Total new here - Converting my reef tank

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I've recently sold of my corals from my 125g reef tank. So I'm left with a tank, stand and a nice 4x96 watt lighting system that can do lunar, actinic and daylight settings all on a timer. I'm interested in setting up a terrarium or vivarium for dart frogs. However I don't want to just jump in and there seems to be a lot of info to sift through. I thought I'd like to set up the habitat well before even thinking about the frogs. What kind of soil and plants should I buy? Is my lighting okay for frogs? It was designed for a coral reef, but fits my tank nicely. Do I need a misting system? Or can I spray it? Any help is appreciated.
I converted my 75gal reef into a dart tank. The lights will be a bit much but you can always use less bulbs. I am currently only running one T5 over my 75gal. May need to change the bulb type though. I find that my guismann Aquablue+ looks rather nice over the tank and keeps my broms colored nicely without cooking the frogs.

Misting systems are not completly necissary. As long as you have a hand sprayer that will be fine.

The best thing to do is figure out what kind of dart frog you are interested in and design the tank around that species. More often than not I see people setting up tanks with the inhabitants almost as a afterthought.
"He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom" LaVey
Good point. I like the look of the azureus, but I have a lot of reading to do first. Basically, I'd like to get the plants thriving before adding any frogs. But I should do some more reading on the types of frogs etc... Like I said, total newb here.

Since you had a reef tank, do you think this is more work or about the same? I had trouble keeping up on weekly water changes with a 125g tank and changing out the phosban reactor media, filtering ro/di water and hauling buckets up and down stairs every week and all of that. I still want a cool display tank, but it was getting to be too much of a chore. SO basically, if this is more work than that, maybe it isn't for me, even though I think it'd be pretty cool.
I kept saltwater tanks for many years. Given the size of your reef tank, having a few dart frog vivs will be a cake walk. I sometimes miss my reef tanks though.... then i think about the times Id scratch my arm on something and get mystery rash HA
Scott - North Dallas
haha no doubt. I've had fresh and saltwater tanks for the past 15 years. But this'd be my first vivarium.
some links that may help with ideas

enclosures-setup-and-construction-f23/d3monic-s-super-build-thread-t4282.html?hilit=d3monic super build



sorry I started this reply hours ago but got side tracked Sad
"He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom" LaVey
You will find that a huge portion of froggers are ex reefers who all got tired of the hassles involved with reefing. Not to mention the costs.

If set up properly a viv is about 90% self sufficient leaving you the option to become as involved as you desire. When I was breeding synchiropus splendidus and S. Ocellatus i would spend almost 2-3 hours a day dealing with larvae, collecting spawns, iso, rotifer and plankton cultures, water changes ect ect ect. Now that I am into frogs I probably spend that much time a week. A few mins to make some Fruit Fly cultures (here after refered to as FF) feed the springtail and isopod cultures and feed the frogs a few times a week. if I am fealing really spunky I will clean the glass once every other week or so.

theres nothing to it if you do plenty of research before diving in.
"He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom" LaVey
I had a 100 Gallon Reef tank back in the late 90's. I miss it.

The transition is going to be Michael said....most all of us were Reefers before.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Welcome to DD.....You will find out that there are many parallels between darts and reefs, just different animals. I reefed for 25 years and did the exact same thing you have done last August. There is so much more time available now, less headaches(although there can be some with live animals). I think you will find the transition quite easy and will be diving in head first before long....I will also say be prepared to be addicted, I was told the same thing and it is true with so many beautiful frogs it is hard to say NO I don't want to keep those.....In fact I haven't said no yet, is there a problem?
I wasn't a reefer, but I kept African Cichlids. My vivs are much easier to maintain, and again- so much less time is needed to spend on upkeep!

There, of course, tons of good info throughout this forum, and the links provided above are great places to start.

There's plenty of places to start. If you're planning to do a background, and I'm assuming you are, you have many options; clay based, Great Stuff(expanding foam), Ace Concrete Binder method, cut & drimmeled styrofoam being tucked in place. Most everyone I know has their favorite, and each method has it's advantages and disadvantages. For example, clay is easy to mix up, and super simple to slap together, almost immediately ready for frogs, plants can get planted straight into it, but lots of people have problems making it hold up for water features.

We don't really use soil per se, but a mixture of natural things, preferably sterilized, that do not degrade; Leca(Also called Hydroton) is popular, anything coco(fibre, coir, chunks, stc.), tree fern fibre is also common, people use magnolia leaves and almond leaves as a top layer of leaf litter a lot. Some people even will even take chunks of fired clay and smash them up into bits to use as a portion of their substrate. Lots of choices. I'm sure you'll' find several different options searching through different building threads. Most individual have their favorite methods. It's important to have substrate that wont be able to slowly pack itself down to an impenetrable mess, however. Thus allowing springtails, etc. to move freely, as well as to assist with drainage.

I'm sure you'll have tons more questions, and most anyone who has posted assistance will be happy to answer any more questions you have.
DendroTerra - A site in the making...
Welcome, I was in the same boat. I had a 125 reef tank. I used VHO light which I had to search to get them at the correct kelvin for plants. That is one thing you will have to do is ensure that your lighting is correct. I also added acrylic tops to the tank to aid in humidity control I used a pump to create a smalle waterfall, and I used the heater under my media to heat the water for uniform temp control. I keep ten frogs in the tank now. Three sets of breeding frogs. They are laying eggs every week or two. It is a great environment, so you should do good. If you have any questions I can help with please pm me and I will try to help. There are a few obstacle that have to be dealt with with the size of the reef tank. Good luck, Johnny

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