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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
I have two tanks and one I've let get very overgrown by a vining plant. The overgrowth is on the background so it's not a super big deal but I'd like to trim some of it out because it really is getting out of hand. In this tank I have six very quick thumbnails, two of which have escaped over the past year when I opened the tank to clean the front glass. Thankfully I quickly caught them and returned them to the viv. Does anyone have tips on how to trim the background without giving them too much time to jump out the front? Typically when I open it they retreat to a bromeliad but I'm worried if the front is open for too long I may have an escapee on my hands. Should I get a long handled trimmer and do it from the front or maybe slide the top forward a little and trim it from above? Any tips are appreciated.
 

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I have this problem sometimes but it's usually just the first minute or so when things are dodgy. Once they flee to a hiding spot, I don't have to worry as much. One thing you might try is to use a piece of cardboard as a dam that extends across the bottom of the opening. Most of my escapes happen at the vivarium ground level. If you could put a little dam in the front that extends up 6 or 8 inches, maybe that would discourage the escapes or at least push them up a bit more so you can better see when it's happening. Then, you could work over top of the cardboard. Would that work?

Mark
 

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I have this problem sometimes but it's usually just the first minute or so when things are dodgy. Once they flee to a hiding spot, I don't have to worry as much. One thing you might try is to use a piece of cardboard as a dam that extends across the bottom of the opening. Most of my escapes happen at the vivarium ground level. If you could put a little dam in the front that extends up 6 or 8 inches, maybe that would discourage the escapes or at least push them up a bit more so you can better see when it's happening. Then, you could work over top of the cardboard. Would that work?



Mark
Clear plastic works better, then you can see through it.

I've used this method before.
 

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I've got a little one with a deformed foot and it doesn't stop her. I haven't had to trim the pothos yet and not looking forward to it.
 

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You could also trim after 'bedtime' for the frogs. At that point they should be deep in whatever hiding spot they like to sleep in. After lights out, I couldn't find any of my frogs if my life depended on it!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the tips. I'm gonna try the dam technique so that only a few inches at the top of the front opening will be open, then I'll use a long handled trimmer and go after the background overgrowth. Wish me luck!
 

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Good luck! I am sure you will do great. One other thing that might help is that you can bring along a designated spotter. One of my daughters is especially good at this job. She is cool under pressure and won't panic when a frog jumps out. She just calmly collects it and puts it back in while I continue to make sure more frogs aren't jumping out :)

Mark
 

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Having lots of empty cups available to catch the frogs with also helps. When I do a rehouse I always have twice as many cups and lids as there are frogs, just in case you have a jumper that needs corralling.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Plant trimming was a success! I waited until late evening then used a 8"x18" piece of plexiglass to block most of the opening to the tank, leaving me just enough room above to reach my hand in. It was definitely made easier with a helper to hold the plexiglass. I was able to trim a good chunk of the vines out, then a sneaky little vent burrowed under a piece of wood right at the front of the tank so I called it quits while I was ahead. Without the plexiglass I'm almost certain he would've jumped right out the front! I highly recommend this technique with plexiglass/cardboard if you need to really get into your vivarium without leaving the doors wide open the whole time.
 
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