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New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

This is a discussion on New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog. within the Vivarium, Terrarium & Enclosure Discussion forums, part of the General Topics category; Here's my new viv for a small gray treefrog with a gimpy hand. The tank is roughly 11"x12"x16" for about ...

  1. #1
    Brian
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    Default New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Here's my new viv for a small gray treefrog with a gimpy hand. The tank is roughly 11"x12"x16" for about 8.5 gallons of space (made out of recycled glass from slider windows). I wanted something he could move into quickly, so it's pretty basic.

    About an inch of hydroton (aka LECA, aka balls of clay) acts as a drainage layer, covered with landscape fabric, followed by about an inch of soil. There are river rocks forming a wall to block out a little pool. I'll keep the water level in the pool fairly low until the froggy gets bigger.

    There's another rock wall towards the back right to make a little terraced effect. The background is just two woody shelf mushrooms siliconed to the glass.

    There's a trough on the top of the back wall for planting to make more use of the vertical space. It's made from an angled piece of glass with a screen mesh at the bottom for drainage. Two well established chunks of pothos and a big mass of ivy plus a few small bits have been planted in the trough.

    A couple of maidenhair spleenworts, Asplenium trichomanes, aka "cute little fern that is native here and grow in the crevasses of rocks", have been rammed in, hopefully they'll grow, or at least not die. A tiny unidentified fern is in the terraced part. All the substrate has been covered in sheet moss, 2 varieties that I don't know the names of. They came from our woods out back and hopefully come with springtails, otherwise I'll be adding some to keep waste and mold under control (though I haven't seen any mold yet).

    The trim is just cheapo white laminated trim painted black. The lid is attached by way of silicone and a piano hinge.

    Overall I'm pretty happy with it, the silicone job on one of the mushrooms leaves something to be desired, but otherwise it's pretty much as I planned. Hopefully the frog will enjoy it as well and is scheduled to move in tomorrow.

    Front view:



    Side view:



    Side view:



    Top view:

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    Jo-Anna
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    All I can say is wow and I want one!! I can't believe you just put that together! My favourite is the little ledge you put in...my PCFs would be in heaven. Very nicely done and I hope your little Gray treefrog loves it too.

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    JBear
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Very nice! Is your rock wall glued together? I love the effect as a barrier to the water!

    JBear

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    Brian
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jace View Post
    All I can say is wow and I want one!! I can't believe you just put that together! My favourite is the little ledge you put in...my PCFs would be in heaven. Very nicely done and I hope your little Gray treefrog loves it too.
    Thanks! To answer your question from my album, I built this from scratch. I'm fortunate to have access to as much free used glass as I need and a nice workspace to cut it.

    The ledge would be a pretty easy addition to any viv, you can buy custom pieces of glass for not too much. Then add some mesh or screen drainage and silicone the contraption in place. It's not 'natural' looking, but it was much quicker than the fake rock concrete wall in my last build.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBear View Post
    Very nice! Is your rock wall glued together? I love the effect as a barrier to the water!

    JBear
    Yep, I stuck a little dab of silicone where the rocks would contact as I built up the walls. The silicone is used as glue, not as a filler, to allow water to flow though. I thought it better to have it stuck down in case I have to move the viv around with the frog inside.

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    Lesley
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Fabulous! Just Fabulous!

    How much would you charge to make me one?!?!?

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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    That is incredible! What type of mosses did you use in the top part in the plant section?

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    Jo-Anna
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    I second Lesley on that!

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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Nevermind my question, I must have skipped over the part about sheet moss, i apologize about that..that viv is just fabulous. Your frog is very lucky!

  10. #9
    Brian
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleDuudeIsAGirl View Post
    Nevermind my question, I must have skipped over the part about sheet moss, i apologize about that..that viv is just fabulous. Your frog is very lucky!
    No problem, I can tell you that it's the kind of moss that grows on large rocks in shady parts of forests here. It works well in vivs- low light requirements, low/no fertilizer requirements, can handle highish humidity, and can be harvested in big sheets if you're careful. I've yet to see any significant growth when indoors, but it stays green and doesn't die so I'm good with that.



    As to selling- the shipping would probably be obscene. Honestly if I had the spare time, I'd consider it. I rather enjoyed putting it together. Next one I make I'll try to keep track of the hours involved to see if selling sort of thing would be worth it.

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    Jo-Anna
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Would you be willing to document the building of it?? I am a visual person, so pics would help and I would love to give such a project a try.

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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    ohh wow.

    Im looking into getting a large kinda sheet moss for my tank, I know of a place to look for it, a specialty plant shop i just havent gotten over there yet. (: thanks for the info!

  13. #12
    Brian
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jace View Post
    Would you be willing to document the building of it?? I am a visual person, so pics would help and I would love to give such a project a try.
    I should be able to manage that. I usually mean to take some pictures of partially complete projects, but I get excited about the next step in the building and forget

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    Brian
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Hi Brian,

    I know this is an old thread but I was wondering how often you needed to change the water.

    How is the setup doing today?

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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Nice looking tank. I second an update photo.

    I had a question about the hinge you made. Could you explain more about how that is set up?
    Hello- from your smiling cousin

  16. #15
    Brian
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Hi there, thanks for the interest.

    I usually change the water every week, I just siphon out as much as I can with a small hose (this usually leaves some behind). I add a little water every day or two to keep it topped up and to water the plants a wee bit at a time. It doesn't really get punky, he doesn't seem to poo in the water area, mostly on plants. I drop feeders on the top shelf and I've yet to see any manage to make it past Tyr (the frog) to drown themselves. Even though he has a gimped hand, he's one heck of an agile hunter. The water is however generally tinted a little brown as the water in the feature has run through the substrate. No biggie though.

    There is a slug roaming around at night nibbling at the pothos that I'll remove if I ever catch it above ground (you can see it buried in the upper level of the substrate in one of the pictures). So there are a couple of punky leaves that I've left in there as Tyr seems to spend alot of time on those specific leaves. Otherwise the pothos is doing well and has rooted to the bottom of the viv.

    I pulled out one of the ivys and replaced it with that big chunk of variegated english ivy that's in the middle 'cuz it looks prettier. One of the ferns bit it over the winter. I added a prayer plant, aka Massange's arrowroot, aka Maranta leuconeura massangeana (the big leafed thing with the purpley fishbone pattern) about a month ago and it has been pumping out new leaves like mad and has sent up a couple of bloom spikes as well (pretty insignifigant flower, but it gets points for trying). I also stuffed in a Dracaena surculosa, 'Juanita' (the green leafed thing with creamy goldy speckles). A bunch of the pothos near the bottom was pruned to make space for these two. I'm trying to expand my plant horizons and minimize my pothos addiction.

    Theres also a new stick that fit nicely and had a nice sized perch, and I've added another half inch or so of substrate. Some of the moss is less green than when it started, but that was somewhat expected as I usually kill the stuff. Some mold broke out pretty fast on the shelf mushrooms at the start, but the springtails established themselves pretty quick and took care of it. Overall it's pretty low maintenance and has worked out well.

    As to the hinge, there's not much to it. I bought a ~6' brass coloured piano hinge from home depot and cut off a section about 8" long. The frame of the lid is slightly larger than the glass of the viv and so the hinge fits between when the lid is closed. The hinge is attached to the glass and the lid with silicone. I probably should have screwed it to the wooden frame of the lid, but this was a rush job at the time. I've used the same hinge to make a front door as well New Vivarium, pics enclosed


    New pics, taken today, 9 months after the ones above.

    View from above:



    the front:



    Side:



    The other side:


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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Thanks Brian. Looking great!
    Hello- from your smiling cousin

  18. #17
    Brian
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Great job Brian and thanks for responding. There's such a practical elegance in your setup, especially now. I'm sure your gray tree frog is loving it in there.

    Do you use a particular type of siphon? I've used the shake and squeeze bulb types and none worked very well, so I ended up having to suck up the water to get it started.

    Your frog hasn't had any problems with the english ivy? I wanted one for my setup (with 3 grays) but some people apparently think it's poisonous.

    My luck with moss has been equally mediocre.


    Btw, Tyr is an awesome name lol.



    [QUOTE=UncleChester;65038]Hi there, thanks for the interest.

    I usually change the water every week, I just siphon out as much as I can with a small hose (this usually leaves some behind). I add a little water every day or two to keep it topped up and to water the plants a wee bit at a time. It doesn't really get punky, he doesn't seem to poo in the water area, mostly on plants. I drop feeders on the top shelf and I've yet to see any manage to make it past Tyr (the frog) to drown themselves. Even though he has a gimped hand, he's one heck of an agile hunter. The water is however generally tinted a little brown as the water in the feature has run through the substrate. No biggie though.

    There is a slug roaming around at night nibbling at the pothos that I'll remove if I ever catch it above ground (you can see it buried in the upper level of the substrate in one of the pictures). So there are a couple of punky leaves that I've left in there as Tyr seems to spend alot of time on those specific leaves. Otherwise the pothos is doing well and has rooted to the bottom of the viv.

    I pulled out one of the ivys and replaced it with that big chunk of variegated english ivy that's in the middle 'cuz it looks prettier. One of the ferns bit it over the winter. I added a prayer plant, aka Massange's arrowroot, aka Maranta leuconeura massangeana (the big leafed thing with the purpley fishbone pattern) about a month ago and it has been pumping out new leaves like mad and has sent up a couple of bloom spikes as well (pretty insignifigant flower, but it gets points for trying). I also stuffed in a Dracaena surculosa, 'Juanita' (the green leafed thing with creamy goldy speckles). A bunch of the pothos near the bottom was pruned to make space for these two. I'm trying to expand my plant horizons and minimize my pothos addiction.

    Theres also a new stick that fit nicely and had a nice sized perch, and I've added another half inch or so of substrate. Some of the moss is less green than when it started, but that was somewhat expected as I usually kill the stuff. Some mold broke out pretty fast on the shelf mushrooms at the start, but the springtails established themselves pretty quick and took care of it. Overall it's pretty low maintenance and has worked out well.

    As to the hinge, there's not much to it. I bought a ~6' brass coloured piano hinge from home depot and cut off a section about 8" long. The frame of the lid is slightly larger than the glass of the viv and so the hinge fits between when the lid is closed. The hinge is attached to the glass and the lid with silicone. I probably should have screwed it to the wooden frame of the lid, but this was a rush job at the time. I've used the same hinge to make a front door as well New Vivarium, pics enclosed
    Last edited by killerecho; July 7th, 2011 at 11:44 PM. Reason: details

  19. #18
    Brian
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    Thanks! I'm digging the lower canopy of plants, and I think it's nice for Tyr who has the standard gray treefrog hunting policy of "leap at the first sign of movement and worry about where you're gonna land later". They give a softer landing.

    I just use a little hose and suck on it to get the siphon running. The water level isn't deep enough for a shake kind of siphon, I have used one of those on a fish tank and it took some practice to get it working.

    As far as I know, the ivy is only toxic if ingested. I've always had ivy in with my frogs and so far no problem.

    It's mostly the moss in the upper level that died out. There's still allot of green on the bottom level, but I'm not sure if it's growing. I'll settle for a stalemate.

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    Ginger and Lee
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    Default Re: New Vivarium for small Gray treefrog.

    I love your open air concepts!! As always a superb job!! They're more centerpwice display tanks than a rack display type. Very similar to some of my new set ups. Not in alblum yet. Sorry
    Gingerlee
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