Something I've been working on

TomKemp

Arachnoknight
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aquarium 1.jpg aquarium 2.jpg A friend gave me a 30 gal. tall last year and I finally got around to messing with it. I don't know what to put in it yet, I'm just enjoying putting it together. I'm still working out ideas with how I'd like to build the lid also. With it being so tall there is always that risk of a potential fall so I'm considering adding decent sized slab of an old part of a tree to mount half way up to almost create another level. I dunno yet. Anyway, I just wanted to share the "progress" so far.
 

shining

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That looks really nice! Live plants mixed with fake? What kind of wood do you have in there? Any special lights for the plants (ferns?).


Are you leaning towards any specific critters for inhabitants?

I would throw some C. gracilis and add another climbing perch or two leaned against the back if I went with them.
 

TomKemp

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Yeah, It's kind of a mix. The only live stuff I have in there is the moss. I hope...Hope! I can keep that stuff alive. The wood and the moss is from my property. I just found a cool piece of wood from a dead tree I removed over the summer and kept it for a later project. I don't get too fancy with live plants anymore. From my experience in the past with trying it, T's just tend to either web them to death or just bulldoze them over.
I've been considering the communal idea for a long time with Holothele incei. People seem to have decent success with them if kept properly and with enough space. I would think a 30 gallon setup would work alright. I don't know though, I've never personally done it before. Scorpions would be cool too.
 

viper69

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Given that it's a tall tank, I would not put a terrestrial species in there, even w/the second platform. But you could always put an Avic in there.

It's a beautiful tank, if that was mine, I'd put amphibians in there w/out a doubt.
 

TomKemp

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My wife is already hinting around about adding dart frogs, lol.
 

viper69

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My wife is already hinting around about adding dart frogs, lol.
They are excellent animals, and not as pricey as they used to be. Most of the Dart owners I know have a false bottom and/or a bottom with Hydroton below the substrate.

I forget how long one should cycle the tank BEFORE adding the frogs. One has to do that from what I gathered from them.

With your setup, you could get either terrestrial or arboreal darts if you give more climbing areas w/a tank that size.
 

Ranitomeya

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If you're going for dart frogs, I suggest moving the moss off the substrate and onto the log, adding a ton of leaf litter, seeding the enclosure with dwarf isopods and springtails, and including some more plants. The enclosure looks a bit too dry for dart frogs and I'm not sure how well that substrate is going to work with the moisture required to keep dart frogs healthy. You want a combination of materials for the substrate that doesn't break down quickly and leaves a lot of airspace within the substrate for microfauna and to prevent stagnation of the substrate. Avoid substrate additives like styrofoam and vermiculite. I definitely suggest a false bottom--it will help you keep the substrate from becoming waterlogged, anaerobic, and a bacteria-ridden mess--you need the substrate to have some way to drain off excess water.

I'm also unsure where you got your plants from, but if you've collected anything wet from outside or put anything in there without taking steps to clean and sterilize it, you will want to break down the tank and sterilize everything before getting frogs. Chytrid is pretty much everywhere now and you may also introduce a wide variety of pathogens and parasites. In the wild, parasites are common and usually deadly as the animals would not remain in one place and be repeatedly infected, but in captivity, parasite loads very quickly build up and will kill sensitive animals like dart frogs. Everything you put in has to be safe long-term. You don't want anything that might break down over time to release toxins and you do not want to introduce organisms that will become a problem as they grow in size or population.
 

viper69

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If you're going for dart frogs, I suggest moving the moss off the substrate and onto the log, adding a ton of leaf litter, seeding the enclosure with dwarf isopods and springtails, and including some more plants. The enclosure looks a bit too dry for dart frogs and I'm not sure how well that substrate is going to work with the moisture required to keep dart frogs healthy. You want a combination of materials for the substrate that doesn't break down quickly and leaves a lot of airspace within the substrate for microfauna and to prevent stagnation of the substrate. Avoid substrate additives like styrofoam and vermiculite. I definitely suggest a false bottom--it will help you keep the substrate from becoming waterlogged, anaerobic, and a bacteria-ridden mess--you need the substrate to have some way to drain off excess water.

I'm also unsure where you got your plants from, but if you've collected anything wet from outside or put anything in there without taking steps to clean and sterilize it, you will want to break down the tank and sterilize everything before getting frogs. Chytrid is pretty much everywhere now and you may also introduce a wide variety of pathogens and parasites. In the wild, parasites are common and usually deadly as the animals would not remain in one place and be repeatedly infected, but in captivity, parasite loads very quickly build up and will kill sensitive animals like dart frogs. Everything you put in has to be safe long-term. You don't want anything that might break down over time to release toxins and you do not want to introduce organisms that will become a problem as they grow in size or population.
What is chytrid found in though; I know it's a fungus. I wouldn't know myself. Does one need to be concerned that items purchased at various reputable on-line supply houses might have chytrid? I'm leaning on owning frogs again, and this time around may go for darts.

How does one clean plants?? You can't truly sterilize them, ie drop into an autoclave haha.
 

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What is chytrid found in though; I know it's a fungus. I wouldn't know myself. Does one need to be concerned that items purchased at various reputable on-line supply houses might have chytrid? I'm leaning on owning frogs again, and this time around may go for darts.

How does one clean plants?? You can't truly sterilize them, ie drop into an autoclave haha.
I don't know if this works with terrestrial plants or not, but many aquatic plants can be washed in a 10% bleach solution, then thoroughly rinsed before planting if one is worried about contamination. It doesn't sterilize, but it does at least sanitize.
 

viper69

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I don't know if this works with terrestrial plants or not, but many aquatic plants can be washed in a 10% bleach solution, then thoroughly rinsed before planting if one is worried about contamination. It doesn't sterilize, but it does at least sanitize.
I never heard of that, but again, I haven't been into aquariums in a very long time. I'm surprised that doesn't kill the plants.
 

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I never heard of that, but again, I haven't been into aquariums in a very long time. I'm surprised that doesn't kill the plants.
Yeah, I was pretty surprised too when I first read about it. I must admit, I've never tried it myself, so I can't vouch for it personally, but it seems to be okay based on what those who use that approach have said.
 

Ranitomeya

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Some people use bleach, others use hydrogen peroxide, others use both, and there are some more extreme methods with other chemicals. The alternative is purchasing tissue culture plants since they are sterile. Many of the plants grown in tissue culture for aquaculture are actually better grown immersed or terrestrially and can do extremely well in a humid vivarium.

The chytrid mentioned is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a fungus that causes chytridiomycosis. It requires water or wet soils to survive, so it can be encountered anywhere there's water or wet substrate. Contaminated wet soils, water wet mosses, and the roots of plants grown in contaminated soils and water can all carry chytrid. Anything coming into contact with chytrid that remains moist can transport it without killing it. There's even a paper reporting that they've found it in rainwater, but it was only in one isolated case. I'd imagine that if it's possible for it to rain amphibians and fish, it's just as easy for there to be some tiny chytrid in rain. I suggest reading up on the fungus--it's been attributed to most of the declines in amphibian populations as well as a few extinctions.
 

viper69

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Some people use bleach, others use hydrogen peroxide, others use both, and there are some more extreme methods with other chemicals. The alternative is purchasing tissue culture plants since they are sterile. Many of the plants grown in tissue culture for aquaculture are actually better grown immersed or terrestrially and can do extremely well in a humid vivarium.
I hadn't considered using such plants in a terrestrial setup.

The Bd info I'm aware of. I read about pretty frequently as I used to keep a couple frog species. I knew that chytrid was all over and threatening world populations of amphibians. I did not know it was so common in the wild as you described, rainwater, man, bad news.

The latest research I saw on chytrid is one group is attempting to inoculate some frogs w/the fungus in the lab, thus priming their immune system and hoping they can fight it better. There's some early data suggesting it MAY work, time will tell. It's worse than the Black Plague for these cute little guys. I love frogs.
 
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Ranitomeya

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The Vredenburg Lab in the building I work in is studying Bd, its effects on our native amphibian species, and its spread. They've done work on slender salamanders, the Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog, and other species. They've sampled a lot of the native species to determine just how wide-spread it is. It's frighteningly common in our native species and you can find chytrid-carrying amphibians in your own backyard. The invasive Bullfrog and the Pacific Chorus Frogs can survive infection pretty well and as they travel from one body of water to the next, they spread it.
 

viper69

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The Vredenburg Lab in the building I work in is studying Bd, its effects on our native amphibian species, and its spread. They've done work on slender salamanders, the Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog, and other species. They've sampled a lot of the native species to determine just how wide-spread it is. It's frighteningly common in our native species and you can find chytrid-carrying amphibians in your own backyard. The invasive Bullfrog and the Pacific Chorus Frogs can survive infection pretty well and as they travel from one body of water to the next, they spread it.
Very very cool. I hope they are studying those species which survive it pretty well. I know from other studies some scientists study the surviving individuals to see what makes them different. Either way, it's a nightmare for my soft skinned friends :(
 

TomKemp

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With live plants I find in the wild I always mist everything with peroxide. It inhibits new spore growth. I learned that years ago with growing edible fungi. Thanks for bringing that up Ranitomeya. I don't think many people know about that and it's a very useful practice. With sticks, logs and questionable substrate, sure, Nuke it in the oven. But with live plants I've always used peroxide. It works for lots of things around the house also.
 
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