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Exo 18x18x24 Build
#1
Just finished doing some preliminary planting on my newest viv, a 33 gallon Exo-Terra, and thought I'd post a couple of not-very-good cell phone shots.

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This is my first try at a "shattered cork mosaic" background, and I kind of like the way it came out; hopefully some of the sphag stuffed between the cork pieces will eventually green back up and start spreading across the background. I also embedded a tree fern root section and a piece of mopani driftwood into the background as ledges, as well as a cork tile ledge towards the upper left. Substrate is 2/3 "Pro League Red" Turface and 1/3 ABG mix, separated off a hydroton bottom with just a "plate" of screen wrapped eggcrate. The piece of malaysian driftwood on the bottom is anchored to the eggcrate with aluminum bonsai wire. The tank is drilled with a 1/4" bulkhead fitting (which I'm still not terribly sure of, but I put a strainer on it covered with fiberglass screen, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed). The lighting is just temporary; LEDs will be installed next week, and I've still got to mount misting heads on the tank, and work in a circulation fan.
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#2
Very nice Chuck ! The tiered background hardacape is so often overlooked but so very important IMO. When grown-in, there will be some many ledges and retreats for the frogs - it will actually make them more bold and visible.
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#3
Philsuma Wrote:Very nice Chuck ! The tiered background hardacape is so often overlooked but so very important IMO. When grown-in, there will be some many ledges and retreats for the frogs - it will actually make them more bold and visible.

Thanks Phil; I was trying to maximize hardscape hiding / exploring / planting areas while still keeping as much room as possible on the substrate for leaf litter.
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#4
Looks great Chuck!
I really like the cork background as well. Please post some updates as it grows in. Big Grin
-Beth
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#5
Will do.
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#6
I agree, great job Chuck! btw - You cant go wrong w LEDs, in fact they make a huge diff w sumer temps in our hot city.
Scott - North Dallas
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#7
I'm a big believer in LEDs; when I saw the difference in my power bill after converting the reef tanks over, my rule has pretty much been "if it's lit, it has to be by LED". With the exception of a walk-in closet or two, the whole house is converted over.
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#8
Looking good, Chuck!

I'm a big fan of a tiered background. It gives the frogs so many places to chill and they're generally visible.

Cheers
Glenn
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#9
Thanks Glenn!

I just scored a big pile of cork from Vivarium Concepts at a local reptile show, and I've got two more of the 33G exos that I plan to do the same thing with this week.
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#10
Very cool Chuck! Once it grows in it'll be awesome. Good choice on the addition of turface to the abg, that's something that I've been doing as well and have been quite happy with the results (though my turface/abg ratio is skewed more towards abg than turface). The big question is: whats going in the tank?
-Field Smith
Some frogs...
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#11
Thanks Field!

I'm a big turface fan -- in fact, I'd almost rather go the other way; my staple "fast draining" mix for houseplants is equal parts (by volume) turface, fir bark and coarse perlite; I know I can't use perlite with frogs, but if I could find some gravel the right size to replace it (other than expensive aquarium gravel), I'd like to try a similar mix in vivs. The turface stays wet enough that I'm mostly focused on getting good airflow with the rest of the mix.

As far as what's going in, I'm not sure yet -- I'm leaning towards some variety of pumilio once everything starts growing in and the microfauna gets established.
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#12
Don't worry about the drain. I don't think you will have any problems. Mine work great and I know of a few other people that swear by them as well. And if it does clog you can just blow it out through the drain line..

Looks great by the way. I love tiered look as well. Great job.


Sean
Sean Pennington
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#13
Thanks Sean!

I don't ever seem to get much drainage out of my drains (I mist a lot, but I've got a lot of ventilation), so it may not be much of a problem anyway...
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#14
Now lit with 2x 13w "Jungle Dawn" LEDs from LightYourReptiles.

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#15
I love this tank. Very open yet well planted.
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#16
Dang Chuck...just when I convinced myself that I don't "need" LED's, you post this...looks like I'm gonna be raising some $ for new lighting in the near future. On that note...anyone looking to buy a new kidney?..I've got a spare
-Field Smith
Some frogs...
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#17
EntoCraig Wrote:I love this tank. Very open yet well planted.

Thanks!
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#18
fieldsmith Wrote:Dang Chuck...just when I convinced myself that I don't "need" LED's, you post this...looks like I'm gonna be raising some $ for new lighting in the near future. On that note...anyone looking to buy a new kidney?..I've got a spare

If your AC bill in GA is as bad as mine in TX, you'll eventually get to buy your kidney back from electrical savings :-)

One of my favorite things about LEDs is they're not only cheaper to run, but I don't have to pay a second time to pump all those watts of heat back out of the house. Just converting my reef tanks saved me about $150 a month in the summer.

(That's when I instituted the new house rule -- if it's lit, it has to be LED)
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#19
Finally got the misters and circulation fan added.

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#20
A month later, it's beginning to get a bit of that lived-in look -

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Speaking of lived-in, there's one of the squatters -

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