Design for frog viv
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:10 AM   #1
Taari
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Design for frog viv


This is the idea I have for the vivarium that I would like to build in my 40 gallon breeder. The tank is 36" long, 16" tall, and 18" front to back. I will need to have at least 3" of water in the tank to keep the pump submerged.

Firstly, I plan to have a false bottom that is about 6" tall in the back right corner and slope it to 5" in the front left corner. I will use the eggcrate to form a 3 sided background in the back right corner to support the GreatStuff foam background, leaving the back right corner acessable for the pump (the black square) to be removed/adjusted.

There will be a waterfall in the back right corner using pieces of slate, cork bark, and river rocks, that will fall into a shallow pool at the base. To make this pool, I will use greatstuff to build a mount the size and shape I want the pool, then once it is hardened, carve out a depression in the center, leaving a wall of greatstuff foam around the edges to hold the water in place. I will then coat the greatstuff with scilicone, and then sprinkle the wet scilicone with pebbles and sand for a natural look.

From the pool, the water will follow a small stream diagonally across the tank towards the front left corner. The stream will be made in the same way as the pool, creating a long strip of greatstuff foam and then carving a channel into it for the water, coating with scilicone, and sprinkling with sand and pebbles.

The false bottom will have the front left corner cut off to allow a drop and a second small waterfall made from a piece of slate. This lower portion will be filled with gravel that will be slightly deeper than the water table, except for directly under the waterfall where I will scoop out an area that is lower to allow a small pool. The front edges of the false bottom on either side of the small waterfall will be hidden with greatstuff foam and coated with scilicone, sand, and pebbles.

The "wall" of foam around the upper pool and the stream will also create a barrier to hopefully keep substrate out of the water. I will slope the substrate so that it is deeper in the back and against the background, and level with the top of the foam walls along the river.


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Old 11-07-2012, 03:33 AM   #2
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looks like an awesome plan. The 40B is a great viv platform. I have done this in the past and used several methods. A couple of thoughts:

The GS has a ton of pores in it once it is carved out. These are a challenge to seal with silicone. I would seal it with Drylok instead. It is much easier to work with. You can add small rock and sand very nicely. I also believe it holds up better. My silicone tank lost rocks and sand over time. Just my take. ONly CON: Drylok method is a bit more work and maybe a bit pricy.

Your worry about substrate getting into the water is a definite concern. Make small lips on the edges with the GS that extend above the water on both the river and the pools alike. You can use the gorilla glue method or titebond II method with coco fiber, moss or other natural material to break up the outline if you want. I like the titebond III method with coco fiber......it holds up forever, looks perfect and gives that muddy bank look to your river without dealing with the actual muddy problems.

Sounds like your water is gonna be pretty shallow. The distance your land is above the water table will give a directly proportional relationship with the amount of tannins that leach into your water. 1-2 inches is minimum for varying water levels.

Most herps however, love the black water

Good luck and keep us all posted with a nice build. I think this is gonna be fantastic!
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:41 AM   #3
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Thanks. The water level will be about 3" deep, the false bottom will be about 5" at the lowest point. I know tannins will leach, I don't mind though. I plan to do water changes on it maybe once a month or so just to keep the water fresh.

Also, I've used scilicone on greatstuff and it stuck so well that it tore chunks of the greatstuff off with it when I tried to pry the rocks out, so I'm not worried about the scilicone sticking to the greatstuff. It's more likely that rocks and such would come loose from the scilicone.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:00 AM   #4
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Yeah, I could have never got the silicone off either. I just had some rocks and sand come off over time. when are you planing on getting this goin? I am working on a palud right now and can always use the advice.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:07 AM   #5
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As soon as I am able to rehome my fish and tear down my aquarium, then I can get started on the structure of the viv.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:31 AM   #6
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good luck and keep us posted. Im in!
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