Vivarium startup costs? Lighting? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Vivarium startup costs? Lighting?

I am looking into starting a 10 gallon vivarium for a couple poison dart frogs.

I'm hoping that other than the frogs themselves, the startup costs will be low compared to my fish tank. For my fish I had to buy a large tank, substrate, heater, filter, plants, wood, etc. For a small terrarium I basically just need cheap substrate, cover, plants and a light, right? I already have a spare 10 gallon tank.

Are there any cheap options for lights for a 10 gallon tank? I went LED for my fish tank but that was pretty expensive. Whatever will grow my plants and be cheapest works for me, as long as it doesn't overheat the vivarium (I read that dart frogs like 70-80 degrees which is room temp, so I don't think I want a light that heats the tank too much).
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 03:05 AM
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I'm no expert but poison dart frogs like warm and moist (humid) environment. What is the room temp where you plan to put the tank? If you don't want a heat lamp how to you plan to heat the tank?
For cheap lighting go to a grocery store or home improvement store and find 6500kelvin cfl bulbs for best plant growth (though anything 6200k-6700k will work).. most lights will have some into on the packaging (or at least the base of the bulb) including the kelvin. Depending on your plants and how high you want the lights above them 9-14watts is normal, 23watt for high light needs plants or lights raised waaaaaay up.
Usually $4-7 a bulb, sometimes you can get a 4 back for $8. Then get clamp on work lamp or if you feel DIY-y get sockets and some wood and make a light holder/reflector. Have these on several tanks. If you don't want to clamp the light to the tank directly, and don't have a shelf above the tank you can pick up some cheap chain and a simple hook(to screw into the ceiling) at the home improvement store to suspend the light(s) above the tank.
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