itskris 18x18x24 first build

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This will be an on going post. I've been in the trenches with this for a couple weeks now.

Here is what I have...

18x18x24 Zoo Med
Bakers Rack

Waiting for deliver
3 more 18x18x24 Zoo Meds

Most of the build supplies I got from Home Depot except the glass cut for the top.

The front door is siliconed up the sides to close the gap. Then I took a razor blade down the side to allow me to open and close the door.
The front vent was removed so that I could place some screen mesh on the inside. (Thank you Beth - Bcs TX - for the Mesh).

When I was in the planning stages I was going to go for hydo or leca on the bottom and ABG mix on top of that. However, after several conversations with some froggers and specifically with Cindy Dicken, I decided to go false bottom, hydroton/leca, ABG mix. The reason for this is that the Hydroton will wick the water causing your substrate to stay soggy. While this does raise the humidity, too much water is never a good thing. So the false bottom allows excess water to not be wicked back into the substrate, while allowing the hydroton to stay moist and help with humidity.

Hydroton, Wood, Leaf Litter, and ABG Mix I got from Cindy ( Thank you Phil for covering that one for me Smile
Cindy has a whole storage unit full of different types of wood in all different sizes. it was kind of fun looking at the different pieces and deciding what you could do with them.

I don't remember the type of wood I chose. However, after surfing around Cindy's website I think what I got was Malaysian Drift Wood. I didn't want to mount the wood in the background. I wanted something that could act as a center piece and made the center of the viv usable. Otherwise it becomes open air with a couple plants in the substrate. I'm quite please with the piece of wood I chose... However, I need to figure out a better way to brace it. I'm afraid if something jumps on it then it end up tilting over. It is still pretty sturdy, just my paranoia. After the wood baked at 250 for a couple of hours I drilled a several mounting holes for broms. It already has a couple mounts in the base, just wanted a couple more.

I made sure to boil the leaf litter as well. My wife was a couple rooms away and asked if I was making tea. So I told her I was making some Magnolia Tea. She said it was the worst smelling tea in the world. I don't blame her...

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After the leaf litter boiled for a couple mins I took it out and baked it in the oven at 250 till it was back to it's good ol' crunchy self. If you bake your leaves, make sure you take them out and flop them over every couple mins.

I then proceeded to put in the false bottom (PVC pipe legs and light diffuser). Hydroton went on top (weed blocker in between). After I put the weed blocker on top of the hydroton I then placed in the clay background.

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Beth also provided me with a 5 gallon bucket of the clay (Thank you thank you!!). Super sticky stuff. I was going to do the background with a substrate method I got from Phil. Then when Beth said I could pick up a bucket of clay from her I decided to give it a shot. I was then going to do a mix of Clay in parts, Phil's substrate background in other parts, and cork bark. However… I got lazy and the clay was easy. So I just did clay across the whole thing.

After the clay was up, I put in the ABG mix. Chunk of wood went on top. I still have to figure out a good position for it. But you can get the idea from the images below.

Glass top was cuts to fit perfectly in to the top. There is a small 3/4" strip towards the front window for a mesh vent. I still have to get that put in.

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That light isn't what I will be using. I ordered some 4' t5 tubes from a plant store. More on those when they arrive.

I have an email out to RCTeem for some plants. Beth also suggested Calloway's Nursery here in Dallas. I also have to head back over to Cindy's to pick up some cuttings asap.

Large spag is sitting in a bag so that needs to go in. I just want to get that wood secure so I feel good about it.

So... what are your thoughts so far? Obviously it isn't finished. But it is definitely coming along nicely!
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Looking good so far, I like the clay. I really need to concider trying that out in one of my tank builds. Does one nozzle give you adequate coverage for the tank? I tend to use two in my tanks that size.
"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'm excited just seeing it ! I remember my first build and how fascinating it was to create a slice of "rainforest" and begin to plant things and hope that they grow and prosper.

This is one of the oh-so-many cool things about the hobby !

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Ahh yeah I was going to go 2 nozzles. One in each corner. But after talking with Phil, Beth, and Cindy, one nozzle is plenty. That forces you to engage the viv and also you can better water specific plants/areas.

MistKing is more for humidity than watering.
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and you can easily add a "T" and a second nozzle down the road should you desire. No worries.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Awesome Kris!!!
Glad you posted the pictures of your build.
Looking forward to seeing it finished. Smile
On track and lookin good, the addiction begins...
1.5 kids and a bunch of frogs


Broms from top left to right then down (Thank you Chris [rcteem])

Reins Pride (Top Left)
Babe x Close of Day (Top Middle)
Winnie the poo (Top Right ---My favorite)
Pauciflora x Grenda (Middle Red)
N. Little Faith (Middle Green)
June Night (Bottom mounted on wood)

There is a fern planted on the right. Two different vines starting up the back. A vine on the wood and a vine under the wood working it's way to the front. Then I have a red Crypts in the back left, Begonia back right, black Crypts front left. I want to re-arrange something... Looks a little off to me right now.

Thank you Cindy Dickens for the vines and begonia, and Chris for the Broms and the two Crypts.

Does anyone have a problem with the broms falling off the back? How secure do those need to be when I push them into the clay background?
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Awesome.....high-end broms from Chris Teem !

Be sure to NOT skimp on the lighting on those bad boys. Most plain jane, green broms can get away with regular, even low wattage, light, but those high colour broms - they need the good stuff to really make em pop.

T-5's....maybe even high output ? I'm not the lighting expert, though.....

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
GE 6500 T5HO bulb, but I think the smallest one of those is 24"
Dendrobates, Phyllobates, Rantiomeya, Epipedobates
The broms should adhear in the clay background unless big broms and not thick enough clay to support them or a misting nozzle pointed directly at the background. I point my misting nozzles down, plenty of mist coming from one nozzle (18x18x24 Viv) to fill the broms without drenching them or the clay. If a big brom the florist wire (covered in plastic, you can find it at Hobby Lobby or Michaels) will support them until their roots take off.
My t5 HO's really make my broms pop, I have one now getting ready to bloom, will take pics.
They can be bright but with enough groundcover, film canisters the frogs/pums should breed fine.
Great job Kris!
Looks good Kris!
R Reticulata 0.0.4 just arrived today. This is the only one with marks on his back. The others have that solid red.

R Benedicta 1.2.1 also arrived today. Here's two pics for you.


And so you can get a size comparison for the Bennies...


Most pics turned out pretty blurred. But those are the golden eggs. Smile
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Nice frogs !

Starting out big - right outa the gate. I like it.

Hopefully you have some really competent help with those, for when you have questions - which you will have many of.

I think you're gonna be really pleased with those species :wink:

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Im with you, I really like the winnie poo!
"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
D3monic Wrote:I'm with you, I really like the winnie poo!

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Awesome Kris!!!
Congrats on the new frogs. Smile
Those are sweet. Someday...
1.5 kids and a bunch of frogs
Updates on this Kris ?

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Glad the broms are working out for time your in NC let me know and we will have to meet up again and this time hit the Ill be happy to give you some more broms for your frogs Wink

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