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First Vivarium Journal

I began construction on my very first Vivarium today! I'll be going through the process of creating a wonderful home for PDFs. I'll include all the ups and downs of this process. Hope everyone enjoys!

Here is what I will be using to create my vivarium. Also, here is where I ran into my first problem! The pump is way too weak, and couldn't pump water even a half a foot up. This was solved easy hehe just took it back and put on a massive pump I already have. So, it will make the stream a little fast...oh well, I'm sure I can decrease pressure by adding a few drip lines.
[Image: Construction001.jpg]

Here is the tank. It is an 18g high, and in this picture are the spacers used for the false bottom.
[Image: Construction002.jpg]

Dry fit Smile All the crate is cut to size and set in place just to make sure it fits where I want it to.
[Image: Construction003.jpg]

All put together! That is it for today, it needs to dry over night. Goal for tomorrow: Get the foam all in place, and wood foamed into the background to set over night.
[Image: Construction004.jpg]

Day 2 Part 1:
Well I'm taking a little break is really hard on the hands working without a caulking gun Sad Thought I would post some pics of what I did so far today.

Here is the first layer of plastic netting. It is a larger hole plastic mesh.
[Image: Construction005.jpg]

Just incase I ever need to get at the pump there is a section designed for it with a lid that can just pop off. To hide this I'll cover it with some moss.
[Image: Construction006.jpg]

Here is layer two of the mesh. This is plastic bug screen which is very fine.
[Image: Construction007.jpg]

I'm going to relax for an hour then try and find the gun! My fingers are dead! I couldn't even open a can of coke after I had to use my left hand Sad I know it is around here someplace.

Looks good so far. Go by a new gun they run 2.50 for the cheap ones.

Day 2 Part 2:
Ahhh sticky! Well, I got all the tubing set out; the wood how I want it, and the first layer of the background done Yay!

Tank on its side...pretty boring pic huh!
[Image: Construction008.jpg]

Things are picking up! Got the wood how I want it and the tubing where I want it. I don't know if you can quite tell, but the wood leads into the water area, and will have a very slow dripping going town it to keep it wet. There is also a rather large cave under this wood now that it is at an angle. I can hear the frogs getting it on already hehe
[Image: Construction009.jpg]

AHHHH this stuff is sticky! I'm almost scared to look in about an hour. I have a feeling I'm going to have a ton of carving out to do. Oh well, allows me to carve it how I want it. Still can't quite tell where the stream will be because I have to layer it. Need to go buy more of this stuff I used the whole can! I started out wearing gloves...yea...good idea hehe
[Image: Construction010.jpg]

Not quite sure if I'm done for the day or not. It all depends on how fast this stuff gets hard. I know it takes 24 hrs to cure, but if it is at least hard enough for me to add another layer in not too long I want to get the stream all layered out for today.

Day 2: Days end

Well I did a little bit more than I thought I would do today Smile I came up with a quick stream that will also look great. The "Great Stuff" really is great stuff! I love it! It is so easy to carve and sets hard as a rock. I got all the tubing in place ready to cut tomorrow, and I have Co-Co Bedding drying outside so it will be ready to silicone to the foam in the morning.

If all goes alright I should be ready for a wet-run by tomorrow night!

Easy stream construction 101 hehe: Water bottle cut in half+ black silicone + eco-complete= quite a nice little stream Smile
[Image: Construction011.jpg]

Here you can see the finished product. That foam really expands! I know I have tubing all over the place, but it will be cut to size once I get the bedding all siliconed to the wall. Pretty much as far as I can take it for today, but I'm very happy with my progress Smile
[Image: Construction012.jpg]

i'm enjoying the play by play, thanks!

Day 3:

Well the coco bedding took forever to dry! Now that it is done I can finally finish the background Smile

I started off in the little cave part because I figured this would be the hardest spot to get at...I was right! Even at the largest cut point on the silicone tube it came out wayyyy to slow...sooooo....I cut the whole thing in half lol
[Image: construction013.jpg]

I thought I could get away with only wearing one glove...yeaaaaa that didn't work.
[Image: construction014.jpg]

This is the best picture I have ever taken! Considering I took the pic with the cam on my neck using my chin to push the button lol...what? I didn't wana get my cam all messy!
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Some notes...Shirts are pointless you will just ruin it. Also, wear gloves on both hands! Silicone is fun to peel off, but not silicone and dirt.

Hmmm, shirts are pointless eh? Now that could be entertaining..... :lol:

Looks good! Keep us updated.

Day 4: Wet Run!

I wanted to date this so I would be able to keep track of the days that pass. Now that I've got it all set up it is a whole bunch of sit back and wait. I'm as far as I can go at this moment. I should be getting in my drainage substrate sometime next week and then can really get it looking good Smile

This is my first time standing it up since I started Smile
[Image: construction016.jpg]

Eco-complete is added to hide the false bottom. This will also act as a base for my aquatic plants.
[Image: construction017.jpg]

It is filled with water Smile Runs great! I am very happy with how this turned out. I added a 1/2gph dripper to the top tube to insure the wood is kept constantly damp, but not soaked. A lot of plants will be growing off of this wood quite soon Smile
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Thats it! All done. Now I just have to get to scaping it once my supplies and plants get here Smile

Looks great. What all will you be planting it with? What frogs do you plan on putting in there. I would have to suggest a pair of tincs.

I don't know everything I'll be planting it with yet, but I have Mini Bromeliads on their way, and I'll be using a lot of moss and other aquatic plants. The frogs I was planning on keeping are auratus 'Spotted.'

Day 9:
First plant added Smile

Well, I just can't wait any longer! It is driving me nuts having this totally empty while I wait for my drainage substrate to get here.

A small rant: USPS is much faster than UPS, and about the same price if not cheaper...why not use USPS?

Anyway, my drainage substrate should be here on Monday then I can work on this much more.

For now I added some simple plants. I added some beautiful Taiwan moss. Yes, it is aquatic moss, but so far the Vivarium is maintaining humidity of just over 90% so I have my venting perfect. This high humidity will allow the Taiwan moss to remain moist, and should promote healthy growth. Also, I added some temp lighting. It is two 15w bulbs. This should be enough to promote growth in the plants I have already bought and the moss. However, I will be upgrading to around 80w before I add higher light plants.

I know it is a little hard to see, but if you look close there is moss put in different spots all over the wood, at the top of the stream, and at the bottom of the stream. In time it should attach by itself and begin to grow/cover the stream as well as the wood Smile
[Image: 1stplant.jpg]

Have I mentioned how much I love moss lately?

Day 16: Part 1

I get my plants in today so I am just doing a little prep work. I got the substrate all in place Smile

Made sure to cover the drainage substrate with screen before putting on the top layer.
[Image: Substrate001.jpg]

All the screen is hidden by the top layer of substrate Smile...well except for the stuff in the aquatic part, but that will all be hidden with aquatic moss and pella.
[Image: Substrate002.jpg]

Day 16: Part 2

My plants came Smile They were prety dehydrated so I soaked them for a little bit in water. They are looking really good now and got them set up in my Vivarium.

Here they are Smile All set up I just stuck them in gaps in the wood. I may decide to move the one on the far right, but I don't know yet.
[Image: plants.jpg]

Well, I have a few more plants added now.

I bought some Venus Fly Traps that were at Walmart. Like most every living thing at Walmart they were all in poor condition. The one I got wasn't the best looking one they had, but I got it on a hunch. At the bottom of the plant I could see baby plants and I had a hunch they were sprouts not just new leaves...I was right Smile

I also added Jade. I went out in the front to clip some leaves to let root, but I didn't even have to do that...there were already new plants forming in the ground that had already rooted. So, I took 4 of them...I'll keep them small by trimmings so they will work in this vivarium. While I was out there I took rooted clipping from our Arrowhead plant.

Anyway here is the pic...the trap sprout you can hardly see on the left side of the tank right where the wood ends. Those little plants on the right and left side is the jade.
[Image: Traps.jpg]

I'm almost ready to add some frogs Smile I'm just going to order couple more things then begin looking for the type of frog I want Smile The last couple plants I'm going to order are Nepenthes rafflesiana which is a tropical pitcher plant and some sheet moss which will cover the entire ground Smile

Where do u get ur moss and plants?

The moss is from one of my aquariums, the Bromeliads are from black jungle, the fly traps are from Walmart, the jade and arrowhead plants are from my yard.

when u get your froglets id try and get the largest pair you can, froglets have trouble with deep water, also make sure the nepentheis wont grow so big the frogs can get in the pitchers, i propagate severat types of them, and most get descent size pitchers, so just keep that in mind. The tank looks great though, good luck.


Thanks, I'll be sure and do that and I'll also be adding thick aquatic plants to the water to allow the frogs to stand on it and get out easy if they decide to go in.

:oops: any update pics available? Smile
Thanks for the great thread!

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