Opinions on how my new viv is coming along.

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Hello everyone,

So I've been working on my new viv after my wonder bubble attempts where less than successful. I decided that bigger is better and went with an exoterra 36"x18"x36" terrarium.

I first placed in the false bottom and made a tadpole pool/water access in one corner.
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I then added in a mesh screen to separate the false bottom from the rest the environment. After that I took my main piece of cork (a huge 7lb tube) and place screen on the bottom of it. Then placed it in the viv, secured it in place, filled it with false bottom, placed more screen in it and added a little sag moss.
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I then went ahead and added ABG mix plants and more sagmoss. After that I watered it all down. You cab see the water level in the pond. That is the full depth.
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But I was not happy with it as is so I started thinking of adding cork around the sides and back. Admittedly it would have been easier if I started with this but you live and learn.
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This is it so far. I think I need more cork a few more plants.
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Ideas, thoughts, concerns, and suggestions are welcom. Smile
Excellent first viv Dan! I'm lovin; the minimal side walls with siliconed cork and plantings and this is coming from a 'shadow box' background proponent.

Do you have a layer of ABG in there above the featherlight? I'm a little concerned you may develop a high water level in the 'false bottom' and get some wicking and plant soaking.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Featherlight? I'm sorry I do not know what you are talking about. The water level in the false bottom comes to within 1/4" of the substrate barrier which the ABG is on top of.

I also added small portions of false bottom in the planters on the side with screen and ABG aswell.
It looks like those light weight porous rocks that some people use instead of Leca or clay balls.

1/4 of an inch is very small. Water has a BIG tendency to wick. Be careful is all. Spag and ABG wick real easily.

I try for at least 2 inches plus of false bottom space before any water could touch anything.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Umm I only have 2 1/2" of it.
What I have is this. [Image: 396b831e5469719ceb140dccdf45d84c.jpg]
From joshs frogs.
That may be why I'm adding so much water then. I was thinking evaporation but it may just be getting too soggy. Ill let it drain down some. How much water do I need? 1" or so?
My Coco huts looks great lol
Do you all think this would be suitable for 3-4 tinks?
some large magnolia leaves would be a good addition to the substrate.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Philsuma Wrote:some large magnolia leaves would be a good addition to the substrate.
I have some Smile I've just not added it all yet as I'm still rearranging things.
Looks great! I like the modifications you are making.

I think if you can get additional flats mounted higher in the viv to increase the use of the vertical space a bit you will be able to get lots of hides / visual barriers available for multiple tincs. I've kept small groups of 3 or 4 tincs without an issue, but you do have to keep an eye on them for any signs of stress (usually weight loss). In my limited experience, they will scrap with each other periodically, but they seem to establish a pecking order and things settle down after a while.
Jim from Austin | https://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
A few more plants added.
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It looks great
Just a few pics on how it evolving.
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I have some more driftwood I need to clean before I use. I'm also going to wrap the viv in black paper and see how that looks. If I like it I may paint the outside of the enclosure.

I have a small active culture of ffs in there. Idk why I did in all honesty as I don't have a frog yet lol. Just playing around with it. I need to seed it with spring tails and other isopods.

I'm still working with the water level. I've got it dropped 1.5" below the substrate barrier right now. That does not leave anything in the "pond" though. I know the pond isn't really needed but I thought it might be nice for tadpoles (as I do not plan on taking any out of the viv). If I have any froglets I'm thinking about contacting the local shools and community colleges and see if the may be interested in using them for educational purposes. Just I thought right now though lol.

Anyway hope you all like the new pics.
Looks great! It's always good to get the hang of cultures early. I never realized how drastically the humidity in my house changed from season to season until I started raising flies Smile Try shelf paper on the back and walls. It goes on pretty quick and clean and you can remove it really easily. I used to paint my aquariums and I much prefer shelf paper now. I would get a putty knife or a plastic applicator and you can work the bubbles out quick. Great work! I like the look of the broms.
Jim from Austin | https://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
It looks great I just got a large cork log and going to do something similar with it
So I've done a bit more work. I'm not sure I'm really happy with what I've done but I've tryed to make a bit more use of the sides. Also have added a couple of plants and mive a couple of plants.

Sorry about the picture quality. I'm not that good with photography and in just using my phone.
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Ok so. I've noticed that my setup is getting way too hot and the top planters and broms are seemingly not doing as well. I've noticed the spag moss is drying up here as well.

On the bottom I'm having the opposite problem. I think I'm watering it too much. The spag moss is saturated and starting to darken. (I'm thinking rot but I'm not sure) I have lowered the water level in the false bottom. It is now 1"-1 5" from the substrate barrier.

I'm considering adding a misting system like exoterra monsoon and directing the water at the upper levels.

Also I saw a small millipede today I believe. I could not get a pic of it though. Is this a bad thing?
This is awesome very good work my friend
I think it looks good Dan! I like the Selaginella erythropus (let me know if I got that wrong) - it looks great. One selaginella that grows well for me is Selaginella uncinata - it pretty much grows everywhere but if you are growing out the viv for a while before adding tincs you can try gluing strips of scrap cork bark to the back and side glass and lay uncinata clippings on them. Eventually they will take root and cascade down the glass. Once they are established they can hold up to tinc foot traffic.

I'd look at a mist king. I have bought four monsoons over the years for stand alone display vivs. Three have had timer failures including newer the newer model. The fix is pretty simple - a cheap external timer - so three of mine are still in use. The only concern I would have is the strength of the pump and its ability to push six heads (assumed you would mad it out) on that tall of a viv. I have one monsoon on my 120 which and it puts out a really weak mist. Eventually I will likely move that viv to a mist king. In my opinion the monsoons are built to drive two heads, maybe four, on smaller vivs.

I despise bugs that I did not introduce. I just ripped apart my 120 to get rid of slugs ... I think you will have to keep an eye on the millipedes and see how much damage they do to the plants. I would hunt and squish for now and see if that does them in. I've read of others co2 bombing with varied degrees of success. I'd start simple with hunt and squish.

Looks good!
Jim from Austin | https://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
Yes that's it and uts doing better than any of the oyher club mosses I got lol.
We have a native club moss known as tree club moss.
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As well as a local jewel orchid species.

Do you think it would be ok to add some of these?

Any thoughts about the heat? I'm thinking about adding a small fan at the top to pull air out but I'm afraid of lowering the humidity too much.
I use active venting on all my vivs. I use a fan within my hood that cools my LED lamps to also pull air through the vivs (it's really not that high of a flow rate, but it's enough to clear the glass). I control the airflow with a piece of glass over the top vent, and with a speed controller on the fans. I have to adjust the speeds and venting seasonally. I like moving air through the vivs as it keeps them a bit drier than most people keep their frogs. My humidity levels are usually in the 80% range which, IMO, is perfect.

That said, I probably mist more than most to support this setup. I have my misters run 4x per day for 30 seconds or so. That seems to be a fairly good balance of misting and active airflow. I experimented quite a bit, and this combination promoted what I suspect was the effects of evaporative cooling, as when I ran my data loggers internally and externally at the same time, my viv temps were lower than ambient by a degree or two. So I'd go for it, but you are going to need to tune the airflow rates and misting cycles to get the right balance.

That tree club moss is beautiful. Who knows about how it will do in a viv. I know they sell erythropus as ground cover down here in Texas so you never know....
Jim from Austin | https://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata

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