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First viv finished and (mostly) planted! (Update 8/10/07)
So after lurking these forums for almost a year, I finally got everything figured out and built my first tank. It's a 20 extra high, pretty much the size of two 10 gallon tanks stacked on top of each other. So far, it's just plants. I'll be adding a few more orchids and probably a few cuttings of small things to fill in the gaps. I'm not sure what kind of frogs to keep in here... thinking maybe a pair of leucs. Advice on the frogs would be much appreciated. There isn't a whole lot of space on the ground, but there is a cave built into the back wall.

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Cool looking tank. Is that a dripwall/waterfall? I highly recommend putting some java moss on that. I think that looks cool.

Leucs are great frogs and a pair/trio would do great in a tank setup like that. They will utilize all parts of the tank. - All Your Poison Dart Frog Supplies in One Place!
That's a great looking tank!
The addition of some leaf litter and Riccia or Java moss would really kick it off!
What orchids do you have in there?
As for frogs, if you are wanting to go with larger ones, a couple of leucomelas would be good. If you wanted to try thumbnails, you can't go wrong with imitators.

Thanks for the comments guys! There is something in between a waterfall and drip wall on the right. I've got it on the timer with the lights to give the orchids on that side of the tank a little break, but I've been growing those two very wet for a few months and they've done well. The dendrobium and neofenitia did so well in their temporary terrarium that I was able to split up the dendrobium and pull the keiki off the neofenitia for the new tank.

The orchid list:
Dendrobium Kingianum
Masd. Maui Gold
Cadetia Taylori (flowering!)
Phal. Jennifer Palermo (just starting to spike!)
Neofenitia Falcata
Pleurothallis Tribuloides (flowering!)
Coelogyne Fimbriata
Blc. Rustic Spots
Slc. Precious Katie
Encyclia Tampensis (Flowering!)

Coming soon:
Pleurothallis Grobyi
Goodyera Schlectendaliana (jewel orchid)
Macodes Petola (Jewel orchid)
Restrepia Brachypus

Once the rest of the orchids are in I'll post a picture labeling each of them.

I'm told the brom is a crypthanthus 'red star'. The african violet is just a random one I picked up locally. They were $2.98 so I grabbed 4, and that one looked best in the spot.

Riccia is a great idea. I hadn't thought of using that. Java moss would also be great. Any ideas of good places to get either of those?

As for frogs, aren't thumbnails a little tricky for my first frogs? I'd rather keep it plants only than risk killing them due to inexperience. Would leucs be a better choice? I'm going to be out of town a bit this summer, so when I get back from new york at the end of August I'm going to start my fruit fly cultures and probably add frogs in September.
Nice assortment of orchids!

You might try Aqua Bid for the mosses. ... iveplantsm

The bright green color of the riccia will really brighten up a tank!

I suggested imitaors, they would be a little more 'gentle' on the plants. The tricky part is keeping appropriate sized food available, and making sure the tank is secure.
I really like the plants.. Lots of blooming in there. Looks great!

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OK, I'm officially out of control.

I'm up to 19 species of orchids in this tank. I think I'm done with orchids for this tank, mainly because I can't figure out where to put any more. Orchids now include everything I had previously plus:

Oncidium popoki 'Mitzi' (miniature)
Onc. kukoo (Miniature)
Vanilla planifolia
Macodes petola
Goodyera schlectendaliana
Restrepia brachypus
Anoectochulius roxburghii
Pleurothallis brighamii
Pleurothallis grobii (in spike!)

While I'm being crazy, what about a crazy idea for a frog? How would a single azureus work in there? There's not a whole lot of ground space but I think it'd be enough for a single frog, and there is a cave that provides a bit of extra land. Since azureus have a reputation for being very terrestrial, it might save some wear and tear on some of the more delicate orchids mounted above. Would this work at all, or would it be a bad home for the frog?

My plan is to add the frog(s) to the tank around the end of September. That will give me 5-6 weeks after I get back into town to get fruit fly cultures going and figure out how they work. I'm a little nervous about the idea of thumbnails in this tank; the Great Stuff shrank more than I expected it to and I had to do some touch up to fill in a few gaps. I think I got all of the gaps filled in, but if there are any I worry about losing thumbnails into them. I'm not nearly as concerned about a bigger frog getting through, especially a bigger frog that wouldn't climb as much. Maybe I'm being paranoid but I'd hate to lose my first frogs to such a dumb mistake.

Did you silicon the driftwood in place before you set up the great stuff??
I actually didn't need to silicone the driftwood to the tank first. Because 2 of the pieces of wood come out of the back and go down to the bottom, they were pretty stable once I just balanced them where I wanted them. The third piece sort of rests on top of one of the others so I wasn't really worried about giving it any support other than the great stuff.

On the tank I'm building right now, I will be using silicone to attach driftwood to the tank. A couple of pieces are kind of structural for the layout, and a couple just can't be balanced anywhere, so it seems necessary this time.
what is the balck stuff on the right sid eof your tank or is it all just wet
It's just wet. There was supposed to be a waterfall there, but it didn't come out quite the way I wanted. With the pump on high, the water came out so hard it hit the front glass. I keep the pump pretty low now, so it's more of a trickle.
Very nice looking viv. Cool.
One thing I would suggest is to plant a few more "rooty' plants to help with waste processing.
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.

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My new email address is: and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Thanks for the compliment Rich. Since the picture, I've added jewel orchids (3 species, 6 plants) and oak leaf creeping ficus. There's also a vanilla orchid with some roots in the soil. There's some moss just starting to spread onto the soil, and some bacopa that may spread that way too. Hopefully that'll be enough to take care of any frog waste.
Chef how did you create the little pool using gravel? anything holding the gravel back?
I've done a lot of replanting in this tank... Pretty much nothing left but orchids now. I thought I'd post a couple of updated pictures. The viv has been seeded with 2 kinds of springtails and 2 kinds of isopods, and I'm planning on adding a pair of imitators in a month or so. I guess the imitators will end up being my first frogs, followed soon after by 4 leucs in my 46 gallon.

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Interesting changes, looks nice.
which is the blue orchid? and where (if you had to order it) did you order it from?
Nice viv! I bet those imitators will love it.
That's cool! Its nice to see a tank with a lot of orchids. I plan to include a bunch in my tank too!

What are you lighting it with?
A drip wall...nicely done too. I'll be posting pics of my drip wall tank fairly soon.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".

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