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Questions about creating a Vivarium

My first question is, can I have plants in there long before I put frogs in? Im getting a 32 gal tank this weekend and wanted to slowly start adding things to it, even though I dont plan on getting frogs until next spring.
How long do the things in the vivarium last? (clay pellets at the bottom and such)
Do you HAVE to have a background?
And finally (for now hehe) I found a website with plants that I like, they said that the plants are good for terrariums. Are these plants suitable to have in a tank with frogs: ... ductId=495 ... ductId=489 ... ductId=498

Rabbits foot fern ... wmoss.aspx ... eroot.aspx

1. Yes, it's preferable to have plants in long before frogs...that's NEVER a problem. Grown-in is always good.

2. Clay pellets / Hydroton / Leca and the associated substrate ect - lasts virtually forever. No worries there. don't have to have a background at all. IMO, 40-50% of all Vivariums do not have them. Not a bad move for a beginner, to skip the background and just go heavy with plants and maybe a big wood feature or two.

4. I would try to get plants from your local greenhouse before mail ordering them (assuming that 'Violet Barn' is not near you / you haven't put a location in your profile).

5. I don't think any of those 'tree-like" ficus plantings are going to do well in a high humidty / moist to wet vivarium. Rabbits foot ferns are nice and some people report good luck with them (get it...Rabbits foot...luck ?) but seriously, some people report that they cannot get them to thrive. Hit or miss depending on the viv and it's design.

Just find a nice local greenhouse / plant business and ask them for 'terrarium friendly' plants and off ya go ! .Oh...make sure that they do NOT use pesticides or heavy fertilizers.

There are 5-6 good threads on Vivarium plants here on Dart Den. Let me try to bump a couple for you.

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

Actually, most Ficus trees probably would love the humidity (it tends to make them drop air roots like mad, and high humidity growing is often used to generate "banyan style" bonsai Ficus plantings). My concern would be more that without being able to do bonsai-style root pruning, most of them would probably get real big real fast - I'm not familiar with salicifolia, but most of the Ficus used for tropical bonsai can quickly grow 6 - 15 feet or more without being kept restricted.

On my phone so didn't check the links, but violet barn has tons of cool viv-appropriate stuff that would be hard to find locally (depending upon where you live of course). I had great luck with rabbits foot ferns...too much good luck really, they grew like mad. If you want to use a ficus, check out green island ficus, it's used extensively in bonsai and has larger leaves than benjamina. That viv is kind of small for a tree type ficus though, just something to consider. I've ordered from lots of different plant suppliers, pm me if you want a list of good vendors...and vendors to avoid. I'll second what Phil said though, it's a good idea to check out local greenhouses, you never know what cool plants you will discover. As an example, a couple of weeks ago I found a well-established (and relatively rare) crocodylus fern for $10 at a local greenhouse. A much smaller cutting of the same plant costs much more than that from one vendor (the only downside is that I have to bareroot it and grow it out for a few months to make sure all systemic fertilizers dissipate).

-Field Smith
Some frogs...

Thanks Phil for bumping those up for me! I have a greenhouse type thing in town but its mostly summer plants and veggies. Then theres another one about 30 min away, but they are VERY expensive. Thats good that I dont have to have a background, id rather be more creative with plants and wood. I wish I could have a little tiny waterfall, but Iv read a million times on here its basically a no-no Sad
#6're in Mass ? Great frog and plant area ! Lotsa hobbyists too.

Go to Black Jungle terrarium supply. Big store, nice greenhouse, great hobbyists. It should be an easy drive away for ya.

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

:O thank you thank you thank you! they even have froggies! thatll save a bit on shipping hahaha

....tell em Dart Den sent ya, when you get there.

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

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