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My first vivarium!
#1
Hello,

not to keep the moderators busy by creating new topics, but I thought it might be useful to separate this thread with my other regarding vivariums. But this is more like a shopping list instead of a "how-to-build" thread.

I'm thinking of getting a 12x12x18 exo terra (
http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/na ... m_mini.php) which should be ideal for a starter as I've seen in other topics. This comes with a background included. I know, it's kinda expensive, but I'm not that crafty guy, lacking the experience and missing the right tools and materials in building my own vivarium, and creating my own background pattern.

My first question: do I really need a rainfall system? Does it fit the above mentioned terrarium if I get the exo terra rainfall kit (http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/monsoon_rs400.php)? Or are there any cheaper alternatives, besides misting by hand which of course is not possible if I'm working?

Which substrates should I get? Is it dependant on specific species or can we say in overall they need the same substrates?
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#2
That Monsoon is good to use in my opinion. I'm going to buy one soon, myself. Make sure you get the NEW, 2.0 version Monsoon though. Ask your store owner.

Hand misting is fine and usually does not need to be perfomed everyday. A LOT of U.S hobbyists do not have automated misting systems and mist everything they have - sometimes 10, 20 or more tanks, by hand.

Exoterras and front opening enclosures are indeed what you want to get. They work best. I would get a slightly larger Exoterra than the one you are considering. The 12x12x18 is on the smaller side and not the best choice.

Type in "ABG" in the search block on the top right corner of this website and read a few of the posts on "ABG", which is a soil / substrate mix.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#3
Thanks for the kind replies!

Philsuma Wrote:That Monsoon is good to use in my opinion. I'm going to buy one soon, myself. Make sure you get the NEW, 2.0 version Monsoon though. Ask your store owner.

I'm affraid that won't be available here soon. Is it any better by the way?

Quote:Hand misting is fine and usually does not need to be perfomed everyday. A LOT of U.S hobbyists do not have automated misting systems and mist everything they have - sometimes 10, 20 or more tanks, by hand.

I didn't know hand misting was fine, I thought I should mist like 3-5 times a day to keep the vivarium damp enough... About hand misting: distilled water is OK to use? I've seen a few topics here and there regarding which water type to use, but it's somewhat confusing for me.

Quote:Exoterras and front opening enclosures are indeed what you want to get. They work best. I would get a slightly larger Exoterra than the one you are considering. The 12x12x18 is on the smaller side and not the best choice.

I guess we are talking about more then 3 frogs for a bigger tank? Would the small tank not be sufficient for 3 froggies?
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#4
Be sure you get the NEW Monsoon - version 2.0 The first model has problems.

Some people only hand mist 3-5 times a week. As long as the Vivarium has a full glass top, you won't have to mist near as much as you think.

Distilled water is fine for use in misting the vivarium.

12X12X18 is considered a small vivarium here, and would not be suitable for 3 frogs. Buy the next size larger, and you will be glad you did - much better.
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#5
I'll keep to hand misting in this case, at least it's cheaper.

I'm thinking about getting some compact bulbs as well. Any suggestion on that topic?
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#6
Compact bulbs and lighting.....use the search feature here and do a lot of reading. There's quite a bit of complex discussion on lighting. Don't worry though......unless your light fixture is too hot - making your viv too hot....whatever you choose will most likely be fine.
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#7
Here's the PERFECT example of Vivarium size advice to a new hobbyist (for dart frogs).

I advised Marcel to buy a Larger Viv....larger than a 11.22 gallon size enclosure (12X12X18). I feel that is good advice.

Go with an 18X18X18 at least......you'll be much happier that you did.
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#8
Nice, thanks, I'll keep myself to your advise and get the bigger one. Tho I'll go for the higher vivarium, can't help it, I love high tanks, much more space for awesome plants and wood decoration. Smile
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#9
Once again a new question which comes up.

I want to build a waterfall instead of a raining or fogging system, so I've seen this exo-terra pump which is quite cheap:

http://www.exo-terra.com/download/high_ ... kaging.jpg

What's your experience with this pump? It's unclear if the tubes are included in the package, or only the pump?
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#10
I have one. It's a fine pump for what you are describing. Tubing that you will need must be purchased separately.
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#11
Philsuma Wrote:I have one. It's a fine pump for what you are describing. Tubing that you will need must be purchased separately.

Thanks, it has been ordered already, waiting for my package. Smile
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#12
My first package arrived:

[Image: 26754521554541848780410.jpg]

Not sure if the soil + bark + spagnum mix is okey... what do you guys think? A fellow frogger mentioned the soil will stink after a while and stick to the frogs like glue.
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#13
Mix all three ingredients together.

I would not use as much "plantation soil" if it is 100% coco coir / fiber. Go light on that , as it does stick to things for a while.

Don't forget Leaf Litter on top of all that. Magnolia leaves and live oak are what we use here in the U.S as the leaves are very waxy when dry and last the longest before they break down and decompose.
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#14
i think that there is no best substrate. ABG is apparently a good one but i've never used it. i have about 1 inch of spaghum moss ontop and then that same plantation soil for my plants with coco fibre mixed in. i do have quite a lot of substrate but i guess thats good cos i've seen my frogs get pretty far down, almost 1 inch down. it also works wonders for my plants. currently, one of my plants has developed root structures that are just touching the lid, which gets in the way i open it (its top opening). and i swear that another one has grown roots from it's stems. and below the soil, i have vermiculite which is being substitued to a false bottom in 1 weeks time.
i put the spaghnum moss ontop as it is less sticky than the soil and i dont keep it sogging. i like hand misting as i believe it improves my interaction with the frogs (i dont hold them, but they dont exactly hide from me) and i can control it easier. you dont want your substrate to be soggy and dripping wet whenever you hold it. you want it moist. if you find that it becomes bog like, then consider taking some out and squeezing it out. i change my spaghnum moss every 4-6 months. you don't need to, but i reckon that there must be quite a lot of poop in it.

and about your water feature, you will need a false bottom. search for it either on google or in the forum but the basic principle is that your main substrate (spaghnum moss and soil) is seperated from the very bottom of the viv. excess water falls through the moss and reaches the "false bottom", where there is only water. the pump takes the water to the top of the waterfall or whatever, and the water goes back down through the substrate and into the bottom again. its generally done with eggcrate (some plastic light fitting i believe) or by having 2 pieces of glass/plastic angling down to the centre where the water collects. the substrate rests on the glass.
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#15
Thanks, you both helped me a lot! Smile
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#16
no problem. oh and also, i dont think i am using magnolia leaves. we never use pesticides or the sort in our garden for about 2 years now, so i use the most waxiest leaves i can find. the ones i put in about 6 months ago are still in good shape. look for the biggest and toughest leaves you can find. make sure there were no pesticides used and make sure that the leaves arent toxic. getting them from a wildlife park or something would be best.
i'm still new to this aswell, but i love seeing my frogs hopping around
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#17
I found a cute video, which looks very impressive in my eyes. I'm not talking about the size of the tanks, I just find it interesting that the owner uses very few plants, but it looks very cool anyways. Sharing with you, maybe you guys didn't see that vid so far:

http://youtu.be/y4dTeG3Q9y8
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#18
yeah i've seen that one. i personally LOVE the plants. whilst the frogs are the stars, they would be nothing without the plants or the decorations in the back. kind of like a movie. his tanks look very good (better than mine anyway). but plants are important to keep CO2 levels low. in a well established tank (well mine anyway) there are 3 living things. 3 frogs, about 6 fruit flies trying not to get eaten and a few dozen springtails cleaning the tank. all of these things respire C02 and the tank has very little ventilation. the plants do a great job of photosynthesising the carbon away and i'm sure they will probably be more active in oxygen rich environments.
and the guy i bought my frogs off told us not to directly spray the frogs as it can cause some skin problems with them. so thats another reason i dont use misters. and i usually do a spot clean every day, just spraying off any poo on hard surfaces
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#19
Here is my first vivarium, not the best pictures, and frankly, I'm a bit disappointed because I think I could have done better with the setup... but let's see how it will turn out in a few month.

The vivarium arrived at last!

[Image: 83569225.jpg]

First type of substrate are little clay balls to keep the humidity high. I placed a mesh on them so the rest of the substrate doesn't mix with them.

[Image: 17908575.jpg]

First two plants are in place. I'm using 2 kind of substrates here: the coco bricks from Exo Terra and simple flower substrate.

[Image: 82439827.jpg]

Here you can see all plants have been set up already, and I used a half sphagnum table to decorate a bit the background and the bottom of the plants.

[Image: 84641262.jpg]
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#20
This is the lamp I decided to order, should arrive next week. I'll wait a few week so I can check if the plants are healthy and growing, before I'll get my Bronze.
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