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Thread: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

  1. #21
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    The final preparations before a 2 week build

    I just got the final device in from delivery which is the Zoo Med Hygrotherm! Having this and my background now means that I have virtually everything I need to build the enclosure. I will get more soil from the local pet store who provided the enclosure and later next week like around this time I will begin the project. Once the project begins I'm the kind of person who wants to finish fast what I started. I believe it will take me about 12 days to build this setup. I am excited to finally begin this project! I have been planning a large enclosure for years and then once the decision was made in December 2016 to make it the PA Woods I have been planning it out since. I knew what I would need generally speaking with some of the devices and soil and plants that I have now. For my soil I have settled on these ingredients

    Top Soil
    Plantation Soil
    Cypress Mulch
    Peat Hummus

    I think I shared why I wanted mulch. I'm trying to make the top layer where the animals poop more acidic because this helps break down the ammonia levels. The Top Soil is important because it is what my plants need in order to survive. The Peat Hummus and Plantation Soil are going to make the soil very good for plants to grow in. This is very important for me because I'm using plants I've never had before. One thing I did not state is my background soil. As of right now I'm just planning on using plantation soil and possibly cypress mulch. I'm not too worried about how detailed the background soil is because this will not be growing the majority of the plants.


    One thing I'm excited for...

    It has to be a three part answer of the living organisms such as animals, insects and plants all in their own ecosystem. I'm extremely excited to see King III and Pious meet in the 125 Gallon. I'm interested to see Ace and Pious explore the new setup and to see how they adapt. I have seen Ace and King sit together but King III does not seem interested in mating with Ace. They have a resemblance and I caught King III a year later exactly where I caught Ace from. So I think they are related. This could be a benefit because it would decrease tension between King and Pious if Ace and King are related. She does seem to enjoy his company since Pious went dormant and doug into the dirt. So I'll have to look for a female toad for King. Maybe raising a baby from the eggs of my mom's pond? Or finding "the one" which would be a drop dead stunning specimen. The odds of the other inhabitant accompanying the toads is
    Gray Tree Frog 34%
    Wood Frog 33%
    Northern Leopard Frog 33%

    If I catch some Gray Tree Frogs Sunday night then I will use them. If I do not and my tadpoles currently are Leopard Frog then I'll keep them. If both options fail then it's all the way a Wood Frog. Unless I find them first Sunday.

    I am excited to have various insects living alongside the amphibians and plants in harmony. Yes they are hopefully feeder insects but I do want some to become established in the enclosure and reproduce and live a longer life. It will be cool seeing how the two cricket species interact with each other and how they would treat wild crickets or grasshoppers if they are added. I'm looking forward to hearing the different sounds of the crickets and hopefully it will really sound like a woods with a couple of different noises inside the enclosure.

    I am very excited with the plants. All the plants are brand new so this will be interesting to see how they do inside the enclosure. Growing my own ferns and scallions and some moss has made the process even more rewarding. I am very excited and interested to see how these plants will do with a new type of light actually. I'm also interested in growing crops with my plants. If the scallions work out it will be a doorway to more potential crops like radishes and lettuce and others possibly.

    I will be responding a lot this week before the build and I'll give updates on how it's going when I start. So I have a few questions for you all.
    Would a 3 species enclosure interest you if it were to happen that I have the toads and not just one, but two frog species? Which would you prefer to see together of those listed?
    What thing or things have you most excited to see with this enclosure?
    What weather feature do you want to see first on YouTube when the build is completed?

    A) Thunderstorm
    B) Foggy Day
    C) Rain Storm
    D) Clear Day
    E) Full Moon
    F) Dusk to Dawn
    G) Write in your own

    I will be updating the Facebook Page and YouTube Channel as the build progresses!

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  3. #22
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Back to Back Nature Trips before 125 Gallon Build

    I am taking a trip up north tomorrow night looking for the Gray Tree Frog in hopes to award some lucky frogs with the opportunity to live in my enclosure. Hopefully there are alot of cool animals especially frogs we find. This trip is exusive to finding the Gray Tree Frog but like I said yesterday if we find the Wood Frog I may reconsider. I do have tadpoles I'm waiting to find out the species of but I said at the end of May if I do not find the Wood Frog I would make a decision and that's why after searching a little bit late for the Wood Frogs and not finding any I'm attempting to catch some Gray Tree Frogs in mating season for them.

    Then hopefully if it works out on Monday night I'll be heading up to Northern Pennsylvania to go sightseeing which is for a nature expedition. So we may find some Gray Tree Frogs up there as well or possibly Wood Frogs. The odds of me walking away from both trips empty handed is very unlikely as when I went on the last expedition I came away with about 100 tadpoles and caught many frogs and released them back. I am on the hunt for a female toad to accompany King III as well so there are more opportunities to find a female on these trips too! I will have a lot of updates on the Facebook Page if you have a Facebook you can follow me on there. Search for PA Woods Vivariums and like the page for updates! I'll use Facebook a lot to reveal when videos will be released and events and everything else. I am very confident that I will have my other amphibian inhabitants by the end of the week.

    Regarding the size situation
    If females are thriving in captivity they can reach 3 inches in length which could be bigger then some male American Toads! I also researched the male tree frogs can get to 2 inches long which would put them well above the size of consumption by the toads. This was a great bit of information that I discovered after hours of research today. I also learned the tree frogs live in woodland habitats not just humid moist wetlands. A woodland is like our PA Woods which was amazing to hear. I found out they will be able to survive for more than 10 years in captivity as well. Back to the size situation for a moment. The smaller size of the tree frogs could mean having possibly 3 pairs of tree frogs and toads. This is not a guarantee and I need to find the tree frogs first but I'm excited for all this!

    The Northern PA Woods Expedition could potentially be a video if you guys would be interested in seeing it? Also I will do a video when the tank is up and running called "Bloodlines" describing the relationship between Ace and King III describing the relationship that siblings have.
    To get you excited here is a video of a Gray Tree Frog Duel in the woods during mating season
    https://youtu.be/zNxoO9Vk6I0

    This could be what happens in my enclosure with 2-3 males!

    The odds for which frog will join the 125 Gallon

    Gray Tree Frogs 60% (they're mating)

    Northern Leopard Frogs 20% (tadpoles)

    Wood Frogs 20% (unlikely to find them)

    I have kept the Gray Tree Frog many years ago but not over winter and only for some time so I have experience with them just never kept them in captivity for permanent time.

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  4. #23
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    First day of the Northern PA Woods Expedition

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...02141930246413

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  5. #24
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    The build has begun! I have the enclosure on it's side and I'm going to use the expanding foam tomorrow but in sections so I am more accurate. I am very excited to begin this process. I am very excited also to announce that I may possibly have found that I have 2 tadpoles that are in early stages of becoming Wood Frogs. I went on my second part of the expedition and I did not get to find any gray tree frogs. But while on the final search through the neighborhood we found a golden toad. It was unbelievable. It was a male and I knew it would put me over the limit but he was too beautiful in color for me to leave him. This toad is all over yellow and I never saw a toad with his color. Now I'm going to have to find 2 female toads. I'm also very certain that Ace and King III are related because she has been staying near him for about 2 weeks now and he has not tried to mate with her. They behave different then a pair of toads do like her and Pious. I can't wait to show you the relationship between Ace and King III in a video later on. I'm also interested to see how the competition between Pious and the Golden Toad Wellsboro will be like. This is two strong dominant males coming together. Hopefully with that much space they will maintain their dominance and occupy different sides of the tank. When they are ready to mate next year it will be very intense with their mating calls. Wellsboro is probably around 3 or 4 years old. He's an adult toad and Pious is not. He's a 2 year old toad and not at full size. He is very big and strong enough to pass for a full size toad but he is not yet. It will be interesting to see Ace and Wellsboro compete at feeding time because Ace is the dominant toad now hands down. There will be 6 toads in this build and it is wide open right now for another species of frog but it's closed between the two tadpoles what they become and the gray tree frog if I go to a friend's house where they have been breeding. I am undecided and not worried. Either species is welcome and will thrive in my setup I'm building. Below is a look at Wellsboro not the best picture it doesn't show his color because the light was off and this was taken with a flash on a phone but it's him and the other pictures are of the enclosure being prepared to be built. What do you think about the discovery of a golden toad? How do you think the interaction between Pious and Wellsboro will go? What do you think about the possible discovery of wood tadpoles and the possibility of gray tree frogs still on the table? Which frog would you prefer to see?

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  6. #25
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    No progress today on the build but more interesting information!!

    I found a yellow jacket "wasp species" in a window today and caught it for Wellsboro. I didn't get to document the battle but I couldn't pass up the epic showdown between the Yellow Jacket Wasp and the Golden Toad. Wellsboro watched the wasp fly around and was calm. He waited for the right moment and struck the wasp with his tongue and conquered the Yellow Jacket. So for the summer it's Yellow Jackets 0 Golden Toad 1. I know many people advise against feeding amphibian and reptiles bees and ants and I agree. No harvester ants or fire ants or Japanese hornets. I only use small species of bees and wasps because the smaller species are easy for the toads to eat and the wasps are pests and I don't want to kill them if I have a more productive way to get rid of them. I also take into account the size of the toad and the wasps. I won't feed one to King III he is too small but Ace and Pious have eaten them last year.

    Moving forward with the interesting information as I saw Wellsboro catch the Wasp I noticed something. He lost 2 toes! It would be like seeing a hand with a thumb and a pinkie! I looked to see if it was just broke but no the toes were gone. He didn't like me softly touching his toes so I stopped after I noticed he was still hurting a little from it. He had this battle wound before I found him. This is not a devastating injury he can still swin and climb and walk. He is the first toad I have kept to have a battle injury. He is very strong and very intelligent and injury or not will challenge Pious for the top male spot. He must have been attacked by a snake or a field mouse. This toad has so much history and I am very happy to have such a wonderful toad. I will get a picture of his wound later. I am still working on getting the tree frogs which will probably happen after the tank is built.

    New plant and ideas!

    So I have been passionate about my native species. My 125 Gallon will house American Toads and Gray Tree Frogs and I have said I will have Carpenter Ants and Sunfish after the exotic tree frogs pass. I will have 2 native enclosures. My upcoming project for next year is not focused on Pennsylvania like the 125 Gallon now and the future Ant Paludarium. I will be focusing on a Maryland setup for my Skinks. They will be joined by North American Millipedes caught on my last expedition as well as a Male Musk Turtle. They will be going on a setup that I will describe once the 125 Gallon is complete. I will also be creating a second Maryland setup around the same time as the Ant Paludarium. This build I can say will have Northern Leopard Frogs. I am very excited to be focusing on another area to gain inspiration from to build 2 enclosures. I will be making a couple more trips in Pennsylvania this summer but will also be visiting Maryland in a few spots to authentically build a setup from Maryland. This is big news that I'm sharing that im making enclosures out of inspiration from another state. I will have another thread on that but just wanted to share that with you. So we have the 125 Gallon now being built and next year another build but the first Maryland build, then down the road 2 more enclosures.

    I have been looking at growing fruit and vegetables in my enclosures. I have found possible candidates for future attempts if the scallions work out. Strawberries, Blueberries, Black Barries, Lettuce, Radishes. One crop that will be attempted is the cranberry. This plant does great in wet soil and is like a spreading ivy so this would be great for my enclosures.

    How do you feel about the announcement that I will be creating some setups from another state? Have you ever considered growing cranberries in a frog or lizard enclosure? Let me know what else you guys think.

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  7. #26
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    I finally got my Wood Frog

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  8. #27
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    You can see the gold color of Wellsboro and here is a better picture of the Wood Frog

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  9. #28
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    He was just burrowed. He's a lot bigger then he looked! That Wood Frog "Bandit" is very territorial and he croaks for dominance. Nothing can be louder than him.

    Pious woke up last night! He looks good and very colorful. He was a gentle giant in the enclosure last night. I'm interested to see how Pious will interact with King III.

    Special announcement!
    I was informed about some Gray Tree Frogs and some tadpoles turned into Wood Frogs. So for the first time ever I will now have a 3 species enclosure.
    Eastern American Toads
    Wood Frogs
    Eastern Gray Tree Frogs

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  10. #29
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Another day of progress and more...

    We got the back of the tank covered in foam finally! We now have the sides of the tank to complete and then I have to trim the foam and finally start creating the design for the background with the accessories and the dirt and silicone. I will have pictures of the back of the tank covered in foam below. I bought moss and will get more accessories tomorrow.


    3 species update!

    I am very excited to have a 3 species vivarium. I think all of the amphibians will make the enclosure work as a real ecosystem. The Gray Tree Frogs will eat the insects that climb the background and try to outsmart the Toads and Wood Frogs. The Tree Frogs will also eat moths and flying insects that I place in the enclosure. The Wood Frogs are split into two groups. The females which get as big as make toads will be able to hunt large and medium size feeders. The male frogs will eat medium to small size feeders just like how the Gray Tree Frogs are split up. The Wood Frogs will inhabit the land near the water areas. I am very proud to have captured my Male Wood Frog Bandit. He escaped being eaten by a Green Frog when I found him and by a Bullfrog when I saved him again. He is incredibly beautiful and territorial but the toads do not care about this. My largest toad "The Golden Toad" Wellsboro lives with him now and he eats like the Wood Frog isn't there and he's very peaceful. I can't speak for the Gray Tree Frogs but I doubt they will get territorial with the Wood Frogs. Bandit may be the only one who is dominant too so We will have to see.

    Total numbers and Feeder Insects...

    So I may have a good problem. I might have caught around 100 Wood Frog Tadpoles that are thriving in my care right now. I can't keep many because I will have about 6 max in my tank so it's first come first serve with my tank. I'll have to take the Wood Frogs somewhere else. So it's going to be a total of
    6 American Toads
    6 Wood Frogs
    4 Gray Tree Frogs

    The animals that will go in the vivarium first

    Ace, King III, Pious, Wellsboro (Toads)
    Bandit, 4 Baby Wood Frogs
    2 Unsexed Gray Tree Frogs

    10 Inhabitants to start. Most ever in one tank already. 16 total (hopefully)

    So with aquiring the Wood Frog I also needed to begin feeding my crickets more and making them more nutritious then anyone else's because the crickets I am keeping need to eat as close to a wild diet as possible. There isn't much information on how to feed a Wood Frog and keep the frog healthy. They are picky eaters. I've read all over the internet and seen YouTube videos on the frogs but I have not seen the proof these frogs need their feeders to be so nutritious, but these frogs are in fact intermediate for frog keeping so I am looking forward to do whatever it takes. I want Bandit to live a long and happy life. I've never seen it documented any of these 3 frogs and toad species were kept in this big an enclosure.

    I have been asked about keeping wild insects with my amphibians and I think it's a complex question that deserves a complex answer. I believe in using the wild insects to the fullest extent for my animals that they would normally eat in the wild. I won't take it away from them. But I will not use large mantises or spiders or anything that could kill or harm my frogs and toads. The Stone Centipede is an exception because it eats various things and stays small for any of my amphibians to eat but can prey on some feeder insects if they wish but also will eat decaying plant matter. I also collect my Woodlice from where I caught most of my toads and Wood Frog from. I may collect some other insects as well.

    Surprises with feeder insects and more...

    I also wanted to use the ants as a PART of the staple diet of my amphibians to see how it effects the Wood Frog. I learned I'll need to attain mealworms and let them loose in the tank and allow the Mealworm Beetle to form for the amphibians to eat as another PART of the variety for my insects. One insect I learned would be acceptable as a staple diet for all the animals is...the European Earwig. This has pinchers yes but I've seen research that shows these along with the 2 species of crickets would be great as a staple along with the Woodlice, Mealworms, and Waxworm and Earthworm (except for the Wood Frog they can't eat waxworms but I'm seeing if they can eat worms) the Earwig is great at escaping so I'm going to have to take some time before I add them into the staple status for my amphibians. I believe the Earwig and the Carpenter Ant will make for a great staple for my animals.

    What animal or insect are you most interested to see in the 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium?

    What are your thoughts on using the Earwig as a staple diet for USA Native Species?

    What would be a cool video like a feeding video or a display of the weather from my enclosure or a comparison of two or all of the animals or feeder insects? Let me know along with anything else in a comment below!

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  11. #30
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    A large update but no work on the build today

    So I laid out an idea of having enclosures that were dependent on each other. I got away from it but some very interesting information was discovered and the idea had resurfaced and actually got a green light.

    Keeping crickets can be very smelly and difficult but there's one way for the smell to go away and that's a natural setup. The diet allows the cricket to deposit eggs and the plants would take away the smell. But I'm not just talking about Crickets. I would like to have Grasshoppers (Locusts) Earwigs, Woodlice, Earthworms and maybe more. These are actually staple insects for a varied diet. I am going to try to use all of these insects and create an Insectarium to house them. I will use a 75 Gallon and with that space all the different insects could spread out and reproduce abundantly.

    This would be dependent on the Maryland and Pennsylvania setups thinning out the numbers so no insect would explode in reproduction and overrun the tank. The other two tanks would be dependent on this tank as well.

    The green light for the Insectarium is two parts. I can start this in a smaller enclosure for a small scale with maybe one or two insects. The other part is I am in talks about having a small garden which would feed the insects during the spring-fall. So I would have a source outside of my enclosures that they would be dependent on. So I would have a garden that would feed the insects of the Insectarium. The Insectarium would need to be thinned out and the 125 Gallon PA Woods, the Maryland Bottomland and in the future the Carpenter Ants would make sure the numbers are thinned down.

    The crickets are chirping louder then I ever heard pet store crickets and the first tadpole that became a Wood Frog ate some small crickets tonight which was a surprise.

    What do you think about my talk of a 75 Gallon native insect enclosure for the insects to breed and thrive all year inside?

    Have you ever thought about having enclosure that would compliment one another?

    Have you ever thought of growing crops to feed your feeders? Let me know what else you are thinking!

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  12. #31
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    The back wall is almost done and I got some pictures of Wellsboro eating and Bandit in the water.

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  13. #32
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    I have a friend who went on an expedition the same time I went on one to catch me some Gray Tree Frogs and he was successful at catching a pair! The male is on his finger and the female is climbing something. I have fantastic news! I didn't realize how close I was to the boarder of where Gray Tree Frogs were located but it turned out they are found in the same woods as me but in small spots. So when these two hopefully breed I can release their tadpoles to add to the local population!

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  14. #33
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    So the tank is almost done we are just days away before I can get it set up to put the soil and plants in. I am not Going to put these baby frogs in with the adult frogs and toads. I have a young female toad as well who will join these frogs. I am very excited to be close to finishing this background so I can then be done with talking about the hype and actually have a the finished product


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  15. #34
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Updates on the building of the enclosure, the inhabitants and other stuff...

    With this week ending marking the second week I've been building my tank I am very confident in seeing the progress of the background. I am going to spend most of Monday finishing the background and hopefully getting the tank back on the stand. I'll let the tank air out still and will build the soil layer of the tank and get my devices setup. The Background is supposed to resemble a hillside with how it was modeled. This background is going to enable the Gray Tree Frogs to feel at home with a lot of green and spots of dense wood areas on the sides. I'm interested to see how they utilize the environment. This background is made to give the feeder insects an opportunity to escape the populated amphibian vivarium by having places to retreat. They will have spots on the soil levels also to hide, and they will have leaf litter and hides to utilize.

    Inhabitants

    The Toads are ready to have a bigger setup and I'm ready to give them one. There is going to be a total of 5 American Toads
    2 Females
    3 Males

    Pious King III and Ace are going to enter the enclosure first so my lizards have more room. I am going to attempt to record the toads making their entrance to the new woods. Then I will introduce Wellsboro and Bandit. Bandit will be the only Wood Frog for a little while because the other Wood Frogs are babies and I'm concerned would not be able to compete for food the same as the others. There will be a total of 6 Wood Frogs
    1 Male
    5 Unsexed Baby Frogs
    I will have 3 Water features for the frogs because they seem to like hanging out in the water. With 3 places this should keep any competition down with multiple water areas. I hear Wood Frogs are fond of their own kind but Bandit is very dominant so I'm not taking any chances. They are not as active at night so their schedule is opposite of the Gray Tree Frogs. The toads are out day and night. The third wave of inhabitants will be the pair of Gray Tree Frogs. They are not cramped like the others so they can wait a little bit longer then the others. There will be a total of 7 going in the first day the setup is operational. All those named will be entering. Who are you most excited to see enter the Woods? It can be one specific animal or a couple or all of them but name your favorite(s)

    There is the question about the final female toad and the baby wood frogs. I am going to keep them in a group together to raise them and document their progress to adulthood. It will be the Pennsylvania Woods Nursery. I'm excited to have the toad grow up with the Wood Frogs so they will be more tolerable of one another when they move to the enclosure.

    Having a total of 13 amphibians among the 3 species will be difficult to feed along with my White's Tree Frogs and Skinks but I'm going to attempt many different ways to do this. It will be very hard to keep insects in this environment on paper and thinking logically but it's still possible. The same thing goes for having 13 inhabitants. That's a lot of mouths to feed and it's a lot of frogs and toads total. I will get a chance to raise the 7 first and see how they handle being together. I'm glad all 3 species are going in so they can live together instead of introducing one species after and there being a potential problem. There must be another female for the sake of the toads because there are too many males and another female will help even things out. Same as the Wood Frog population for them having their own kind together to reduce stress. The Gray Tree Frogs will be able to get away and enjoy the top of the tank and the Wood Frogs will hopefully stay near the water areas and the Toads will adventure around the entire setup. To my knowledge only Ace and Pious utilize water areas. I've never seen King III or Wellsboro go to water. So the animals will enjoy having their niche. We will see how the interactions between the species and the number of amphibians plays out. I will have a new video of the light fixture displaying the actual amount of light the enclosure will receive from the fixture as well as the background of the vivarium itself. The timetable for the grand opening of the enclosure looks like next Sunday. What do you think would be the best way to feed all these animals? Let me know anything else you want to share with me from the update! I'll have more tomorrow

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  16. #35
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    An update on when I'll go pickup my Gray Tree Frogs from my friend and a brief description of more on the climate of my enclosure...

    So I will be going to get the Tree Frogs at the end of this week and hopefully I'm picking up some isopods from his collection to use in the enclosure. I'll probably save some and attempt a colony so I can have the Isopods throughout the year. I'm not sure if Gray Tree Frogs and Wood Frogs prey on them so the Isopods could be hunted to extinction. I'll be returning to the spot where I caught 3 toads and Bandit to collect some Woodlice which are another species of Isopods.

    I'm hoping that whatever insects are in the enclosure can establish colonies and survive among my frogs and toads. I'll be making care sheets after this tank is completed but I'll share this now. Two of the most important pieces to a Vivarium are Cleaner Crews (Isopods and Springtails) and Earthworms to fertilize the soil by turning it over and the cleaner crew eats the poop of the animals and decaying plant matter, as well as mold. That's why you can never have enough of these 3 insects. Nobody knows how nutritious Isopods are for frogs and toads because they haven't been studied. It's possible they would be a staple food for frogs and toads which would be great if you have Isopods and Earthworms running around to be eaten by your amphibians. They could have a variety in their staple diet which could mean the amphibians live longer and are much healthier.

    The climate of my enclosure will have to be custom made in order to accommodate Wellsboro and the Tree Frogs. Everyone except 3 amphibians were captured in the same town and city and even zip code. So I've looked on Google as well as spent time in all the climates in order to have understanding of what the animals are used to. So from taking a few months to study the climates of 3 spots I found good news for all inhabitants. The low averages and even day to day and week to week are the same with only being a difference of 3 degrees. The highs are very similar too but frogs like to be kept cooler so there's no reason to have the enclosure get to 80F the Toads and Tree Frogs are very similar with temperature and humidity requirements so they can be kept in the same environment but the Wood Frog needs cooler temperatures. The mid 70's are the max this tank can get for their safety. So I went out to purchase a Zoo Med Hygrotherm to keep the conditions perfect for the Wood Frog. I also wanted to have everything I could for my animals so I went out and got a light that creates lightning, purchased 2 foggers and hope to only use one but have another on standby if need be. I purchased a Mistking which is the premiere misting system to own and I'm attempting more then I will share now, but I figured if I am going to have simulated weather then why not have seasonal fluctuating temperatures? So I've been spending time while building the background to figure out an average temperature over a period of months that I have decided on from observation of my specific area and amphibians. This is what I came up with for my seasonal weather so far.


    PA Woods Vivariums Temperature: *
    Spring/Summer
    Highs: May-June 73 July-August 76
    Lows: May-June 63 July-August 65

    Autumn/Fall
    Consistent temperature
    65-67F

    Humidity:
    May-September 60-74%
    Feeder Days: 3
    Fertilize Days 2 Per Month
    Hygrotherm: Temperature & Humidity Control


    From my experience my Wood Frogs are more tolerable to warmer weather which is a good safety net should something happen.

    Do you agree that Isopods are one of the most important parts to a Vivarium?

    Have you ever heard of seasonal fluctuations for native species enclosures?

    Let me know what you found interesting from all the information I shared.

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  17. #36
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    The 125 Gallon stands tall

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  18. #37
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Big update tomorrow

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  19. #38
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    The Update You've Been Waiting For...

    They are in.
    Ace, Pious, King III, Wellsboro, Bandit, Christian and Meredith (Gray Tree Frogs) are all in their forever home. Some were easy to get pictures of and some were not. So if you've been following the build you would know I said the max number of animals this tank can hold is 8-9 max. I have 13 total between the three species animals. This means some will not enter the lands of the PA Woods. Queen the baby female toad and possibly a female wood frog would be the last inhabitants to enter this setup. I learned that this setup would be best for American Toads and Gray Tree Frogs but the Wood Frog can live in the build as well.

    Toads
    All 4 Toads were very interested in the build as they entered last night. Ace was confused she was trying to escape because the tank was so big she thought she could escape. Pious and King III have become friendly and are spending time together. Ace and Pious spend the most time together. Ace stays on the left side of the enclosure and King III and Wellsboro stay on the right side in a hide. Wellsboro stays behind the hide that King III lives in. Pious found a spot I cannot find him in when he goes there but he comes to the left side of the enclosure to stay with Ace. Tomorrow is the first feeding for the enclosure so we will see how the toads share among each other and with the other species. Queen will be a great addition. The toads love the enclosure.

    Wood Frog
    Bandit entered the enclosure and looked around and was wondering where he was. He jumped from the ground to the top of the tank and tried to escape but he can't. It's weighed down with pounds of weight. He croaked once and stays on the right side of the tank. He hasn't explored the entire enclosure. He was very peaceful with the other toads. He did not see Wellsboro (Toad that was in the holding tank with him) but was comfortable with the toads from seeing one before. He showed no interest in the Tree Frogs. I'm excited to see how he adjusts. He was starting to explore before I went to work. He was on the same side as Ace and Pious. I wonder if he'd even care if another Wood Frog was put in the setup.

    Gray Tree Frogs
    Male Christian from 50 shades of grey and Meredith from Gray's Anatomy (both named by my girlfriend) were very fun to watch. They are smaller then I thought. They are fat and have eaten well. Meredith was adventurous and explored a little bit and tried to escape to learn what Bandit did. There is no escape. She settled down and just climed the glass looking for a place to stay. She made the toads very interested. King III came to the front and just watched her climbing the walls and he looked amazed a frog could do that. Then Meredith climed to the left side of the tank. Ace came out and she too looked amazed. I misted the tank and as Meredith climed she knocked water droplets fell and Ace thought they were food and lunged at the water droplets. It was very funny. She would look up at Meredith and down at the water droplets. She then lost interest after a while and went back to exploring the enclosure. Meredith only ran into Wellsboro in the back of the tank and he didn't care she was there. She settled her territory at the top left corner of the tank. Christian was more shy since he's the smallest frog. He jumped down after Meredith settled in and landed right next to King. The two sat side by side and looked like two friends sitting on a bench together on top of a hide. It was funny. Christian posed for a nice picture and he's very photogenic. I got pictures of Wellsboro, Ace, Bandit, Meredith and 2 of Christian. I'm very excited to see how the tree frogs handle the tank and the other frogs and toads.

    They are doing what I thought and hoped.
    The best thing that can happen did. Everyone was peaceful and they all have their own territory in the enclosure. I didn't see Christian find a spot but I believe he will. Because of the large space there is enough room for everyone to move around and have space.

    The capacity limit
    I said 8-9 maximum and I am going to honor it. I will have 8 Frogs and Toads. 5 Toads 2 Gray Tree Frogs and 1 Wood Frog. I may add a female for Bandit to breed in the spring but take her out when done. The Wood Frog can do well in the setup because there are two water bins and it's moist but due to the number of toads I can't have as many terrestrial animals between both species. The tree frogs aren't really held to what the toads and Wood Frogs are so they occupy the tank differently. I have plans for Wood Frogs though.

    Future of the PA Woods and the 3 species
    I fell in love with the Wood Frog. It lived up to it's name and I respect it greatly. They have such a wonderful temperment. I enjoy them so much and I have 5 babies I raised this spring so I'm going to keep them in a vivarium by themselves. They are a group and find confidence in each other's presence. I really want to keep and allow the frogs to breed and add to their numbers in the wild so I gave it strong consideration and decided that I will cancel the plans to have a Biopod MD Vivarium. I'll have the MD setup in another enclosure so this way I can have the Wood Frogs in the Biopod. So I'll be able to keep about 4 Wood Frogs in the Biopod. I will make it more of a marsh for them. I also want to include 2-3 Gray Tree Frogs because they occupy the top of the tank and will do great in a moist setup too. I just have more passion for these frogs then a turtle or lizards if they aren't mine currently. So I'll have a Biopod Grand PA Woods Vivarium with Wood Frogs and Gray Tree Frogs. After Bandit I'll plan to have the 5 Toads because I'm expecting from the information on Wood Frogs passing faster then the toads and tree frogs and 4 Tree Frogs. The 125 Gallon is moist but not a marsh land more of what the Wood Frog enjoys and both the toad and tree frog can live in drier areas and the tree frogs can live in a marsh land that's why they'll be in both. The Wood Frog and Toad occupy the same space so they are the anchor for their tank specifically. So the 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium will have American Toads and Gray Tree Frogs. In time these 3 will be my whole collection. After the lizards and White's Tree Frogs I'll get the Biopod Grand so if these babies are alive still they will be the future inhabitants. I will have the Skinks in the 75 Gallon the White's Tree Frogs in an Exo Terra LT by the end of the summer, Wood Frogs in an Exo Terra and the 3 species in the 125 Gallon. 4 tanks and I'm hoping to have 3. In the future after my lizards and dumpy tree frogs pass then I'll have
    The 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium
    Biopod Grand PA Woods Vivarium
    Exo Terra LT Insectarium

    I plan of loving my lizards and tree frogs and not neglecting them because I love them and enjoy them too. I just want to say that. I'm just looking ahead because the skink pair is older and the one tree frog will be 4. So it can be a long time or if something happens can be next week. I hope they live for a long time.

    What I have to do
    I need to program the light and attach it to the lifting kit.

    I need to drill more holes for the foggers to fit in the holes.

    I need to see if the hygrotherm is setup right.

    I have more plants to add and accessories.

    I need to add the Insects and all of them.

    I'll have to update the water bins to look better with cover for Bandit to hide.

    In conclusion for now
    I have found a good number of animals my tank can take and found what it's made for. I found that I like the Wood Frog a lot and want to build a setup for them.

    What do you think of my observations so far from Day 1 and 2?

    How do you feel about a maximum number of animals do you think it's necessary and how do you determine it for your self?

    What do you think will be the most challenging things with this tank and what questions do you have for me about this setup?

    Are you excited that I have decided to scrap some ideas and pursue another PA Woods Vivarium but with the Wood Frogs?

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  20. #39
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Some progress made and some interesting observation from the first feed you won't believe

    So something very interesting about my light is if you think about taking a phone off the charger and the percentage goes down that's how the light takes away the power of the fixture. It's a gradual take. The light will need to still be hung up but I'm pleased with the results today. The night light is very different from the light of a T5 Fixture that I had before. It's much brighter and I was not sold on the light how bright it was but seeing it today changed my perspective. So the light will also gain power from the morning to around midday to 3pm. I will be interested in seeing how my light effects the plants, insects and animals of the 125 Gallon.

    The clash of the Titans!
    So as this was the first feed we would see how 3 groups came together to eat. Ace, Pious, and King III then Wellsboro and Bandit and the Tree Frogs Christian and Meredith. Pious and King stayed on the right side of the tank and were spread out. Bandit caught a few which was good but I left early for work so everyone may have eaten more then I saw. The Gray Tree Frogs were very nervous and the male caught one cricket and I urged the female to come out from sleeping because she might not have got any. The tree frogs are highly nocturnal. They come out very late. Now there was a battle that I saw potential for but I'm still surprised. Ace and Wellsboro were in the middle of the tank and that's where I dropped the insects. They both ate the most but I recorded this where they were actually trying to push one another away from getting the food. I wasn't paying attention to who ate more it was so even and not what I wanted but anyways they really pushed one another. Wellsboro showed territorial behavior at Ace but she actually started eating more. Ace, King and Pious are not territorial they do not lunge at other animals and Bandit doesn't either. Apparently Wellsboro is dominant and Ace is an eating machine. If he makes her his rival he won't be mating with her next year lol she will remember his lack of manners. So it made me think about possibly having to feed the Tree Frogs with the baby wood frogs. This would enable them to be in a more even setting to catch food. I'll have to find a way to slow down Wellsboro and Ace from eating so I have some ideas. Until I order the Banded Crickets the Gray Tree Frogs won't be able to eat much. They may be able to eat the waxworms and earthworms but the Crickets would be too big. Luckily the tree frogs are young so they have years to grow and compete with the toads. I do have small crickets that I throw in after the large ones so they can pick those off.

    So my way to keep the toads contained is to do two things. As the toads are out I'll throw earthworms in to them and try to fill them up on the worms or Mealworms or Waxworms and when the Crickets go in they will not have as much room and it'll give the tree frogs and Bandit the opportunity to eat more. Like I said I just saw Bandit and Christian catch one but there were many crickets and other insects left so they could have ate a lot too. I know Bandit can compete and catch food. He has speed and is very aggressive to feeders. I might take the tree frogs out and feed them separately possibly on top of the enclosure or in another bin. It will at first cause nervousness but they can adapt like my White's Tree Frogs and wait for me to take them out and sit and let me hand feed them. Id love to do that for them.

    I may be overreacting since the Gray Tree Frogs were just getting started as I was leaving.
    What do you think I should do to make sure the Tree Frogs get food?

    Are you surprised to hear Ace and Wellsboro clashing for food?

    Are you ready for a video this week?

    This picture is Christian (Male Tree Frog)

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  21. #40
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    I will be interested in this between Ace and Wellsboro. He's the largest toad I've ever had in captivity and she's the most ambitious toad I've ever had in captivity. I think that Wellsboro will just try to intimate her but she will keep eating so he may be in charge but he won't stop her from taking food away from him. I'm saying I think this may just be their relationship in this tank. I can't say enough about how they are not territorial towards Wood Frogs or Gray Tree Frogs they let them alone and that's just great in my opinion. They really are peaceful unless it's another toad lol I think it'll be interesting when Pious clashes with Wellsboro because Pious is a vicious predator. I will try to keep the toads fed well and I have been researching and I think I made my decision. I am going to have a 30 Gallon of Wood Frogs. I'll make it with a marsh land and include the mosquito fish I have now. The Wood Frog can compete and thrive in the 125 Gallon so you'd think I'd be taking out the tree frogs who I'm concerned about but there are some good reasons for the split. All 3 species can coexist but I don't think it's a big enough tank. You would probably need at least a 12 foot long tank to have 5 toads and 6 wood frogs because of floor space. For my 6 foot tank I think I can have 4-5 max number of terrestrial animals. If Bandit stays then Queen (female toad) cannot enter when she gets bigger. So I will split up the frogs and toads so they can have more floor space. The wood frogs do well with each other so this will be okay and I'll have to give a lot of hiding spaces and allow them to escape each other. I can control their heat and diet more. There are things the Wood Frog has a hard time eating the other species do not so it would be easier to keep track of them. So the Wood Frog Vivarium will exist before the future plan for a Biopod setup. So there will be 5 toads and 2 tree frogs. It will be easier to have all the toads together and it's enough space for 5 toads to live and escape each other. It's very spacious for 2 tree frogs. I may look for another pair next year for this setup. The tree frogs can eat what the toads do and can tolerate a warmer tank so I'll have to evaluate the 125 Gallon now that the Wood Frog is in their own setup. So I'll have 4 tanks by the end of the summer. I will try to hand feed the tree frogs still and look to see if they will compete for food as time moves on. I'll have at least one video for this week and will have updates on the tank through the week! I think the space and feeding problem was solved.




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