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Old 07-16-17, 08:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New stream planted tank for mystery animals

My wife is either lazy or a genius, as for my birthday she told me I could acquire a new animal. While I will never admit it to her face, it is definitely the latter. Anyways I decided against snakes as I wanted to make a 20 gallon long planted terrarium that sits at the foot of our bed. The species I am interested is said to be found by small streams so I added one with a water fall.

I used expanding foam, silicone, coco fiber, a cork insert and slate to create the background and waterfall. After the foam dried I inserted a piece of aquarium hose to move water to the top. I placed the pump in a piece of black pvc pipe that had holes drilled in the sides. To cover the pump I used several layers of carbon infused filter material. I initially surrounded the pvc with the dirt media but realized this was a mistake and added a buffer if gravel. I started up the pump to check out my creation, but it took adding a few pieces of slate to get the flow of the waterfall correct.

The bottom layer is clay balls I picked up at a grow store to save some money. Screen was laid over this and then a mix of spagnum moss, eco earth, organic potting soil, and some sand in the areas around the water feature to encourage drainage. For the end of the stream I laid another piece of the filter material under gravel to hopefully get a bit of filtration.

At first I tried to lay down a thin layer of plastic with gravel over it for the stream. The plastic was impossible to form, and even once I thought I had it in place the water leaked out onto the dirt soaking it and muddying the water. I tried a few iterations and was able to fix the problem, but concerned about longevity. So I decided to rip that out, and make an insert out of expanding foam. To do this I sandwiched a piece of pipe between two boards then played some cling wrap over the whole thing. I sprayed the foam over this layout and let it set. After I held the set foam up to the light to find any holes, which I filled with silicone. Then I cut the layout into pieces and figured out how they laid in the tank and siliconed them back together.

Now I could just tell you my plans for the inhabitants but what fun is that? How about a little guessing game? The second hint is that the whole thing is inspired by a recent trip I took out of the country.

http://i.imgur.com/D4KdPTM.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/l21Efxa.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/FyXrNZf.jpg
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Old 07-16-17, 09:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

If they are going to be native species, I suspect that they will be salamanders or newts.
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Old 07-16-17, 10:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

They are not native to the United States.
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Old 07-16-17, 11:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

Poison dart frogs.
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Old 07-17-17, 01:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

Yep a group of dart frogs. Anybody else here keep dart frogs?
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Old 07-17-17, 03:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

Amazing looking tank man.

I'm always amazed by dart frog tanks. I've looked into keeping them but seems very hard and a lot of work.
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Old 07-17-17, 03:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

Thank you. I tought the same as you, but from my research and talking with other people it seems there is a bit of work in getting their tanks set up, but after that they are pretty easy. To be clear there are definitely some species that have more demanding requirements than others.
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Old 07-17-17, 03:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

The feeding seems to be the hardest with cultivating cultures and the right amount of feeders.
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Old 07-17-17, 03:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

Apparently it is mostly a timing thing, in that it takes two weeks for a culture to mature. This means as one culture is two weeks from expiring, they last about a month, you need to have another one started up. As for making the cultures my local shop sells them premade so I don't have to worry about that. This of course is entirely academic for me at this point, we will see how it plays out in practice.
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Old 07-17-17, 03:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

Good luck man and keep us posted. They look stunning and I have a 24x18x24 planted exo terra with a mistking misting system that could be easily be converted for darts. The feeding seems to be above my skills.
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Old 07-17-17, 10:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

The new tenants have moved in.
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Old 07-18-17, 03:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

Very nice set up and beautiful wee frogs. On a side note I would get flightless fruit flies other wise your house will be swarming with the little beasts. Keep us posted on how they're doing and lots more pics please
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Old 07-18-17, 05:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

It was a lucky guess on my part. Sorry to shortcut the drama of the guessing game. I've never had them. Good luck, (and don't lick them!)
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Old 07-18-17, 08:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

Thanks Dave, at least at the shops near me I think only flightless is available. I already have an ongoing war with fruit flies in my plants and vivarium so I wouldn't even consider bringing flying ones into my home.

No worries Doug, if I really wanted to carry on I could have made people guess the species, which is Dendrobates auratus. In fact I could lick them if that was what I was into, as cb dart frogs do not carry the poison of their wild brethren.
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Old 07-18-17, 09:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: New stream planted tank for mystery animals

No problem mate and if you put a line of vasiline around the inside of the viv it'll stop the little pests from walking out. Be sure to post plenty of updates
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