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Thread: My first 55 Gallon Build...

  1. #1
    Ren
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    Default My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Hey everyone! I'm new here.. and wanted to share the build my wife and kids and I have been working on for the past few weeks... Hope you like pictures.... not good pictures but pictures hahaa... anyways.. so we started out with a 55 gallon from Jacks.. and went to Ikea to find us a suitable stand, as the aquarium stands started out @ about $199 and up... we got this stand which is a very versatile bookcase.. for $69 and the doors were $20 each.
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    After this I got egg crate zip ties and weed blocker to make my false bottom, remember when making your bottom to try and leave at least 3/4 inch space on the front and sides of the tank...this way you can hide the ugly with aquarium gravel.
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    Then we started on the backgrounds and great stuff creating a masterpiece...the good thing about the great stuff is that after you build it if you don't like it its easy to change carve and add or delete stuff you don't like... like the support piece on the ledge we built... which is egg crate zip-tied and covered in GS goodness...also to note the tree carved out pretty nicely after about 3 layers of gs and carving, but didn't make the Viv , just didn't flow...
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    So after all of the creating adn carving and building now its time to cover this madness!! Now we went to Lowe's and got GE brand 100% black silicone.. and covered all the background (USE GLOVES!) and then we spread a mixture of Eco Earth bricks, (dried for 2 days) and Sphagnum moss(which I chopped up a bit in the Ninja a lil bit) and applied to the background,... we also made our own vines... we took rope, any type will work and covered the rope in the silicone and covered it with the earth we made, cover it like your making fried chicken....
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    The family and I then decided we should have a waterfall and river in the enclosure.. so I made a great stuff river... and covered the edges with the earth and carved out the pool area and river (which I forgot to take pictures of) and then covered the inside with silicone and coated with aquarium gravel... to look like a riverbed.. then placed inside to measure up to see where it would go and how much of a angle to put it on to flow properly and added a piece of driftwood from Petland so the occupants can get up to the loft area ( which ever frogs move up to this hut will be named the Jefferson's ) Note the gravel on the edges to hide the ugliness of the weed blocker material
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    So now after waterfall has been built, river installed, stairway to the deluxe froggie apartment in the sky added.. its time for your substrate.. we mixed eco earth, sphagnum moss, fine orchid bark chips, and ground up charcoal, added a few cups of water to stick together and mix, which this all will retain a lot of moisture... and began to build the landscape.. which I forgot to take many pictures of... sry, pay no attention to the golf balls, it was a experiment on the waterfall and not splashing... also you will see that we started some planting ... Irish moss, creeping Jenny and venus fly trap...
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    And finally we've been growing some moss in the backyard for a while that we got from the woods... ( this isnt something everyone should do, its possible to infest your tank with unwanted badies and bugs and such) so to fix this we placed the moss inside a air tight tupper ware container and put small chunks of dry ice inside a bowl... once the dry ice melts we are told that the CO2 content was strong enough to kill any bugs and mites or whatever may be inside and just fine for the plants... so this is what we did...and once planted and situated around this is what we have...
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    With a small repti-flo 200 works the waterfall, and we also made our own fogger system from a ultrasonic humidifier and various plumbing pieces , it does very well... also yes thats a Xbox360 lamp my wife and I built.. with nightlights



    No occupants yet we will monitor the temps and humidity and such for the next week or so and give the plants time to start growing, also I am ordering some isopods and springtails to put in as well to take care of my cleanup... haha let me know what you think and hope all the pics turn out ok... Also thanks for letting me share... Ren









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  3. #2
    Voltage
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Is that locally collected moss? PLEASE check for mites. I used to keep a whites and used local moss and even after boiling it it had mites! Nice thank though.

  4. #3
    Ren
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Yeah, but like i stated we used a dry ice method to kill off all the baddies...

  5. #4
    Moderator LilyPad's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    That's great looking. Congrats on your new viv!!
    2.0.3 Hyla versicolor "Eastern Gray Tree Frogs"
    2.2.0 Agalychnis callidryas "Red Eyed Tree Frogs"

    0.0.3 Dendrobates auratus "Turquoise and Bronze"
    0.0.1 Anaxyrus fowleri "Fowler's Toad"



  6. #5
    bshmerlie
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate the detailed photos.

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  8. #6
    Moderator DonLisk's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    I have read some good posts around the web about using dry ice to remove the mites from operating vivs with the inhabitants removed. I would love to see an informative article here if anyone has some good background in doing his... hint hint.
    1.0.0 Red Eyed Leaf/ Frog - Agalychnis callidryas
    1.1.1 Bumblebee Dart Frog - Dendrobates leucomelas
    1.1.0 Dendrobates truncatus - Yellow Striped
    1.1.1 Dendrobates tinctorius Bakhuis Mountain
    1.1.0 - Dendrobates tinctorius - Powder Blue
    1.1.0 - Ranitomeya vanzolinii

  9. #7
    Ren
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Of coarse its another thing we did without taking pictures... wile my hands were always dirty or covered in silicone or something my daughter took the photos.. not all but especially then..... and I haven't one photo...the hard thing is getting the dry ice, was going to use co2 cartridges like I used to use when we played paintball, but I had a friend who works at the hospital get me a few pieces.However in theory the co2 would work if you could find a way to chamber it and puncture it into the holding box..

  10. #8
    Ren
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Quote Originally Posted by bshmerlie View Post
    Very cool. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate the detailed photos.
    I just want to be helpful, I have done many hours of research and study on how to do the things we've done on our viv here... I don't want to screw up and its too expensive in my opinion to do it all over... so if I can help someone else then that's cool! Glad to be on here...

  11. #9
    swamprat681
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    I like it. Very good set-up.

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  13. #10
    Treefrognewbie
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    WOW, very nice!

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  15. #11
    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Thanks for posting such a detailed account. Like Don, I'm curious about the CO2 method. Can you tell us specifically what kind of wood that is? It looks really good.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  16. #12
    Griffin
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    beautiful,specially for your first time.waterfall and background

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  18. #13
    Ren
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    Thanks for posting such a detailed account. Like Don, I'm curious about the CO2 method. Can you tell us specifically what kind of wood that is? It looks really good.
    The wood I'm not sure of type, got it from Petland for under $20

  19. #14
    froggecko
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Beautiful build. Would love more details about the construction of the waterfall (I don't see how it comes into the tank and filters out) and construction of the misting system. I have two 55 gallon tanks empty at my house I may do this with!

  20. #15
    Ren
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    I don't currently have a misting system in my tank,... I do have the fogger however... which recently renovated watching how much area these little guys explore and how small they are.. I had to cover my 1/2 inch pvc with panty hose and reapply so they cant climb into it.. my waterfall is a 3/8 hose that travels through the back of the background and punches through the great stuff wall ... the pump is in the back left hand corner that is boxed out so it can fit back behind and be out of site... Ill get a pic of my tank back soon and youll be able to see it more clearly if you would like... thanks for the compliments..

  21. #16
    froggecko
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Thanks! I am hopefully starting on this tank in the near future. The one tank I have now with a water feature has the "ungainly" feature of the pump being submerged in the tank. I have to move some things to get to it and it is a pain....I need to change this and may do so soon as I have recently had a tragedy of escaped frogs found dead. Not sure whether I have two or three left and not sure if I have a breeding pair any more. SICK!

  22. #17
    Ren
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    That's awful so sorry to hear ...If you have any questions or need any help at all I'm sure you'll get all the help you need here...

  23. #18
    superphil92
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Beautiful tank! when I have the money I will build a tank like that for my 4 year old American bullfrog. But with more water. :P

  24. #19
    Ren
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Thank you... I don't have the money either... haha my wife started to have a cow with the more and more stuff i was wanting to do to and with it..

  25. #20
    Moderator DonLisk's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first 55 Gallon Build...

    Ha, wait until its time for a frog room :-)
    You'll be moving into the makeshift shelter in the back yard like my igloo ;-)
    1.0.0 Red Eyed Leaf/ Frog - Agalychnis callidryas
    1.1.1 Bumblebee Dart Frog - Dendrobates leucomelas
    1.1.0 Dendrobates truncatus - Yellow Striped
    1.1.1 Dendrobates tinctorius Bakhuis Mountain
    1.1.0 - Dendrobates tinctorius - Powder Blue
    1.1.0 - Ranitomeya vanzolinii

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