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Thread: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    This vivarium will house 4-5 American Toads and Wood Frogs each with the total number being 8-10 between both species. This is just the announcement post of the build that will have a variety of documentation of everything from the frogs and toads to the enclosure and the nitty gritty with all the details. The 125 Gallon comes on Monday but the build will be slow but accomplished by the end of the summer. The next post will be about the bio of the enclosure and some interesting information.

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  3. #2
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Bio of the 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium
    So from the post above as the announcement of 125 Gallons for 4 American Toads and 4 Wood Frogs to be created to replicate the PA Woods where these amphibians were found has many interesting parts to this build. Out of the 8 inhabitants we know the two toads (Ace and Pious) from the 75 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium are going to be the first inhabitants to enter this enclosure. To see these two toads and the current setup also to see this build on video once I start the build you can check it out on the YouTube channel as well in these links below. Make sure to like it on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube to support this build and the vision behind it.

    The Facebook Page
    https://www.facebook.com/PAWoodsVivariums/

    YouTube Channel
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4n...r50aiDHpDE_CFg

    The Vision:
    This enclosure was a long time in the making. I love my native frogs, toads, and lizards so I spent years researching what would be the animals I'd be the most passionate about and I narrowed it down to around 10 native species. My favorite animal is the American Toad so it was automatically in. Then my favorite pond frog the Leopard Frog got the other spot with my first attempt at creating a local setup. As you can see from the earliest videos the mix was successful with a male leopard frog and a pair of toads. There was illness, an escape, among other situations that led to the leopard frog being left out of the next generation of this build as the leopard frog escaped and committed suicide. Next I wanted to create a setup for my favorite lizard which was the five lined skink. This is the current setup with a pair of sexed toads and skinks living in there since August to whenever the 125 Gallon is in commission. This build despite the reptile and amphibian stigma proved to be very successful which I would say is more successful then with the leopard frog. The goal of this through the generations was to reproduce the toads and the other native animal with them that I took from the wild with the hopes of giving back as offspring from the animals that were taken. I was unable to hibernate the toads and the skinks and leopard frog were not from my county so I could not release their offspring into the wild. So I went to my second favorite frog which is the Wood Frog. These are abundant in my area and would be legal for release. They are kept just like the American Toad so this was a no brainier for me. I have heard these are intermediate level frogs and I am embracing the challenge to keep and breed these frogs successfully with being prepared to invest financially in these frogs and toads I have and will have in order to reproduce healthy offspring and to treat my pet frogs and toads the best I can. They are pets first and a reproductive pair after. Should the Wood Frog be a failure due to their level of care then I will invest in Gray Tree Frogs which are also abundant in the wild. So there will be either tree frogs or Wood Frogs in this setup.
    The vision is to replicate the woods of PA and to recreate a native enclosure with the goal of reproduction and long life span for all inhabitants.

    The Plants
    So now that the introduction of the animals has been discussed the plants are just as important for this build. Species of native ferns and ground cover will be the bulk of the plants. The Autumn Brilliance Fern, Spleenwort Fern, and the Cinnamon Fern will be in this enclosure. I am aware of the size of the Cinnamon Fern but it's not in the wild so I am anticipating it won't grow as fast. It's not a big deal to me if I need to trim it time from time. The Autumn Brilliance Fern is a success as I have one now that is 2 years old raised in this enclosure through every generation of this tank. English Ivy and Pachysandra will be the ground covers. The Pachysandra is another success as with the Fern I have the Pachysandra living almost a year in captivity. The ivy was a suggestion from a plants expert that will be shouted out after the build is complete. One massive attempt this build will have that the previous generations did not is the introduction of vegetables. Scallions and lettuce will be attempted not just as a plant to observe, but a crop to potentially eat should it pass some health regulations. This tank could reproduce life and grow crops at the same time! The goal with these plants and vegetables is to have a heavy planted native tank so the Wood Frog feels safe as this is a requirement for the species for their success. Other plants will be an iris that is already living in the enclosure now and some Moss.

    Insects
    There will be a wide variety of insects introduced to the vivarium in hopes they breed and create colonies to create some stalk in the tank for the frogs and toads to hunt just as they would in the wild. On the first generation of this I watched crickets figure the routine out of the Leopard Frog and Toads so they would not be eaten. They would only leave their home at certain times to avoid the predators. This got the crickets to 3 generations in the enclosure. I have had stone centipedes survive in a previous build as they entered from a plant but were not destructive. I always have Springtail, Earthworms and Woodlice in the enclosure so they by default will remain in the new enclosure. So as far as insect inhabitants the three mentioned will be included and the stone centipedes will be welcomed and not treated as a pest this time. Both Banded Crickets and the common Pet Store Crickets will be encouraged to breed as they bring noise to the enclosure which sounds like a woods. The goal is to have both thrive in this setup to have food for the animals but to have them survive and make the setup more natural.

    The Devices
    A Mistking misting system is the designated watering system for the plants and animals in the enclosure. 3 sprayers will be on opposite sides of the enclosure. This will keep it humid, water the plants, moisturize the frogs and toads and simulate rainfall. A temperature control will be used to keep it cool for the wood frogs as a fogger and fans will be plugged in to create a cool breeze of fog that will keep the vivarium from over heating. This can be paired with the Mistking to represent a rainstorm with clouds, rain, and wind. A 6ft T5 Odyssey light will be the light for this build. I have the 4ft build since the first generation in 2014 with original bulbs in and it still works. This will be adequate for growing plants and crops, providing day and night cycles for the insects and animals, and will light the entire tank. These lights are on a timer and can replicate morning, afternoon, evening, and night. The night light will be paired with 2 others that I will have on a timer to come on so the animals will be under the impression the moon is out for a few hours and then when the lights turn off it's darkness. This will be great for video display. For breeding a mini fridge and an area in the enclosure for the animals to go as a small pond to encourage reproduction after hibernation. Speakers will be on top the enclosure to simulate noises of the woods day and night as well as seasonal mating calls to encourage the frogs and toads to call and compete with the recording. Plaxiglass will be used as the lid with custom holes to ensure the enclosure breaths and heat and humidity can escape but also be retained as well. This is more specifics of the upcoming 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium with American Toads and Wood Frogs coming soon. If you have any questions or want to know further details comment on this thread or pm me and I'll be happy to answer you.

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

    So one thing I want to make a priority is to include those in the forums, on Facebook and comments from viewers on YouTube. I will make videos that you all ask me to make or want to see. A top priority is encouraging my audience to join a forum when keeping animals and to join our PA Woods Community if they are interested in my build so they can feel like they are a part of this! The next post I will discuss about my view on the size of a tank compared to the amount of frogs to keep and the behavior of the Toads and Wood Frogs

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    It's here...

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Got it in the room

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Behavior of the American Toad and Wood Frog

    American Toads
    I have kept many toads in captivity and I truly believe they are an amazing pet as long as you can provide care and also respect them as an observation animal instead of one that you can handle. These toads are very hardy and very intelligent amphibians. I forget where I read this as I share this with you but American Toads are the most intelligent of the frogs and toads of the eastern US. They are poisonous and that is to be respected. In captivity I have kept these creatures with Leopard Frogs and Southeastern Five Lined Skinks and they have been peaceful without poisoning their tank mates. I recently observed the behavior of my sexed pair Ace and Pious (Female and Male) when I introduced a smaller skink that was an offspring to the parents in the enclosure to the toads. My toads are predators and even though all frogs and toads are they can be lazy or more peaceful but these two are hunters not ambush hunters. This means they are more aggressive in nature. They left the smaller skink alone which was good but also surprising because even though they couldn't eat the adult Skinks they tested them but left the smaller offspring alone. This is about behavior of these toads so addressing some interesting examination of the species I have come to a conclusion that the female toad is more active and usually more dominant when feeding due to larger size. This was observed every single time I kept both sexes alone as well as together. The females seem to have more personality. I have noticed with my toads my male is equally as dominant and will compete with his mate in every aspect. He currently outweighs her which for a male toad to accomplish is very interesting and good for him moving forward. There are some exceptions in males as Pious is the first male toad in over 12 years to compete and almost out compete a female of the same age. So if you have a male or only prefer a male there still may be hope. As for my toads, I only have 2 out of the 4 I want but these two are the most fascinating and exciting toads to observe. I actually invested in them by purchasing a 125 Gallon to attempt to breed these two and another pair hopefully to join them. I have no doubt these two would out compete any Wood Frogs or other Toads. I do not believe that I will have another toad to challenge either of these two. Of all 8-9 toads and frogs going into this build I am the most concerned for the other male toad. The other part of this observation is the dominant behavior that males show one another. As I have kept toads I have always seen a dominant male appear and even starve the other male to death and attempt to out compete one another. So in my current setup I personally could not have two pairs of toads because I had two males in this enclosure and one starved the other. So I'm hoping with a 125 Gallon that 2 males can cohabitate together. I never had a problem of the toads out competing their tank mates. This means the toads will not outcompete the Wood Frogs in this build. The frogs also have speed to get to the prey first. Ace and Pious come out to feed during the day so the Wood Frog will not have the advantage of being active day and night. Final verdict is just because you have a big tank with the same species doesn't mean their won't be problems.

    Wood Frogs
    The wood frogs are communal creatures which means they will enjoy having each other instead of like the toads out competing one another the wood frogs will embrace each other. These frogs are more peaceful and are very interesting to observe because they are so rare to see captive. They are nervous frogs but as they live among the toads and see how slow moving and laid back they are, the frogs should settle down. These two species share a habitat as the wood frog enjoys being terrestrial instead of aquatic like it's Rana family members. Because they are a Rana species they have a voracious appetite and will eat anything they can fit into their mouth. To my knowledge nobody as a hobbiest has documented keeping these frogs in such a large enclosure. This could be a big help in keeping the frogs stress level lower then usual having so much space to occupy. I am not sure of which sex is dominant or if they will create a hierarchy among one another or even if it will be a shared hierarchy with the toads meaning that as assumed Ace and Pious will be the dominant amphibians over the wood frogs and toads. Or if a Wood Frog will dominate this enclosure as a surprise. Much documentation will be made and shared on these frogs and the relationship they have with the toads.

    The conclusion

    6 feet of space should be enough to house two male toads and it is the largest amount of space either the American Toad and Wood Frog have ever been documented in. The next post will be on the insects and hibernation and seasonal cycle this enclosure will have. Let me know what you think about the information of the toads and frogs below and anything else you want to share with me!

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Insects
    Hibernation
    Seasonal Cycle


    Insects

    So as I was messing with my tank a little bit I saw about 20-30 baby crickets jumping around! Somehow I managed to breed crickets with Lizards and Toads constantly hunting the crickets. The insects are an important part to making this enclosure accurate and authentic to the woods. Various cricket species as well as Woodlice, Springtail, Earthworms, Red Wrigglers, Stone Centipedes are going to live inside the enclosure and hopefully breed. The predator and prey relationship is truly amazing to watch. If you have a big vivarium I would encourage you to attempt this because it is very interesting how the crickets have the ability to learn daily patterns and know when it's safe to get food and bring it back to their nest. The frogs and toads can still ambush them if they aren't careful so even though the frogs and toads are your pet you may find yourself rooting for the cricket to make it back to the nest to raise the upcoming baby crickets. Obviously the goal is not to have an infestation of any insects but a healthy number and a continuous stalk of food so if in a mixed species vivarium if a species is more dominant at feeding time the less dominant species will be able to hunt and feed the abundant number of insects at their own pace. The setup of American Toads and Wood Frogs shouldn't have any unbalanced feeding issues. I would love to attempt to keep grasshoppers or locust inside the enclosure if it's possible which I know need to be native because you can't buy locust in America. I think they would make an even more interesting native insect should they be able to adapt and not be hunted to extinction in the enclosure. These insects are an important part for me to have a native enclosure and have proven to make for an even more appealing display. I know the frogs and toads won't mind to keep their dinner in their house.

    Hibernation

    So I'll have a 125 Gallon Vivarium and for 4 months or so it won't have any frogs or toads inside it. It will be run by the insects for this time to populate and own the PA Woods. As this sounds a bit funny it is also interesting to me to see what will happen with the insects and how much the plants will grow without being trampled on. The Toads and Frogs are only going to breed if they mate so there are no other options. I will place one by one or by the pair in a separate enclosure and have the animals fast for 2 weeks to clean their guts and then place them in a bin inside a minifridge I'm going to buy to hibernate them. I'll place them in until they are all hibernating and then I will make the soil moist and check on them daily to make sure nothing wild happens. Then one of the most exciting times will be to see the frogs and toads wake up and feed on a large group at this point of insects and hopefully breed. I will keep 1 offspring of the toads and get the opposite sex and I will keep two of the wood frogs opposite sex and release the rest of the tadpoles into areas to increase their numbers and give back to the woods I took them from. So hopefully we can have generations of frogs and toads just like the crickets.

    Seasonal Cycle

    This is only possible by accident because the light fixture I used for the 75 Gallon had options to turn on different sets of lights on different times. So I can have one set on in the morning and two on for afternoon and one in the evening and the LED at night. I can also take or give hours of light as the seasons change. This will be important for breeding and to indicate to them it's time to hibernate. The Mistking will also be programmed to come on twice a day for almost 3 minutes for 4 days a week so I water the plants enough but don't soak the enclosure. I will also have a temperature control that will have a fogger and fans to control temperature so the Wood Frogs don't over heat. And the fogger will moisturize the air as the fans blow into the enclosure. So the cycle should help to make the enclosure even more natural with changing light ambience and more or less light depending on the season.
    All in all this enclosure is going to be very interesting in every aspect. So what is the most interesting part to you from this post? Is there something you want me to talk about in more detail? What do you guys want me to talk about next?

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    I have been very excited with these two American Toads! The personality they have is great to watch. They have so much energy and are not boring like some toads. I would like the talk about my male Pious. He is truly making a name for himself! I put in large crickets for the toads to eat and he is a medium sized toad meaning he has room to grow but I've noticed him grabbing the large crickets just with his tongue. To most it's probably not very interesting to hear about a toad eating crickets but scientifically it is very interesting. Usually an adult who is much larger catches larger insects with their tongue but this toad is medium size. I am aware you are supposed to feed proper sized insects but these toads are not as small as they look on camera! I have him housed with a female his same size and in the same week a cricket overpowered her and escaped her grip from being eaten! Ace was very shocked the cricket could outmuscle her and this is quite unusual because she eats large crickets and she is very healthy and active. Usually amphibian species the female is always bigger and stronger and it's very rare to find a male amphibian who can even compete with the female let alone outcompete! I have never witnessed a male as strong or as dominant as Pious before and after the 125 gallon is complete I will make a small documentary on Pious about how truly impressive he is. I'm looking at next week to release the video conclusion for the animals of the 75 Gallon! I love my female Ace who is the toad that's a lighter brown in the last picture and she is a dominant hunter and very exciting to watch, but there is something special about Pious as a hunter and I can't wait to see how he adapts in the 125 Gallon. Will he maintain his status as the alpha? Or will an unsuspecting toad or Wood Frog challenge him for the spot? That will be answered soon. Pious doesn't bully Ace they coexist very peaceful and enjoy one another's company so Ace will be no slouch inside the 125 Gallon as well. As she grows larger will it be enough for her to over take Pious? It will be hard to outcompete her as an adult because she is a very good and active hunter. What do you guys think? Is it possible that there can be multiple dominant amphibians inside a large enclosure like this 125 Gallon? I want to hear your input and I will be answering these questions from my perspective in the next post

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    I was looking at the direction I am heading and for my interest and passion to rescue and raise local American Toads and Wood Frogs or Leopard Frogs I have decided after the hopefully long lives of the Tree Frogs and Skinks I will keep hopefully a sexed pair of each species of American Toads and Wood Frogs or Leopard Frogs in the 75 Gallon as well as the hopeful two pairs of each animal in the 125 Gallon bringing the total number of frogs and toads to around 12. The reason why is because of cycling the frogs and toads as they get older and pass; I can keep filling the spot with another of the same species and continue my community. This will mean even at catastrophe I would always have another one on hand to fill the place. These frogs and toads will all be treated like pets and will be named and featured heavily on YouTube I just wanted to kill any doubt that these frogs and toads will be just a number. Each one will matter and have an important role at giving back to the environment. They are pets first.

    The idea came to me to just focus on cycling the animals I am the most passionate about and I can use for helping the environment around me when I had similar thoughts on needing 2 enclosures for breeding the banded crickets. Just as the 125 Gallon and the 10 Gallon Banded Crickets Colony will be completed this year; they will be the beginning of a transition period that will cause a chain reaction with my interest to build partnering enclosures that will allow for interchangeable tank mates for the frogs and toads to function as a community, as well as a constant supply of crickets on hand. So A 125 Gallon Pennsylvania Woods Vivarium with a future 75 Gallon Pennsylvania Woods Vivarium and two Banded Cricket Colonies to all coexist with having a hopefully never ending predator and prey relationship.

    After the Tree Frogs and Lizards go I will just be focusing on the frogs and toads of the PA Woods Vivarium and the feeder colony of Banded Crickets. I have been recently intrigued with keeping something else that can interact with the PA Woods and the Cricket Colony. I will explain that in the next big post

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Ace may have become the alpha of the enclosure.

    Pious has not come out in a while and Ace has grown very fast and got very strong. She is on par to become the biggest female I've ever had in captivity by the end of the fall. She has become very tame and has been destroying earthworms and crickets in a very impressive and dominant manner. I can't verify her becoming the alpha of the tank until Pious comes out to feed again but as of now she has convinced me. I have on my agenda this week to finish the video of the conclusion to the 75 Gallon tank with Toads and Skinks. See if you can find Ruby in the one picture. The weather is getting warmer here in Pennsylvania and that means I will be looking for some Wood Frogs soon! So I have been in a dilemma with those closest to me. Should I rescue another toad this year or should I just keep 2 offspring from Ace and Pious? Let me know what you guys think. I am hoping for a red toad or an albino specimen. I am not sure what to think about the wood frog. I may catch tadpoles or try to find a young frog or frogs or may take adults. It doesn't matter to me what chance I have I'm just trying to get some. For anyone wondering as long as you have a fishing license you are allowed one frog but if you live with more people that have a license then you can have that many. So I can have 3 toads and 3 frogs. Once they are in your care if they mate the offspring are yours. So I may have 3 wood frogs and 2 toads and breed them to get my 4 toads and 4 or 5 frogs. Hopefully the wood frog works out! If not I'm not too worried because I'll go with the Northern Leopard Frog once again in the place of the Wood Frog. I'm hoping to start the build for the 125 Gallon tank by the end of April and beginning of May. I'd like to finish by the end of June and beginning of July. This project is getting close to getting started! I will have more news in a big post tomorrow!

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    The promised post

    So I said the direction I am going in with keeping animals is with the native species. I will have a community of frogs and toads in my 125 Gallon tank and 75 Gallon tank. The two enclosures will have the same animals, plants, lights, misting, and will be identical builds. This many frogs and toads (around 12 total frogs and toads) will cause me to breed a feeder insect to keep costs down. I am going to do the same things as these two enclosures for the frogs and toads. I am going to have two 10 Gallon tanks for the Cricket Colony that I will be keeping to feed the Pennsylvania Woods Vivarium Community of frogs and toads.

    So I'm just keeping one species of feeder insect and I was saying that I had a hard time finding another animal or animals I was as passionate about keeping as much and I wanted to keep something that could be codependent on the Cricket Colony and the PA Woods Vivarium Community so technically 5 tanks would all be intertwined somehow and some way. Needing such a difficult requirement filled I came to the realization it couldn't be a frog or lizard because my frogs and toads don't need them to survive. So I was going to need something the frogs and toads could eat, but also a predator to eat the crickets and thin out their numbers. So it was going to have to be a predator insect. It couldn't be a tarantula or spider because they couldn't thin out the numbers fast enough. Plus I can't feed that to my animals. Any spider was out as well as scorpion for the same reason however I find them very interesting I will leave the door open for them. I could not keep crabs either. I thought in order to thin down the numbers of one colony I would need another colony to equal it out, but also allow the frogs and toads to eat both colonies. Then the idea came to me.

    The Carpenter Ant

    I saw YouTube videos of ant keeping years ago and I thought it was very interesting and cool to keep ants in the same way I keep my animals. This ant is eaten by the frogs and toads of my area and have a slow growing colony which can be maintained by feeding off every so often the ants to the frogs and toads. The ants would also take dead crickets and use them as well as live specimens if need be. But I'm not interested in possible ant escapes so I thought of an idea to get a larger enclosure and build an island in the middle to contain the ants. I also ran into a problem. The Carpenter Ants and all the frogs and toads hibernate. The crickets do not. So while I had my island for the ants I could put a fish species in the water that can feed on the crickets. I needed a fish with a voracious appetite so if the ants try to swim off they are eaten as well. So a native species of sunfish was my best option because they are big and eat live food such as Ants and Crickets. The Bluegill was my favorite game fish so I figured why not use a native predator insect species and a native fish species to keep everything but the Cricket Colony native to my area.

    So to connect them all together

    The American Toads and either Wood Frogs or Leopard Frogs depending on what happens need a staple insect for a diet so I wanted to use the banded crickets. 12 frogs and toads need a lot to eat so two cricket colonies are needed. A feeder that isn't a staple for the frogs and toads but can be eaten but also an insect that will eat the crickets to thin down the numbers. The ants numbers need to be in check so 12 frogs and toads will eat them. The ants, frogs and toads hibernate and I plan on hibernating my animals anyways so this works out. The ants numbers won't increase as they will be active seasonal like my animals. The Bluegill are needed to eat ants trying to escape but also the crickets that will be increasing in numbers over the winter.

    This is after the Lizards and Tree Frogs so there is no time table for when all of this happens. In order
    125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium
    10 Gallon Banded Cricket Colony
    (This Year)

    10 Gallon Banded Cricket Colony
    (2019)

    75 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium
    (TBA)

    125 Gallon PA Carpenter Ants Bluegill Paludarium
    (TBA)

    What do you guys think about the future plan to keep carpenter ants and sunfish and how all of these enclosures intertwined? Obviously the last two tanks will be much further away in the making but they are on the agenda. I have a lot to focus on with my tanks this year but just looking ahead to the future so in case anything happens I have a plan for the next project. What do you guys think about two 125 Gallon tanks being dependent on one another?

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Some updates

    So I will be purchasing the expanding foam and some background accessories hoping to start in 2 weeks with everything I need for the background. I am excited for this tank to begin soon!

    The video has 50 minutes of footage so I am in the process of deciding how long to make it. The video will be out on Sunday!

    I collected a lot of moss and I will be attempting to use it in my tank after a quarantine process.

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Checkout the conclusion video for the Toads and Skinks!
    https://youtu.be/yTjswDCQgb4

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Ace devours Red Wriggler
    https://youtu.be/1UvQE3na0Ss

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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Aquarium Light Ordered!

    For the 125 Gallon I am making a transition from T5 lights to LED which I will explain is a very interesting direction. These two lights T5 and LED are hands down the best two lights for a living Vivariums because they are good for plant growth and distribute light more even and brighter then any other lights on the market. I took advice from an expert on my last light which was a T5 and I was very impressed. The lights have been on a timer and on every day since 2015 and still look just as bright!

    T5 lights also have successfully grown my native plants and my animals have thrived in the lighting so why would I switch now? LED lights reach the deepest in the enclosure that any light can. I wanted to attempt using the LED light to see if I can grow some plants that are full sun plants instead of shade plants. So basically with some of the plants I will be taking a risk to attempt to use and I wanted to have the best chance. So for the first reason is because I want to be able if it works to grow more plants in my enclosure to have more variety of plants for my enclosure. I must say T5 lights have not let me down and I think they are fantastic! My light fixture is still very effective at producing light for the entire enclosure.

    The second reason is for my lizards. The T5 lights in my fixture produce 10-18 degrees more heat which is great for an unofficial basking spot for the lizards. They love this light and I wanted them to have this light. So the second reason is for another setup the T5 is essential for the animals, and it produces more heat.

    Growing more types of plants and needing a fixture that produced less heat is essential for heat sensetive Wood Frogs to survive! So where the Skinks needed the heat the Wood Frogs did not. This is a very important reason. The last reason will surprise you.

    While my T5 lights can simulate morning, afternoon, evening and night it's not as flexible where the new light fixture I can set how much power for the light to truly have different times of the day. This was important for me for my next light regardless what type. I wanted to have a light fixture that I can adjust the light power. This new fixture has a lightning mode where I can have a thunderstorm if I have other devices cooperatively work together such as my Mistking, Fogger and fans. Why is this part important? I can have the night light on to represent the moon and have the light at the same time have the lighting mode turn on. I can have the fogger create fog and the Mistking turn on. If you have a mister and a fogger on at the same time in my experience the fog rises and it looks like it represents a rainstorm. So to piece this together i would have clouds, rain, lightning, and the fans would blow the mist (rain) down like the wind would. This is to hopefully encourage breeding after hibernation for the frogs and toads. I have a speaker I'm going to use to simulate noises so I will have thunder playing with the devices to really create the thunderstorm effect. You can't have a thunderstorm without thunder! I am currently trying to figure out how to raise and drop pressure while I create my thunderstorm and it takes a lot of research. If I can pull it off I may be able to cause the frogs and toads to mate if the conditions are suitable maybe without hibernation. If you are saying that will take a lot of water won't you flood the enclosure? No because I will have a pump below the substrate that will pump the water either to the water dish of the animals or back to the misting system to reuse. The water would never get past the pump so in theory I really can sit there for hours and have a thunderstorm. With this fixture I can have my hopes high. What do you think about creating an artificial thunderstorm in my enclosure? Do you think I could drop the pressure enough to cause the frogs and toads to breed? Let me know what you think!

    I am still holding out for Wood Frogs. It's still too cold where I live for them to mate so I'm waiting...

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  17. #16
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Here is a demo of the light!
    https://youtu.be/xeeZ3SCAVKI

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  18. #17
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    New Fogger, Plants, New Video and More!

    I bought the fogger and wanted to test it out on my 75 Gallon. I was very impressed. The Evergreen Pet Supplies Fogger is a very good product. I would recommend it to anyone. There was a small problem. It didn't completely fill the 75 Gallon with fog. I was very impressed with how well the fog comes out but it would probably work best for something around 40 gallons to cover the tank and possibly a 55 gallon it could. But that left a big hole in what I wanted to do with making fog for the entire enclosure for the 125 Gallon! I also had a similar situation with the light! My light fixture I purchased is a little bit smaller then the aquarium so I was wondering how would I light the enclosure entirely? I will explain the answer later on.

    I purchased some plants for my enclosure! I will post pictures of them soon. Maybe around next week. I have two Coral Bells, a Primrose, and a Sedum plant. I am very excited to try these out and I still have a lot of plants to purchase. I also got one plant in the form of a seed. I told you all that I wanted to grow Scallions in this enclosure. So I found some seeds and I will raise them and when I research more I will plant them in the 125 Gallon when it's finished. If the Scallions would die off I would just raise more and plant them. The seeds are so inexpensive it's not a problem to come up with the money for them. I do not want to put the seeds in the enclosure for fear the crickets would dig up the seeds and consume them. I am excited to attempt this idea of growing vegetables in the enclosure. I am not thinking of eating the Scallions rather just to have them for display. I would possibly research to see if the onions are edible. I hope no insects will eat the Scallions when they are in the enclosure together. A small update my ferns I'm growing now and some wild moss I collected are growing and flourishing! They will be ready most likely by the time the 125 Gallon is made.

    I contacted my friend of a friend and I am hopefully going to catch some Wood Frog Tadpoles and possibly adults whichever I see first. I am interested in tadpoles first because I can raise them to not be afraid of me and be comfortable in captivity. This part could be huge. If I find adults I will look for smaller younger specimens. Hopefully this time next week I will have some frog or tadpole pictures to share!

    So to answer the question about the holes created about the light and fogger. I purchased the hanging kit so the light can hopefully reach all the enclosure. I also purchased another fogger but from a different brand that has a connection with 2 nozzles so that means I could potentially have 3 times the fog in the enclosure. Either that or the Skinks just got themselves the fogger from last week if the new fogger will fill the 75 Gallon with the 2 nozzles. I hope I don't need both foggers but if I do that's why I bought them. I still have a few things to get for this build. I need to go to a hardware store and get black expanding foam and more stuff for my background. Once the background is in the enclosure I will be able to start mixing soil and I can catch insects to release inside the enclosure. I will have pictures and videos. I have a new camera the Nikon D3 400 but don't know how to use it yet lol but my videos will get a lot better and my commentary will get more clear. Agenda for enclosure still:
    Mistking Nozzles Addition (4 Sprayers)
    Zoo Med Repti Temp Temperature Control
    Pump (to drain water)
    Background accessories
    Soil mix
    Insects
    Wood Frogs
    1 American Toad
    Possible Timer for night lights
    Mini Fridge (For Hibernation)
    Possible Cooler (For Fogger)

    What do you think about the additional fogger for the enclosure? It comes with two nozzles to release fog. What is one weather condition or something cool you would want to see me try to create in this enclosure?

    Breeding
    I learned that American Toads are able to recognize their kin during mating season and the females won't mate with their family. So I am still looking for a toad and I am planning on raising the offspring of Ace and Pious to then breed with this other toad I'll get. Then it creates the opportunity for possibly two toads if I keep the offspring of the offspring and I could have a good community of toads that could breed in a healthy way. So I'll probably have 5 toads. I'm not sure if I'll have a third toad this summer or if I will wait until next year when Ace and Pious breed and then whichever toad I keep then look for the opposite sex. This can be hard being patient but if done right will really pay off and be rewarding. Wood Frogs also recognize kin and won't mate with them and they are a communal species. So I would use the same system with the Wood Frogs. I would try to get tadpoles from different parts of the pond if I can. I could get some tadpoles that are not related the frogs just stay together so that is a good thing for me. What do you think about the intelligence of these two amphibians? Does it surprise you they won't mate with their family? What are you most excited from in all these updates? Let me know what you think!

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  19. #18
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    Evergreen Pet Supplies Reptile Fogger
    https://youtu.be/H2VMNcrzeds

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  20. #19
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium

    A completed device list! At least for now...

    With these purchases of the devices in the pictures I believe I have everything I need to create my weather and my lighting. My hope is I bought all my devices now. My hope is to have everything that I can for weather conditions in my enclosure. If anyone has other ideas for weather or something unique to attempt I am open for suggestions. Literally if you can think of something I will look into it. I'm not creating hail or snow obviously but if there is something else I would consider it! I am getting ready to create the background soon. I'm looking to get the last accessories such as logs and plants and etc. I am very excited to begin this process on creating my biggest enclosure with more information and more experience and a long time of planning. I caught some tadpoles and I will wait and see what they become. If they are Wood Frogs, Gray Tree Frogs or somehow Northern Leopard Frogs then that is the frog I'll go with. If they are anything else I'll release them and go looking again.

    King III is doing great and seems well adjusted to the PA Woods. He has not interacted with any of the toads. Ace came out but he was nowhere to be found. Pharaoh the male Skink went down to check out the intruder in his territory. He examined King and determined he was okay and let him be. It was interesting to see my skink come see who was in his territory. He accepts the other two toads but he actually examined King and he looked territorial at first. I am excited to see Pious and King III meet. There will be 3 toads in the 125 Gallon to start off the new PA Woods. Hopefully some baby frogs of one of the three species will be joining them. The project is still set to be done hopefully around the end of June. It will depend how fast the background takes to complete. I will discuss more of the building for this enclosure next week. I will have more plants and the soil too and discuss a few things. Of the three species which frog would you prefer to see in the 125 Gallon? Have you ever heard of the Zoo Med Hygrotherm? Let me know and comment what you think!

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

    Here is a look at some of my plants that I will be using for the new enclosure the plants that are in the boxes and in pots are the new ones once in my setup now in the pictures of the two Toads are going in with the five lined skinks. You can see almost all of my plants that I'll be using for this build and you can see Ace climbing the fern where the lizards bask just because she can and you'll see the first encounter between the new toad King III and Ace. There were some wild toads that bred in my mom's pond and I got some pictures of the eggs. I am getting closer 2 starting the build. Another week or two and the build should start for this enclosure. I will have documented on YouTube and on here a lot of the progress and when I upload new videos or post things on the Facebook page.

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