will escape with no problem.
The frog hobby is even more diy then the fish keeping hobby. Folks make a screen insert and attach them to glass lids. Sorry I don't have a picture handy, I don't have a converted aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome aboard!

I'm so bad at the maths.... that said near as I can figure out each 1/8th inch hole has a ventilation area of .012 square inches. So 49 of them produces roughly .6 square inches of ventilation. This is definitely inadequate for any type of tank. To give you an idea most people converting an aquarium will leave a 2 inch wide strip screened in down the entire length of the aquarium and may or may not cover up some of that to control humidity. An exo terra will typically do something similar though some will do a little more or maybe a little less. An insitu vivarium has 2 strips at the top plus the under door vents.

I agree pictures will help. But I think you need to rethink vents.
I can't edit posts, so I have to make another one, would I be able to make ventilation by cutting some screen and placing it into the slot, because removing the plastic actually does give the two inches needed for the ventilation, but it leaves it wide open for them to escape. If that's a yes to the screen or anything related, how would I keep it in place?
 

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A common solution is to make a screen out of a window screen kit that fits across the back of the open top, then have a piece of glass cut to fit the rest of the opening.


If you make the screened area as large as it would ever need to be (IMO, at least 1/3 the top area) you can lay a strip of acrylic over part of the screen seasonally (in areas of dry winters/humid summers this is particularly necessary).

I have only one fishtank viv (because they don't work well at all, in a few ways), but in that one I have the screen taped down and it stays in place just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The frog hobby is even more diy then the fish keeping hobby. Folks make a screen insert and attach them to glass lids. Sorry I don't have a picture handy, I don't have a converted aquarium.
So I went to the store and got a thing of aluminum screen. If I place a 30 x 2 inch strip of it on the back of the top, would that be enough airflow for the tank or should I cut part of the glass top to add even more screen, making 1/3 of the lid screen for airflow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A common solution is to make a screen out of a window screen kit that fits across the back of the open top, then have a piece of glass cut to fit the rest of the opening.


If you make the screened area as large as it would ever need to be (IMO, at least 1/3 the top area) you can lay a strip of acrylic over part of the screen seasonally (in areas of dry winters/humid summers this is particularly necessary).

I have only one fishtank viv (because they don't work well at all, in a few ways), but in that one I have the screen taped down and it stays in place just fine.
problem is that I already bought the glass top, which gives two inches of an opening, like I said to someone else, and I can't cut into the glass because I don't have the proper tools. Will the gap that has screen on top of that be enough to provide ventilation? If not, I don't know what to do at this point because I can't return the glass top as I already made holes in the plastic part, so I'm stuck with it.
 

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So long as you can secure the screen to that gap its a good place to start. Will it be enough??? Not sure. Likely you will need a fan or 2 involved in ventilation but not necessarily. Certainly the holes are not going to be enough so there is no reason not to try the 2 inch wide screen option.
 

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If this is a standard fish tank lid, you can just remove the plastic entirely and replace it with a piece of screen that you can glue to the glass and plastic molding using a hot glue gun. That seems to stick to both plastic and glass, in my experience. Not sure how well it will work with aluminum screen, but it works well with fiberglass screen. Also, you can put a little dab of hot glue under both sides of where the hinge is so that it fly proofs it a little better. Then, just open the lid and it breaks contact with the glass enough that the beads just sit there for quite a while. Hope that makes sense. I then save the plastic and set it on top of the screen to control air flow. In my experience, this setup has been enough to vent my grow-outs and some other tanks without needing a fan. Totally depends on how humid the air is outside the tank, how often you mist, etc.

Mark
 

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Here's how I did it. This is a 15g high, in which I'm growing out a couple leucs:

295811


I used a fish tank top, but only the front glass section, pulled out of the plastic hinge. The rest of the opening on top is covered by a screen kit, and taped in place. I placed weatherstrip on the top of the glass portion, on the seam where it meets the screen frame, but that wouldn't be necessary, since it butts up snugly.

295812


Note that the light (AI Prime) is suspended out of the way; I wouldn't be able to open the top if there was a light sitting on top (since to light the viv properly the light would need to sit on the glass, not the screen). This is one reason a fish tank makes a less than ideal viv.

That top screen doesn't ventilate well enough, though, so I tore it down and drilled four 1 inch holes just above the substrate level, and inserted soffit screens:

295813


That ventilates well enough with misting only in the AM. This photo also illustrates a second reason I do not like to use a fish tank (especially a tall one) for a frog viv: it is very difficult to clean the glass.
 

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Here's how I did it. This is a 15g high, in which I'm growing out a couple leucs:

View attachment 295811

I used a fish tank top, but only the front glass section, pulled out of the plastic hinge. The rest of the opening on top is covered by a screen kit, and taped in place. I placed weatherstrip on the top of the glass portion, on the seam where it meets the screen frame, but that wouldn't be necessary, since it butts up snugly.

View attachment 295812

Note that the light (AI Prime) is suspended out of the way; I wouldn't be able to open the top if there was a light sitting on top (since to light the viv properly the light would need to sit on the glass, not the screen). This is one reason a fish tank makes a less than ideal viv.

That top screen doesn't ventilate well enough, though, so I tore it down and drilled four 1 inch holes just above the substrate level, and inserted soffit screens:

View attachment 295813

That ventilates well enough with misting only in the AM. This photo also illustrates a second reason I do not like to use a fish tank (especially a tall one) for a frog viv: it is very difficult to clean the glass.
Do you find that mico-fauna or FF are able to escape through that mesh? I've been told "No see 'em" screen works best but I cannot find mesh that small that comes in those convenient (Diamond drill bit shaped) circles that would be so convenient.
 

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Yes, FFs likely escape through the screen. A person could place an oversized piece of no-see-um fabric over the hole before inserting the screen, using the screen insert to hold the fabric in place (I do this for isopod bins) but doing that cuts down on the airflow quite a bit IME.

If you use a tight-mesh screen, you could silicone it in place over the hole -- not pretty, but more FF resistant.
 

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Do you find that mico-fauna or FF are able to escape through that mesh? I've been told "No see 'em" screen works best but I cannot find mesh that small that comes in those convenient (Diamond drill bit shaped) circles that would be so convenient.
Check with your local fabric stores. I have found that they have or can get it.
 

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Recently I decided to redo my 16 year old exo terras because the metal screen has rusted underneath the glass. I bought fine stainless steel mesh from Amazon that I really like so far that is too small for fruit flies to get through.
 

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Could you link to the product you bought? I'm sure folks would find it useful -- kind of a hard product to find sometimes.
 

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The only thing I'm going to say about it, my exo terra is fogging up a bit, but I decided to try it after other frog keepers told me they used it and I didn't have a choice due to rusting of my tank. I'm tempted to run a small fan over it but for the most part I'm happy with it.

Amazon 304 stainless steel mesh
 
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