Wild Sky specialised frogs,exotic plants, vivarium

Joseph's Tripical Rainforest Vivarium



left half

mid close up

Mantella shot
* 39 gal tall, I think: 30" tall, 30" long, and 12" deep.
* 1 55wt full spectrum 6000K power compact & 2 20wt full spectrum fluorescents
Design style:
* What I call the Zen approach to Vivarium landscaping. Not too many plants, and not too few plants- with enough space to meditate in.
* Nothing really- except the log I draped there, and the sloping substrate, and the plants.
* False bottom construction. Approx 5 or 6 inches off the bottom.
* Small Rio pump hidden under the false bottom (un accessible). It pumps water over the log on the right. Under the log on the right is a small open pool with a few water grasses (the pool is hard to see in the pic). I use only distilled water.
* Coconut husk from black jungle (but you can get this at any home and garden store- it's the coconut liner that many hanging baskets use). I also used peat moss in small sections- because I had it on hand and it was handy to fill in small spots.
* A small fern and a small creeping vine I picked up in the tropical rain forest in Puerto Rico (how beautiful that forest was!). Two bromeliads on the back wall, two additional ferns, a Pellionia pulchra I think, and java moss here and there. I just replaced the moss "carpet" recently- It's from Florida (from moss man). I replaced the moss because my old moss was not doing as well as I wanted. This was due to not enough light- I recently added the 55wt Power compact to ensure the moss and plants continue to do well.

Misc. details:
* The light and pump are on timers. The fluorescents come on first and are on 12 hr photoperiods. The power compact comes on next and is on a 10 hr photoperiod. The pump is on the same timer as the fluorescents. This keeps the pump sorta "cleaned" out by backwashing every day at the loss of power every night. The viv has been running for almost a year. I seasoned it with springtails, sow bugs, and grindial worms that came in on the moss. The current inhabitants are a dwarf south American puffer in the pool, two golden mantellas, and two D. Auratus. The mantellas and auratus get along famously- though I would prefer to give them their own enclosures. Temperature is gauged by a sensor that I can view from the outside of the viv. Misting is done daily, occasionally I suck out water from the pool with a turkey baster.

Here's a link to my online vivarium group- there are about 400 members::

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