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Discussion Starter #1
I can with certainty that I've not put much time into my hardscapes...don't judge me....but this time I'm trying to do it better because I have so much room. Now, a few things, I know there are better alternatives to wood choices but a tiny piece of driftwood for my 10 gallon aquarium was 13$....I wasn't about to spend that kinda money on wood for this setup. So I did the next best thing....I felled a tree. It was pretty dead already but my chainsaw made pretty quick work of it regardless. Also I didn't do a background because of...well...my desire to not spend too much on its decorations...and I'm poor...
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. Anyway can I post what my hardscape looks like now and get opinions?
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The issue you're going to have with that wood is that it will probably decompose really quickly when exposed to constant humidity in a dart frog tank. Most of us try to avoid this as it will mean that you'll have to replace it in short order and that means catching the frogs and removing them so you can do this work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not gonna be adding any critters. It'll just be a planted terrarium. I think the wood SHOULD last a few years but if it dies out sooner, I can be more prepared with denser wood.
 

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I'm not gonna be adding any critters. It'll just be a planted terrarium. I think the wood SHOULD last a few years but if it dies out sooner, I can be more prepared with denser wood.
Oh! In that case it's a great find :). I like the way it looks I was just worried about it decomposing too quickly.
 

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Oh! In that case it's a great find :). I like the way it looks I was just worried about it decomposing too quickly.
Yea I get that...I am too, but the pieces I got were still pretty solid and really dry. I HOPE they last several years! I didn't have enough creativity to attempt making fake wood from PVC.
 

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I think decomposition is part of the charm. As the wood changes it'll be usable habitat for a procession of organisms. Contact with soil accelerates the rot; it's something you can use to your advantage if you want a wider spectrum of soundness / softness.

The only wood I buy is cork bark. There's no real substitute for cork bark. Everything else I also collect from nature. Mostly I collect stuff that's well-defended, chemically, like juniper. But I also bring in the odd bit of oak or maple, if I find the shape or texture pleasing.

Anyway - looking good. Congrats on getting the behemoth into the house! Have you figured out the lighting?
 

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...the pieces I got were still pretty solid and really dry. I HOPE they last several years!
Oh, I forgot to mention - if you really really want to extend the "life" of the wood, you could try tung oil. Just the pure oil, nothing with any additives (often, it's "tainted" with solvents and tints - such mixtures are usually marketed as a "tung oil finish"). You'd just want 100% pure tung oil. It's a penetrating oil that polymerizes - turns into basically a plastic. It's pressed from a nut / seed, like sunflower oil or whatever. Nontoxic, OK for food-prep surfaces. You'd only need a cup or so, and most of that would stay in your wiping rag. Check it out, at least - you never know what other uses you might find for it.

Here's an example from a US vendor: Pure Tung Oil (Chinawood Oil)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That tung oil is pretty cool!! If these decompose too fast I'll look into that. I'm really happy with how it turned out! And yep I found the lights, I bought these. They're a little bit warmer than what I've used on my other tank but they should do ok. Here's what it looks like planted. Just did all this today so it'll need sometime to grow in.
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Looks very nice with plants, good job! Could get lost just watching those plants. Might I suggest a black background (on the outside of the tank?) I've just taped a black garbage bag to one of my aquariums, works like a charm. And looks a bit more immersive in a way, rather than staring at the wall.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Looks very nice with plants, good job! Could get lost just watching those plants. Might I suggest a black background (on the outside of the tank?) I've just taped a black garbage bag to one of my aquariums, works like a charm. And looks a bit more immersive in a way, rather than staring at the wall.
Hmmmmmm I didn't think of that. I might do that but I'm wanting to get stuff growing on the back to try to hide it....it may take some time. 🤣
 

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Looks great, Teddy! How are those lights working out for you?
Good! However...I had to take one out and raise the other two as high as they can go. They're pretty intense and a few of my plants are showing signs of being burnt....I might have to find some sort of diffuser to lay on top if raising them and removing one doesn't fix it.
 
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