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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-03-2003 06:22 PM
Zurp I am insulted... 10 gal.!!!
That is my 30 gallon... shows how large my newt is!

Sam, it has been determined that this is a male, is about 8in. long, and as thick as a half-dollar. He is going on a diet, they fed him way too many of those chemically altered (Large Meal Worms), which are really high in fat.

He is a (Grey Tiger Salamander : Ambystoma tigrinum diaboli) and is awaiting a mate. I hope to get a female before spring... for sam...

Like I said, that setup is no longer around. I just made that because I noticed he liked land more than water. The pet-store had him in a 10 gallon with about 8 other frogs, fully in water. They all croaked with fear at his mighty, yet clumsy strikes.

His new pad costs about $400 and now he has as many toys as I do... more even. I don't have a humidifier control in my room, and he does... but I have the computer, so we are even! I will take pics before I tear it down for his new Super-Ultra-Mega-Supremo-Home, which is still about 1/4 the size of the mirrored tank!
10-02-2003 05:38 PM
guppygal I forgot to ask - what kind of newt is that? Your tank is so cool! Did you say it was a 10 gallon? What do you feed him/her/it?
10-02-2003 05:36 PM
guppygal Ive been meaning to tell you to check back often. That wild leafy thing is a staghorn fern. My hubby wanted one in there, so I found a spot right in the middle. It turned out pretty good.

We're in the middle of finishing up the hood and I think it will be in place by the end of the weekend. We're going to add a humidifier from Walgreens so that I won't have to mist (hopefully). I need more plants - do you remember the name of the ivy you suggested?

Oh, btw, that was a scroll saw you saw in the mirror - mine, actually. It came in real handy when I needed to cut the cork bark.

Our frogs will be in next Tuesday. I've ordered 3 pairs of tincs. Now, I know that most froggers are against mixing tincs because of mixed breeding, but I figure whatever froglets appear in the tank will be keepers and, if we decide to breed to sell, we'll move a pair to a breeding tank. We're getting Cobalts, Powderblues, and Azureus.

This has been sooooo exciting!
10-02-2003 12:15 PM
Zurp What is that wild leafy plant in the center? It looks like a deformed elephant ear plant! Almost looks as if it is an underwater plant that is now land-bound.
09-30-2003 08:19 PM
Zurp I love the pics, the mirror background looks great. It is a little confusing to the camera... I saw the scroll saw in the reflection... thought it was on the other side...

I am just starting to get back into this again, I haven't done this since I was a kid/teen. Right now I am setting up a tutorial for creating a floating island vivarium, with full water-scape below. My temporary setup that I had before my latest setup is on my website., click on the "Want to see my newt?" link. That setup no longer exists, and my current setup will no longer exist once I setup the tutorial.

One more suggestion, place a creeping ivy, (the one with green leaves that have three white stripes on them.), on the top of the Left Side bark, to hide the hose, and that corner of the tank.

I also have a photo request, take a shot, Dead center, and as if you were a visitor peering into the tank, from the top opening, or just from the front. I am curious to see how far the mirror extends the virtual interior.

Last note, I found a site that sells X-10 controllers, not to be confused with those stupid X-10 cameras... The interface is a remote control and program that lets you control power cord devices, like lights, and pumps and foggers... stuff like that. Rather cheap too, a whole setup costs around $200 for controlling about 4 devices. Now all I need is to somehow input Humidity and Temp into the computer!

All I wanted when I went to the pet-store was a little newt, and a small tank. Now I have over $400 invested into this thing... I am afraid to go back to buy a frog... there goes another $200!
09-30-2003 05:32 PM
guppygal I am digging this 'half planter' thing - I have several orchids I still need to mount and this just might do the trick! Your ideas are great -keep 'em coming, please 8-)

Here's a link to what I've put together so far -

No descriptions, yet, and a lot of similar pix, but you should be able to make out some of the features. Your cork bark background is there - also, there are water features, one on each end of the tank.

I agree with you about needing to attach a computer to it and it seems that I've read somewhere that it's possible. Do you visit forums? They have a very active pdf forum and tons of great information.

What do you have in your tank?
09-30-2003 04:29 AM
Zurp I can't wait to see the pictures! Depending on how your comes out, I may try something similar with the new tank I intend to build. Just getting some minor details worked out.

By the way, the half planters that I was talking about, if you want fast, cheap and readily available stuff... most plant stores sell "Window Planters" that suction to the window and have a halfmoon shape, when you look down into the planter. throw out the suction cups, and glue it to the mirror, and cover the outside with coarkboard.

You wouldn't know where to get a good Humidistat, would you? I can find a lot of humidifyers, but thier only control is for the quantity of mist produced, not for the actual humidity level. Which is pointless, unles you sit there all day and watch a humidity sensor!

Really, I have to get this thing hooked up to my computer!
09-27-2003 01:29 PM
guppygal These are WONDERFUL ideas - thanks!

I'm still in the process of decorating/landscaping the tank and I've used cork bark in different lengths on some of the mirror. I still have some gaps to fill in, so I'm going to reread your post and use your suggestions. The floating planters sound so intriguing - I think I'll try that first.

I am very pleased with the progress of my vivarium so far - I'll post pix when I get the descriptions in.

guppygal (read 'gal')
09-27-2003 07:26 AM
Zurp From an artist point of view, I would try this...
On the lower half of the mirror I would caulk flat slate, or stones with flat sides. This should reduce the amount of time your frogs spend looking in the mirror. (Try it on your bathroom mirror first... if your wife is out of there within an hours time, then it worked!) On the upper half of the mirror, from a frogs perspective, they will only see more plants, and the reflection of the inside/top of your tank. While your house guests see what appears to be a really deep tank, (Horizontally deep, not vertically deep.).

Alternately you could make a bamboo or bark wall to hide the lower half of the mirror, topped off with a thin, full width mini planter for a creeping plant. Like a PVC pipe that is cut in half and coated with aquarium caulk inside and out, also fastening sand or small stones to the outside of the PVC to mask the caulking...

(Do not use paints unless they are made for aquarium/terrariums and don't use PVC without covering every square inch with caulking. PVC releases highly toxic chemicals as it degrades.)

You may also think about affixing "U" shaped glass or plastic planters on the upper half of the mirror for an invisible hanging planter effect. The half planter will look like a full planter that is just floating. Caulk it right to the mirror, or get one with suctioncups... Personally, I would caulk it to the side and possibly drill a small hole to allow excess water to drain, preventing root-rot, or leave the bottommost portion uncaulked, with a paper thin gap where the glass touches the mirror.

Also, use caution when purchasing mirrors, cheap mirrors are made with surface plate materials that develop black spots, and web-lines over time in any environment. If it is an option, make sure that you get a moderatly priced BATHROOM mirror which should have a rather thick and rough grey coating on the back of the mirror which is moisture resistant. Be sure to use a non-hardening glue to affix the mirror to your back-board medium, Liquid-Nails makes a mirror glue, or semihard glue that will flex when needed, remember, wood swells and shrinks with humidity... Translation, full length mirror cracks.
09-02-2003 03:31 AM
Wasserpest Mirrors are an excellent choice to give an illusion of enormous depth. As soon as you fill a tank with water it seems to go flat... and a mirror counteracts that. Similar is true for a terrarium.
Not sure how territorial dart frogs are... from observing them, they don't seem to be too aggressive and will soon get used to the feature.
09-02-2003 12:51 AM
guppygal I've gotten positive feedback from other more frog-oriented forums, so it looks like a go. I'm considering adding expandable foam to the mirrored corners where I can build up with plants, rocks, wood, etc. We're still trying to come up with something for the water feature(s), so I'm open to ideas in that area as well. If all works out, this tank is going to be something to see!

09-01-2003 09:02 PM
Slaigar I do not know if they will freak out, but it should definitely get their curiousity. If it ever does become a problem, you could:
-paint the mirror black
-put one of those cheap paper backgrounds over it.
-cover it up with plants

I would think it would be interesting to use that wall and get some plants create a background. You could also build a rocky background, kind of like scaling a mountain side.
09-01-2003 08:16 PM
guppygal I am in the process of rebuilding a 150 gallon aquarium to use as a poison dart frog habitat. I can't afford to replace the 1/2 inch, 6 ft piece of glass with the same, so I was wondering if a mirror attached to hardboard would suffice. The combined wall will be 1/2 inch by 6 foot.

I guess my main concern is will the frogs freak out over seeing themselves in mirror. I don't currently own any darts yet and it will be a new experience.

Since the tank is so large, I'm considering multiple water features. Any suggestions?


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