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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

Thought I'd kick off my new build thread for my pair of Varadero Imitators!
I'm building in a 18x18x24 and will be hooking up a MistKing starter system as well as some moonlights. In terms of materials I'll be using some tree fern panels and will use the GS method to hold together some Malaysian driftwood along the sides to create two "trees" to maximize the vertical space.

I went out and had a hole drilled on the back side of the tank for drainage. Then built my 2 inch ventilation strip across the top of the tank as you can see in the photo below.




Next I used silicon to cover the back and part of the sides of the tank so that the GS expanding foam doesn't show.




I'll be uploading more pics as I continue to build.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Made some more progress tonight...

Constructed the false bottom and started building the background. I went a little overboard with the GS so I have a ton of carving to do before it actually looks decent.




Top View


Also thought I'd share a few pictures of the future inhabitants.


 

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Discussion Starter #5
Worked a bit more on the right side of the viv today. Carved out some of the GS which took ages and will be doing the silicon job before moving on to the left side of the viv.

Also purchased some fake rocks from VivariumWorks and will be integrating a few of them into my design. You can see the rocks in the photo below. If you have any suggestions let me know!

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alrighty so I've done quite a bit more work on my tank, let me fill you in. Since my last update I glued the plantation soil to my background and then cleaned up the silicon on the sides. The I filled in the area around the false bottom with some rocks and added my substrate. Took me a week to get my glass top but s'all good. Hooked up my first Mistking System which I'm really pleased with. In terms of misting schedule... How many times a day should I have it set and how long should it run for?

Can't wait to get it planted so I can sit back and let time do its thang.

I guess that's all for now. What do you guys think!?

 

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Wow it looks great. Just started on my 18x18x18. I'm not sure if I want to use GS all over the back or just on half . Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got around to planting my tank last weekend. I think it could use a little more here and there but for now I'm just going to let it grow in.



I moved the two Varaderos in about three days ago and they've been super active and calling a lot. Trying to once and for all get them sexed, hopefully I can get a few pictures of them side by side so you guys can help me out with the sexing.

Here's a picture I snapped earlier today.

 

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Looks great man.....Good job. Frogs look good too.
 

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I like how you did your top and want to try it myself. How did you fabricate the glass part? Did you have glass cut that just butted up against the vent strip or is there a way to make a frame that goes around the glass like the vent? Do you have any pictures of the finished top screen and glass? Sorry for all of the questions. Great looking viv though.
 

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Looks great! If it were mine I would put way more leaf litter in there. 2 inches deep is what I aim for. Tuck it in all around your plants right up to their stems. Try to cover every bit of the substrate with leaf litter. Your frogs will love you for it.
If you can get a hold of a nice piece of ghost wood, they would use it like a jungle gym.
 

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I'll echo what Doug said. More leaf litter. I started my first vivs with moss but after reading just about every recommendation out there, I replaced it all with leaf litter and my frogs are so much more bold with it. It really just gives them that comfort zone. Knowing they have somewhere to disappear if they want to seems to give them the confidence to stay out in the open more. In addition it gives them more foraging opportunities as springs and isopods will go nuts in a nice deep layer of leaf litter.

Tanks looks really good. Can't wait to see it grown in.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I like how you did your top and want to try it myself. How did you fabricate the glass part? Did you have glass cut that just butted up against the vent strip or is there a way to make a frame that goes around the glass like the vent? Do you have any pictures of the finished top screen and glass? Sorry for all of the questions. Great looking viv though.
The glass top actually wasn't that difficult. I used the thread linked below by Pumilio for the top ventilation strip. After building it I siliconed it in place and measured the remaining surface area to cover. Then I had a piece of glass cut to that exact size and had a hole drilled for the misting nozzle. The glass is a nice snug fit, I actually had to push it a bit to get it in place but nothings able to get out. But yea, there's no frame and the glass isn't glued down so I can always pop it up and flip it over to clean easily.

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/63781-screen-vent-construction-how.html

Pumilio/ZookeeperDoug:

Thanks for the advice. I plan on adding more leaf litter but I'm actually just waiting for more springtails to come in the mail. I'm going to dump the whole culture ontop of the current leaf litter then add another layer.

I will be posting more photos as the tank grows in so stay tuned.
 

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I love how you didn't pack it with plants.:)
GREAT VIV and I think it will look even better with some Varadero eggs and more leaf litter.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I love how you didn't pack it with plants.:)
GREAT VIV and I think it will look even better with some Varadero eggs and more leaf litter.
Thanks a lot but I don't think I'll be seeing any eggs any time soon. Was watching the frogs the other day and for the first time I saw both call from separate ends of the tank so I guess I've got two males.

On another note, have some begonia bowerae and soli mutate coming today!

Anyone have any other suggestions aside from more leaf litter? :D
 

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Looks good. This past summer i built a cage for my varaderos. Enjoy
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thought I'd share a few updated pictures of the tank! It's been growing in for about two months now and since my initial planting I've managed to kill off a few plants and add a few new ones as well as some more driftwood. Unfortunately, one of my Varaderos went missing a few weeks back, thinking he escaped while I was feeding or moving some plants around even though I'm always super careful.



 
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