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Help please - custom viv design ?
#1
So this is going to be a bad question possibly but I have been talking to a guy about my build and he would like for me to build him something similar in size. My dilemma is I want to be fair in charging him for the tank so I want to see what people on here think is a good price. Here is a rough idea of the tank I would build him. (It's similar to mine)

The tank will be built with a 6" high base with wheels. The whole tank will be 6' high 10' long and 3' wide. The last 2' of the tank will actually. Be storage for filters, food, misting and fogging system. It will also have a 6" canopy top for the lights that's removable so it can still go through doorways. Inside the tank will be a floating floor for the water to run into that will have a filtration system built in. The base will have a trickling waterfall into a shallow stream that goes into a small pond area. There will be either three or four different levels of the background for the frogs to move from ground to ceiling. Each level will have a built in tubing for a fogging system. There will be 10 misters at the top of the tank in 2 rows. Each area from top to bottom and left to right will have digital temp. and humi. gauges built into the background.

I will not be providing plants, frogs, food, substrate or anything else just the tank and custom interior. If I could get some input that would be awesome....I will understand if not thanks.
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#2
I'll take a very rough estimate guess...

Glass and time and silicone = 1200.00

Interior hardscaping, time and materials = 450.00

Total = $1,650.00 minimum
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#3
Thanks that's close to what I was going to charge.
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#4
The question here is not what you should charge, but should you even attempt this project?
As a total newcomer to the hobby, who's just designed and possibly completed their first tank are you seeing $$ in your eyes? Wouldn't it be better to get some real experience building a few tanks for yourself first. After all you don't know how your own build will stand up for 6 months or a year. What if there is some inherent design flaw that doesn't reveal itself for a few months down the road? What about getting some real, practical experience in dart frog husbandry so that you can better advise someone else on dart frog care. Learning what normal and abnormal dart frog behaviors are first and being able to recognize the difference.
I'm sure the thought with such a big tank is to mix species. While it might be possible to pull such a display off in a big zoo sized enclosure, is it prudent for a novice to do so?
The first question to be asked in any situation is "What's best for the frogs?"
Even a recycled water system isn't best for the frogs. Design flaw #1.
The best thing to do would be do more research, gain some practical experience first.
Jon
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#5
Rusty_Shackleford Wrote:The question here is not what you should charge, but should you even attempt this project?
As a total newcomer to the hobby, who's just designed and possibly completed their first tank are you seeing $$ in your eyes? Wouldn't it be better to get some real experience building a few tanks for yourself first. After all you don't know how your own build will stand up for 6 months or a year. What if there is some inherent design flaw that doesn't reveal itself for a few months down the road? What about getting some real, practical experience in dart frog husbandry so that you can better advise someone else on dart frog care. Learning what normal and abnormal dart frog behaviors are first and being able to recognize the difference.
I'm sure the thought with such a big tank is to mix species. While it might be possible to pull such a display off in a big zoo sized enclosure, is it prudent for a novice to do so?
The first question to be asked in any situation is "What's best for the frogs?"
Even a recycled water system isn't best for the frogs. Design flaw #1.
The best thing to do would be do more research, gain some practical experience first.

I understand what your saying but I am not a novice at building tanks I've been building tanks for 9 years from 20 gallons to my largest tank (a shark tank) of 2200 gallons. The reason I was asking price was because I wanted to see what was reasonable in the dart frog community. I do this in every community that I build for so I can be fair. Plus this tank I'm building is for someone that has been raising PDFs for many years (thats actually how I met him asking advice for my own tank) he's helping me with raising my own. The reason I'm building my tank is to have the beautiful look of the vivarium in my house with only one kind of PDF in my tank. I'm not looking to mix for the exact reason you mentioned because its best for the frogs. Now for the recycled water remark I do believe that people that raise PDFs make a false bottom for drainage that is pumped through a filter and ran back into a water feature. I'm doing the same thing but its going through a 5 layer filtration system then through a canister 3 layer filter system then ran back in for the water feature only. The misters have there own RO tank and also so does the fog system. This is not something I just woke up and said hey let's build a tank. I've researched PDFs for about 6 months now and have talked to many breeders and hobbiest. Thanks for the advice though.
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#6
Recirculating water feature, yes people have done that. Recirculating used water for a misting system, not a good idea.
Water features are unnecessary anyway, frogs don't need it to thrive. It's really just for the humans.
Jon
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#7
A little more info and advice. If you have a prospective client, I'd ask for at least 50% down. The ENTIRE 'exotic animal hobby' is notorious for backing out of deals for big $$ purchases. The Dart Frog Hobby is NOT lucrative. I advise people all the time, to NEVER think of this hobby as a potential 'cash cow". Your hopes and investment monies will be crushed if you do. Break even ? A little profit ? Sure. But nobody is driving a Lotus or living in a mansion off of exotic animals, especially Dart Frogs.
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#8
Philsuma Wrote:A little more info and advice. If you have a prospective client, I'd ask for at least 50% down. The ENTIRE 'exotic animal hobby' is notorious for backing out of deals for big $$ purchases. The Dart Frog Hobby is NOT lucrative. I advise people all the time, to NEVER think of this hobby as a potential 'cash cow". Your hopes and investment monies will be crushed if you do. Break even ? A little profit ? Sure. But nobody is driving a Lotus or living in a mansion off of exotic animals, especially Dart Frogs.

Yeah I know what you are saying. I never got into building tanks for profit because you are exactly right it's not going to make you rich. I've been building tanks for other people for different animals for 7 years now and I make about enough money as a bar tender does. I just like it and that's why I try to be fair in my price. I have all the material for this project in my work shop so that's why I was getting an idea of price because there is no real out of pocket money going towards this project. I could build probably 15-20 of these before I would need more material so I thank you for your advice.
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