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Suitable enclosure for RETFs?


[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ The Tree Frog Forum ]

Posted by Derek Benson on May 08, 2003 at 17:16:54:

In Reply to: Suitable enclosure for RETFs? posted by redwards99 on May 07, 2003 at 23:13:56:

:Hi, I am a complete newbie at keeping treefrogs, and in fact have
:never done so before, so I'm looking for advice. I've recently
:torn down a 75 gallon coral reef tank, and would like to recycle
:it and use it as a terrarium, or hopefully a viviarium with a
:couple of RETFs.
:I apologize in advance, cause this posting will probably be
:pretty long, but I'd appreciate any advice y'all have on any of
:the following:
:Enclosure/Air circulation: The tank has a fitted hood that is open in back, and two x 3" fans in one side. I know I have to
:enclose the back, and I was thinking of using plastic window
:screening to keep the air circulation up.
:Lighting/Heating: The hood has 4 VHO tubes for a total of 440
:watts of daylight spectrum lighting, which keep the (empty) tank
:at a fairly constant 78-80 degrees when they are on, and about 72-75, depending on the air temp, when they are off. I am in the
:process of buying an electronic dimmer for the lights, so hope-
:fully I'll be able to reduce the max power, as well as have a
:reasonably natural light cycle.
:Planting & Substrate: I would really like a very lush natural
:planted look, so I'm planning on having more plants than open
:space! I love bromeliads and have already picked up a few nice
:pieces of wood (from non-pesticided areas) to attach tillandsias
:to, and will also be planting pothos and other plants. Because
:it takes a fairly long time (6 mos?) for a planting like this to
:look really natural, as opposed to just a few plants plunked down
:in the dirt, I really don't want to have to tear down what I've
:done every few months, so this is the plan: cut a piece of egg
:crating (fluorescent light baffle) to fit the tank, elevate it
:with pvc pipe sections so it is about 1" off the bottom of the
:tank, place plastic window screening on top of it, then put the
:substrate (gravel?) and soil on top of the window screening. In
:one corner of the tank, place a piece of rigid plastic tubing
:that runs from the top of the tank, all the way through the
:egg crating to the bottom of the tank. So when I need to clean
:the soil/substrate, instead of removing it all, I can flood it
:with water, the water percolates through to the empty space in
:the bottom of the tank (hopefully carrying all the waste with
:it), and I can then use the rigid plastic tube to syphon out all
:the water/dissolved waste from the bottom of the tank. Voila!
:Water feature: I would love to have a small "waterfall", or more
:likely some water running over rocks, not only for aesthetic
:reasons, but also to help keep the humidity up. The smallest
:powerhead/waterpump I can find needs about 2" of water or it
:starts to gurgle, so this is my plan: use a plastic container
:about 3" deep, place the the pump in 1 end, with plastic tubing
:from the pump output hidden between some rocks (glued to a sheet
:of plastic with aquarium-safe silicon glue) so that it runs over
:more rocks back into the plastic container. Fill the container
:with gravel or rocks so that the maximum depth is about 1/2",
:except for the part where the pump is, and put a small piece
:of egg-crating next to the pump so the frogs can't get there.

:One thing I learned from keeping coral reef aquariums is that if
:you concentrate on the rockwork and the "lower" life-forms (the
:corals), the "higher" life forms (the fish) are much less
:stressed and happier, and pretty much take care of themselves.
:I'm hoping that this holds true for keeping RETFs!

:These are my concerns: 1) it's a lot of light - with lots of
:plants, there will be shade as well, but I'm still kind of
:worried.
:2) There isn't really a temperature gradient in the tank...it
:all seems to be about the same temp.
:3) Will my system for cleaning the substrate hold up, or am I
:dreaming?
:4) How often will I have to change the water in water feature/
:pond? Do RETFs favor water, or land, to do their "business",
:or do they just not care?
:5) I have to open the entire tank top in order to feed the frogs.
:Are they going to jump out? Or can I feed them during the day
:while they are napping, and wait for them to wake up to yummy
:snacks?

:I haven't asked about feeding, which seems fairly straight-
:forward (2-3 gut-loaded crickets, smaller than the width of
:their heads, every other day, supplemented by "field plankton").

:Again I apologize for the length of this, but I really do want
:the best environment for my froggies, so that they can live non-stressed, hopefully long lives, as well as a beautiful terrarium to look at during the day when they are asleep. Thanks in advance
:for any advice you can give.

:-Robert
:


We all know what a false bottom is basically, so just say that, don't need to go in depth. Tank sounds good, but it doesn't take 6 months for plants to look natural. Once you put them in, it looks natural. They will start groeing in a month or so, then you may have to trim them every year or so.



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