hello, please help!

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hi all - this is my first post on here. I am from the UK.

I have been heavily involved in reef-keeping for the last 5 years but I am seriously considering setting up a small frog tank as a new challenge. I was actually thinking of breaking down and replacing my 40(UK)gal reef completely, but after much thought I'd like to start with a small PDF set-up first and see how I go. I am having major trouble convincing the wife at the moment but she'll come round!

Here's a recent shot of my reef btw.

[Image: 102344755.jpg]

Due to past reef upgrades I have a couple of spare glass tanks... the one I am planning to use for frogs is a 30x30x45(h)cm tank - approx 6 UK gallons. It has a clip-on 18watt PC light (plus timer) and a glass cover. A second light could be added if required. I also have a 32x16x16" (30 UK gal) Juwel Panorama tank sitting empty in my garage (doubt I'll be allowed to bring that one into play yet though!). I also have an RO/DI unit which I guess may be useful.

I have a few questions about setting-up... hope someone can help!

Firstly, I'd like to go for an 'ecosystem' type planted set-up in the 6gal but what kind of plants could I keep under an 18watt PC tube? would I need another light? would a bulb designed for aquatic plant use be OK? Anyone recommend a specific combination of plants, they need to be small varieties of course... I am thinking a couple of small bromeliads, an orchid, some ferns, mosses, maybe a climber and some low growing plants.... I'd like a couple of bits of smooth slate too. Would like to incorporate a mister on a timer but I guess I will hand mist until I get a feel for it. As mentioned, the cover is glass. It doesn't fit tightly so I think I'll need to work on this. Will it be necessary to incorporate mesh or even fans to provide ventilation? Is it necessary to have a humidity/temp monitor in the tank? (if so, any specific model?). The tank would be in my studio so the temp never really goes outside the 70s...maybe dips into the high 60s on a cold night. Would I need a heat source? What kind of maintenance would a tank like this require? is there a risk it could smell or produce excessive condensation in the room?

In terms of the decor, I have been doing plenty of web research and I like the idea of using silicone, expanding foam and small bits of mangrove wood to create an interesting background. I guess I need a couple of inches of clay granules, then a membrane, then an inch of suitable soil? Is it necessary to keep a certain amount of water in the base layer constantly? I believe this needs to be a half inch lower then the membrane? I'd like to go for a water feature - maybe a pool at the front and a waterfall fed by a small eheim pump.

What kind of frogs would you recommend for such a set-up? I like them all but some of the thumbnail species look particularly nice. Is it possible to get these species as froglets? Is it possible to buy as tadpoles and to introduce them into the aquatic section of the tank. If fed, would they survive and leave the water?

Anyway, once I have completed a few things, I am planning to set-up the tank and let it mature for several weeks during which time I will be monitoring various parameters... any input on the general plan is welcome. I hope someone can help me out on some, if not all of the questions. I actually took some shots of the pdfs at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire, UK a couple of years ago (I live just down the road from there). Here's one.

[Image: original.jpg][/img]

Fantastic picture! --Corey
thanks! - just realised the proposed tank isn't 6 UK gal, its actually 9. So that makes it just over 10 US gal.

Any feedback on proposed set-up would be great. I am liking the look of D. ventrimaculatus
I too am a fellow reefer, and I too am setting up a new environment for frogs. From what I gather, a lot of the same husbandry and time is required as it is for the reef. Albeit different, but the basics are very similar. As a matter of fact, the landscaping uses a lot of the technics you'd find in the DIY sections of saltwater forums.
It's a natural progression I believe, and the two hobbys seem to hold the same appeal of an awesome ecosystem with brightly colored inhabitants of a distant land. Very nice reef set-up by the way, it would be a shame to tear it down.
thanks 8) - yep, the reef is going to stay for a while. Like you say, set-up does seem similar... I even have some egg crate, pumps etc lying around from my reef projects that I can use.

Anyone got any comments on the planned set-up?
Wow! You have a lot of questions. I suggest that you read through the forums, especially on setting up a tank. You will find that most, if not all of your questions have already been answered. Your pictures are fantastic by the way. I will answer a couple of your questions. No, you will not need a heater. The temperature should be in the 70's during the day and it is okay to drop a bit at night. Your lights should provide a little heat. Just make sure that you don't go over 80. Josh's Frogs and Black Jungle have nice plant selections. Some that I used in a small tank and really liked are: the oak leaf creeping fig, lemon button fern, tropical moss, riccia moss, java moss and anubias coffeefolia. I found the Great Stuff foam a lot of fun to work with. I used cork bark flats and they were easy to push into the foam. They are also easy to plant on, lighter and cheaper than driftwood. Check out the various directions/pictures on black jungle for doing the background. They are very nicely done and step by step. You will need a very tightly fitting lid, so that the fruit flies (and frogs) don't escape. The standard fish tank lid does not work because of this. I had two pieces of glass cut and then siliconed a hinge in the middle. Some people use a little ventilation in their lids and some don't. I have two 2-inch holes drilled in the front of my lid (and covered with screen) for ventilation, but mostly I keep them covered with plastic wrap anyway. Good luck with your project. It is a lot of fun. I just got my first pair of frogs last week and they are awesome to watch! Fran
thanks Fran!

yes I have been reading extensively on here, dendroboard and dendroworld boards - also the sites you mention (blackjungle is excellent!).

My plans have changed slightly in the last few days actually.... I am now hoping to use the 30gal for the project. Will aim to start a photo thread once it gets going.

thanks for the comments on my pics too by the way... I run www.digital-reefs.com incidentally. Hope thats OK to say!
I think you'll be happier with the larger tank. I used a 20 gallon, since I have limited space at school, but I was wishing it was bigger. The foam and background really take up a lot of space. Good luck with your project. Fran
Wow....what a great looking Reef Tank !


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Yes it is a very nice mixed reef tank
Dendrobates, Phyllobates, Rantiomeya, Epipedobates

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