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Thread: 55 gallon PDF Vivarium build

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    dustin's Avatar
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    55 gallon PDF Vivarium build

    Hey everyone,

    Well i decided poison dart frogs will be going into the 55 gallon fish tank. At the moment it's currently under construction.

    For the drainage layer i will be using the egg crate method.

    Any tips and tricks for the background would be great. I'm not sure how i want to do it yet. I might do the foam method but if i can't i might end up with a plastic scenery sheet on the back, and then in front lots of wood, rocks, plants etc so it might blend in. haha. If you can recommend what kind of expanding foam to use and tips to ensure everything goes smoothly that would be awesome. I just don't want to crack the glass since i've heard stories about that. The other option i just remembered is the cork/fake backgrounds they sell usually in 12"x12" inch sections.

    I'm also looking for feeders, and seeders, i will be reading more into them now since it might be a couple days before the viv build, but springtails, isopods i'm looking for to seed the completed planted tank, and then fruit flies i will be looking for too. Any links or tips on raising these would be great too since i'm new to these feeders.

    If anyone has the korean rock fern i would love to add that to the viv. If you know of any plants that would also be great for the viv please post them, not sure if i'll be using cps in it since but it's still a possibility. (small neps or utrics i think would do fine).

    I'll keep everyone posted when i make some progress on it

    dustin

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    31drew31's Avatar
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    Take a look at these two sites. They have all the plants/feeders/frogs and how-to's that you will need. I believe both have YouTube channels too.

    http://aaafrogs.com/

    http://www.joshsfrogs.com/

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    dustin's Avatar
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    Thanks drew!

    well i decided to go the cheap way....no expanding foam, no fake rocks, i still have to buy a stick on back for the outside though. let me know what you think






    Total cost w/o backing...

    Coco fiber compressed bricks: $10
    Soil mix for reptile/amphibians like jungle mix: $6
    Forest floor: $15
    Screen for flitering most of the dirt: $3
    Plants about $30
    fish tank stand $151
    glass lid: $13
    Screen lid : $15

    Total: $243 haha

    if i went the more expensive route: expanding foam that would cost me at least $15 for 2-3 cans, the silicon is like $5/tube, foam blocks to cut into fake rocks would cost me like $20, tile grout unsure on price, guessing about another $50 bucks

    I will post updates since this is the newly planted tank, all plants were rinsed in a bleach solution and then fresh water before planting in the tank

    i have the pics on my fb too under "poison dart frog vivarium", don't mind my profile pic hahaha
    Last edited by dustin; 07-19-2011 at 07:55 PM.

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    31drew31's Avatar
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    Looks great Dustin! You will want to add lots of leaf litter to the viv otherwise the dirt will stick to the darts. It will also give the springtails and isos somewhere to breed.

    Andrew

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    I have just Lots of carnivorous plants but I also grow orchids and the springtails are in everything that is moist. Once you have them, they do not harm anything but they are difficult to get rid of. They eat fungus that grows on decaying organic matter and they are the primary food source for my pings. I used to think they would all get stuck to the butterworts and I would need to find more, but they breed in with all the pings and they are in all the orchids and have migrated from orchid to orchid because the orchids were in my 75 gal long tank. Once the pings had springtails stuck to them, I thought that too many were getting digested and not enough would live in each bin, but it seems to be enough that the pings have a steady supply and I also supplement with occasional drops of orchid fertilizer at about the normal strength I use on the orchids and that helps so the plants do not need as much insect food.
    I also noticed that using excessive nitrogen on the plants causes them to produce multiple crowns and sort of distorts the leaves until the plants have adjusted to, or assimilated the nitrogen. I also grow my pings in moss I got from outside that grows around here and it seems to be the best thing for the roots of the pings. I used to try breeding african horned frogs, but it difficult and they will eat each other if given the optimal conditions. I think using CP with smaller frogs like poison dart frogs is a bad idea since the frogs are small and get trapped by pitchers easily. My friend successfully bred 2 african horned frogs, and some of the young frogs actually got stuck in some of the cp pitchers or traps and died. the frogs grow quickly too and can damage plants easily. I know that the femal dart frogs need more of the bromeliads for breeding and mosquito larvae are the primary food for the young tadpoles unless a female dart frog lays an extra unfertilized egg for the growing tadpole. You may need to find or leave the lid open and get some mosquito larvae or some other food for the tadpoles to eat when immature.

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    dustin's Avatar
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    @drew: Thanks , i hope to get some with my feeders i'll post an update when i get it all thrown in, i might make a little video for youtube when i get the frogs too.

    @montanaguy: Nice . I'm not sure about the nitrogen treatment but i saw a cool DIY CO2 thing i planned to fill the tank with C02 bakingsoda vinegar thing, to hopefully give the plants a good start in the tank. At the moment i don't have cps in the tank, i am thinking about possibly putting a nep with small pitchers inside or maybe some utrics but nothing that would kill them, if pitchers get too big i might just cut them off, i'm still not too sure about putting them in yet though. I do have one dracaena that is like a bromeliad but i don't have bromeliads in there. I plan to do the petri dish, or film canister method for collecting the eggs and having them mature outside the tank. Feeding them compost tea, etc, it's going to be awhile before i get the frogs so i will have to read up on PDF breeding i know very little.

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    dustin's Avatar
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    Just an update

    I have built the 30 gallon vivarium! now just waiting on a little grow in before i take a pic. I've also seeded each tank with...

    Springtails: Folsomia & Sinella
    Isopods: Dwarf Stripe & Dwarf white

    hope to get frogs ordered by the end of august

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