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Thread: How to make a Vivarium for under 150 dollars

  1. #1

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    Hello,
    I have decided to grow dart frogs. my goal is to make the vivarium for under 150 dollars (not including tank) This will be my little journal of what i use, where i get it, and how much it costs... my budget is 150 dollars. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    Supplies:
    Rep-Cal -$5.00 Pet-Co
    Herptivite -$6.50 Saurian Enterprises

    [2]Fruit Fly Cultures -$12.00 Fruitflies.net
    Media for fruit fly cultures: Food Store lol

    1 cup water -$0.05
    1 tablespoon cornmeal -(bag costs $3.00)
    1 teaspoon powdered agar -(available at health food stores, i tbs Aprox. $1.00)
    1 tablespoon molasses -(Bottle costs $3.00)
    1/8 teaspoon calcium proprionate (an optional mold inhibitor used in bread.) -$?.??
    1 package bakers yeast -$?.??

    SubTotal = $18.55

    Supplies for Vivarium::

    Gravel (10 lbs) -$10.00* PetsMart
    Fiber Screen -$3.00 Orchard Supply Hardware
    Peat (bushel) -$4.00* Orchard Supply Hardware
    Coconut Bedding (3 bed-a-beast compact packages) -$9.00 Pet-Co
    Pressed Cork Bark Panel (3' x 3') -$10.00 **********
    Water Pump (from fountain bought at Ross) -$9.50 Ross
    Ceramic Heater Lamp (Bought 2 years ago, but here's the price anyways) -$25.00* Pet-Co
    [2] Compact Florecent Lights -$14.00 (1* came with tank Petsmart) Orchard Supply Hardware
    [2] Hoods -$10.00 (1* came with tank)
    Thermistat- $4.00* Pets&Ponds
    (whats the word for a humidity level tester thingy?) -$4.00* Pets&Ponds

    SubTotal: $121.05
    My Real subtotal would be about $76.00, because most of the things are from leftover projects from years ago...

    NOTE: * = bought several months/years ago for other projects
    Now, What else do I need?

    Anything else I add or build I will add on to this post.

    -Spec

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    Oh, and I'll be sure to post lots of pics

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    Hey spec, Cork will cost you three times that much, it says 3 squar feet, not 3' x 3' which is 9 square feet. Personally I would skip the cork to save money, I've never used any myself.

    You should be able to get a cup of water for less that 5 cents. lol

    Is that a thermistat or thermometer? If you really found a thermistat that cheap I would love to hear about it.

    The heat lamp wont be necessary either.

    If you really want to be cheap, ditch the coco bedding. LFS works fine for the ground.

    Don't forget plants, There is a nice supplier that sells many viv plants cheap, broms for $4, cryanthus for $2, and vines for $2.

    I also recommend starting a flour beatle culture for emergency food in case the flys crash. They are zero maint.

    Instead of the preservative I would use vineger.

    Potatoe flakes are cheaper than agar.

    Just my 2.05 cents.

    Good luck,
    Happy froggin.

    joe
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    I just read through **********s jungle supply, I'd recommend the coconut fiber (not to be confuse with coco panels) sheets. One sheet would be enough for a back wall and it cost half as much as cork.

    joe
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (joseph @ Jan. 17 2004,13:50)]Hey spec, Cork will cost you three times that much, it says 3 squar feet, not 3' x 3' which is 9 square feet. Personally I would skip the cork to save money, I've never used any myself.

    You should be able to get a cup of water for less that 5 cents. lol

    Is that a thermistat or thermometer? If you really found a thermistat that cheap I would love to hear about it.

    The heat lamp wont be necessary either.

    If you really want to be cheap, ditch the coco bedding. LFS works fine for the ground.

    Don't forget plants, There is a nice supplier that sells many viv plants cheap, broms for $4, cryanthus for $2, and vines for $2.

    I also recommend starting a flour beatle culture for emergency food in case the flys crash. They are zero maint.

    Instead of the preservative I would use vineger.

    Potatoe flakes are cheaper than agar.

    Just my 2.05 cents.

    Good luck,
    Happy froggin.

    joe
    oops! thats a thermometer
    I think a heater will be necessary, my room get pretty cold at night, in the low 60s, even high 50s... thats a bit low, I also want to try to breed them, and i think heating is required for that [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif[/img]
    Where can i get those plants that cheap?

    Also, I already have a philidendron and this plant that looks like a bromeliad but in other ways looks completely different, lol
    why is vineger better? just wondering

    when a culture starts to age, about two weeks, potatoe flakes have a nasty habit of smelling like human feces

    Thanks for your help [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] any thoughts on the potatoe flakes? (is it true that they smell like that?) also is heating required for breeding?
    TIA
    -Spec

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (joseph @ Jan. 17 2004,13:56)]I just read through **********s jungle supply, I'd recommend the coconut fiber (not to be confuse with coco panels) sheets. One sheet would be enough for a back wall and it cost half as much as cork.

    joe
    Oops, thats what i meant [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] also is it true that virgin cork bark has the nasty habit of rotting and crumbling off the back wall and killing the frogs after 2 years?

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    Well, Spec, that is basically an exageration. I don't think it will ever kill the frogs. Also, there is little chance that you won't tear your tank apart and redo it within the next two years. How long the cork last depends on the humidity, airflow, and whether or not it is in direct contact with water. Many people have had drip walls last for years, but personally I would keep the water off of anything that may rot. My waterfall only goes over rocks.

    joe
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    well thats a pretty decent set up, but you didn't add in the frogs! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    I would recomend looking for plants either here at ********** (they had a decent deal on a combo pack for like $30 if i remember) or over at Black Jungle

    As for the drip wall, i agree with Joseph, dont use anything that will degrade in a few years. a good terrarium will look better and better as the plants take root and begin to aclimate to the environment. It would really suck to have to rebuild after 2 years because the wall started to rot! I use Habiscape rock wall backdrop and it looks great. kind of expensive, but it works really well and it is lightweight. Rocks work but they are heavy and hard to attach to a wall if you need them higher up.

    as for a fly culture, i use mashed up banannas and red wine. smell is not bad at all and it's naturally mold free. if you cant use wine, use grape juice and vinegare equal parts.

    heat is required for breeding like you say, aroung 75-90 ideally. I actually use a fish tank water heater to heat the water in the tank which in turn heats the air equally. this method works a lot better than a pad or a light because it is easier to keep constant and wont burn anything (ie heat lamps or heat rocks)

    i think thats it, but ask more if you need too

    PS i think that if you actually get a working and greeat looking terrarium for under $150 you should market that plan! i think that it is virtually impossible, too many things you need, but i would love to hear how close you can get!

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