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Drainage / False bottom questions
#1
Hi,
I am a beginner and in the process of putting together a set up for poison dart frogs. I have been trying to research the best environment for them. I would really like to purchase a 72 bow front aquarium and stand by All Glass. However they can not drill a hole in the bottom, due to tempered glass. How much trouble will it be to maintain the plants if there is no drainage? I could set up a false bottom, would that be enough? I was hoping to buy an automated mister and fogger. I need advice on set up. Thank You
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#2
Hi Patsy,
welcome to the hobby.
Most tanks will have a tempered glass bottom, that can't be drilled under normal circumstances. Typically what we do is drill the back of the tank. On most tanks, the back and sides are not tempered. If you are ever in doubt about if a tank has tempered glass or not, and you know what the manufacturer of the tank is, you can call them and they can tell you if the
use tempered glass for any part of the tank other than the bottom.

Drilling a tank is not that difficult, it will require purchasing some specialized tools. If you plan on doing more than one or two tanks, it might be worth the investment.

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#3
cindy I am new as well and am trying to get to understand how to make a drainage system and use substrate properly.

can the drainage be done without having to drill a whole in the tank or is it one of those things that you have to do becuase it will make life easier. And exactly how is the drainae working. When you mist and the water goes to the bottom isn't there a way for that water to be filtered and recycled?

And as for substrate how does that co inside with the drainage.
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#4
I to am in the same situation. I have a 75Gl that is drilled on the bottom and I'm looking for direction in getting my set up together. I would like to do a sump style just so that I can do my water changes without disturbing the frogs.

Steph
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#5
You do not need to drill a hole in the tank for drainage. There are a variety of ways to remove water without a hole/bulkhead.

If it is a small viv with just a little water a simple $1 turkey baster will remove the water without much effort. Some people use a siphon or even a pump to do a partial water change.

I usually do not ever change the water, but I also run a whisper 10i filter in my tanks which cleans the water, and only costs $10. It also keeps the water moving which helps keep the humidity higher. Josh's frogs sells a version of the 10i for reptiles that includes a lid that is pretty slick, I think it is around $12.

If you are doing a water change you throw away the water you remove and then replace it with treated tap water, or some use RO or distilled water.

Water drains through the substrate due to gravity. There are lots of different soil mixtures that people use. Do a search for "substrate" or "ABG" and you will get many opinions on types of soil mixes. Do not use straight coco or peat moss, as these do not seem to drain well. I used coco with milled sphagnum, leaves, charred wood, and a little sand for my first substrate. I think will use a ABG mix for my next one."
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#6
brettlt Wrote:I copied this answer from one I wrote last week on another board, but it answers some of your questions.
"You do not need to drill a hole in the tank for drainage. There are a variety of ways to remove water without a hole/bulkhead.
If it is a small viv with just a little water a simple $1 turkey baster will remove the water without much effort. Some people use a siphon or even a pump to do a partial water change.
I usually do not ever change the water, but I also run a whisper 10i filter in my tanks which cleans the water, and only costs $10. It also keeps the water moving which helps keep the humidity higher. Josh's frogs sells a version of the 10i for reptiles that includes a lid that is pretty slick, I think it is around $12.

If you are doing a water change you throw away the water you remove and then replace it with treated tap water, or some use RO or distilled water.

Water drains through the substrate due to gravity. There are lots of different soil mixtures that people use. Do a searh for "substrate" and you will get many opinions on types of soil mixes. Do not use straight coco or peat moss, as these do not seem to drain well. I used coco with milled spagnum, leaves, charred wood, and a little sand for my first substrate. I think will use a ABG mix for my next one."

when using say gravel as your drainage how much should you put in about 1.5-2 inches of gravel and how much water at the bottom? or no water at all. I know false bottoms start with some water already
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#7
Quote:when using say gravel as your drainage how much should you put in about 1.5-2 inches of gravel and how much water at the bottom? or no water at all. I know false bottoms start with some water already

For false bottoms that aren't drilled I highly recommend hydroton as it will wick water back up into the substrate.
www.JoshsFrogs.com - All Your Poison Dart Frog Supplies in One Place!
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#8
Hi guys,

I am always scratching my head when I read posts on elaborate filtering systems with big pumps, filters, sumps, computer fans, or whatever.

I use peat brick for the bulk of my substrate. Peat brick has TONS of tannins which are helpful (if not necessary) for the control of nasties . There are other leafs and such that will also help and add tannins but for bang for the buck peat brick is the way to go for substrate , in my mind. Bigger vivs are always better. Period. I sometime get questions about the life of peat brick and how long before it will break down. None of the vivs I have used peat brick in have ever shown any signs of 'breaking down' . Some are well over four years old and never redone. Peat brick is a very tough , fibrous substrate that when layered in the viv will drain just fine. I know many don't have room for them but if you want an easily maintained well set up system big is it. If the viv is large enough you will have tons of micro climates for the frogs , their froglets, bugs, and plants.

I use ZERO fans , sumps, drainage, misting systems, heaters, or filters. The dark brown water that will appear shortly after the viv is set up is great for the viv. If we syphon all that great stuff out and are left with clear stuff it is a bad thing. Take a look at almost any standing water in Dart habitat and it will be very brown. I mist about once a week depending on the species and the amount of tads in broms and cans. Some of my vivs almost never get misted and when they do it is only to replenish the very small amount of water that has evaporated. The very few times I do take water out of my vivs I always save the water for tad tea, if I know it is from a viv that is "clean" of parasites. DO NOT reuse water from one viv to another unless you are almost positive of the state of health of your frogs. A viv with much contours will let bugs, frogs, and plants migrate to where they feel and do best. Many of the plant we stick in our vivs will never come in contact with a dart in the wild. It should be our goal to accommodate the Darts first and everything else second, third , or twentieth.

Lights , I believe , are also overdone in many cases because we love to view these beautiful frogs. Remember these guys are not baskers and do not hang out in direct sunlight. Therefore they will most likely not be found around too many plants that need a lot of direct sunlight. Buy lowlight plants.

As Josh mentioned Hydroton will act as a good drainage substrate but again is not usually needed in very large vivs and kind of looks bad/funny in my mind. Humidity is a very easy thing to control. If the humidity is too high open the vent system some. Too low cover the vent a bit. Easy as that. I have read a number of post where circulation rates way up on the priority list for having a viv that Pumilio produce well in. I have not found this to be necessary for any of the Pumilio I work with . It is necessary for a lot of plants , but I have already stated my opinion on plants.

Hope this helps a bit,
Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#9
cool
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#10
Rich,
Thanks again for all your wonderful advice. I have been working on a 44 gallon viv for some time now and have been referencing your responses a lot in its design and inception. I really like your simple and natural, common sense approaches to each aspect of vivarium production and total respect for the lives of the frogs.
I am wondering if you have considered compiling a Rich Frye or perhaps the Frye Brothers guide to the Poison Dart Frog Hobby in a PDF format. I know I and many other begininig dart enthusiasts would find such a guide and reference material invaluable.
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