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Thread: 24 NanoCube Naturalistic Vivarium

  1. #1
    SCAPE Member Just Planted Smite's Avatar
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    24 NanoCube Naturalistic Vivarium

    My first attempt at a naturalistic vivarium that I hope to one day house dart frogs in. I "converted" a nanocube 24 that I had from a reef tank I broke down. The false wall made for a easy place to house my pump, CPU fan and ATO, the ato tank is in the stand. The tank will have the hood eventually but I need to gut the PC setup in it since it puts out too much heat. I cut a plastic lighting guard for a top to hold humidity & prevent frogs from reaching lights ect.
    My mistking should be in tomorrow!

    Anways I received my plant bundle from Josh's frogs today and got them in the dirt. Open to any critiques or insight as to better placement for these plants*.
    Creeping Charlie
    Korean Rock Fern
    Burgundy thread
    2 bromeliads - I know these need drainage so I mixed clay balls and AGB mix in the holes I cut out of the back wall. If theres a better mix for substrate let me know. The "pots" do have drainage.
    Syngonium "Confetti"
    Riccia for the water.

    I would like to add a nana anubias where the water enters the rocks but not sure how that would do.

    I seeded the tank with Isopods and Springtails. I plan on removing the charcoal tomorrow and adding my leaf litter .






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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr VNGHOST's Avatar
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    Really cool setup. I'm gonna do the same thing soon to a 24 aqua euro cube for this stupid gecko I got

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    Noob Mod 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Poke's Avatar
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    Nice start. What kind of darts you planning on getting.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Morgan's Avatar
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    Jut leave the Charcoal, it will help with odor caused by fungus associated with a newly setup vivarium. Leaf litter should be thick (1+inches)over the top of it anyways. I simply throw handfuls in when ever it decomposes lower.
    Great looking initial layout. Sounds like you've done all the prep work.
    Substrate: I don't use ABG but many swear by its success. My mix is 90% Orchiata bark(1/4 "), 10% Charcoal, and 2 inches of Almond, sea grape, or mulberry litter. Good luck, and can't wait to see your frogs!
    Ribbit!

    Samsung GS4

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted jjhuang's Avatar
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    I would suggest breeding springs and isopods outside of the tank as well and add more to the tank weekly as they will be eaten by your frogs. Theres also a Dart frog meetup in Romona San Diego June 7th

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Smite's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.

    This stocking decision is tough! I'm torn between a few different types:
    -Tinctorious - dwarf cobalt or "bakhuis"
    -Leucomelas
    -Some of the thumbnails are incredible as well.

    I'd like to house a 2-3 but from what I've been reading most likely 2. unless I go with the thumb nails.

    Thanks Morgan. I'll pick put some orchid bark and mix it in for the bromeliads up top. I wasn't looking forward to picking all the charcoal out of the tank, good to know I can just work it into the substrate. I got some leaf litter to throw in but I want ot make sure my plants are where I want them first.

    Thanks for the heads up jjhuang. I only poured 1/2 of the springtails container in. The half left in the jar seems to have bloomed overnight. Walls are alive, Ha! Good to see.

    How far out before I purchase frogs should I start a culture of FFs? How many do you guys have going at a time? Or a guess a more specific question would be how many cultures, and how large, should I have going at a time for a pair of darts?

    I have my mistking set up now. I'm starting with 4 minutes in the morning -7am lights on, 1 minute 1pm and 2 minutes right around lights out 7pm. Not sure if that's even a close ballpark, but it seems like a decent starting point. I was slightly bummed that the pump had to be gravity fed from the reservoir in order to self prime as I bought a small 2 gal glass tank that fit perfect in the stand. Now sits an ugly rubermaid pitcher! But it functions and that's all that matters.

    Thanks for your help and compliments on my setup.

    Matt

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    Noob Mod 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Poke's Avatar
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    Have you done a test run yet with your misting system. 4 mins seems like a very long time to be misting. I have a misting system setup in a cage setup and I only run it for 30 seconds and its more then enough.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Morgan's Avatar
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    Agree... More like 5 seconds would be enough. I handspray as you know. Once before I leave for work. And once when I get home @ 3pm. I don't spray before lights out as even Tropicals will get moldy if always wet during the night. The air humidity will always go up overnight and the frogs will find a microclimate(under a leaf) til morning spray.

    Samsung GS4

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Smite's Avatar
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    Yesterday was the first full day and it didn't "dry" by the next misting so I'm knocking it way down to 2 times a day for much shorter intervals.

    Out and about hunting away! They didn't even hide when I popped the top to feed this morning. Very happy with these little guys. Thanks again Morgan.


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    SCAPE Member Just Planted miss_james's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VNGHOST View Post
    Really cool setup. I'm gonna do the same thing soon to a 24 aqua euro cube for this stupid gecko I got
    Hmm stupid gecko huh

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr VNGHOST's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miss_james View Post
    Hmm stupid gecko huh
    Yup. All he does all day is sit his butt in his food bowl then turns around and eats it

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    SCAPE Member 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! swoof's Avatar
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    Vu you need to start a thread and show us pictures of that awesome gecko you bought from Dale!

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Smite's Avatar
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    I'm having a problem with some type of fly in my viv. they are too small and quick to grab a photo of and I am having trouble finding a picture to match in my online searches.

    Small - about the size of a fruit fly - and grey. they seem to multiply fairly quickly. I saw one a few days ago and removed it, come home today to 6 flying around in there. I haven't seen any wholes in my plants. I did have a bloom of white mold and even some blue spots on my grape wood. Humidity is around 75-85. I'm going to continue searching but was wondering if anyone here has an idea what they could be?

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr VNGHOST's Avatar
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    They are little gnats that come from the soil. They lay their eggs in the soil. Try the vinegar in a cup trick

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Smite's Avatar
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    Alright thanks. Will the frogs avoid the cup or should I suspend it out of reach?

    Best picture I could get.



    They'll die off if they get out of the enclosure right? My wife doesn't care for the bugs so much

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr VNGHOST's Avatar
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    No they'll fly around your house and lay eggs in the sink

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Smite's Avatar
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    Update:
    slightly older picture

    Today. The color of the broms has really changed, gone very red.




    So there are 3 bronze & turquoise dart frogs in there now. I unfortunately lost one of the 2 I got from Morgan. I believe it was a bullying issue, although I never saw aggression between the two, and I didn't get them separated in time. One became weak and really had a hard time finding food and when it did would constantly miss its target. The remaining little guy was and is a highly active great little eater. After a month of staying strong and healthy I ordered 2 more B&T from Josh's frogs. They showed up exactly the same size and they hang and hunt as a group.

    I am currently building a 40g to house the trio. I'm going for a rooted look with Malaysian driftwood I purchased and soaked. I liked the way my 24 went so I'm going to do the same thing false floor and great stuff background. It also has a small water feature with plenty of drainage area below.

    Here are a few pictures of the process so far. I still have to install my fan and vent screen. Also adding more ABG soil and need to drill the top for my quad mistking nozzles that should be here Friday. Gonna seed with purple isopods and springtails that I've cultured for the last few months. I have it running to make sure nothing is going to end up too wet, a mistake I made on my 24 was bringing the wall too low and it constantly wicked up water from the drainage layer.
    Great stuff and wood placement:


    Drain pipe fits my pump and will house the fan as well.

    Carved and covered with ecoearth:


    In the house for the test run. I have a few spots to touch up with ecoearth. I went with a weed blocker for substrate barrier. I don't think its working well enough, so I'm going to pull the ABG, put down a stronger barrier and add some more LECA to be on the safe side.
    I'm going to try out Current USA's satellite plus fixture and see how it does.





    Not sure on my plan for moving everything over. I don't want to strip the 24 of all the plants and leave the frogs stressed but would like to use the same plants. I'm still thinking about some DIY vines to add a little something to the back wall. Not sure though.

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr JimMivon's Avatar
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    u should add some giant centipedes in there, it would make it really jungle like.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr June562's Avatar
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    Those are awesome setups. How long do you think one of these could be set up before it would need a complete tear down and rebuild?

  30. #20
    SCAPE Member Just Planted Smite's Avatar
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    From what I understand, if your drainage is good you should get a few years out of the substrate. I chose all really hard wood this time around to get longer life out of the scape. Grape vine is commonly sold in reptile shops and I used some in the 24 but it is breaking down really quick and wicks water up into the substrate easily.

    I hope to get a few years out of this setup. We'll see how the ecoearth background holds up to the humidity.

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