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Help with choosing plants


If you don't mind, I have a few questions. I have constructed a terrarium (36"L x 18"W x 36"H). I am planning on housing Dendrobates Leucomelas, but I want to make it as natural as possible with native plants.

Tank is pictured (hopefully)

I have a false bottom, I plan on adding a lot more sphagnum moss underneath current tropical moss. Stream runs through center. Sides and back are Great Stuff then Black Silicone then Coco bedding and some driftwood and plastic plant pots. Many of the plants pictured have died.
The temperature is ~82 F during the day
Humidity is 85-95%
Lighting is three staggered 24" light strips with Ott-Lite natural light supplement T12 flourecent 20 Watt in each.
I have been considering switching to the Lights of America Model # 9267 65 Watt w/ 500 Watt output, but not sure.

What plants would you recommend to transform this tank info a natural haven for some Dendrobates Leucomelas.

Thank you,
Jon Sourp

Hi Jon,
welcome to the forum.
It looks like you had a good start to your tank.
Do you know why the plants you had died?

You mentioned 'plastic pots', are you leaving the plants in the pots they came in?
You also mention 'native plants', are you wanting plants that are native to
Venezuela, where the leucomelas are found?

The plastic pots where purchased seperatly, small black ones.

Yes, I would like to get plants that are native to the leucomelas, Venezuela.

Not exactly sure why they died, I just bought them at petsmart/petco/home depot and rinsed them very well. I didn't do any research first, oops. I assume that it is too humid in the terrarium (average of 90%) or too hot for the certain plants (average 80 F). Not all of the plants died though:

Golden Potho & Dumb Cane are doing well
Schefflera, English Ivy, Arrowhead Vine are barely hanging in.

I know that most of the plants that I have put in the terrarium are toxic if ingested, I don't want those anymore. I am worried that the crickets will eat them and in turn kill the frogs or make the frogs toxic.

I was wondering (I think I already know, but what the heck) if I get some leucomelas, would I be able to get a Red-Eyed Tree Frog?

here is a photo of the pot:

I am guessing that you do not have much ventilation or air circulation. Also, your room temperature outside of enclosure must be fairly warm. Is the temperature you stated taken at the bottom as indicated by the picture or closer to the top? Especially in 36" of height there could easily be 10 degrees difference from the top to the bottom. Maybe even more.

Your enclosure is about 100 gallons and you are using three 20 watt lights that are only 24" long with an enclosure that is 36" long.

My guess is that the plants are not getting enough light. It is usually recommended to have about 1 to 3 watts of light per gallon of enclosure. (Highly dependent on what type of plants you are growing.) This can also vary greatly depending on the type of lights used and the shape of the enclosure.

Since you are looking at the Lights of America 65 watt, I would use two of those. Plan to place them above the enclosure a few inches, and maybe run a fan between the lights and the enclosure to move away the heat. I understand those lights generate a lot of heat. (I have not used them myself.)

Good Luck.

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