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1st frog viv - lots of Newb questions

Hi guys,
I am an ultra newbie with frogs. I kept a few lizards a few years ago, and always admired the frogs that the stores had! And loved them as a kid, always catching tadpoles and small frogs to bring back to my pond.

So i have done quite a bit of research and for my first viv i plan on using one of the fish tanks i have lying around.
At the moment i have 3 available, a 4' 50g, 3' 30g or a small 8g hex! (U.K gallons)

The hex is quite tempting as it could be a cute little set up, and space is a big issue.
Though i don't feel that this small a tank will easily allow a nice plated appearance! And this is my ticket to winning the misses over, it has to be an attractive display. As she does nothing but moan about all my pets!!!

So i think i have settled on the 30g, 3 footer, as i don't really have room for the 4!

I of course being new wanted a community :x And i thought of maybe a trio of D.Auratus, and a pair of E.Tricolour or whites tree frogs. As i am told the Tri's/whites live higher up, while Auratus dwell on the bottom! I also read that the different genus will not cross breed!

But after reading many opinions and views on this it quite surprised me as when cross breeding 'can' be done, people are normally so eager to attempt this to multiply the number of colours!
As is the case with leopard geckos and corn snakes.

I have decided on 4 or maybe 5 D.Auratus, will this number be ok in this tank? From my marine fish experience we find that odd numbered groups help to dissipate a little aggression, is this also the case with frogs?

So i am in the process of planning this and have a couple of questions if you don't mind. I wasn't sure if this should go in the viv section or here! So here go's:

1) i am thinking of a false bottom as i want a water fall/stream feature. the raised bottom will be of 'egg crate' wrapped in fiberglass matting, but i am unsure if i need a lair of 'pebbles' over this beneath my substrate to allow for drainage.
I plan on the substrate being a mix of dendrosoil/fine orchid bark.
And should a waterfall, provide a high humidity? I plan on having a heater in the water. I could also add a fogger, but not to keen on the look!

2)How do i adequately vent a 'fish tank'? I see custom viv's have vent holes in the side, with a mess top on my tank will this circulate air enough? I was thinking i could put some airline tubing into tank and put air towards the bottom to ensure circulation. Good idea?

3)Browsing the American sites i see you guys use expanding foam on the back! As far as i am aware this isn't done much in the U.K. I was thinking of doing this but placing some cork pieces into the foam to graft plants to. What foam do you use? Is their an ingredient in some i need to avoid? Or is the foam inert once it has gone off, so any is fine?

4)Lights! what is the best way to go here? I want some hardy attractive plants, and hopefully some orchids. How many watts i am looking at needing, or isn't it that simple? (tank is 18" deep)
Also how do i mount the lights? Do most people just sit them on the mesh panel in the lid? Do they hang them inside?

Also if any Brits are reading this, some help with Brands and suppliers would be appreciated!

Sorry for the long first post, but get used to it as it will be the first of many :lol:

Thanks for any help guys n girls!

Sounds good Mark, 5 auratus would do fine in there.

1. The false bottom setup is fine. You can put a layer of gravel or pebbles if you want MORE drainage, but you shouldn't have to, the false bottom IS the drainage layer. Just make sure that the water that accumlates at the bottom of the tank does not get closer than about 1/2" to the eggcrate, this was you avoid water wicking up into the substrate.

A waterfall will definitely add more humidity, providing that the top of the tank is mostly sealed. You don't need a heater in the water.

2. People do different things on circulation, however you do not need much in your viv, as long as you don't use plants that really need it. For most vivs, people cover the top of the tank with a piece of glass or plexi, leaving a few areas for screen. For example, if your tank is 36" x 12" footprint, you could have a piece of glass 36" x 10" and then above the front glass pane create a vent screen 36" x 2". That would provide more than adequate ventilation if you would like any. Several people completely close the tank without ANY ventilation. It's up to you and your plants.

3. The foam most people use is called Great Stuff Foam. It is usually applied to the back of the tank, covered with silicone when dry, and then the wet silicone is covered with coco fibers/tree ferm fiber/sphagnum moss. Some people also use Black Pond Foam. Either is fine, you could also just silicone the cork panel onto the back and fill gaps with moss.

4. Most people either hang them above the viv, or build them into the hood. You can build any hood you like, this is mine for example. DO NOT put them inside. If you want a very nice show viv, then you could build a hood for the tank and mount the lights inside there. For a 30g tank I would suggest maybe something like a 96w PC or even 2x55w PC. It's up to you, if you want to go cheaper you could arrange 2 or 3 40w T12 bulbs for example. There are many options for lights. I would suggest between 60-100w for the 30g. Depending on the plants, you will need different amounts of lights, so decide what plants you want in there.

Keep asking questions, it's how all of us learned, there is a lot of info, so don't worry if you're confused at first. Good luck.


Thanks alot for the reply Luke

I think i pretty much have the viv part sussed! And the frogs are decided upon, i am confident i know enough to start with them.

It looks like my next research project is the plants!! (never thought i would say that).
I think i need to start on the viv, and get an idea of structure, then i can decide on the way to go with plants. Then what lights i need! What kind of spectrum are we talking? (i am not very green fingered). Will tropical fish tank bulbs be good? (6500K)
What about UV light? the opinions seem very mixed on how needed this is! Or is best to just supplement with calcium + D3?

Once again thanks!

5000k-6700k are the best. Most people do not use UV light, although opinions on whether frogs need it are mixed. You should definitely supplement with calcium + D3 and herptivite either way.


i just want to agree with luke that supplementation is very important whether you use UV or not. many froggers keep and breed darts without UV, so technically you do not NEED it, but i've seen anecdotal evidence which suggests it may be beneficial.

Thanks for the extra info Mack. I think this is something i need to read into and make my own mind up to include or not!

But i do apprecciate the importance of supplementation as i have and still do keep many reptiles.

Thanks again

mack Wrote:i just want to agree with luke that supplementation is very important whether you use UV or not. many froggers keep and breed darts without UV, so technically you do not NEED it, but i've seen anecdotal evidence which suggests it may be beneficial.
Hello, Im new here, I have a question. Would there be any disadvantage or downside to using uv lighting?

Thanks - Frank

[Image: Frank4.jpg] [Image: frank1.jpg]

UV lighting is still highly debated and there is not enough data to tell for sure its affects. Some state that it is very beneficial for health and coloring while others (most) do not use it. Since the natural niches of PDF's are not exposed to much UV light, it is most likely not a necessity to their health. UV light is needed to help with calcium balance and D3 production, but as long as you dust with calcium D3 powder, they should be fine.


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