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Thread: Zoo Med Vivarium Build

  1. #1
    100+ Post Member MikeM670's Avatar
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    Default Zoo Med Vivarium Build

    I have uploaded a series of images for my very first vivarium. I have learned a lot with this build and hope to improve my skills for the next one.

    The background is constructed with pink construction sheet foam. I cared the background out and then coated it with mortar mix and acrylic binder. The background was painted with patio acrylics to give it a more rock like look. I added some green paint to the waterfall area to simulate algae growth. The water fall has a small reservoir behind the back panel which I have determined it really too small. I used a small fountain pump with adjustable flow set to the lowest level to supply the water to the falls. The substrate is expanded clay covered with plastic window screen. The soil mix is ABG and seeded with tropical springtails. There is a small pipe in the lower right corner where I can siphon out the water in the substrate. A Monsoon unit was installed for unattended misting for the plants and to keep the humidity up. The enclose is a Zoo Med 18x18x24 inch unit with a Exo Terra Light Fixture. Humidity and temperature monitoring are Exo Terra units that slide onto the light unit giving a very nice clean appearance.

    I tested the water and the PH is still too high and will need to be changed frequently while the motor mix on the background cures more. I was under the impression that using the acrylic binder would reduce or eliminate the PH issue. (sigh).

    The ghost wood is from Vivarium Concepts. I read some very nice comments about them and Cindy from members of another website. I contacted Cindy and told her what I needed and sent her a image of the basic vavarium and background. Cindy was very kind and sent back images of wood she had in stock for me to select from. Can't say enough about her customer service.

    The ABG mix, springtails and humidity and temperature probes where from Josh Frogs. Another nice place I conducted business with.

    I purchased the plants from the local Steins and Lowes Stores in my area.

    I will be purchasing some leaves and moss as well as Riccia Fluitans for the water feature.

    After starting this project I think the best fit for it would be the Red Eye Tree Frogs since the structure has more of a vertical orientation.

    Well thatís about it for now. Would appreciate any comments on the vavarium or suggestions for frog type.

    Mike

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  3. #2
    Leefrogs
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    Default Re: Zoo Med Vivarium Build

    Very nice. I haven't tackeled a waterfall yet. Bravo! I've recently visited rainforest junkys.com saw blue tiger leg monkey's, he's got a good variety and just across the pond. Joshs site is down so can't suggest anything there. I found tigers appealing cuz they take larger food items. And I'm a sucker for blue!!

  4. #3
    bshmerlie
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    Default Re: Zoo Med Vivarium Build

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM670 View Post
    I have uploaded a series of images for my very first vivarium. I have learned a lot with this build and hope to improve my skills for the next one.

    The background is constructed with pink construction sheet foam. I cared the background out and then coated it with mortar mix and acrylic binder. The background was painted with patio acrylics to give it a more rock like look. I added some green paint to the waterfall area to simulate algae growth. The water fall has a small reservoir behind the back panel which I have determined it really too small. I used a small fountain pump with adjustable flow set to the lowest level to supply the water to the falls. The substrate is expanded clay covered with plastic window screen. The soil mix is ABG and seeded with tropical springtails. There is a small pipe in the lower right corner where I can siphon out the water in the substrate. A Monsoon unit was installed for unattended misting for the plants and to keep the humidity up. The enclose is a Zoo Med 18x18x24 inch unit with a Exo Terra Light Fixture. Humidity and temperature monitoring are Exo Terra units that slide onto the light unit giving a very nice clean appearance.

    I tested the water and the PH is still too high and will need to be changed frequently while the motor mix on the background cures more. I was under the impression that using the acrylic binder would reduce or eliminate the PH issue. (sigh).

    The ghost wood is from Vivarium Concepts. I read some very nice comments about them and Cindy from members of another website. I contacted Cindy and told her what I needed and sent her a image of the basic vavarium and background. Cindy was very kind and sent back images of wood she had in stock for me to select from. Can't say enough about her customer service.

    The ABG mix, springtails and humidity and temperature probes where from Josh Frogs. Another nice place I conducted business with.

    I purchased the plants from the local Steins and Lowes Stores in my area.

    I will be purchasing some leaves and moss as well as Riccia Fluitans for the water feature.

    After starting this project I think the best fit for it would be the Red Eye Tree Frogs since the structure has more of a vertical orientation.

    Well thatís about it for now. Would appreciate any comments on the vavarium or suggestions for frog type.

    Mike
    Mike did you take any pictures of this build as you did it? I would love to see the progress of the backgound step by step.

  5. #4
    100+ Post Member MikeM670's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zoo Med Vivarium Build

    No I did not take any pictures. It was my first build and did not want to embarrass myself. I will take some of my new 55 gallon build with egg crate false bottom.

    Mike

  6. #5
    bshmerlie
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    Default Re: Zoo Med Vivarium Build

    Never be embarrassed. We all started with a "first" build and I promise you they will get better and better every time. I look forward to seeing your 55 gallon terrarium build thread. Go through the photo albums and take a look at different type of backgrounds, waterfalls, and various plants. A lot of people have done some cool things. Just make sure you make it specifically for the types of frogs you're putting in there. I change up my terrariums a lot because I like to try different techniques and I don't have room to have 50 frog tanks everywhere. I've got a 20 gallon that I'm going to be starting soon as well. I'm thinking I'm going to be doing a combo background with morter and GS.

  7. #6
    Moderator DonLisk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zoo Med Vivarium Build

    I love the background... it looks awesome :-) Nice work Mike.

  8. #7
    100+ Post Member MikeM670's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zoo Med Vivarium Build

    Don,

    Thank you for your comments. I do like the way the background turned out. I have a leak or the water is seeping out over the rockwork of the water feature so I may have to modify it. If I remove the substrate temporarily and punch a hole into the reservoir for the water to flow back into then that should solve the problem. I originally wanted to keep the water separated from the substrate water. I'll ponder this a bit longer.

    Mike

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