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First Vivarium!

Discussion in 'Terrariums, Paludariums and Vivariums' started by RazzleFish, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. RazzleFish

    RazzleFish AC Members

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    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!
     
  2. RazzleFish

    RazzleFish AC Members

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    Anyone? Any help on any of the questions would be great.
     
  3. Vicious_Fish

    Vicious_Fish Moderator
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    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!
     
  4. RazzleFish

    RazzleFish AC Members

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    Thanks!

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

    jbradt this is bat country

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    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.
     
  6. Agent_Scully

    Agent_Scully AC Oscar Club Member #1

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    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

    DSCN2845.JPG DSCN2853.JPG
     
  7. RazzleFish

    RazzleFish AC Members

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    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!
     
  8. jbradt

    jbradt this is bat country

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    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!
     
  9. RazzleFish

    RazzleFish AC Members

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    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.
     
  10. Chrisinator

    Chrisinator Ripariumist

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    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.
     

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