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RazzleFish
08-22-2010, 4:22 PM
So after the loss of a rescue dragon, I have a 40 gallon breeder that is sitting empty and I was thinking about doing a CP Viv and I need some help.

It has already been through a leak test and has no leaks! :y220e:

Plants:

Lighting:
(1) 125 watt Solar Glo Daylight (Mercury Vapor Bulb)
(1) 150 watt Sun Glo Tight Beam Basking Light
(1) 100 watt Heat Glo Infrared Heat Lamp

Extra Lighting:
(2) Small Light Fixtures that can be used if needed

So will all this light be good for growing plants?

I read that too much red light (heat bulb) will cause the plants to get tall and skinny while too much blue light (UV Bulbs) will make them short and stocky. Should I add another fixture with a blue bulb to balance things out?

Substrate:
I was thinking of doing 50% Peat, 25% Sand and 25% Orchid Bark.

Is this a good mix?

Water:
I was planning on just building up the substrate along the back and then put enough water in to make a sort of lake.

Do I need to seperate the water from the substrate somehow? Will this cause root root with my plants?

Heat:
The lights will provide most of the heat and the water may or may not have a heater.

With the three lights on in the tank the temp ranges from 90 to 105.

Is this too hot for the plants?

Plants:
I have no idea about the CPs! I know I want a Nepenthe ventricosa for sure and maybe a venus fly trap. I have no clue about other CPs. I was thinking that since I will have frogs and small critters, sun dews and butter worts might not be the best options.

For normal plants I want a bromeliad, maybe some type of fern and possibly an african violet. I was thinking about small orchids as well.

Can venus flytraps survive without a dormant period? What other CPs can I get? Can bromeliad, ferns, african violets and orchids live in the high humidity, wet enviornment like this?

Aquatic & Semi-Aquatic:
Java moss, penny wort and java ferns will be added to the design at some point.

Animals:

Frogs:
The ones that come to mind fastes are fire bellied toads, poison dart frogs, and green tree frogs.

I was planning on getting the tree frogs and then either the FBTs or the poison dart frogs.

Will this be a good mix?

Other Amphibians:
Will golden bellied newts work with these frogs?

Fish:
After cycling the water portion, I was considering a plakit betta or a few guppies. I don't want anything huge but I want something interesting for the aquatic portion.

Will these be ok with frogs and newts? Any other suggestions?

Others:
In the aquatic portion I was planning on a colony of blackworms and maybe some ghost shrimp.

Good?

Food:

Live:
The CPs, frogs and newts, will get gut-loaded crickets, mealworms, waxworms and eathworms.

Good?

Not Live:
The fish will get regular fish food.

Good?

Well, I think I covered everything......... :duh:

Thank your for reading this very long thread!

RazzleFish
08-23-2010, 5:43 PM
Anyone? Any help on any of the questions would be great.

Vicious_Fish
08-23-2010, 5:52 PM
I wouldn't mix any of those amphibians. I'd pick one species and stick with it. Other than that it sounds like a sweet setup!

RazzleFish
08-23-2010, 5:59 PM
Thanks!

So I think FBTs are my best option, can those be mixed with fish or no?

jbradt
08-23-2010, 6:00 PM
Flytraps will survive for a growing season without dormancy, but will slowly die after a bit of time. Keep in mind also that the nutrients added to the water may burn the roots of the CPs. If you want to keep them with animals, you'll need to find some way to separate the water source, and water them with distilled/RO or rainwater only. Also, the ventricosa will do better if it is well drained and not sitting in standing water.

Sounds like an interesting plan. Good luck with it.

Agent_Scully
08-23-2010, 6:04 PM
Well here are the things that I know. I've succesfully kept ferns in high humidity, in fact mine are sprouting new fiddleheads at the moment. I've heard mixed reviews about the African Violets, some say the leaves shouldn't get moisture on them and others say they do just fine.

Soil mixture sounds good. I may be wrong, but the temp sounds a bit on the high side.

I suggest doing research on a false bottom, which solves drainage problems as well as prevent root rot.

Never....ever mix any frogs with firebellied toads or fire bellied newts. Both contain a toxin that will kill any other frog species. You may however keep firebellies together.

Most frogs will definitley eat the guppies, or anything else that moves if it's small enough.

Here is my tank for some inspiration lol :) Hope this helps

RazzleFish
08-23-2010, 6:27 PM
Flytraps will survive for a growing season without dormancy, but will slowly die after a bit of time. Keep in mind also that the nutrients added to the water may burn the roots of the CPs. If you want to keep them with animals, you'll need to find some way to separate the water source, and water them with distilled/RO or rainwater only. Also, the ventricosa will do better if it is well drained and not sitting in standing water.

Sounds like an interesting plan. Good luck with it.


Well here are the things that I know. I've succesfully kept ferns in high humidity, in fact mine are sprouting new fiddleheads at the moment. I've heard mixed reviews about the African Violets, some say the leaves shouldn't get moisture on them and others say they do just fine.

Soil mixture sounds good. I may be wrong, but the temp sounds a bit on the high side.

I suggest doing research on a false bottom, which solves drainage problems as well as prevent root rot.

Never....ever mix any frogs with firebellied toads or fire bellied newts. Both contain a toxin that will kill any other frog species. You may however keep firebellies together.

Most frogs will definitley eat the guppies, or anything else that moves if it's small enough.

Here is my tank for some inspiration lol :) Hope this helps

Alright, so is there a way to do a dormant period indoors? Can I remove it from the tank a few weeks before I want it to go dormant to let it "cool down" then put it in the fridge?

Do you think adding a piece of plexiglass to the inside of the tank could work as a divider? I am going to replace the silicone in the tank so addind some extra glass isn't a problem.

If I can find a cheep african violet, I may experiment with it and see if it makes it.

As far as the temps, I can find a way to raise the lights up. Those temps were with the lights sitting on top of the screen.

Coming up with info on false bottoms is proving to be harder than expected. So far I have come up with this:

Put a layer of stones/ pebbles (1-2 in) on the bottom of the tank, put some screen over that and then put the substate on top. It is basicly how my african violet (house plant) is taken care of, just bigger. Does this sound right?

Alrighty so FBTs OR poison dart frogs.

I don't mind having some of the guppies being eaten. In fact it would probably be good since they will be breeding! Although I don't know for sure that's what I am doing with the water section.

Your tank looks great! I hope mine can at least come close to being that good! What kind of frogs are those? They are very cute!

So basicly, I have no clue what I am going to put in this tank as far as animals go! Now I know I will choose 1 amphibian only and one fish (species).

Thanks for your help!

jbradt
08-23-2010, 6:37 PM
As far as dormancy, removing the VFT from the tank and putting it in the fridge is a great idea. It would need to be there for a few months though (think late fall-early spring). A divider to separate water sources I think could work quite well.

I don't know anything about african violets, so I can't help there. The false bottom you describe is essentially what I've done with my terrarium to give excess water a place to drain. Sounds like you've got a good plan there!

RazzleFish
08-23-2010, 6:42 PM
Alright so I can just do some sort of natural looking pot to keek it in so that it can be removed for winter. Do I need to do anything special to prepare it for "winter"? I read that they produce a different type of leaf when fall comes around.

Chrisinator
08-23-2010, 6:45 PM
I have a paludarium. It's not as big as yours but it could hopefully give you some ideas. Take a look at my signature for it.

Agent_Scully
08-23-2010, 6:47 PM
That frog is a male white's tree frog lol he needs to gain some weight.

jpappy789
08-23-2010, 6:51 PM
I'd be worried about the temps, to be quite honest. I can't speak about any animals but N. ventricosa is a highland nepenthes and they do best when there is a nighttime drop in temperature and day temps are cooler to being with. Lowlands might be better for your setup but I'm not certain as they are not a group I am familiar with at all. The VFTs probably would appreciate cooler temps at some point in the growing season since they are a North American species. And as JB said you absolutely should provide them with dormancy. I know that most Drosera, even the tropicals, would hate living in that type of environment 24/7 since I see mine losing most of their dew when the temps get close to 90F. You might want to invest in a type of fan (computer fan?) to get some air movement. Either that or replace what you have with cooler fluorescent lighting, which would also give you a wider spectrum most likely.

RazzleFish
08-23-2010, 6:54 PM
I have a paludarium. It's not as big as yours but it could hopefully give you some ideas. Take a look at my signature for it.

That is exatly how I was thinking of dividing it! How do you think it would work if I siliconed some of the aquatic substrate to the plexiglass to make it look more natural?


That frog is a male white's tree frog lol he needs to gain some weight.

He's so cool!

RazzleFish
08-23-2010, 6:58 PM
I'd be worried about the temps, to be quite honest. I can't speak about any animals but N. ventricosa is a highland nepenthes and they do best when there is a nighttime drop in temperature. Lowlands might be better for your setup but I'm not certain as they are not a group I am familiar with at all. The VFTs probably would appreciate cooler temps at some point in the growing season since they are a North American species. And as JB said you absolutely should provide them with dormancy. I know that most Drosera, even the tropicals, would hate living in that type of environment 24/7 since I see mine losing most of their dew when the temps get close to 90F. You might want to invest in a type of fan (computer fan?) to get some air movement. Either that or replace what you have with cooler fluorescent lighting, which would also give you a wider spectrum most likely.

Would raising them up away from the tank help keep it cooler?

Should I be using the red light at night or not at all?

How do you reccomend getting the the VFTs ready for a dormant period?

Is there a problem that you see with my lighting as far as the spectrum goes?

Chrisinator
08-23-2010, 7:17 PM
That is exatly how I was thinking of dividing it! How do you think it would work if I siliconed some of the aquatic substrate to the plexiglass to make it look more natural?


It should be fine. Just make sure you get everything on and make sure they will stay one. It'll save you from future pain when there is an eyesore.

jpappy789
08-23-2010, 8:12 PM
Would raising them up away from the tank help keep it cooler?

Should I be using the red light at night or not at all?

How do you reccomend getting the the VFTs ready for a dormant period?

Is there a problem that you see with my lighting as far as the spectrum goes?

Yes it would...by how much I do not know. Also consider that less light is going to be reaching the plants so you wont want to raise it too much.

As for the red light, I'm not familiar with keeping herps so I don't know whether or not you'll need the basking or heat lamp. If you don't, might as well not run them. They'll be too focused in a certain spectrum to do much good plant wise and they only add unnecessary heat. I also am not sure what the grow light you have does in terms of the spectrum. I just know that the exo terra bulbs (as per their website) say they are designed to put out heat which is why they are high wattage. They just say they are "full spectrum" but that doesn't necessarily translate to light most beneficial to plants.

Most people seriously growing VFTs do so outside in pots and trays so it is as simple as just moving them indoors or unplanting them depending on how they do dormancy. Since mine is in a pot in a terrarium for the moment I'll likely place them on a windowsill that will stay relatively cold, or in the basement, or I may put them in the fridge. I'm still not sure yet. This is only my first year with them.

Here's some links on providing dormancy that I've found useful...

http://gold.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/CP/page2.html
http://www.flytrapcare.com/venus-fly-trap-dormancy/fridge-dormancy-tutorial.html

jpappy789
08-23-2010, 8:18 PM
Just found this searching for mercury vapor bulbs on wikipedia.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/94/Mercury_Vapour_Lamp_Spectrum.jpg

It's generalized but not exactly the best spectrum for plant growing.

What are the other fixtures you have?

RazzleFish
08-23-2010, 8:58 PM
The two other fixtures are just small laps.
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753959
They are basicly the same as what I have on the tank now. They were used for skinks awhile back and I just never got rid of them.

Plant's need a lot of red and blue lighting, right? Since the mercury vapor bulbs are more on the blue/ purple end, would the red light balance things out? Also, does it make that much of a difference if the light is violet rather than blue?

While I want this all to work, my budget is limited so the CPs will come last just to make sure the other (less expencive) plants will grow.

jpappy789
08-23-2010, 9:32 PM
I'd see if you can just use daylight CFLs in the fixtures. More efficient as well since you'd be using less wattage.

Plants do use mainly red and blue light but it is not just limited to that. There are many pigments that make use of light throughout the entire spectrum.

jbradt
08-24-2010, 1:24 AM
I agree with Pappy-dew totally about the daylight CFLs. Look for something in the 5000k-6500k range. They'll provide the best spectrum for CPs. Preparation as far as I know for VFT dormancy is usually recommended to let them go through a couple light frosts before putting them in the fridge. Those who grow them indoors I think try to provide a steady drop in temp and photoperiod over a few weeks then put them in a baggie and fridge them. They tend to grow lower lying leaves/traps when temps are mild and the photo period is short. The taller, more upright leaves seem to be a reaction to higher temps and more intense light.

It is true that most people say to grow VFTs "well" you need to grow them outside. I say that's hogwash. If you provide them with enough light, the right substrate and water, I belive they can do just fine indoors. It just takes a little more care with the specifics.

As for the ventricosa... I might have skimmed over it if you mentioned temps in the original post, but one of the reasons ventricosa is so popular is because it is so robust. The night time drop in temp is arguably helpful, but from all my research and my still limited experience, not strictly necessary. Mine gets about a 5 degree drop at night and is absolutely thriving. Again, I think the main things here are enough light, the right substrate and pure water. A few bugs now and again don't hurt either. =) For this one, I would recommend keeping the temperature around 80ish. They can adjust to a wide range of humidity levels, but remember that the higher the humidity, the more air circulation is needed. I would try to keep it at 50% or higher as a rule, but I think your froggies would want it higher than that anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem.

If your temps are going to be consistently 85ish or higher, I would look into low land neps as Pappy suggested. The thing to keep in mind with this group is that they like high temps and humidity all the time.

HTH

jpappy789
08-24-2010, 2:33 PM
I'm with you on the VFTs being able to be kept indoors...after the initial adjustment stage from being in horrible store conditions mine are sending out red traps :D

RazzleFish
08-24-2010, 4:00 PM
Alright CFLs in the range of 5000k-6500k it is!

As far as the VFT, do you think taking it out in fall and leaving it outside until it gets too cold would give it enough time to get ready? Then before it gets too cold it would be moved to the frigde for...... How long should I leave it in the fridge? Until spring?

So from a quick skim of this page (http://www.bestcarnivorousplants.net/index.php?node=cat&id=37-nepenthes-lowland), I like these:

Nepenthes albomarginata
Nepenthes ampullaria
Nepenthes benstonei (my favorite)
Nepenthes bicalcarata
Nepenthes mirabilis

Does anyone have experience or info to share?

jbradt
08-24-2010, 4:09 PM
Alright CFLs in the range of 5000k-6500k it is!

As far as the VFT, do you think taking it out in fall and leaving it outside until it gets too cold would give it enough time to get ready? Then before it gets too cold it would be moved to the frigde for...... How long should I leave it in the fridge? Until spring?

So from a quick skim of this page (http://www.bestcarnivorousplants.net/index.php?node=cat&id=37-nepenthes-lowland), I like these:

Nepenthes albomarginata
Nepenthes ampullaria
Nepenthes benstonei (my favorite)
Nepenthes bicalcarata
Nepenthes mirabilis

Does anyone have experience or info to share?I've never grown LLers, so I can't be much help there. But if you look for stuff that says "good for beginning growers" or some such, you should be ok. I still think n. ventricosa could work for you...

If your VFTs are used to being grown indoors, I wouldn't move them outside... they need time to acclimate to being outdoors, the shock of going from indoors to outdoors to dormant may be enough stress to kill them. I would take them from the terrarium, put them in a windowsill that gets a little cold for a couple weeks, then to the fridge until probably mid to late march. Then back to a sunny windowsil, then back to the normal environment.

jpappy789
08-24-2010, 5:40 PM
Read THIS (http://www.sarracenia.com/faq.html)...it will have all the info you need to get started. Barry Rice is one of the most knowledgeable people out there when it comes to CPs. I don't agree with everything he says regarding cultivation but he is usually spot on.

I also suggest getting Peter D'Amato's book "The Savage Garden" if you are really interested in them since it is like the CP bible. I know you said that the CPs are last but given that everyone I know who has them has become hooked I bet you will too LOL.

PaulJ69
08-24-2010, 6:58 PM
Awesome site Pappydew!

RazzleFish
08-24-2010, 7:06 PM
I've never grown LLers, so I can't be much help there. But if you look for stuff that says "good for beginning growers" or some such, you should be ok. I still think n. ventricosa could work for you...

If your VFTs are used to being grown indoors, I wouldn't move them outside... they need time to acclimate to being outdoors, the shock of going from indoors to outdoors to dormant may be enough stress to kill them. I would take them from the terrarium, put them in a windowsill that gets a little cold for a couple weeks, then to the fridge until probably mid to late march. Then back to a sunny windowsil, then back to the normal environment.

I assume this means Low-Landers?

Alright is there a direction the window should face? I know some plants like facing north or south wile others are east and west.


Read THIS (http://www.sarracenia.com/faq.html)...it will have all the info you need to get started. Barry Rice is one of the most knowledgeable people out there when it comes to CPs. I don't agree with everything he says regarding cultivation but he is usually spot on.

I also suggest getting Peter D'Amato's book "The Savage Garden" if you are really interested in them since it is like the CP bible. I know you said that the CPs are last but given that everyone I know who has them has become hooked I bet you will too LOL.

I have been to part of that site and it was very helpful but I didn't know it was so big!

I will keep an eye out for the book and see what I can find. Thanks for the tip!

jbradt
08-24-2010, 7:30 PM
I assume this means Low-Landers?

Alright is there a direction the window should face? I know some plants like facing north or south wile others are east and west.


Yep, sorry... lowlanders indeed. For dormancy preparation, I would go for a north facing window... it will get less light and probably get a bit colder than others. You may want to check out your windows with a thermometer and see which one get the coldest... that's what you're looking for.

RazzleFish
08-25-2010, 4:24 PM
Alright that you!

For the pitchers, N ampullaria is a must.

Another option that I haven't been able to find much info on as far as ease of growing is Nepenthes benstonei. I like it but could do without if it's too big or too hard to grow. Has anybody tried this plant?

jbradt
08-26-2010, 5:05 PM
I've never heard of Nepenthes benstonei before. But in a quick search I saw a pic of one with about a 9" pitcher...

RazzleFish
08-27-2010, 4:34 PM
I've never heard of Nepenthes benstonei before. But in a quick search I saw a pic of one with about a 9" pitcher...
Oh, dang! That's pretty big! I had read that they will grow to quite a large size but I didn't know they were that big. Maybe I'll leave that one for the CP greenhouses!

RazzleFish
08-28-2010, 1:05 PM
Hello all!

I am going to try to swing by the hardware store tonight and pich up some silicone to re-seal the tank. What brand should I get? I know it needs to be aquarium safe but how can I tell if it is or not? Will it say on the container?

I am planning on re-sealing the tank tomorrow and I don't know how to do this. I have a utility knife and I was thinking just remove the silicone and put the new stuff on. Do I need to remove and re-attach the black plastic rims? If so, how do I do that without breaking them?

I wrote off crabs at the start because I thought they were all brackish but after really reading Chrisinator's Vampire Crab build I would love some! All I have been able to find about them is on this page (http://www.forums.repashy.com/freshwater-invertebrates/9570-vampire-crabs.html). Their claws cannot open very wide and the site says they have kept them with frogs but it doesn't say what kind. Has anyone kept them with FBTs? I think they are very cool and seem like they would love the set-up that I want but I don't want any compatability issues.

jpappy789
08-28-2010, 1:10 PM
Anything 100% silicone should be safe, AFAIK. I believe GE1 is one brand people often use. The only thing I've tried is DAP's aquarium sealer which is a heck of a lot cheaper than the ones you see at pet stores. Just make sure there are no chemicals for mold/mildew.

RazzleFish
08-28-2010, 1:13 PM
Thanks!

RazzleFish
08-28-2010, 9:27 PM
Update!
I got some DAP's aquarium sealer and after a very messy job, it's curing. I hope to be able to put the dividers in tomorow and let everything cure for a few days. After that I will start setting it up!

I have a heater for the water section but what kind of filter do you think would best suit the design (footprint is 36"X18" and it will be seperated diagonally with the water being about 6-8 inches high)? I've calculated it out to be about 8-10 gallons so I figure I don't need anything huge. I was planning on a little submersible pump or one of those in-tank filters. Either way they will be slightly changed because I would like sponge rather than the disposable cartridges.

jbradt
08-28-2010, 10:09 PM
Would a sponge filter work for that setup or is the water too shallow? There are some pretty good designs out there for DIY sponge filters.

Chrisinator
08-28-2010, 10:20 PM
I have sponge filter in my tank. The divider is approx. 5 inches high so I had to cut the uplift tube to about 2 inches for it to really work.

RazzleFish
08-29-2010, 8:47 AM
I didn't even think about a sponge filter. I'll look around online and see what I can find.

Does anyone know about the crabs? It seems like some people have kept them with frogs but I don't know what kind of frogs.

Thanks!

Chrisinator
08-29-2010, 10:39 AM
I personally wouldnt do it. I have vampire crabs but not with frogs.

Chrisinator
08-29-2010, 11:12 AM
Whoops. Forgot to post my reason.

From a few segments of reading, people wouldn't recommend having different species of frogs and amphibians together. With that in mind, I probably wouldn't recommend getting a crab and mixing it with frogs.

RazzleFish
08-30-2010, 7:00 PM
Whoops. Forgot to post my reason.

From a few segments of reading, people wouldn't recommend having different species of frogs and amphibians together. With that in mind, I probably wouldn't recommend getting a crab and mixing it with frogs.

Alright, I guess it's better to be safe than sorry.

The more I read, the more I think my community set-up is falling apart at the seams! Well at least for the herps!

:frog: :frog: :frog:

jbradt
08-30-2010, 7:03 PM
I keep trying to resist the urge to make a joke about giving your frogs crabs... lol.

RazzleFish
08-30-2010, 7:41 PM
:rofl:

Chrisinator
08-30-2010, 7:43 PM
The more I read, the more I think my community set-up is falling apart at the seams! Well at least for the herps!

Been there, done that. I wanted an anole in my 10g, but it didn't end up working out because of how much water I have. :(

RazzleFish
08-30-2010, 7:48 PM
Just to throw it out there, what about Dart Frogs? I don't entirely know what I want for the herps and I have a feeling it will be switching around quite a bit. I would like some variety and dart frogs at least have different color morphs right? Can they swim?

Chrisinator
08-30-2010, 7:49 PM
Just to throw it out there, what about Dart Frogs? I don't entirely know what I want for the herps and I have a feeling it will be switching around quite a bit. I would like some variety and dart frogs at least have different color morphs right? Can they swim?

How deeps is your water area? I think some might end up drowning or whatnot.

Also, hybrids are frowned upon in the hobby. I wouldn't be mixing color moprh

RazzleFish
08-30-2010, 7:52 PM
How deeps is your water area? I think some might end up drowning or whatnot.

Also, hybrids are frowned upon in the hobby. I wouldn't be mixing color moprh

Well ok then! Nope! The water is going to be about 6-7 inches deep and I don't want to kill my frogs. Nor do I want to be frowned upon :lipssealedsmilie:! Honestly, I thought it was selective breeding, so I am glad you told me!

Chrisinator
08-30-2010, 7:53 PM
Well ok then! Nope! The water is going to be about 6-7 inches deep and I don't want to kill my frogs. Nor do I want to be frowned upon :lipssealedsmilie:! Honestly, I thought it was selective breeding, so I am glad you told me!


LOL! Yeah, I've been browsing also for ideas on my palu but most aren't gonna mix together. I almost ended up getting FBTs but I'm deathly afraid of froggies.

RazzleFish
08-30-2010, 7:54 PM
LOL! Yeah, I've been browsing also for ideas on my palu but most aren't gonna mix together. I almost ended up getting FBTs but I'm deathly afraid of froggies.

Awe, they're so cute!

:frog: :frog: :frog:

RazzleFish
09-04-2010, 5:22 PM
Update!!!!!!

After a wild goose chase last night I got a piece of glass cut to size! I think this is better described through pics so here goes!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0286.jpg?t=1283635159
Tank before!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0287.jpg?t=1283634637One 36" by 12" piece of glass cut in two pieces. I only needed one but oh well!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0290.jpg?t=1283634725

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0291.jpg?t=1283634753
Using a cutting block I held it up so I could put the silicone on the bottom. (or was it the top??????)
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0292.jpg?t=1283634819
Wow, that looked a lot nicer when the picture was small!
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0293.jpg?t=1283634867
Bottom is siliconed!

Now here comes the hard part, not getting silicone all over the bottom while I get it in place!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0295.jpg?t=1283634982
Above view, and yes I wanted it to be diagonal.
*Notice the little warning tag that says not to fill with water got "accidently" removed!

Not quite as messy as resealing the tank but not "clean" either! I also made a sponge filter, collected pebbles from around all the junk in my fish area and cut a piece of screen!

I can't wait to get this started! :grinyes:

RazzleFish
09-04-2010, 5:25 PM
I hope to be able to start filling it Monday and at the same time I will do the false bottom!

RazzleFish
09-04-2010, 5:37 PM
Oh my gosh, I forgot the best parts! :eek3:

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0302.jpg?t=1283636062My DIY sponge filter with bubbler!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0303.jpg?t=1283636104
Rocks for false bottom.

And the best part!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<><
<><
<><
<><
<><
<><
<><
<><
<><
<><
<><
*Those were fish, but this is not!
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0304.jpg?t=1283636204
A JUMBO BAG OF PEAT MOSS!!!!!!!!!!!

I love it!:headbang2:

RazzleFish
09-05-2010, 10:41 AM
Hey guys,
I just read this article (http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96773) in the stickies section and it got me wondering. Do I have a vivarium or a paludarium? Not that it really matters but I an just curious.

jbradt
09-05-2010, 11:33 AM
Looks awesome razz! Keep the updates coming!

Chrisinator
09-05-2010, 12:33 PM
AWesome!

RazzleFish
09-05-2010, 1:36 PM
Thanks! I still need some sand and orchid bark for my mix but everying that is made for orchids seems to have perlite or ferts in it already. Does anyone know where I can get some plain old orchid (fur) bark?

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 10:46 AM
The silicone has dried and the water half is filled! Now to wait a day or so and hope it doesn't leak!

Chrisinator
09-06-2010, 10:56 AM
Sweeet! I did a messy silicone job but I put tons of silicone on it. Good luck on the test!

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 11:02 AM
Ya, I put a ton more silicone on after the divider was in place.

I am afraid to go check on it for fear that right as I walk in the divider is going to fall!!!!!

jbradt
09-06-2010, 11:35 AM
I've found that you generally have to go to a garden center to find orchid bark without ferts in it. Or you can order it online. Lowes and home depot seem to only carry the miracle grow stuff.

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 11:50 AM
Alright that's what I assumed I just haven't been able to get to a garden center....... Too bad the one down on the corner just closed.


So now I have a problem that never once crossed my mind until now........

I don't have a stand....... I had the tank on an antique chest but the tank always hung off the ends about 2 inches on either side so I have to figure something out. I think I'll just build one since I haven't been able to find anything on craigslist.

Chrisinator
09-06-2010, 12:04 PM
If you think about it, you might not need a new stand because the tank isn't fully filled with water, just my 2 cents.

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 12:40 PM
I thought about that but just assumed it would need to be fully supported. It has the front and back braces fully on the stand just not the sides. Do you guys think that a 36 inch tank on a 32 inch stand would cause a problem?

jbradt
09-06-2010, 12:49 PM
How many gallons of water will be in it? I always prefer an appropriately sized stand, but it may not be strictly necessary if there won't be that much water in it. I'd be careful though.

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 12:56 PM
The water section is about 9 gallons by my calculations.

What about putting a strong piece of wood (that is 36" by 18") between the stand and tank?

jbradt
09-06-2010, 1:05 PM
9 gallons is still a good amount of water... somewhere around 75-80 pounds. I don't think I'd leave it hanging off. A good strong piece of wood that's as big as the tank sounds like it should do the trick to me.

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 1:08 PM
9 gallons is still a good amount of water... somewhere around 757-80 pounds. I don't think I'd leave it hanging off. A good strong piece of wood that's as big as the tank sounds like it should do the trick to me.
Wow, that's a big range ya got there! :lol:

I think the wood is going to be the cheepest option.

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 1:15 PM
What do you guys think about feeding the soon to be inhabitants Darkling Beetles? Per THIS SITE (http://science-ed.pnl.gov/pals/resource/cards/darklingbeetles.stm):


if handled roughly, they emit a dark-colored, foul-smelling fluid. This behavior is enough to discourage all but the most determined predators. The fluid washes off easily with water in case of contact with your hands.

Do you think this would be harmful to the frogs/ fish? I could always just keep the adults for breeding if they are toxic.

Chrisinator
09-06-2010, 1:17 PM
What do you guys think about feeding the soon to be inhabitants Darkling Beetles? Per THIS SITE (http://science-ed.pnl.gov/pals/resource/cards/darklingbeetles.stm):



Do you think this would be harmful to the frogs/ fish? I could always just keep the adults for breeding if they are toxic.

I've never heard of those before and probably won't be feeding them.

I do have a wingless fruit fly culture that I'm currently splitting up. I'll see if I'm good with the splitting up and maybe eventually sell some.

jbradt
09-06-2010, 1:19 PM
Wow, that's a big range ya got there! :lol:

I think the wood is going to be the cheepest option.
LOL... meant 75-80... I need more sleep. =)

I don't know about the beetles, but anything that stinky, I believe I"d stay away from.

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 1:23 PM
I've never heard of those before and probably won't be feeding them.

I do have a wingless fruit fly culture that I'm currently splitting up. I'll see if I'm good with the splitting up and maybe eventually sell some.

They are the adult form of mealworms. Mealworms are the larva, then they turn into pupae, the molt into adults and lay eggs.


LOL... meant 75-80... I need more sleep. =)

I don't know about the beetles, but anything that stinky, I believe I"d stay away from.

That's what I was thinking too. Since it does list the predatores I imaginge it is more of a deturent rather than a toxin but I doubt that little frogs could handle it like coyotes, foxes, hawks, snakes, ravens, and crows can.

Oh well, they will live to breed another day!

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 1:26 PM
WAIT........

Identify the stages of the life-cycle of the beetle.
Here's how: Time the different stages of development. Conduct an adult population survey of the beetle farm and graph it over time. The adult beetles can be fed to pets just as the mealworms are. The adults also can be released into the environment. They will not become pests unless considerable numbers are released at one time.

That is from that same site..........

I still probably will not use them for food but it's good to know if I ever get larger animals.

Chrisinator
09-06-2010, 1:27 PM
They are the adult form of mealworms. Mealworms are the larva, then they turn into pupae, the molt into adults and lay eggs.



That's what I was thinking too. Since it does list the predatores I imaginge it is more of a deturent rather than a toxin but I doubt that little frogs could handle it like coyotes, foxes, hawks, snakes, ravens, and crows can.

Oh well, they will live to breed another day!

Ahh! I learn something new everyday!

Btw, do you have a specific species of frogs your thinking about?

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 1:31 PM
Unless I come across some species that I haven't already thought about Fire Belly Toads are what I plan on getting.

On another note about mixing amphibians, do african dwarf frogs count?

Chrisinator
09-06-2010, 1:34 PM
A quick links from google search:
http://www.frogforum.net/fire-belly-toads-bombina/3183-housing-fire-bellied-toad-african-dwarf-frogs.html

I probably wouldn't do it. If you do, make sure there are plenty of hiding places that the ADFs can get too.

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 1:36 PM
Dang! I was hoping since they stay in the water for their entire lives it would work but oh well!

Chrisinator
09-06-2010, 1:38 PM
Dang! I was hoping since they stay in the water for their entire lives it would work but oh well!

It might be doable later on, but I'd see how your FBTs react to maybe a cheap feeder minnow or something.

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 1:42 PM
Do you think they would eat them?

I've kept FBT's with feeder guppies once (WAY before I knew what I was doing) and they didn't eat any.......... Except the ones that jumped out........... (Again, WAY before I knew anything!)

Chrisinator
09-06-2010, 1:49 PM
Do you think they would eat them?

I've kept FBT's with feeder guppies once (WAY before I knew what I was doing) and they didn't eat any.......... Except the ones that jumped out........... (Again, WAY before I knew anything!)

I think with animals, it's really 10% facts and 90 percent dependent on the individual. I'd probably try a few and see how it works out but don't plan on it working out until you're positive.

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 2:06 PM
I guess that makes sence.

As for the aquatic section, it will be moderatly planted with various plants growing out of the water and PLENTY of moss so I figure if I get some guppies breeding then the growing fry will out-number the losses. I am OK with the frogs eating some as long as there are more on the way...... So this leads me to my next question. I have 3 habrosus cories in one of my 20 gallon tall tanks and I feel that it's too deep for them so do you think the frogs would go after them? I imagine they are small enough to be eaten but have their spines and stay on the bottom. Would that be enough to keep the frogs form them?

PS: The cories will be last once I test with guppies but I thought I'd ask anyways.

Also, THANK YOU for all your help!!!!!!

Chrisinator
09-06-2010, 2:42 PM
I guess that makes sence.

As for the aquatic section, it will be moderatly planted with various plants growing out of the water and PLENTY of moss so I figure if I get some guppies breeding then the growing fry will out-number the losses. I am OK with the frogs eating some as long as there are more on the way...... So this leads me to my next question. I have 3 habrosus cories in one of my 20 gallon tall tanks and I feel that it's too deep for them so do you think the frogs would go after them? I imagine they are small enough to be eaten but have their spines and stay on the bottom. Would that be enough to keep the frogs form them?

PS: The cories will be last once I test with guppies but I thought I'd ask anyways.

Also, THANK YOU for all your help!!!!!!

Your tanks like a good tank! If you can, and your tank allows, have some sort of cave areas where only the smallest fish will get in there. In my paludarium, I have rock work that hide the sponge filter which also becomes shrimp sanctuary. At night, all of them come out to feed.

With guppies, just make sure that they have hiding places so that they can escape. You might look into have some sort of Dwarf Sag carpet to cover up the bottom of the tank.

As for the Corydoras, I definetely wouldn't risk them unless your certain your FBTs won't attack them.

This talk of FBTs is making me want to get two of them :) Maybe I will but my Vampire Crabs would be very susceptable.

Basically, just take it slow and make sure you watch.
:headshake2: I thought my betta wouldn't go for my shrimp since I didn't see him but I don't see many shrimp anymore.

RazzleFish
09-06-2010, 6:01 PM
Your tanks like a good tank! If you can, and your tank allows, have some sort of cave areas where only the smallest fish will get in there. In my paludarium, I have rock work that hide the sponge filter which also becomes shrimp sanctuary. At night, all of them come out to feed.

With guppies, just make sure that they have hiding places so that they can escape. You might look into have some sort of Dwarf Sag carpet to cover up the bottom of the tank.

As for the Corydoras, I definetely wouldn't risk them unless your certain your FBTs won't attack them.

This talk of FBTs is making me want to get two of them :) Maybe I will but my Vampire Crabs would be very susceptable.

Basically, just take it slow and make sure you watch.
:headshake2: I thought my betta wouldn't go for my shrimp since I didn't see him but I don't see many shrimp anymore.

I am planning on a few pieces of driftwood stacked so that it offers a lot of hiding spots for small fish. Also, since I forgot to paint it, there is going to be a moss wall along the entire divider that will extend out onto the land. This will be a major fry saver along with helping the frogs in and out of the water.

About the dwarf sag, I have some from another tank all ready to go!

I think it's time for another tank so you can get some FBTs!

I'll take it slow once things start happening, I'm just that person that needs everything laid out WAY before I need it! Oh well, I justify it by saying there's nothing like planning ahead!

RazzleFish
09-07-2010, 4:39 PM
Alrighty it's been about 24 hours and NO LEAKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope to get the brace board sometime either tonight or tomorrow and then start cyling the water section!

RazzleFish
09-10-2010, 6:03 PM
Hey guys, I'm having trouble finding orchid bark so would something like "T-Rex Cypress Bed" (http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752444) work? Or does it have to be a specific kind of bark?

I know I don't need it but I would like to have something just to make it a little more......... I guess complex (?).

I have an order of RCS and an air pump that will be shiped Monday, so that's exciting. I also made a second sponge filter just in case I feel like it needs two.

I hope to be able to finish the main portion of the tank this weekend then just do the little stuff throughout the week!

I have been doing some collecting from the houseplants to fill the non-cp part of the plan and as of now the list includes:
Peace Lilly
Philodendren
and an unknown suculent that seems to do very well along side the peace lilly

I may or may not take a clipping from the pothos as I don't want to take up all the room for CPs.

jbradt
09-10-2010, 10:24 PM
I think cypress bark should work assuming there are no ferts and such in it. You can also use long fiber sphagnum moss if you don't want to just go with the peat/perlite mix.

RazzleFish
09-11-2010, 11:40 AM
I think I'm going to go with peat/bark/sand mix. I have a small amout of the T-Rex bark and it's just plain old cypress bark. I don't want perlite since I heard that it can cause problems if frogs ingest any of it.

I just didn't know if there were any special properties to orchid bark that this bark didn't have.

Thanks!

RazzleFish
09-12-2010, 11:50 AM
I don't know how to introduce these pics so I won't...............

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0337.jpg?t=1284305930
Tank with rocks for false bottom.
*Note: The melted parts of the top brace have since been removed because they kept the lid from closing all the way.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0339.jpg?t=1284306135
Now with screen on top! Just to show how I did it.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0340.jpg?t=1284306183
10 lbs of clean sand

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0342.jpg?t=1284306244
Some cypress bark

There is also the jumbo bag of peat but I don't want to put the same pic up twice.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0343.jpg?t=1284306316Big container of peat, bark and sand mix.
*This ended up being just a tiny bit too little!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0345.jpg?t=1284306405
In the tank. The top 2 inches or so is darker than the rest because I ran out of sand but oh well!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0348.jpg?t=1284306505
Right side of tank.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0349.jpg?t=1284306551
Left side of tank.

The water level will be taken up higher once I get sand for the water section and I plan on doing that today!!!!

jbradt
09-12-2010, 11:52 AM
Looks great, dude! Keep up the good work... and the updates!

RazzleFish
09-12-2010, 11:55 AM
Thanks!

I can't wait to get my order of RCS and an air pump so I can get this thing up and running!

RazzleFish
09-13-2010, 4:35 PM
Small update from yesterday night:

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0351.jpg?t=1284409608
I got some (20lbs) black sand in the aquatic part of the tank and put my peace lily and mistery plant in there!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0354.jpg?t=1284409835
Here are the plats closer up.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0352.jpg?t=1284409924
The plant looks rather poor in this picture. This was right after I moved it but it seems to be doing much better today!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0353.jpg?t=1284410033
Mistery plant. If anyone has one or knows what it is, it would help a lot!

Well thats all! Short, sweet and to the point!

RazzleFish
09-14-2010, 6:23 PM
Well now that I have this pretty much up and running. It's time to talk about stocking!

The water section is about 9 gallons. The land area is about 324 square inches. If you say it's half the footprint is is basicly the same area as it would be had I made the land 18"X18" so thats that.

As for amphibian stocking I would like Fire Belly Toads. I was thinking maybe 6 of them. Does this sound like too many?

For the aquatic section I was thinking a colony fo RCS, 4 birgs and a few guppies (6-ish). How does this sound?

I know I'm not ready to get any animals ATM but it won't be long (I hope!). Also just in case anyone was wondering about cycling the water, I am planning on taking a piece of media from the other tanks and using that to seed this when the shrim come.

FasterShrimpo
09-14-2010, 8:40 PM
The RCS and guppies might be eaten. I would be very weary of the RCS though.

RazzleFish
09-14-2010, 8:57 PM
I'm not too concerned with that. I am planning on a HUGE moss wall along the entire divider, a buch of dwarf sag on the bottom and then some type of floating plant so there will be plenty of cover for shrimp and fish. I am OK if some get eaten and I chose species that breed fast to keep up with the ones being eaten.

RazzleFish
09-18-2010, 11:35 AM
I got my order of shrimp and an air pump today!

I've got the sponge filter going and I am acclimating the shrimp! Most of the shrimp are very small but there are a few that are showing saddles! Upon closer inspection I saw a SUPER DUPER TINY LITTLE baby apple snail! It's big enough to see that it has a light foot and a light shell with dark stripes! I don't know that it will stay that way but I wanted apple snails for this set-up so it's all good!

I'll try to get some picks after I get them in the tank!

RazzleFish
09-18-2010, 4:21 PM
Some shots as of today!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0379.jpg?t=1284840753
Full tank shot. Notice the sponge filter!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0389.jpg?t=1284840851
Here are some of the shimp by the sponge filter. It's hard to get a good pic of them because they move so much and so fast!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0390.jpg?t=1284840912And another.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0391.jpg?t=1284840946
Some adult mealworms just in case anyone cared to see what they look like!

That's about it! I can't wait to get some more plants for the land section along with some aquatic plants!

Speaking of terestrial plants, I don't know what kind of pitcher I want. I thought about doing nepenthes ampullaria but the more I think about it's non-carnivorous habits, I think I want someing a little more...... exciting. So calling all CP experts, what pitcher would work best for me?

Thanks!
Razz

RazzleFish
09-18-2010, 4:25 PM
I hit "Post" too soon!

What do you guys (and gals) think about using some live sphagnum moss (http://cgi.ebay.com/Live-Sphagnum-moss-vivarium-terrarium-carnivorous-plant-/250695866810?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a5ea359ba)?

I like the look of it and I think it would add a cool aspect to my tank.

jbradt
09-18-2010, 4:32 PM
I'm hardly an expert, but given the space and conditions, I would recommend a ventricosa to start with. it'll grow quick, and the pitchers are really pretty cool! Most any hybrid of ventricosa should do well too.

I like the idea of live shpagnum. =)

RazzleFish
09-18-2010, 4:40 PM
I like N. ventricosa but do you think it matters that it's a highland species?

Chrisinator
09-18-2010, 4:56 PM
awesommmeee!!

RazzleFish
09-18-2010, 5:32 PM
Thanks! I can't wait to get some more plants in there!

I just replaced the breeding medium from my crickets (sand) with peat so it will hold moisture better and I've already seen 4 females lay eggs! I know this sounds bad but I can't wait to feed the babies to my frogs and fish! :grinyes:

I have also seen some breeding from my darking beetles and am waiting to see how that turns out! *The picture above of the beetles shows two pairs breeding! :22_yikes:

I just hope my frogs eat all the live food I put in there because I am sure both the crickets and the beetles would love to breed in this tank!

jpappy789
09-18-2010, 5:41 PM
I don't see why ventricosa wouldn't work...as a highlander it certainly does appreciate a drop in temp at night BUT I do believe people have had success growing it more as an intermediate as well.

jbradt
09-18-2010, 5:44 PM
Ventricosa is really an intermediate...it's one of the easiest to grow in nearly any conditions. I don't know much about low landers...hopefully paul will show up and comment on that.
awesommmeee!!

RazzleFish
09-18-2010, 5:48 PM
Alright well my viv does get a drop at night of about 5 degrees or so but it is starting to get colder so I expect the drop to get more and more extreme but never getting out of control as I will be putting a heater in the water (set at 72F) which should control the air temp as well. During the summer months I don't expect to see this kind of a drop in temps if at all. Will this cause problems? For the rest of the plants, I am hoping this will cause flowering.

jpappy789
09-18-2010, 5:50 PM
I see conflicting info on what category it really is...D'Amato lists it as a highlander in his book as does Michael Catalani on his NepU website but he also says it works well as an intermediate.

jbradt
09-18-2010, 5:59 PM
I've been growing my vent. as an intermediate pretty much since I got it, and it's growing like mad. The pitchers are continuing to show signs of development size, shape and color wise. It'll be fine in your conditions. Low landers like it hot and humid all the time...


The black jungle website lists it as a highlander and a lowlander...

RazzleFish
09-18-2010, 6:09 PM
Alrighty, then I'll see if I can get one!

I haven't been able to find much info on care other than keeping them moist, humid and the lighting so I have a few questions. I doubt crickets or mealworms will be attracted to the pitcher so do I need to "feed" them? Do I have to do anything special with them that I wouldn't do to a normal houseplant?

The bubbles from my sponge filter seem to send little drops of water flying around the tank. I moved it away from the divider a little bit but I can still see some water flying into the peat. Do you think this will cause any problems with N. ventricosa? My plant and filter(s) will be as far away from each other as I can get them but I know they sould only be watered with rain water but I don't know how I can stop this.

Thanks again!

RazzleFish
09-18-2010, 6:44 PM
I just thought about this but what about MTS? I was thinking about using them in the aquatic section but in my other tanks I've seen them crawl above the water line, but never actually leave the tank. I ask because I don't know how they would affect the plants and also if they would move enough to attract my frogs. The more I think about it, the more I say no just beacuse I don't want my frogs trying to eat one and having it get stuck. But now this leads me to my next question of apple snails (Pomacea diffusa) and ramshorns. I don't see a problem with apple snails as long as they don't decide to munch on my plants but do you think any ramshorns that decide to go wondering will cause an issue?

jpappy789
09-18-2010, 7:35 PM
Alrighty, then I'll see if I can get one!

I haven't been able to find much info on care other than keeping them moist, humid and the lighting so I have a few questions. I doubt crickets or mealworms will be attracted to the pitcher so do I need to "feed" them? Do I have to do anything special with them that I wouldn't do to a normal houseplant?

The bubbles from my sponge filter seem to send little drops of water flying around the tank. I moved it away from the divider a little bit but I can still see some water flying into the peat. Do you think this will cause any problems with N. ventricosa? My plant and filter(s) will be as far away from each other as I can get them but I know they sould only be watered with rain water but I don't know how I can stop this.

Thanks again!

You could certainly try feeding them small crickets or mealworms. Heck, some people use fish food! I haven't fed my ventricosa (yet) but it is still doing well enough. Some people use a diluted orchid fertilizer or something similar to get them those extra nutrients.

Here's a thread on Nep feeding...http://www.terraforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83259

If you search around that forum or the web you can find loads of info on ferts as well...

As for the drops of water those could certainly become an issue if they get too close to the plant if your water is fairly hard. Anything above 100 ppm or so is unsuitable. A build up of minerals is a death warrant for these plants.

RazzleFish
09-18-2010, 8:03 PM
You could certainly try feeding them small crickets or mealworms. Heck, some people use fish food! I haven't fed my ventricosa (yet) but it is still doing well enough. Some people use a diluted orchid fertilizer or something similar to get them those extra nutrients.

Here's a thread on Nep feeding...http://www.terraforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83259

If you search around that forum or the web you can find loads of info on ferts as well...

As for the drops of water those could certainly become an issue if they get too close to the plant if your water is fairly hard. Anything above 100 ppm or so is unsuitable. A build up of minerals is a death warrant for these plants.
Thanks for the link!

I haven't tested my tap water hardness in awhile so I don't know the number right off my head but what do you mean by 100 ppm? I always measure in degrees KH and degrees GH. I assume that is ppm TSD, right? I don't have a TDS meter but in a tank this small, premixing the water with distilled and tap wouldn't be hard at all. Also I have already noticed a slight tea coloration in the water due to the little amount of peat that found it's way in so I expect that to make the water even softer.....

jpappy789
09-18-2010, 8:53 PM
Sorry, yeah I meant in terms of TDS. Not many places in the US have water that low in minerals from the tap.

RazzleFish
09-18-2010, 9:23 PM
So would mixing in some distilled water to the tap help? Since I don't have a TDS Meter, what numbers should I aim for in therms of GH and KH?

jbradt
09-19-2010, 1:00 PM
If you're watering the plant section with rain water, I don't know how much the water drops flying from the water section would affect it. It seems that if it's only a few drops here and there, the rain water would be enough to dilute it to an acceptable level. I think a lot of it really depends on how much splatter gets into the land section. Mixing tap water with distilled (IMO) would make this less of an issue.

As far as feeding, I haven't fed my vent. anything live in a long time but I do occasionally (1/monthish) give them a diluted solution of 5/1/1 fish emulsion fertilizer. I don't however recommend using this inside as the smell tends to be pretty nasty. The link Pappy posted is a great one to get ideas on what others are doing.

RazzleFish
09-19-2010, 1:10 PM
I don't know how much water is getting in and I am using pure distilled water for the plants, and have used about a gallon or so in the water section and the rest was tap. It wouldn't be a problem mixing distilled with tap and even so my tap water isn't super hard to start with.

As for feeding, I'll probably stick with bugs mainly because I like the carnivourus aspect of it. I can already see myself over-feeding so is there a limit? Should I only feed one pitcher at a time? Do you think the bugs that are ment to be frog food will find their way in? Since I am not planning of feeding the adult darkling beetles to the frogs, would it help (or harm) my nep?

Thank you!

jbradt
09-20-2010, 5:19 PM
just feed sparingly to begin with. feed the active looking pitchers a little bit once a month or so. then up it a little from there if it's doing well. i wouldn't feed it anything for at least a month after you plant it just to give it time to settle in. Barry Rice gives the advice: remember they are plants first and carnivorous second. You can do damage by overfeeding, so just take it slow.

RazzleFish
09-20-2010, 6:41 PM
Alrighty, thanks!

RazzleFish
09-20-2010, 6:54 PM
Last night I was pretty busy and didn't have time to get these pics up but I have found a solution to the splashing bubbles problems!

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0397.jpg?t=1285022739
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0398.jpg?t=1285022764
Using some extra screen and some hot glue, I made a cover for the top of the sponge filter.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0400.jpg?t=1285023017
In tank....

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0401.jpg?t=1285023050
Above the water view.
*Note: Filter was off in this picture.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0404.jpg?t=1285023129
Now one with the filter on........ It doesn't look all that different from before but oh well!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0405.jpg?t=1285023194
Above water with filter running. It stops almost all the bubbles and the ones that it doesn't catch don't usually splash water!

I also have an update from today so I'll put those up in my next post!

RazzleFish
09-20-2010, 7:02 PM
From today....

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0422.jpg?t=1285023252
Wow! That's different!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0423.jpg?t=1285023377
African Violet!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0424.jpg?t=1285023450
Flower! This was taken after I sprayed the tank down so it's not really as sparkly as looks here but you get the idea.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0425.jpg?t=1285023507
Nertera granadensis. I hope this will do well in here..... I know they are hard to grow but I figured I'd give it a shot!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0427.jpg?t=1285023623
A very bad picture of an unknown tropical houseplant....

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0428.jpg?t=1285023658
Close-up of the same plant...

These plants are going to be trial and error but I hope they all do alright!

I also hooked up a second sponge filter with cover today!

jpappy789
09-20-2010, 7:25 PM
With african violets they aren't really a plant that enjoys temps much over 80F IIRC. Soil also shouldn't get too soggy for them. Might be a better house plant than a viv plant unfortunately.

RazzleFish
09-20-2010, 7:28 PM
Ya, I was debating about putting it in or not but it was pretty cheap so I figure I'll risk it. Even if it does die, it will have been worth it because I'd know not to buy it again..... But hopefully, it works!

RazzleFish
09-23-2010, 4:14 PM
Hello all!

I got some Subwassertang yesterday and it is now in my aquatic portion of the Viv and I love it!

I want to upgrade my lighting to a bigger, better system because I think my peace lily is dying... :(

So I think I am almost ready for my Nep. but I don't know where to get it... I won't be able to get one locally so shipping is a must. The only places I even know about are California Carnivores and CarnivorousPlantNursery.com.

So where do you guys get your neps?

jpappy789
09-23-2010, 6:59 PM
www.blackjungle.com is another one people use

RazzleFish
09-23-2010, 7:37 PM
Thanks! I'll probably go with black jungle since it's the lease expensive. The site is WAY bigger than I thought. I am going to keep looking just in case there is anything else I decide to get!

jpappy789
09-23-2010, 7:55 PM
Yeah they have lots of other vivarium/paludarium plants as well.

jbradt
09-23-2010, 8:09 PM
Thanks! I'll probably go with black jungle since it's the lease expensive. The site is WAY bigger than I thought. I am going to keep looking just in case there is anything else I decide to get!
Hehe... if you think the site is big, you should see their greenhouse!

RazzleFish
09-30-2010, 6:55 PM
I've got an update for y'all!!!

There is more than just this but didn't get any pictures so lets go in order!

I noticed that the pincushion plant had some hitch-hikers. The tank now has a small colony of some type of tiny fly. They look similar to fruit flies but move in a much more jerky fashion and also have much longer legs. I've tried to blow them into the water but they don't seem to "stick" to the surface of the water. Once they hit, they spring back up!

I modified my sponge filter covers a little bit to help control more of the splashing and add to the surface movement. I found that it worked to stirr up the water but didn't do a darn thing about the splashing!

I also added a small amount of moss that was growing outside. I made sure it came from an area without pesticides or ferts and cleaned it before I put it in the tank. I hope it does well because I like the way it grows very close to the ground.

I forgot to mention it here but I ordered a single N. ventricosa from BlackJungle.com and it came today! When the box came it was very wet and was partly open so I was worried that it got crushed on it's way but after getting the plant out there was no serious damage!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0477.jpg?t=1285886643
The small pitcher is the only one on this plant and has yet to open. There is another forming on the right side.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0480.jpg?t=1285886853A very blurry picture of the pitcher. It's small but I'm excited to see it open!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0510.jpg?t=1285886937And planted!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0509.jpg?t=1285886986
A blurry close up!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0483.jpg?t=1285887053
More of the flower buds opened on my violet today!

So far everything looks good. The peace lily is still looking a little bad but I am hoping it recovers.

Thanks for looking!

RazzleFish
09-30-2010, 6:59 PM
I also forgot to mention that I got quite a bit of subwassertang for the water and it is doing well.

jpappy789
09-30-2010, 7:03 PM
Nice! It certainly looks very healthy although I wouldn't expect anything less from what I've heard about BJ.

I can't remember but is the substrate 100% peat? Not the best for neps since they like looser soil. I'd mix in some LFS, orchid bark, perlite etc. around the plant. Also, they aren't a fan of sitting in standing water so make sure the roots are not too wet or they may rot.

RazzleFish
09-30-2010, 7:06 PM
Nice! It certainly looks very healthy although I wouldn't expect anything less from what I've heard about BJ.

I can't remember but is the substrate 100% peat? Not the best for neps since they like looser soil. I'd mix in some LFS, orchid bark, perlite etc. around the plant. Also, they aren't a fan of sitting in standing water so make sure the roots are not too wet or they may rot.

Thanks!

The soil is about 50% peat 25% sand and 25% cypress bark. The substrate compacted after I watered the first few times so I added a layer of peat (100%) to the top.

jpappy789
09-30-2010, 7:08 PM
Ahhh ok. I would think that should be fine then...ventricosa seems like a pretty forgiving Nep species anyways.

RazzleFish
10-01-2010, 5:19 PM
*Face-palm!

How could I forget to mention that I got some guppies! I got 6 and added a little media from another tank last week. Gosh I my updates are falling flat because I keep forgeting the important parts!

I tried to get pictures but they always think they are going to get food and won't stay still long enough.

My bad!

RazzleFish
10-01-2010, 6:00 PM
Those mistery bugs are gnats! I don't know why but the thought never even crossed my mind! I wonder if any will find their way into the pitcher once it opens...

Now that I am thinking of bugs, I read that pill bugs (crustaceans not bugs) can be helpful in a vivarium set-up. Is this true? I also read that they can be toxic to some animals if eaten. Is this true? I sort of like the idea of a "natural" food supply within my vivarium as it adds a new aspect. Going along with this I would like some springtails is I can find any. Are there any other beneficial incritters that can be added to a vivarium?

RazzleFish
10-01-2010, 6:11 PM
Here is the site I got that info from:
http://www.geckosunlimited.com/community/naturalistic-vivarium/35946-step-step-naturalistic-viv-setup.html#post209897

jbradt
10-03-2010, 1:17 PM
Congrats on the ventricosa! It looks really healthy. GL with it!

RazzleFish
10-03-2010, 2:00 PM
Thanks! I am looking forward to seeing the pitcher open up!

RazzleFish
10-10-2010, 2:47 PM
So a lot has happened over the past week with the viv and I really like the way it is coming together!

First I added some Krauss' spikemoss (Selaginella kraussiana).
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0517.jpg?t=1286735509
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0516.jpg?t=1286735563
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0515.jpg?t=1286735593

Then there was quite a bit of growth on both my tall mystery plant and my pincushion plant.
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0564.jpg?t=1286735776
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0563.jpg?t=1286735812

And after a week since the first sliver of seperation, my N. ventricosa has fully opened!
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0565.jpg?t=1286735934

An interesting situation came along this past week too. A fruit fly found it's way into the tank and for a few days it was hanging around by the pincushion plant and as soon as the picher opened it was gone. I can only assume that it left it's safe plant and went for a dip!

This plant also has a new leaf that opened with the start of a new pitcher and the opening of that leaf exposed another leaf that it still fully curled!

Now after close to 100 pictures I got a single good one of my male guppy!
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0575.jpg?t=1286736124
He's young so I don't know what his tail is going to turn out to be. When I got him it was round but has since formed more of a triangle. At the LFS he was labeled as a purple dragon male but his finnage was not stated. He is in there with 4 females (2 half blacks, 2 mixes). I am interested to see what happens to the population as time goes on as 2 of my females are VERY elongated and one of those has a rounded mouth rather than the normal pointed one.

Thanks for looking!

jpappy789
10-10-2010, 5:34 PM
the ventricosa's looking good!

RazzleFish
10-10-2010, 9:17 PM
It's coming along very nicely and (knock on wood) seems to have adjusted well to my conditions.

RazzleFish
10-10-2010, 9:21 PM
Here's a few more shots of it that I didn't put up earlier.

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0566.jpg?t=1286759939

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0572.jpg?t=1286759992
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0573.jpg?t=1286760053
This one shows the start of a new pitcher on the end of a newly opened leaf.

Chrisinator
10-10-2010, 9:22 PM
Awesome plants!

RazzleFish
10-10-2010, 9:25 PM
Thanks!

Chrisinator
10-10-2010, 9:26 PM
If you ever figure out that mystery plant, let me know because I want it!

RazzleFish
10-10-2010, 9:36 PM
I got it at meijer in the little houseplant section. It's grown by Green Expressions and is part of their Tropical Foliage collection but that's about all I can figure out since as far as I can tell, their website doesn't list the names of their plants.

EDIT* After a check on their website their product list is unavailable ATM.

Inka4040
10-10-2010, 10:40 PM
Looking good. I'd be real careful watering that african violet. They prefer to be in really well draining mixes, and hate hate hate wet feet. Also, any water in the crown can quickly lead to rot. Looks like it's gonna be awesome grown in though...

This is just a hunch, but I am willing to bet that your variegated mystery plant will grow from cuttings. Maybe try to root a stem in water once you get a good amount of it going.

RazzleFish
10-11-2010, 10:17 AM
Thanks!

The only watering this tank gets is through the daily misting so I am hoping that cuts down on the risk of root rot but even so, I can always pull it out if it shows signs of stress and grow it in the sunroom.

As for the mystery plant, I may need to try that sometime soon. It responds very well to pruning. When I got it I had to cut the tops off because of it's height and it looks like it's goning to need it again within a few weeks. I will absolutly put a few stems in water and if they root you can bet that I will have a forest of them! And who knows, maybe Chris could get some?!?!

Inka4040
10-11-2010, 4:41 PM
Sorry if you went over this already, but do you mist manually, or is it automated? The reason I ask, is that water on the av's leaves can also lead to rot, as well as burns depending on how strong your lights are. If you're misting manually, I'd suggest turning the nozzle towards squirt, and giving it a few well aimed shots down at the base of the plant, still avoiding the crown. They definitely prefer root watering to top down watering.

RazzleFish
10-12-2010, 11:54 AM
I mis manually and have read all kinds of stories and theories as to if they can have wet leaves of not. I try to only mist before 5 pm as lights go out at 8 and it gives plenty of time for the leaves to dry.

What I don't understand (and maybe it doesn't matter) is rain. In the wild they would certainly encounter rain, right?

I'll try to lessen the amout of water on the leaves and crown by doing that but it just doesn't make a ton of sense.

But thanks!

Inka4040
10-12-2010, 2:09 PM
In the wild, they grow on mountainous slopes, and the water drains very quickly from around their roots. You've gotta figure that in the wild, they will be experiencing much more ebullient air movement than it would be feasible to provide in a tank. If you do notice signs of rot, save some of the good leaves. They can be started in moist sand or perlite, and will sucker a ton of baby plants from the junction of the stem and leaf. Any site that suggests a wet crown is ok for african violets, is NOT to be trusted.

RazzleFish
10-12-2010, 2:17 PM
I guess that makes sense. Well I certainly hope that it adapts well to my tank enviornment and thrives there.

Inka4040
10-12-2010, 2:43 PM
Should be fine. They're very easy going plants if you take care to meet those specific requirements. If you're looking for different leaf types/shapes/patters/growth habits/ or sizes, I have a pretty good collection of av's going, and wouldn't mind sending you a few leaves of different varieties to try out. They come in a myriad of leaf shapes, standard and mini sizes, and also trailing varieties, not to mention variegated types.

RazzleFish
10-12-2010, 3:18 PM
Thanks I would love some but I don't really have the space ATM. If this one does good I may just have to take you up on that but for now my sunroom is filled to the brim and I don't want to waste them if they aren't going to do well.

RazzleFish
10-16-2010, 11:57 AM
Alright so a few days ago I took a clipping of the mystery plant and put it in a little plastic cup with uber wet peat and it seems to be doing good but I don't know if it will root or not. If it does, I know exactly where it will go but if not then, so be it.

Yesterday I woke up to a gnat that was flying around my pitcher plant. It landed on the hood of the opened pitcher and slowly but surely found it's way into the pictcher but with it's long legs it could hold on to the outside of the pitcher while feeding (?) off of the nectar. So after a few minutes of watching it lifed one single leg and down it went into the pitcher! That just made my day!

Inka4040
10-16-2010, 12:17 PM
Awesome. Any pics of the gnat carnage? As far as the cutting goes, as long as it isn't wilting, leave it in the water. Occasional wc will reduce the possibility of the stem rotting, but as long as it looks fresh and healthy, leave it in. Once it starts wilting, you know that it's not gonna put out roots. Otherwise, just let it do its thing. Some woody plants can take an inordinately long time to put out roots. Others would rather root in moist soil than in water. If the glass of water method doesn't work, experiment with your other cuttings in different methods. Rooting hormone is readily available at home depot (at least around here), and might be a good aid if you decide to try in soil rooting.

RazzleFish
10-16-2010, 12:37 PM
The gnat is down in the pitcher and even with a light shining through the pitcher all that can be seen is a little floating blotch and another, larger one at the bottom that I can only assume are onther gnats as they all (but 1) have disappeared.

The pictures aren't showing what I'm seeing and the camera is going crazy.

As for the cutting, I cut it just under one of the nodes and then put it in soaked peat. The camera worked long enough to get these two pics but then the photography became a complete failure!

http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0606.jpg?t=1287246982
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0607.jpg?t=1287246885

Inka4040
10-16-2010, 12:49 PM
I'd be worried that the soaked peat might go anaerobic. Perlite works great for starting things that want it really moist but still need a bit of air around their feet. If you're planning on keeping the cutting in the viv until it establishes, just moist potting soil might do the trick as well. The warm humid conditions in there are exactly what establishing cuttings need. Good call on cutting just below a node. That probably will give you the highest chance at rooting success.

soobie
10-17-2010, 11:24 PM
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0564.jpg?t=1286735776

I think your mystery plant is a Balfour aralia.

RazzleFish
10-18-2010, 3:41 PM
I think that's it! Thank you!

http://www.botany.com/polyscias.html

With the potiental of several feet in hight, it probably will not be able to stay in this tank forever...

Inka4040
10-18-2010, 4:00 PM
Aralias actually respond pretty well to harsh trimmings/bonsai training. Mellowvision has a ming aralia in his 15 gallon palu that he's managed to keep really small for a few years now. Might be worth tracking down that thread if you wanna check it out.

RazzleFish
10-18-2010, 4:04 PM
Thanks for the tip!
Would it happen to be this thread (http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=229793&highlight=ming+aralia)?

Inka4040
10-18-2010, 4:25 PM
That's definitely the tree in question.

RazzleFish
10-18-2010, 4:31 PM
Very interesting. I've looked up how to keep bonsai trees awhile back and think this technique might just work for this plant.

RazzleFish
10-18-2010, 5:15 PM
I took a few more clippings off so I could get the plant a little shorter and have set up 3 new rooting experiments so I can figure out how to best root a clipping.

I'll get pictures up in a minute.

RazzleFish
10-18-2010, 5:42 PM
Post Trimming:
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0616.jpg?t=1287437085

Test 1 is the one mentioned above: Clipping of new growth cut below the node placed in a small glass of soaked peat.

Test 2: Clipping of new growth cut below the node placed in a small glass of water with plastic wrap streached over top and a rubber band holding it in place. There is a small hole in the top to allow the stem to exit the container.
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0620.jpg?t=1287437379

Test 3: Clipping of mature leaf cut below node (there are 1-2 nodes on each leaf not counting where the leaf connects with stem) and placed directly in soil.
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0617.jpg?t=1287437557

Test 4: Clipping of mature leaf cut in the middle of the petiole placed direcly in soil.
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0618.jpg?t=1287437406

On another note, I am not sure if it is just the way of the pincushion, but a large portion of the plant has died back. One side is still going strong but the other has been turning brown (starting with berries) and I had to remove a large portion of the plant but still the other half is growing great. I think it has to do with the lighting because the half that is doing well is closer to the light but the half that isn't doing so great is away from the light. Also the inner portion of the plant (covered by thick leaves and dense stems was completly dry so I think the plant may have to be split in half to help it.
http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae8/Dazztwo02/IMG_0622.jpg?t=1287437746

Another thing that I just remembered that I never mentioned was that a few weeks (2-3) ago I recieved a starter culture of springtails and have since put them in the tank. That is also where the burnt wood came from.

RazzleFish
10-20-2010, 6:06 PM
Hello all!

After a little close inspection of my vivarium I spotted four different critters crusing aroung my tank.

Critter 1: These are the springtails that I put in and are doing well. They are growing in numbers and feeding off of fish flakes.

Critter 2: These critters are a colony of gnats that have been displaced since I took out a portion of the pincushion plant.

Critter 3: A third is a small black beetle like creature. They are about 1 mm long and I assumed they were young gnats. Well after finding the fourth critter I discovered that these are not young gnats.

Critter 4: These are the larvae stage of the gnats which are Fungus Gnats (order Diptera).

So now that I know the gnats are breeding and I know what they are, I went to this site:
http://www.umass.edu/umext/floriculture/fact_sheets/pest_management/fungnat.html

I am concerned that the dammage to my pincushion plant may have been due to the larvae of these bugs. I am also concerned about the larvae feeding off of other plants in the tank. I found two out in the open no where near my pincushion plant and they were close to my N. ventricosa. I have no idea what to do about it. Accoring to the site, there are several predatory bugs that can help control the population but I still need to look them up before I commit to getting them.

If anyone has ever delt with these in an enviornment where frogs will be put, any help would be appreciated.

I'll be back soon with some info on the various pest control insects listed in the link soon.

RazzleFish
10-20-2010, 7:04 PM
Alright so after a little more research on natural fungus gnat control, I have selected three species that may or may not be used together.

Species 1: Hypoaspis miles (http://www.biconet.com/biocontrol/hypoaspis.html). These predatory mites are know to feed off of both gnat larvae first then once the populaion has declined, they will feed off of algae. The drawback of this species is that it tends to be better at prevention rather than curing the problem. It can, however, be paired with either of the following species.

Species 2: Steinernema feltiae (http://www.redwormcomposting.com/worm-composting/steinernema-feltiae-fungus-gnat-killer/). This predatory nematode seems to be better at curing large scale infestations and will not cause harm to my springtail population. This species can be paired with H. miles but not with the following control species. These are also known be be fine alongside springtails without causing too much dammage to their population. One drawback is that I cannot find out what would happen if they were to get into the water. Would they prey on baby guppies?

Species 3: Atheta coriaria (http://greenmethods.com/biocontrols/atheta/#draw). This species of beetle called the rove beetle seems to be good at helping with large scale infestations but once the proplem has been solved (more likely conroled) they will eat each other. They can be paired with H. miles but will eat S. feltiae. One drawback here is that they will also consume springtails.

I know I will never be able to rid my tank of fungus gnats and I am ok with that. I figure if I add a predator their numbers will stay under control.

I also added a buch of fish food to the land to help spark fungal growth and, according to articles, these flies prefer fungus to plant roots.

I never would have guessed that I would have this many decions when starting the tank! Honestly, I thought I would get the plants, set up the aquatic section and the be good to get frogs.

All in all I don't want to rush so no matter what happens, frogs (or crabs since I am still on the fence) will come after EVERYTHING is sorted out.

RazzleFish
10-20-2010, 7:10 PM
So what does everyone think I should go with?

ATM I am thinking a combo of H. miles and S. feltiae. I feel like that will be the safest way to control their numbers without hurting my springtail population all that much.

RazzleFish
10-20-2010, 7:25 PM
This is what I was looking for!

http://www.rebeca-net.de/downloads/Hierachical%20system%20case%20studies%20Sf%20and%2 0Hb.pdf

On page 4, the Non-Target effects are listed by group and it seems that they are harmless to frogs and fish. This article does, however, state that they do not limit themselves to prey that are soft bodied so springtails may be eaten but I doubt they could put that much of a dent in the population.

I would still like to hear everyones thoughts as to the species described or even species that I haven't listed that could work better.

RazzleFish
10-21-2010, 3:05 PM
Anyone?

I'm going to start looking for small cultures of H. miles and S. feltiae.

RazzleFish
10-21-2010, 4:17 PM
I just placed an order for S. feltiae and am currently looking for a lower price on H. miles.

I just hope they will arrive before my pincushion dies, as it has declined further...

RazzleFish
10-22-2010, 5:53 PM
I recieved my culture of S. feltiae. today!

The site I got them from mainly sells them for outdoor use in gardens and fields so the smallest package they had was 1 million +/- nematodes. After letting them warm up I made a mixture of distilled water and the nematodes and put it in my spray bottle. I then applied them to the viv focusing on the effected pincishion, the area where I found the fungus gnat larvae a few days ago as well as the base of all the plants in the viv.

I took pictures but they aren't even worth putting up. The nematodes are so small they look like little bubbles swirling in the water.

dundadundun
10-22-2010, 9:50 PM
put the frogs in a temporary container...
http://www.vivariumforum.com/community/viv-general/6677-eliminating-vivarium-pests-copied-one-martys-posts.html ...
replace frogs and and add new springtail cultures

sorry... didn't notice before today.

RazzleFish
10-24-2010, 11:40 AM
Wow, that is very interesting the only problem is the gnats can fly up to the top of the tank (which is screen) and breath from there. I also wanted a prevention too. The nematodes seem to be doing a good job with the exception of them attacking my springtails as well. I think if I had a lower dose of nematodes (<1 million) my springtails would have been fine but I do have a backup culture that I have kept going so it's not that big of a problem.

About the CO2, wouldn't that kill my fish as well since it would sink down to the water level cutting of O2?

RazzleFish
10-24-2010, 12:02 PM
Cutting test #4 is starting to show signs of stress. It has wilted over and is now partially in the water.

The rest seem to be doing well. I have a feeling that all of the other 3 tests are going to root!

VenomR00
10-24-2010, 1:47 PM
Just noticed this post =P... I would remove both fish and frog then co2 bomb the tank with dry ice... it is the fastest and safest way because things can morph if given the proper environment. I would be worried that the nematoads would morph into a sect that can attack the frog or fish anyway (I am way to paranoid though). Just my concern to be honest. If you have a screen top then just go to lowes and have them cut a piece that would fit perfectly and then do it =P

RazzleFish
10-24-2010, 2:23 PM
Just noticed this post =P... I would remove both fish and frog then co2 bomb the tank with dry ice... it is the fastest and safest way because things can morph if given the proper environment. I would be worried that the nematoads would morph into a sect that can attack the frog or fish anyway (I am way to paranoid though). Just my concern to be honest. If you have a screen top then just go to lowes and have them cut a piece that would fit perfectly and then do it =P
The nematodes are not going to morph into anything other than one of the 4 stages in the life of the nematode.

They will do absolutly no harm to the frogs by preying upon them and I have been in contact with the seller about the frogs eating an affect insect and he said it is highly unlikely that the nematode (or the bacteria with the nematode) will cause any harm to the frog. In fact he said he was 99.999% sure it would be absolutly fine.

I also asked him if the fish were in danger of coming across one that happened to make it's way in the water and he said they live on land their entire life and if submerged they will sink to the bottom and die within 12 hours.

The dry ice would have been a good idea but now having purchaced the nematodes, it's a little late. I know I will not be able to rid my tank entirely without using the CO2 method but if they can control the population than I am ok with having both the nematodes and the gnats.

I am going to let the tank set for a few weeks and then put some more springtails in the tank to help out the population. In the meantime I am looking for ways of allowing the frogs to climb in and out of the water. Because of the way the glass fits, they will not be able to just grab on to the glass and pull themselves up so I was thinink of using vine (real or fake) and sort of making it look like tree roots so they can use those to climb out. The only problem I am having is finding some vine thick enough.

If anyone has some other suggestion please share it!

Thanks!

dundadundun
10-24-2010, 2:25 PM
it's simple really.

take out the critters you plan on keeping. this is a fish forum... you should be able to get help with them if you need it (although, i don't think you do).
close the tank in. if you have to put a piece of packing tape over any air gaps around doors and a little saran wrap over the top for the time being it's doable.
gas the tank... make sure all the critters are dead.
air it out.
re-introduce your pets.

your plants should love it too as long as you don't put the freezing cold cup on top of any of them.

i don't see any downsides except moving your critters twice. i'd do this before introducing insectivorous nematodes. to each his own...

once again... sorry i didn't see this sooner.

RazzleFish
10-24-2010, 2:39 PM
I understand how to do the process, the only thing is, I have now spent money on the nematodes (they aren't cheep and then add shipping) and now I am just going to kill them? It is a great idea and would have been good but now that they're there I don't want to just waste the money I spent on them and go with a different method. Ya know what I mean?

Thank method is/was probably more effective but I have faith that the nematodes will work.

Even so, thank you very much for your help!

RazzleFish
10-24-2010, 4:03 PM
Another critter has been found in my tank! A small mite of some sort. I doubt it is a spider mite and looks similar in coloration to H. miles.

Also, my picture has eaten yet another adult gnat. Dispite the very large black spot in the picture, I still have quite a few adults flying around the tank. I can't even imaging how many there would be without that picture plant!

Also it seems all one million of my nematodes are on top of the soil "standing up" and waiving their heads around in search for food! I have seen several springtails, a few of the mystery bugs (critter 3) and several gnat larvae.

RazzleFish
10-24-2010, 4:48 PM
Well since the last post the picture has eaten two more gnats! I have no idea why but they are just drawn to it!

This last gnat that found it's way into the picture brought a question to my mind. After falling it, I could see it trying to climb back up the sides. Upon close inspection the "water level" is very low and only just above the large black mass of dead gnats. I read somewhere that the "water level" should be maintained (if the picture cannot do so) at 1/2 way up the pitcher. Is this true?

*Note, in the last post where it says picture so many times I meant to type pitcher! *Facepalm!*

dundadundun
10-24-2010, 7:26 PM
i think you are correct about the water level in pitchers. don't have experience myself so, can't say for sure. i will say it's a good idea to get those pitchers out of there since overfeeding can dessicate a cp fairly quickly. if the tank is infested it's going to get overfed no matter what you do aside from instant and complete eradication of all pest species.

RazzleFish
10-25-2010, 7:04 PM
I just checked the care sheet of the pitcher plant and it said you can prolong the life of the actual pitcher by maintaining the water level at half way.

Also, by "getting the pitcher out of there" do you mean cutting the pitcher off?

dundadundun
10-25-2010, 7:09 PM
no, no, no... you want to get the entire plant out of a bug infested area before it gets overfed and dies.

Chrisinator
10-25-2010, 7:14 PM
Sorry to hear some of the troubles of your viv. Hope things clear out soon.

RazzleFish
10-26-2010, 6:07 PM
Thanks for your support.

The nematodes seem to be working well! The first few deaths (9 ATM) have all been fungus gnat larvae and the number of flies seems to be going down! Also, my pincuchion plant seems to have stopped dieing and I can only hope it will start it's recovery soon.

An update on the clippings, all of them are still alive but clipping #4 might have to be pulled out soon as it isn't looking so great.

user_name
10-26-2010, 7:23 PM
good luck!

RazzleFish
10-26-2010, 10:19 PM
Thanks! I've got my fingers crossed!

Chrisinator
12-05-2010, 12:55 PM
Razzle, any updates on this tank?

RazzleFish
12-06-2010, 8:52 PM
Wow it's been awhile since I've been on this thread. My camera has died and I have yet to get a new one so I can't post pics but the N. ventricosa has formed and opened another pitcher, I added a buch of aquatic plants which are doing great, yesterday I put a planter in the tank to act as a platform for the frogs to climb in and out of the water. As for the frogs themselves, I have yet to find a place that I trust getting them from. My only option so far is petsmart and I refuse to spend money on anything living there as IME it doesn't ever stay living for very long. Since the overall temp was a lot lower than I expected I added a water heater and now it is keeping everything at 75 F. I saw a baby guppy the other day and it is already big enough to be out with the adults. My fungus gnat problem has gone away! Between the nematodes and the nep, I only ever see one gnat at a time and even then it's only every few days that I see them! If anyone needs to get rid of fungus gnats I highly suggest you look into S. feltae! Also, my springtail population has gone up a ton. I have discovered that I now have two species of springtails, the nematodes and a species of mite that have made my viv home.

Well that is a big random but I think that covers everything!

Since I am having the family over for the holidays, I would like to have the frogs in the tank but I have no clue where to get them so if anyone has ordered online or knows of a good site, please share.

jbradt
12-06-2010, 10:03 PM
Sounds like it's doing well, Razz! Can't wait to see some pics (hint, hint).

Maybe I'm skimming too much... what kind of frogs are you looking for again?

RazzleFish
12-06-2010, 10:13 PM
Fire Belly Toads..... They are actually toads but are cared for like frogs so that's what I tend to call them.

RazzleFish
12-06-2010, 10:17 PM
I also forgot to mention that I planted some Mimosa pudica (Sensitive Plant) seeds and ended up with three seeds that sprouted. Not bad for the 8 that I planted.........

marshall02
12-08-2010, 4:40 AM
Wow.....its nice

I use a wooden vivariums (http://www.simplyvivariums.co.uk/) with glass sliding doors for a few reasons...they retain heat better than the glass ones, and corn snakes prefer dark places and a sense of security.

RazzleFish
12-08-2010, 4:38 PM
Wow.....its nice

I use a wooden vivariums (http://www.simplyvivariums.co.uk/) with glass sliding doors for a few reasons...they retain heat better than the glass ones, and corn snakes prefer dark places and a sense of security.

That is a very nice looking tank but how hard is it to reach everything if you need to get to something? I've only ever had open top tanks and I would be nervous that I wouldn't be able to get to everything when I need to.

The sensitive plants have sprouted their first sensitive leaves today and they are very cool to watch. A little tap and they close up and the stems droop over making them look like plants that need water very badly! I just learned, however, that they may develop thorns so I may have to remove them later on but that's ok as they would look very cool as seasonals out in the bog once I can get that up and running.