Our first build. 55 Gal tank

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Well here we go. A little background first....
My girlfriend and I have decided to construct a viv. She has a good amount of experience keeping a multitude of animals, namely different types of frogs, lizards, etc... I have a good amount of experience with constructing a reef tank and construction in general. Given our experience in these areas we think we'll do pretty good with this.

So on with the show....
Here you can see the base which is made out of notched 2x4's joined by pocket holes and held together with pocket hole screws and decking screws. I still have to skin it, which I will use 1/4" oak plywood that will be stained a very dark mahogany (almost black), cut the doors, add hardware, install a surge protector with a timer, some shelves, cut the crown moulding for the base, etc.

The tank itself is (outside dimensions) 36"Wx18"Dx22"H. I believe this makes it about a 55 gal. tank. We're hoping to incorporate two water falls, a drip wall, a good size pond and luckily we found an awesome center / driftwood piece, which will be held in place by a Great Stuff / coco fiber background and supplemented with areas of smaller driftwood, perhaps some stone and of course plants.

[Image: Stand-tank.jpg]

Next we have the tank on it's side to easily place and move items around. The false bottom is just over 3-1/4" high. and you'll see that there are two areas that don't have any egg crate. These areas will house the pumps. We're envisioning these areas having "doors" made from egg crate then covered with the same weed cloth as the rest of the false bottom. The purpose of these doors is for easy maintenance access to the pumps and filter. The pump cords will be routed up through the PVC in the back corners and hidden by the waterfalls.

[Image: pvc.jpg]

Here you can see the majority of the false bottom covered with the weed cloth. Not much more to show right now but it's at least starting to take shape.

[Image: coveredcrate.jpg]

One more:

[Image: center.jpg]

Any advice or critiques would be appreciated.
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I remember reading somewhere that if there is a deep pond the dart frogs might get in and drown. I was wondering if this was true because I've seen plenty with deep pond features.

As for your tank, I think it looks like it will be a really neat setup. Hope everything works out :] What are you using the long PVC pipes in the back for? Is that going to be the water features?
We're planning on having as generous of a slope as possible as well as areas specifically for the frogs to get out if necessary... (that's the plan at least). As for the PVC, thats for nothing other than to hide the cords. That said, they will be hidden by the water features.
Ok, so then it is possible for them to drown, and slopes help them so they don't go to deep. Just a curious question because I'm new to this. I figured the pipes would be used for something like that.
Well, I wouldn't say that they will or won't. This is our first build of this sort and we are new to this as well.
As far as frogs drowning, this is somewhat debated among owners of darts. Most people feel that as long as the frogs have an easy way out of the water, that they will be fine. Many people have even witnessed their frogs taking leisurely swims around their pond areas. I have one frog that does quite well under water for extended periods of time. The water level in his enclosure is as deep as 3 1/2".

Some people feel that deep water is better then shallow. If the frogs are wrestling and they fall into deep water, they will let go of each other and swim. If the water is really shallow, there is the possibility that one could drown the other, though I do not think this has ever been documented.

The one thing that is always reccomended is that if you have a water feature, make sure there are easy ways for the frogs to get out. Five inch tall straight walls on all sides of the pond would not be a good idea.

The viv is coming along very nicely.

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