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Thread: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

  1. #1
    100+ Post Member mpmistr's Avatar
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    Default Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Alrighty, I have most of what I need to start my new WTF vivarium. I am using an aquarium that is 25x18x25.

    This is the current vivarium. I plan to use some of the plants from here in the new enclosure.
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    Here are the plants and some of the wood pieces I plan to use.

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    The log to the left I am going to use on the substrate, as a log.. the other two smaller pieces are flat on the end so I was going to silicone them to the background glass as perches. The last piece is mopani and pretty heavy, not sure what to do with it..

    Here's what I have on hand so far..
    "Great Stuff" spray foam (gaps and cracks)
    100% silicone (black)
    National Geographic IFS30 internal filter
    25W (i think?) water heater
    Eco Earth
    Peat Moss
    EarthGro Potting Soil
    12 small potting baskets
    Various rocks
    Oak leaf litter

    For substrate I was planning on doing a mix of peat moss with potting soil and then layering Eco Earth on top, there are no fertilizers in either so I figure these are safe. For the background I planned on coating it in Eco Earth and adding plants in to the background with the potting baskets. The method I planned to do this was to wrap the potting baskets in plastic wrap to make a hole to fix the basket and then create a drainage hole under the basket to allow it to trickle down and drain to the bottom.

    Am I missing anything? I was thinking about doing the back and sides of the enclosure with spray foam.

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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Looking forward to watching the progress!
    2.0.3 Hyla versicolor "Eastern Gray Tree Frogs"
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  4. #3
    100+ Post Member mpmistr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Looks like it's a 50 watt heater not 25 watt. I was able to score some cork bark pieces at the LFS so that should make the background look a little nicer. Still need to set up a temporary home for my WTF though..

  5. #4

    Default Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Sounds like you have everything you need to start it up. A little confused about the basket method. But hey, whatever works lol what sized baskets are you using?


    Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
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    100+ Post Member mpmistr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by deranged chipmunk View Post
    Sounds like you have everything you need to start it up. A little confused about the basket method. But hey, whatever works lol what sized baskets are you using?


    Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
    Well here is my idea, basically I was going to make pockets in the background to fit the baskets filled with soil + plants and then use a tube to cut a hole so the basket can drain to the false bottom.

    These are the baskets I am using: Amazon.com : Hydrofarm Net Cup, 3-Inch, 12-Pack : Patio, Lawn & Garden

    I will probably pop in and out tonight, I just broke down my enclosure and I placed my whites in to a temporary 35 gallon hex with a branch to cling to.. hopefully they will be not too stressed out.

    I am going to work on my false bottom + background tonight and hopefully have it cured and frog safe by Monday morning.

  7. #6

    Default Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    You can lay the baskets in as you foam. Small balloons inside the pots will keep the foam out. Then it's just a matter of poking holes in the foam after it all cures


    Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
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    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
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    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
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    100+ Post Member mpmistr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Sweet i will try that.. i have cut my false bottom, so far so good. It's a perfect fit.

    Next step here will be do I want to do a pool or just go with water under the false bottom? I'm on the fence on this one. I am going to cut my PVC pipe for the legs of the false bottom now but for a first time DIYer should I mess with cutting a section for an accessible pool?

  9. #8

    Default Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Well, with the stuff you are working with versus eggcrate, I would probably pass. But why not give it a go? You can always fit the piece of floor back in if you change your mind.


    Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
    0.0.3 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Patricia'
    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
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    0.0.1 Avicularia Avicularia
    0.0.1 Gramastola porteri
    0.2.0 Canines
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  10. #9
    100+ Post Member mpmistr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Actually I am working with regular egg crate, I pony'd up and found some at Menards.

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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Progress so far..

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    Cutting the PVC pipe with a saw by hand was a bit of a PITA but I was able to get 6 support pipes out of the pvc I bought. I haven't cut a water section out yet, I'm going to have to though. Once I have the false bottom in, and I find a way to create a maintenance panel of some sort to service the filter or change out the heater I will start my foam background..

  12. #11

    Default Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    I hope you are planning on more that 4 total supports. That sucker is gonna sag bigtime!!


    Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
    0.0.3 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Patricia'
    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
    0.0.3 Dendrobates tinctorius 'azureus'
    0.0.1 Avicularia Avicularia
    0.0.1 Gramastola porteri
    0.2.0 Canines
    1.0.0 Tabby/Maine Coon Mix
    2.1.0 Genetics Experiments
    0.1.0 Bed Bully

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by deranged chipmunk View Post
    I hope you are planning on more that 4 total supports. That sucker is gonna sag bigtime!!


    Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
    There are 6, I've cut a section for a pool so 6 should work, I will test it out to see if the support with 6 is enough.. If not back to Menards tomorrow..

    Something I don't think I've seen but seems like a good idea... I have cut the egg crate for the background. I am thinking I will make the background outside the tank and then add it in. This will allow the background to be removable in case I need to ever do a break down of the tank.

    Here's a picture of what I've come up with..

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    I can't find my zip ties at the moment so I am looking for them to complete the pool section. I have cut out some fiber glass screen to separate the egg crate from the substrate.

    Next step, down to the basement to begin my foam background! This will probably be the most difficult part.. I am going to cut more screen to cover the back of the background too to keep it sticking to the plastic as I lay down the foam.

    The egg crate has been easier to work with than I thought. I am very happy with what I have so far.

    Any missteps I may be making by all means let me know! This is my first time around on this lol..

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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Uhhh yeah, wound up working on this throughout the night and then some..

    I took some pictures but they didn't come out that well, but here they are.

    I needed a way to access my filter and heater... I luckily had a flat stone from an old aquarium wood decoration, I used this to make a trap door of sorts.. should work for what I need.
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    So this is what the tank looks like right now, I haven't added substrate yet. I figure I will mess with that when I have a fresh mind.
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    The background is still a work in progress. I woefully underestimated how much foam you get in those cans, it's not a lot. This background took 4 cans. I was able to adhere it to egg crate, so now the background is completely removable. I also ran out of silicone but I don't think it will be all that noticeable once the plants and moss are in. I was able to do 4 'holes' to rest my planters in, I will take more pictures of the background tomorrow because it's really not near done yet. I can say the absolute worst part is spreading the silicone, what a mess!

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    I have a box fan blowing on the background right now. I assume it will need at least one day to cure. I don't think I will be putting this all together until Monday night at the earliest, I used a lot of foam.

    Hopefully it will come together nicely!

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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    I really newb'd it up on the background, mostly from being impatient. The foam expanded more over night, did not anticipate this. I had to shave excess foam off to get the background to fit. Tested it out, fits OK but the back did warp a little, so the back is not perfectly flat.

    I will need more silicone to fill in the gaps and then add more peat moss. Once the background is finished and cures I should be able to slap this all together. Heading out to get more silicone now..

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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Looking good! As far as can tell going to follow this and learn more.
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Lija View Post
    Looking good! As far as can tell going to follow this and learn more.
    Thanks! This has been a bit humbling. I am good with egg crate but I really did bugger up the background. I am trying to fix it, hopefully I will be able to. I picked up some more silicone to fill in the gaps of exposed foam. I added more peat moss to it to adhere.. I will check back on it later today. I was REALLY hoping to have this cured and ready to go by tonight or Monday morning, I am shooting for Tuesday now (unless I am really under estimating the time to cure the foam and silicone).

    My only other real concern is, I may have over estimated the size of my tank.. it's starting to look pretty cramped with the background and wood pieces in!

    I will hopefully have some good pictures of the background tonight.

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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Darn. I might get the same problem too. No more shopping for plants for me until start. And the store people just called that they just got in new shipment of terrarium plants (((
    And i cant find any wood that i like
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    I finished touching up the background. It came out okay, I would have used less foam in retrospect. Hopefully once I add plants and moss the warts will not show on it.

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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Wait. You are doing background outside the tank and it is not attached to a back wall?
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    Default Re: Whites Tree Frog Vivarium Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Lija View Post
    Wait. You are doing background outside the tank and it is not attached to a back wall?
    Correct. It is attached to egg crate and will be dropped in once cured.

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