What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Vivarium Plan design, "Build Journals", DIY, Viv Maintenance Issues.
User avatar
Naked
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:36 pm
Location: Gatineau Qc

What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby Naked » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:35 pm

Hi guys,
I am just getting started in the hobby and I am totally hooked ! :oops:
(even tho i don't own a single PDF related thing, except 30+ bookmarks)
This is not how I wanted to do my first post here....
But I would need some advise.

I found a place that makes custom vivs. for a good price. (btw am in Canada)
I wondered if you guys could have a quick look at his pictures and tell me if it would do the job and what i should ask him.

I already asked if it could hold water (1"-2"), if i could have the sliding door on top without any screen and a small hole in the bottom.
He said yes yes no...

Is there any thing else i should inquire about or ask of him.
Maybe more pics of the sliding door ?
I'd really like to start off the right foot.
I asked him for a 36x24x24

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-pet-accessories/ ... 1091413350

Thanks

Naked

User avatar
joneill809
Site Admin
Posts: 1644
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:18 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby joneill809 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:41 am

Hello and welcome! If you are paying for a custom viv, I'd ensure that you get exactly what you want. The key features of a viv for darts are:

  • front opening doors- either hinged or sliding on tracks.
  • front vent under the doors. This is used to promote air circulation. It is used in tandem with...
  • top vent toward the front of the viv. This vent allows for the exhaust of air from the viv promoting passive air flow over the front glass from the bottom vent under the door. This will give you the right amount of fresh air moving through the viv and it will reduce or eliminate condensation on your front glass.
  • drainage bulkhead - this is a small hole drilled in the back panel of the viv usually 1 to 2 inches off the bottom that allows you to drain the viv. Some folks opt for drains in the base of the viv but I usually drill mine at the 1" mark for maintaining my water level.
  • mist bulkheads along the front top glass just behind the vent. These holes (I would do do three with dual heads in your case) are used to plumb in the mist heads.

If you are going to use UV lamps then you should consider a screened in opening on the top of the viv to allow for UV transmission. I would also recommend coming up with a custom hood design that isolates the UV bulb from your wiring and tubing so they don't breakdown over time. There are many venting options that the viv builder can follow - check out Chris Sherman's vent design.

If you cannot get front opening doors and the right venting then I would pass on this tank. IMO the doors and vents are most critical. If you plan on hand misting and hand draining you can do without the bulkheads.

What frogs are you intending to keep?

Good luck!
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby Philsuma » Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:09 am

you def want a 'front opening' style enclosure. Fish tanks have 'top opening'. For this hobby, you absolutely want the doors in the front and not the top.

User avatar
joneill809
Site Admin
Posts: 1644
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:18 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby joneill809 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:03 am

Some links you may find helpful:

Link to Sherman Vent design thread:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=7078

Chris Sherman's site - good for ideas:
https://www.facebook.com/shermantanks.co

Wes at V-scape vivariums:
http://www.v-scapeterrariumdesign.com

Custom vivs from a builder in Texas (now out of the hobby):
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=6486&start=200#p45425
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=7981

You can see the common features through all these vivs are the front opening / sliding doors and venting. Generally all the custom viv builders I have seen on the boards will drill holes wherever you like. There are unique nuances to all the different approaches the builders use, but front doors and vents are critical for easy maintenance and a healthy dart frog enclosure.

If you cannot get a custom builder to create a dart frog vivarium with the doors and venting you would like, I'd look at modifying commercial alternatives like an Exoterra (double hinged doors) or a Zoo-Med (single hinged door) which come already with the lower vent (you need to fly proof and modify the tops on all these vivs).

http://www.zoomed.com/db/products/Entry ... ntryID=100
http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/terrariums.php
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

User avatar
Naked
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:36 pm
Location: Gatineau Qc

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby Naked » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:15 pm

Thanks for the info guys,
Have you two ever wondered how many more froggers (or better froggers) there are in the world because of the tips and time you put in this forum?

joneill809 wrote:What frogs are you intending to keep?

Yes i know what I want in it; 2xRanitomeya benedicta 3xDendrobates leucomelas 1xDendrobates auratus....
and maybe a hamster... :lol:
I am just kidding, I know that this subject is very "touchy"

In all seriousness 4x leucomelas if i get the 90 gal. My second option would be cobalts. What would you say is the difference between these two ?
Back to the leucs, they seem to answer all my needs for a first frog ( i.e. bold,beautiful,hardy and uses all of the viv)
I would like to give them plenty of room and I do subscribe to your philosophy of adding multi-tiered ledges to augment the available space for the frogs. I actually bookmarked your website before even realizing that you where on these forums.

Now back to the tank. Finding a tank with the dimensions i want with out costing me an arm and a leg is pretty difficult.
I don't think he will be able to put mesh bellow the sliding door and to be honest i rather not see nobs right in the middle.
But if you tell me that I'll end up not noticing the nobs or that the pros out weight the cons... I will think about it.
I have seen many vivs with-out front doors, if i eschew the front door and put in an air circulation system would that work ?
Like these ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyrmF7ylTLE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7ptkOqQI1s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5QTRxbYtK8

He told me he does not drill holes in the tanks... so it could mean it it tempered glass and if so then i wont be able to make them for the mist king. I will have to ask him about that.
I would really love to have something deeper than 18" but if its too hard for me to find, well ill get an exoterra like everyone else.

Thanks again guys

-Naked

User avatar
joneill809
Site Admin
Posts: 1644
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:18 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby joneill809 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:14 am

Naked wrote:Thanks for the info guys,
Have you two ever wondered how many more froggers (or better froggers) there are in the world because of the tips and time you put in this forum?

Appreciate the kind words! It's a great hobby and DartDen helped me get started so I'm happy to give back.

Naked wrote:Yes i know what I want in it; 2xRanitomeya benedicta 3xDendrobates leucomelas 1xDendrobates auratus....
and maybe a hamster... :lol:
I am just kidding, I know that this subject is very "touchy"

In all seriousness 4x leucomelas if i get the 90 gal. My second option would be cobalts. What would you say is the difference between these two ?
Back to the leucs, they seem to answer all my needs for a first frog ( i.e. bold,beautiful,hardy and uses all of the viv)
I would like to give them plenty of room and I do subscribe to your philosophy of adding multi-tiered ledges to augment the available space for the frogs. I actually bookmarked your website before even realizing that you where on these forums

Hah well it's your viv ;). Mixing is a touchy subject, along with the inevitable hybrid discussion. It's a natural question from most newcomers (including me) especially if (like me) you were coming from the aquarium hobby where mixed species tanks are very common.

In terms of your selections, I think either would work out quite well. I don't have first hand experience with Leucs so I cannot provide a true comparison for you. Leucs are known to be a group frog, but if you go with a lower density in this viv, you could do a small group of tinctorius (e.g. 4). There is a common rule of thumb of keeping tincs in pairs only, but you can group them if you create the right tank layout with layers and visual barriers and if you know what to look for in terms of aggression and a wasting animal. I have a 2.2 bakhuis group that has been together for 2.5 years and my 3.1 Robertus group in the 120 that is doing well. I had 1.2 and 2.1 groups of lorenzo for a while but ultimately I split them out to get more pairings for tracking more diversity in the froglets I was producing.

You might want to reach out to Glenn (frogfreak) who's up your way, though not terribly close. He has a nice collection and you can likely find out more about what morphs are available in the region. You also have UE as well! They may open you up to other morphs you had not thought of. Glenn has some pretty nice la fumee that are unusual (and big!):
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=5635&start=40#p50780
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=5635&start=40#p51029


Naked wrote:Now back to the tank. Finding a tank with the dimensions i want with out costing me an arm and a leg is pretty difficult.
I don't think he will be able to put mesh bellow the sliding door and to be honest i rather not see nobs right in the middle.
But if you tell me that I'll end up not noticing the nobs or that the pros out weight the cons... I will think about it.
I have seen many vivs with-out front doors, if i eschew the front door and put in an air circulation system would that work ?
Like these ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyrmF7ylTLE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7ptkOqQI1s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5QTRxbYtK8

He told me he does not drill holes in the tanks... so it could mean it it tempered glass and if so then i wont be able to make them for the mist king. I will have to ask him about that.
I would really love to have something deeper than 18" but if its too hard for me to find, well ill get an exoterra like everyone else.

Thanks again guys

-Naked

Good plan on figuring out the type of glass in use. You likely would want to drill it yourself - siphoning out false bottom water may be challenging. I like flushing out my vivs periodically, and the bulkheads make that pretty easy, and for my vivs that are not drilled, I can siphon pretty easily through the front door. I'd find out more about the top design as well and make sure you have enough access to reach all parts of the viv. You could always route some misting tubing inside the viv along with your circulation system, but either way you'll have to work with the viv builder on how to get access for your plumbing / circulation system.

Keep ventilation in mind, not just circulation. Many folks keep their RH way above 90%, and this can be problematic for allowing the frogs to cool themselves through evaporative cooling if the viv is too buttoned up. Maybe circulating the air past the top vent is enough to draw some fresh air in?

Front doors are nice though ... :) Maybe you can talk to him about side access panels. Just trying to think of ways for you to get easier access to the viv for maintenance.
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby Philsuma » Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:02 pm

Leucomelas are an excellent bold frog that works well in groups. 3-4 for that size tank should work well, provided it is planted and hardscaped correctly.

The best made front opening vivariums have sliding doors - no knobs or handles. These are custom, like yours, but made by dart frog hobbyists. Something tells me your enclosure designer is not acquainted with dart frogs and their husbandry.

User avatar
Naked
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:36 pm
Location: Gatineau Qc

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby Naked » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:28 pm

Philsuma wrote:Something tells me your enclosure designer is not acquainted with dart frogs and their husbandry.

Yeah that's what I was thinking too.
However I did find some posts he made on canadart back in 2012 telling people
I have worked in the pet trade all of my life and now I enjoy making glass terrariums for people. If you have a dream tank in your head, let me know, perhaps I can help you create it.

But right now I am looking to find some people that actually bought his vivs.
I asked him for a close-up picture of the sliding door, to have a better idea of the craftsmanship.
But the one he sent me was not a close up at all.

Anyways,I can't wait to finally get a tank so I can continue the next steps.

-Naked

User avatar
Philsuma
Site Owner
Posts: 10494
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Contact:

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby Philsuma » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:16 pm

Check out Chris Sherman and somewhere on his facebook page is a link to his website and prices.

https://www.facebook.com/shermantanks.co

Compare his sizes and prices and designs to what you are looking for.

Can you take a glass tank across the US - Canadian border easily? It would be SO worth it to drive to New England and pick it up.

DianeCarter
Posts: 356
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:06 pm
Location: Galena, Illinois

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby DianeCarter » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:26 am

Jim and Phil are giving you great advice on the tank, but I am excited to share my thoughts on the inhabitants!! I have had a proven pair of leucs for over 3 years now, and a trio of cobalts for 2 years now, so I am happy to share my thoughts about these. My leucs, supposedly "proven", have not produced at all for me, other than lots of jelly once or twice per year. Maybe they are too old, I just don't know. But I enjoy watching them, they are beautiful. My cobalts, on the other hand, are fabulous! I bought 3, as froglets, a few years ago. They turned out to be a 2.1 trio, and are quite prolific! I have 9 froglets from them, which are now actually juvies, as they morphed this past January/February. The cobalts are big and bold! The female is quite the go-getter, I have seen her court, and produce eggs, with both males. It is not unusual for me to get 2 clutches of eggs a week from them. I haven't perfected caring for the eggs, as most of them mold over and die.
For me, the cobalts are big, bold, and productive. They are beautiful, and I enjoy watching them very much. My leucs aren't as visible, and obviously not productive. The leucs are more shy, you can't always see them in the viv, they have good hiding places.
Whatever inhabitants you choose, best of luck! And keep posting!
Diane
Pumilio bastimentos, R. benedictas, P. Terribilis orange, R. Imitator Cainarachi Valley, D. Leucomelas, D. Auratus, D. Azureus, P. vittatus, D. cobalts, D.Oyapok, Bombina Orientalis

User avatar
Naked
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:36 pm
Location: Gatineau Qc

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby Naked » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:53 pm

Wow, this comunity is great.

Thanks for that info Diane. You can feel the love you have for those frogs it your post and that makes me want to have some of my own even more !!

I read a little more (and heard a little more) about the leucs than the cobalts.
And they seem to answer all my need as a new frogger.
I am still a long way away from buying my frogs and might even change my mind by then.
But leucs and cobalts are the front runners.

Thanks for taking the time.

-Martin

User avatar
Sherman
Posts: 226
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: New England

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby Sherman » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:37 am

Martin,

One thing I have noticed has not been addressed is the actual screen material.
High quality stainless steel screening is a must.

Due to the high level of humidity involved with frog enclosures, low grade stainless steel tends to rust away. People have also found UV light to be quite useful for their animals. This prevents any plastic or fiberglass screening from holding up either.

User avatar
Naked
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:36 pm
Location: Gatineau Qc

Re: What to ask for in a custom tank ?

Postby Naked » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:37 pm

Pm was sent to you mister Sherman.


Return to “Enclosures, Setup and Construction”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 60 guests