First Viv, 18x18x24 on the fly build journal

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I did a dumb and bought frogs before I had a viv ready to go. Luckily they're small and will need at least 2-4 months to grow out before they'll be big enough to move in. Of course the day I get them our power gets knocked out for an indeterminate amount of time...3 days with no fix in sight. They are currently living with a friend who is experienced with frogs and reptiles, and who has power and heating, so no pics for the moment.

The tank has been liberally cleaned with a mild bleach solution and thoroughly rinsed with clean water and is air drying as I type. I have hydroton being delivered tomorrow, spag moss and coco coir acquired, and leaf litter at the ready. I'll be picking up substrate barrier and some ABG mix from a local place probably Tuesday or Wednesday, and plant hunting this weekend at another local place I used to breed fish and fire bellies for.

Springtail and FF cultures, besides what I'm currently feeding, and supplements will be trickling in over the next few days.

Pics and updates as I have them.
sounds like you have done a lot of research. Anxious to see your build.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Thanks. I didn't want to go into this blind. It's not fair for anyone involved.

Bit of a build set back as my cultures and some of the supplies have been lost to the post office ether. The vendor I bought them from has chewed out USPS on my behalf and will be re-sending stuff on Tuesday. I did find 2 local places that both reliably stock FFs and springtails so that's a relief.

So for lack of build progress, here's a poor quality pic of one of the froglets. I ended up with 3 Highland Bronze auratus rather than the Yellowback tincs I was originally thinking of, but the Bronzes were high on my want list so it's a win-win either way. Husband fell in love with the P. terribilis he saw at the show so I anticipate a second viv in the not-too-distant-future.

Hooray, more setbacks.

The place I had originally planned on getting substrate and a mesh barrier from no longer carries it. I was a week too late to get their last stock. My plant place is closed for the moment since they're moving to a new location. The cultures I ordered arrived dead, probably because their box was crushed in. I finally just gave up trying to get everything local and placed an order through NEHerp, so I might be able to start actually building next weekend if the shipping deities smile kindly upon me.

But, on the good news side, my culture of Turkish Gliders is booming and I've since made 2 new ones with plenty to spare. I have a culture of melanos that should pupate sometime in the next week or so. The frogs are healthy and eating well and playing nice in their grow out box. Any time I check on them they'll hop to the spot I put down their feeding dish and wait expectantly.

Hopefully I'll actually have something worthwhile to post in the not too distant future.
Did you try 'Fly meat' - a company right next to Seattle that has a long history of being in the hobby ? ... aster.aspx

A good substrate barrier can be found at 'Michaels' craft store or similar big box stores. Look for plastic 'crochet panels'. They are the size of a sheet of paper and have all the nice little holes already in them. They also come in different colours.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
See, that would have been the smart place to look, which obviously means I completely overlooked it. Thanks for the tip! Definitely bookmarking them for future orders.

Huh, I hadn't considered craft store plastic mesh canvas as a suitable barrier. I ended up ordering one from NEHerp that's ultimately about the same price for the same size, but I'll have to look in to that for future builds.
I use landscaping weed barrier. One roll will cover all your vivs for under $15. Doesn't come in an array of colors though Wink
Jim from Austin |
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
I use window screen mesh and usually 1 roll is good enough for two or three vivs if not more
Twiddling my thumbs waiting for my shipment of stuff. I ordered a lot so it took a few days to process. Should ship out Monday.

In the meantime I've been playing around with the lights on my tank and doing dry run heat checks. Currently I have an Exo Terra Reptile UVB100 26W on one side of the hood, and an Exo Terra Natural Light Ion 15W on the other side. Since I'm running it in an empty tank it's obviously on the cool side, but I'm curious to see if that climbs to acceptable levels or just goes through the roof once the tank is planted and humid. Will report back on that.

I also got some more info on my frogs. They're Darren Meyer line, about 7-10 months old. I have one that is notably bigger than the other two who I am suspecting may possibly be female, but I am of course no expert on this and simply going off my observations of her being the more dominant and largest of the three. She tried to make a grand escape last night while I was feeding, and ended up jumping into my hand instead. Or she was trying to get the escapee FF on my thumb. Either or.

For now, I leave you with another poorly taken and washed out cell phone picture of the one I refer to as "Not Spot". He's not green in person.

Finally some progress! And a really messy work-in-progress shot taken from top down with the back of the viv on the table.

We ended up using cork tiles for two sides of the viv since I was a little too anxious about doing full Great Stuff backgrounds. Those got siliconed on over the weekend and weighted down with some 2 gallon jugs and growlers. No problems there.

We put a slightly smaller tile on the right hand side and silicone on the glass between them. That portion will be getting GS'd likely tonight. We found an awesome spiderwood stump to put in one corner and a mopani section for the other. Two net pots for trailing plants were also GS'd in, and I've got 2 more drying to install wherever. The left hand side will be a full GS background. If all goes well we'll be able to carve and cover with background material on Wednesday and plant on Thursday or Friday.

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