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A quest for red eyes - PART 2

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Now, there were just some minor details. Timers, dimmers, electrical extension cords etc. I also bought a Exo-Terra compact bulb and a moon night bulb. I payed about about 500 kr / 80 USD for this.
Now, when everything was done, it was time to start adjusting temperature and humidity. Living in the artic Sweden, this turned out to be quite troublesome. No matter how much I used the ReptiFogger, the moist was never contained inside the tank. Sure, it was about 80% when the fogger was on, but the second it turned off, it was back to 30-40% again. And the temperature was about the same as the apartment, 21 Celsius (69 Farenheit). This is no were near the requirements for the mysterious red eyes, so I had a problem. However, problems are merely solutions waiting to be discovered!
First of all, I took some Polystyrene/cellular plastic/Styrofoam (don’t really know which is the correct name for the Swedish “cellplast” or “Frigolit”) and cut it do fit parts of the tank’s top. After that, I stapled black fabric on the side that’s up, so it looks good and have the same color as the rest of the tank. This help a lot, but I still needed to tweak the intensity, length and frequency of the fogger. However, it was troublesome to monitor the humidity and heat 24 hours a day, so I decided it was time to get some help.

A USB data logger for humidity and temperature, which costs about 1300 kr / 206 USD.
So basically, you connect it to the computer and set up everything. Then, you place it in the tank and just wait. It will take the humidity and temperature value every 5 minute (you can select how often, this was just the interval I chose) and save it in the built-in memory. Then, you connect it to the computer and look at the result. Here is an example of a 24h cycle (not necessarily how it is the tank now):

With this amazing new tool, it was time to get that humidity right. However, the temperature was still quite low, about 21 C (69 F). So we sent for some new goods, and used a lamp holder from Exo-Terra which I already had laying around. We also bought another moon lamp from Exo-Terra for about 50 kr / 8 USD. At the same time, I relized that Exo-Terra’s “Forest moss” was not sphagnum moss which I thought. It began to mold fiercely, so it was time to get some real sphagnum!

The order from Reptillagret looked like this:
Sphagnum moss – 98 kr / 15.5 USD
Mini Deep Dome Clamp Lamp – 234 kr / 37 USD
Total: 428 kr / 68 USD

After 3 weeks long wait, the order arrived! And here is approximately what it looked like at that time. We had to change the Dieffenbachia seguine 2 times before we got it right and it actually survived, and the bamboos are not in this picture

And then, after even more tweaking, the temperature and humidity were as good as it gets! It’s almost December, and time to seriously search for some frogs! The keeping of the magnificent red eyes were just a few weeks away!
I looked at some Swedish herp-communities and saw some ads that were quite old (over a year or so). Since they were still there, I called them all. No one still had them. I called every pet store in the vicinity, but no one could or wanted to get some for us. So we expanded our search, and found a pet store in Malmö, about 1300 km away (810 miles). According to their website, they had my beloved frogs. When I called them, they of course did not have them. They just did not update their website, at all…
However, we found another pet store just 1100 km away (680 miles). The 8th of February, I emailed them and asked if they could get some froggies for me. And you know what? They said “No problem, how many do you want?”. I was truly ecstatic.
After some e-mailing back and forth, we agreed that he would bring them to Sweden the 15th of Mars, after the Hamm-expo. I was supposed to travel there by train and get them. On the 16th of Mars, I got an e-mail saying that he had 9 frogs (where 3 are reserved for me). He wanted to keep them for observation for a while; just to be sure they’re alright.
The 4th of April, I got another email where he said some of the frogs died, but the rest seemed OK. But he wanted them for further observation, so I just had to wait some more.
The 26th of April, I got the final blown. They were all dead and I could not get any of them. Angry, upset and sad, I send him an email and asked when he could try again. He said that he could get some more in June.
June came, and so did an e-mail, saying that he would not even try to get some frogs anyway. He had changed his mind. This was probably good, since he can not take care of the red eyes.

So, once again, an empty tank without frogs. I’ve contacted everyone I could think of, and put out ads on forums. The hope was running out… Then, through the very friendly and helpful man Eric (clownonfire here on the forum), I got in contact with Understory Enterprise, which could ship frogs from Canada. However, they did of course not have the frogs I wanted. But, they told me to contact a german friend of theirs, and I did.
The 10th of June, I started a conversation with the german contact. It looked real promising and he was very certain of everything. However, after a while, he send me to another breeder of red-eyed tree frogs in Germany. To this day, he has still not answered any of my e-mails. Still waiting eagerly.
However, just a few days ago, I got in contact with the nice fellow Chris (rcteem on the forum), who said he could probably get me some frogs. However, since this was from America, I did not know how to do with custom, CITES etc.

Today, the 30th of July, I’m reading through tons of papers that I got from “Jordbruksverket” about CITES regulation, importing animals from USA etc. etc. etc. Hopefully, Chris can send me some red-eyed tree frogs when the temperature is cool enough, and when I’m done getting import –and CITES license. It’s over a year ago since I started to do the research. It’s rapidly approaching the date when I’ve had a completely done tank for a year. I want my red eyes. And I want them NOW!

A few last words:
I've used the word "I" throughout the text, however, this is wrong. It's both me and my lovely girlfriend, whom I live with, that wants these magical frogs. I just used the word "I" because it made it easier to write, being a non-english native speaker. She is incredible supportive and I could not have done this without here. The frogs will not be mine. They will truly be ours.

Cost so far:
2861 kr / 454 USD
2919 kr / 464 USD
250 kr / 40 USD
120 kr / 19 USD
99 kr / 15 USD
100 kr / 16 USD
500 kr / 80 USD
1300 kr / 206 USD
50 kr / 8 USD
Misc: 600 kr / 95 USD
Total: 8799 kr / 1397 USD

The current state of the terrarium

Updated July 31st, 2011 at 11:50 AM by ViperJr

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  1. treefrogsrules's Avatar
    i have a reptifogger, but humidity does drop quick though
  2. bshmerlie's Avatar
    I use the zoo med Hygrow-therm. It monitors and maintains your humidity and temperature at whatever level you set it at. You plug in your Repti fogger or mister and also your heatmat or headlamp and it will turn them on or off as needed to maintain the perfect environment. It costs about $75usd but well worth the piece of mind.


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