Vivarium / Paludarium for frogs

Discussion in 'DIY Zone' started by greggles91, May 8, 2016.

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  1. greggles91

    greggles91 Active Member

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    Hi All,

    Thought i'd just post some photos of my DIY vivarium i have just finished. This was made with some foam i bought from buntings covered in black pool sealer.

    The left hand side of the tank is the wet side with water constantly streaming down and the right being the relatively dry side.

    Maiden hair, ferns and some of the bromeliads where purchased and the rest collected. have put lots of different moss in there to see which takes best and in the wet side i have baby tears which hopefully completely covers.

    Lights i am using 2x LED strips at 6500k with a total of 21watts.

    The water section is pretty bare at this stage and will be like this until i move it into my apartment in january.

    check out these pics. Feel free to ask any questions.

    cheers

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  2. Murph_BTK

    Murph_BTK Well-Known Member

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    Holyshit that is freeking awesome mate.. definitely a show peice in the home....
     
  3. BredliFreak

    BredliFreak Well-Known Member

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    This is why I haven't completely lost fath in humanity. I am lost for words and you certainly have talent!
     
  4. greggles91

    greggles91 Active Member

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    Haha wow, thank you.

    But it is really just a simple design that any one could do!

    Here is a pic of the background by itself. A few shelves out of the foam sheet I then added a few chunks of expanding foam to plant some ferns in. Got to it with the dremel and coated it with black. Decided not to try imitate rock or stode as I wanted the rich green moss to be the centre point and I thought the best way would be to contrast it with black.

    P.s The bottom right hand corner is where the filter hides in. although the steady dribble washing down the left corner Is not enough to properly filter the tank by the looks of it so I will have to rethink filer strategies. Posibly a canister filter but i don't want pipes visible.

    Last photo is upside down

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  5. Toska

    Toska Not so new Member

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    Wow amazing work!
     
  6. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Love the artistic arrangement. Creatively exciting to the eye. You definitely have an artistic bent.

    On the other side of the coin, it appears to me this is likely your first venture into both growing plants in a terrarium and also incorporating a water body in an enclosure. I would be keen to know how things are going in a couple of months time. I may be able to assist you with things that don’t work out by that stage - please feel free to PM me.

    Irrespective of the ultimate outcome, you really need to be congratulated for an awesome launch into an exciting world of creating naturalistic vivariums.
     
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  7. greggles91

    greggles91 Active Member

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    Thanks blue tongue. Definitely agree, that's why I've started this project so early before moving into my apartment. I wanted to see what would grow and what wouldn't and any problems that may arise. That way once I move out I won't have to worry to much about if it's going to work and it will hopefully look naturally grown out.

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  8. greggles91

    greggles91 Active Member

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    Hey everyone,

    A bit of an update and request for assistance :)

    Will post pics tonight.

    - The bromeliads are all doing good.
    - The ferns are 50/50 due to the small area of soil they are planted in and thus small water retention if I don't water them every single day they start to wilt pretty quickly. At the moment aren't looking too healthy, how ever some have new younger shoots coming through that are looking OK. Depending how it goes I'm considering replacing them with a ground cover that will hopefully run a bit wild like baby tears.
    - The moss. I put several different types off moss in the tank and only one is thriving. Lucky it is the moss on the main bottom shelf. The rest almost all dies off and is now sprouting one or two shoots of moss. Possibly the lights.
    - the water section is going OK but the dwarf baby tears is not covering the way I imagine it. It is growing taller rather than outwards. Guessing my lights aren't sufficient.

    In regards to my lights I've only just recently added an extra strip so at the moment i have 3 approximately 60cm long led strips over the tank. The lights are 6500k.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Cheers

    Greg

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  9. CrazyNut

    CrazyNut Well-Known Member

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    Mybe add some stuff to the water like washed pebbles and some aqautic plants. You could use a canister filter and try and use thick airline hosing and run from the top and than down behind the background. You could have an inlet on one side of the background and an outlet on the other, habing the pump fitted to the filter externally. Alternativly try using a sump set up where the sump doubles as the filter by filling with mechanical and biological filter media in it - you can make it as big as you want then! All in all great set up!
     
  10. PythonLegs

    PythonLegs Very Well-Known Member

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    Is there room for a sump tank underneath?
     
  11. greggles91

    greggles91 Active Member

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    No room for sump and pretty happy with filter at the moments.

    The plan is to put all the substrate and fish in once I have moved the tank into my apartment. This should be around November :)

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  12. PythonLegs

    PythonLegs Very Well-Known Member

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    Ok then. Looks really good. Maybe have a look at aquarium led for your plants, there are some really good ones available at affordable prices now- the pet worx ones are good value, or a kessil in there would be pretty impressive..
     
  13. greggles91

    greggles91 Active Member

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    Thanks for those brand names. Will check them out now. Was thinking I'd have to dive into the aquarium lighting plus a UVB for frogs.

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  14. greggles91

    greggles91 Active Member

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  15. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    The two tall green plants, centre and left, are the Arum Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica). These have doubled in size already and in warmer weather will grow even faster. With a mature height of around half a metre they will quickly out grow this enclosure. They exude a sticky white sap when cut, which is not great if you have to be cutting them back regularly. In some states is a declared noxious weed as it is invasive and toxic - stock deaths have resulted from it being grazed.

    A better alternative is the Peace Lily (Spathyphyllum). It is much more compact, handles low light and can basically be grown hydroponically i.e. bare-rooted in the aquarium gravel or pebbles. Growing plants in the water, whether fully aquatic, emergent or floating, will help maintain water quality by removing nitrogenous wastes produced by frogs and/or fish.

    I would not expect the Maiden Hair Fern to thrive. They need bright light and (gentle) air movement.

    Ferns in general won’t tolerate permanently wet feet or completely drying out. So apart from anything else I’d expect you to have problems providing sufficient substrate to avoid this. What can be done with a set up like yours is to include a blind pot or similar plastic sleeve (i.e. no holes in bottom) into the structure and place a potted fern into that. You may be able to do it retrospectively (by drilling and sealing) if you do have issues and definitely want ferns included.

    A couple of other possibilities you might like to Google and think about including... The fern ally Spreading Clubmoss (Selaginella kraussiana), which has both a green and a golden form, with an appearance half-way between a fern and a moss. Once established, you may find yourself regularly trimming this one back - which only requires pinching off the unwanted bits with your fingers. Another possibility is liverworts. They are related to mosses but have flat green ‘leaves’ with little cup-shaped bit on them. You can often find them in the fern section of a nursery growing as ‘weeds’ on larger pots that have not been disturbed for a while or on wood retaining walls, such as railway sleepers. They occur naturally in shaded, permanently moist areas such edges of creeks with good tall tree cover.
     
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  16. greggles91

    greggles91 Active Member

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    Again thank you so much bluetongue!

    I think I'm going to remove the ferns and maiden hair as, like you said, they really aren't doing too well.

    I love the look of the spreading club moss. Might replace the ferns with that. Just got to find it. My local nursery doesn't have too many plants like that.

    The liverworts I actually found in the pot with the dwarf baby tears I bought. I didn't know what it was n thought it looked a bit funny so I through it away.

    Again thank you so much and I will keep you all posted with any updates.

    P.s changed water again today. Hopefully less and less tannins will effect water colour coming up to when I move out and put fish n frogs in :)

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  17. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    In my experience, it takes forever and a day to leach out all the tannin – like several years. That's why things like drift wood and mangrove roots are favoured by aquarists. Tannin does have a mild acidifying effect, which for native freshwater critters is good. It does no harm, even when it’s a strong black tea colour and you can barely see through it. Personally, I reckon it served as a good reminder in my early days of time for a water change and bit of a clean.

    You can seal the timber up to the water-line to prevent it leaching. However all sealants I know of leave a gloss finish . This is definitely evident when used above above the water line and spoils the naturalistic effect of the timber.


    You are doing very well! And you can only get better with experience.

    Oh yeah. One can tell that your moss samples came from the wild. The annual grass seeds in them have germinated and grown. Lol.
     
  18. PythonLegs

    PythonLegs Very Well-Known Member

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    If you have space in your filter for a small bag of macropore, that will soak up the tannins almost immediately.
     
  19. greggles91

    greggles91 Active Member

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    Thanks for the tip about macropore I'll check it out.

    Haha yes bluetongue they are collected from wild/corner of my street hahaha.

    I got the spreading club moss today from bunnings. Golden form. Love it!

    Color matches great with some moss on the shelf underneath it. Well I think it's a true moss?

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  20. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Just want to add my support to the recommendation made by PythonLegs.. This is a product I found out about a bit too late for me to take advantage of, and had all but forgotten about. It does exactly what he says, plus also removes nitrogenous wastes.

    It can be cleaned and reused. Soak and rinse in 10% salt solution (2 level teaspoons of salt per100 mL water) to remove the chemicals attached to the polymer’s surface. Then soak in 5% - 10% bleach solution until white and rinse, to remove the organic matter that physically gets caught up in its pores.

    The golden club moss looks awesome. Good luck with it. It should do very well.
     
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