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Thread: New to the hobby.

  1. #1

    Default New to the hobby.

    Hello everyone my name is Dan. I recently built a vivarium over my 125gal aquarium to make one beautiful paludarium . This is my first time housing lizards but this all started with a fire-belly toad named Tom. I got Tom from a family member who could not house him any more, the second my daughter and I got him home we fell in love. Countless hours of YouTube videos later we began the build. First I sketched a picture of a Madagascar landscape that I found off of Google. The species list I had in mind was 4 Madagascar giant day geckos and 3 red-eyed tree frogs and one girlfriend for Tom.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    I decided to create my background out of styrofoam

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  3. #3

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    After I was satisfied with my shape I painted it to get a feel for my finish product and also placed above my take to make sure my glass box design would fit around it.

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  4. #4
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    I don't think the Fire Bellied Toad should be included. They are toxic and can become fatal to the RETF or Gecko if consumed. Also they will poison the water which could poison the tree frogs and day geckos. The toad however doesn't need too much space.

    I really like your idea a lot but you should consider species from the actual area of Madagascar. The Gecko is but the frogs are not. It might be better to have fish or some type of insects that are not predacious. Frogs and lizards are hard to cohabitate properly. The Gecko needs temps warmer then the frogs and could kill them or make them stressed and sick.

    Like I said I'm not trying to find things wrong I just want you to have the healthiest animals and help you to avoid problems as much as possible.

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  5. #5

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    Thanks for the heads up. I only came up with that reptile/amphibian cocktail from this article

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  6. #6

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    This is the lower level right below my rock/styrofoam structure. All tree branches leaving the water are vertical and I have seen these guys climb smooth manzanita trees for the last 3 months.

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  7. #7

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    Next I coated the structure in grout. 4 coats in total followed by 3 coats of clear pond epoxy

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  8. #8

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    I then glued the structure to my wall. Next I had to install a support for front panels of glass. I didnt want any added weight on my aquarium glass. For support I used 1" squared tube aluminum for vertical supports and 1 1/2" squared steel tubing. While I waited for the glue to adhere I began to work on the cutting holes in the ceiling for lights

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  9. #9

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    I then began to play around with decorations and my water fall followed by my 2 side panels of glass

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  10. #10

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    Misty waterfall and plants really felt rewarding after the long build.[emoji16]

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  11. #11

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    I installed a misting system along with air pumps along the interior perimeter of my glass. For the misting system I used an adjustable diaphragm pump with a digital timer. All tubing is 1/4" for both misting and air system

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  12. #12

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    These are my equipment

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  13. #13
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    The Anole or small Gecko might work with the Toads. I would just be cautious with other amphibians because tree frogs like water just like the toads do. That's a very deep enclosure with water. It looks great but I'm not sure if that's too deep for the toads.

    I can tell you put a lot of work into the enclosure. It would probably be best if you made the enclosure and then with what you have you researched what would occupy this kind of enclosure. You could potentially have some really cool stuff in this.

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  15. #14

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    I agree unfortunately my build and animal's are already complete. I will however rehouse the toads. I did the research on my GETF and DAY GECKO they both have a sweet spot humidity of 80 to 85% also with a ambient day time temp of 75-80 with a night time drop to 70. Both species are hunters and enjoy a bioactive system that is stocked with bugs.

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  16. #15

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    One other cool piece of equipment is this sensor that tracks and stores temperature and humidity readings. They have an app and it was insanely easy out of the box. I will let everyone know how long it lasts in a rainforest environment though. It's called a sensor push

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  17. #16

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    Tom 10.0 is complete

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  18. #17

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    Hopefully they will be happy in there until I find a larger tank

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  19. #18

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    Finish shot minus some bromeliads that haven't come in the male yet.

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  20. #19
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyboy760 View Post
    Finish shot minus some bromeliads that haven't come in the male yet.

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    Can the animals go down to the water?


    I'm glad to hear you took the toads out. The problems with reptiles and frogs are the aggressive behavior feeding for the frogs and the timid behavior of lizards. The tree frogs will out compete the geckos and could hunt the crickets you leave in the setup without the geckos getting any. Usually keeping this type of tree frog is hard alone to do and it's probably the one species many keepers can agree along with the Dumpy Tree Frogs that should be single species at least until you have kept them a few years. They are more dependent on precise climate like temp humidity and so on. The gecko could most likely be wild and give disease to your frogs and could be fatal. I'm not trying to be negative I just don't want any animals to cause harm on the others and nobody telling you there are things to look out for.

    Generally keeping multiple species together is something that needs to be researched and it's best to own the species individually that you want to bring together so you can see what they prefer in your experience and the biggest reason is so you don't favor one over the other. A lot of times people attempt to mix animals but only want to have something live with their favorite species. Where as a keeper who has both and knows how to care for them and can accommodate both will have more success and will be able to truly have a successful mixed species setup. It's something that should take a lot of time because it's bringing two species together understanding diseases, behavior, prey size, climate, cohabitation and more. It is something that can really be rewarding if done with proper research and planning. I like your ambition and I think you have some cool ideas I just believe there is a lot of reason to slow down the process and take time enjoying the toads and tree frogs and whatever you have. Then begin asking questions on here and finding articles and videos on one and possibly both species.

    I mean no disrespect or any negative criticism. Your setup looks great!

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  22. #20

    Default Re: New to the hobby.

    The animals can go down to the water. There are multiple points of entry 6 tree branches, at least 20 vines also a 46" filter sponge and a pool up top of the waterfall. They've seemed to cohabitate well for the past 3 weeks with frogs asleep all day while geckos are active and and the frogs active at night while geckos are sleeping. The tank setup has actually provided some interesting data points for temperature and humidity. My geckos have mainly chosen center mid to high area in the system. My frogs however have chosen the plants in the l lower left area of the tank. (opposite end of the waterfall) none of my animals are hand fed they are hunters and I keep a well stocked rainforest of bugs .

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