my first vivarium, 75 gallon!

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hey guys let me first start my introducing myself, my name is Brad im 23 years old and LOVE frogs lol. i've always wanted to make a vivarium but never new where to start. i finally decided it was time to give it a shot, i started by breaking down my 75 gallon salt water tank and converting it to be suitable to dart frogs. i know the basics but i also know i have a lot to learn. i then went out and bought lots of plumbing supplies because i really wanted a waterfall like feature. im also using my saltwater lighting fixture which houses 8 T5 bulbs, i was told i need 10,000K bulbs which i have. (let me know if i need different lighting please) i setup a false bottom using egg crate, pvc pipes, and window screening. my substrate is eco earth and some spagna moss. after about a week of setup im finally ready to start adding plants and of course FROGS! Big Grin .
what are some good beginner frogs? also what plants/moss do you guys recommend?
please please please let me know if im missing anything. im hear to learn and get any advice i can.

thanks everyone!

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Welcome to Dart Den Brad !

Unless you have supreme confidence in waterfalls and plumbing, ect...I'd skip a big water feature for your first vivarum. Too many things can go wrong and the frogs don't need it anyway.

You light fixture is most likely going to be too bright and more distressingly - way too hot. Dart frogs actually don't need the bright light and most tropical plants don't either. The scary thing is the high heat. Use a temp gun and check, but I'm almost sure you are going to have too much light and heat from that setup.

Here's a good checklist to print out sometime. beginner-questions-and-comments-f27/potential-dart-frog-hobbyist-read-this-first-t4134.html All the answers to that list are found already here on this forum in various threads. If you still can't find a thread or answer, feel free to post a new thread and we'll help ya out.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Thanks for the heads up, just wondering why the waterfall would be bad ? And also what lighting would you recommend, my fixture has the option of only running 4 of the 8 bulbs do you think that would be ok ?
A waterfall can be a royal PITA. It can be done , but a lot of people try, and report back that the pump failed, their substrate is getting soaked, etc.

IMO four lights is still pushing it. Can you do 2 or 3 ? The light doesn't have to penetrate the water like in a saltwater set up. You'll want them in the 6500-6700K range for best plant growth. I grow Orchids under two T5's and they bloom for me.
thanks for all the advice, i've decided just to run 2 bulbs in my fixture. also what types of plants are good? i really like vines and moss, my substrate is eco earth. i'd like to get all the plants in the tank and cycled before adding frogs
You'll need leaf litter and eco earth by itself is not good....a better substrate is ABG

If you hit up the search function for:

Leaf Litter



you'll get a ton of good reading.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Hey guys, just a quick update on my tank. I'm happy to say the tank has made very good progress and is now housing 2 red eyed tree frogs and one blue dart frog. All the frogs are doing great and seem to like the tank setup very much. My plants are thriving and have shown great growth in only a few weeks time. I'll share a few photos and please leave feed back. As always advice is always greatly appreciated. Oh and I also stopped using the waterfall and purchased a monsoon misting system, the misting system has been great. Simple setup and easy to program, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fogger/mister. (monsoon rs400) don't let the price scare you it's worth every penny IMO. Retails for around $100-$150

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First day of planting

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Added a few more

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2 weeks after planting ad already a huge difference in growth

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I'm also trying to find a good moss to plant on the bark background I have, any suggestions? Or if anyone can recommend other plants in general that would be great.
Also just wondering how can I get plants to grow on my background. It's cork bark so I'm not sure it's even possible.
Many shingling plants will grow on moist cork. Broms will grow on cork when placed correctly.

I'm afraid you will have problems with your frog selection. The tree frog / dart frog co-habitation has a very high degree of fail. Not a good choice, especially for a new hobbyist and in such a small enclosure.

I'd create a seperate vivarium quickly before you start to lose 1 or all 3.

general-questions-and-comments-f12/red-eyed-tree-frog-and-dart-frog-vivarium-t5433.html?hilit=red eyed tree frog&sid=820dbedc3ba2aab858b2953872b5453f

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
I asked the people at the pet store about mixing the two and they said I should have zero problems and try actually ha a tank smaller then mine setup with tree frogs and dart frogs mixed. I'm not in the slightest way saying your wrong but I'm just telling you what I was told. They told me because neither of the frogs are aggressive they will be fine.
Those pet store people and their advice was really, really bad in my opinion.

Without a huge post, please search function Dart Den for 2-3 more threads on keeping tree frogs with dart frogs. It isn't the aggression we are worried about, it's the food, nocturnal versus diurnal, pathogens, disease, small enclosure, different humidity requirements.

I'd guess that you have a 90% chance of 1 or all 3 frogs dying in the next several months, maybe less.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Thank you for the help. I'll set up another tank this weekend for the dart. It was not my intention to harm then in any way. Other then not mixing the frogs how do you think the tank looks? Any other recommendations?
If you are planning on keeping the redeye(s) in there, you would be smart to offer them many more branches to climb on, some broad-leaved plants to rest/hide on, and maybe even some tubular hides (PVC coated in peat/coco works well, as do cork tubes). Good plant choices would be: spathiphyllum, anthurium, or aglanoema. You are off to a good start, with a little work it can be a great setup. Also glad to hear you are going to set up another viv for the auratus, it is the responsible thing to do. Side Note: listening to the advice of people at pet stores is hit or miss; sometimes they have knowledgeable employees, but the vast majority have no clue. Always better to take the advice of people with specialized knowledge that have successfully kept species you are learning about (i.e. dartkeepers for dart advice, treefrog keepers for tf advice, etc...).
-Field Smith
Some frogs...

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