Wild Sky specialised frogs,exotic plants, vivarium

Brian C.S's Vivarium


75-Gallon Tank

75-Gallon Tank

Brief Description:

75 gallon Phyllobates tank housing 2 bicolor (red phase) and one mint green terribilis. 


Detailed Description:

This is a simple 75-gallon (long) setup for Phyllobates in which I opted to use no soil substrate at all due to the mess that soil has created in previous setups.  The entire rear wall is tree fern fiber which, on the left, is kept wet by a water return tube and on the right is kept mostly dry.  The water return tube is covered by sphagnum secured by silicon glue to disguise it as a vine.   The water flows down thru the tree fern on the wall and is routed forward by a rubber tab glued to the glass behind the tree fern fiber (to keep water from flowing behind the slate) and onto a slate waterfall then through a tree fern floor and into the reservoir thereby eliminating the lagoon used by most hobbyists (allows for no chance of drowning and little chance of water leaching or overflowing to my moss area). Into the waterfall, I inserted cuttings of a vine that's been doing VERY well in my other tanks but I don't know the name of it.  If you can identify it, please email me.   I used java moss to cover the wet (left) portion of the rear wall and drape over parts of the waterfall.  I've found that java moss will eventually grow forward and upward into little tree like sprouts (that look like small evergreens) under good lighting conditions and will also spread to damp portions of the rear wall.   


The substrate is half tree fern fiber (on left) and on the right, a combination of tree bark tube halves laid upon each other to create a "rolling" landscape effect, covered by coco husk and topped with live moss.  This way, there's no soil mix to get waterlogged (and eventually nasty) although it limits plant selections somewhat.  For this reason I stuck with epiphytes with the exception of the black velvet alocasia to the right of my centerpiece.  It's roots are wrapped with sphagnum moss and coco husk.  The alocasia grows extremely slowly, my guess is the lack of soil but it's kindof an experiment to see how well it does.  Other plants include various bromeliads planted at the base of the tree fern fiber rear wall (on the right) and in tree fern fiber blocks secured under the moss bed but above the coco husk layer in the substrate.  There are also peperomia obtusifolia along the rear wall (right side).  On the left side in front of the waterfall I planted earthstars in the tree fern fiber, also an experiment, as I've always been told that they need soil.  I've been growing an earthstar like this in another tank for about 8 months and it's been thriving so I hope for similar results in this project.  There is also an E.T. fern in the rear center, which I planted on lava rock about 2 weeks ago, but it dropped the few fronds it had.  Hopefully, it just needs to adjust and will re-generate and thrive. 


The tank is inhabited by 2 bicolor (red phase) and one mint green terribilis.  I plan to also house aurotania in this tank when they come available at my local breeder here in Baltimore, Maryland.  There's a misting system that's not currently working (I mistakenly set it to mist too long and the motor burned out).  There are 2 coco huts and 2 cork bark caves in the enclosure.  The cork bark caves (also covered by live moss are built into the landscape therefore are essentially, underground. 

I'll detail other tanks to be posted soon.  Enjoy!


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