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Thread: My first vivarium

  1. #1
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    My first vivarium

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    Hi guys,
    I'm new to the vivarium / plaudarium scene, and I'm planning to setup a 3ft vivarium (with waterfall) housing a couple of feeder frogs.
    Right now I'm still deciding if I should go for a plaudarium or vivarium setup, as I have a few questions that need advice:

    1: I've read somewhere that using false bottom with eggcrates is not recommended. Why is this so?
    2: Can spray foam be used to act as a partition between water and dry land?
    3. Is misting necessary? Can I just make do with manual misting twice a day?
    4. What temp must I maintain the water?
    5. I bought a large packet of 'burnt soil' from Giant. Can I use this as substrate for the dry land?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Cardinal Tetra; 2nd Aug 2015 at 01:48.

  2. #2
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    Re: My first vivarium

    20150730_192314.jpg

    Here is a nano vivarium setup that I've done few days back.
    Sort of like a test run before I go full scale. I plan to house 2-3 vampire crabs.
    Any comments and feedback are welcomed. Bare with me as it's my first vivarium attempt.

    The background I've used for this setup is the underside of a mousepad, which I've superglued to the back.
    There is also a water embankment at the left side of the tank. Just realised that I made the mistake of waterlogging the substrate. There's no fauna in the tank yet, as I can't seem to find vampire crabs at C328.
    Last edited by Cardinal Tetra; 2nd Aug 2015 at 01:48.

  3. #3
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    Re: My first vivarium

    Hi Cardinal Tetra,

    Not sure why false bottom with egg crates are not recommended... guess it just depends on how the vivarium is designed.

    Yes, spray foam definitely can be used, you can try googling, there are many nice vivariums made with spray foam.

    Depends on what kind of plants you are growing, misting may/may not be necessary. But manual misting is fine I think.

    In future you can even add a humidifier and pipe the outlet into your tank, and put it on a timer so that it is automatic.

    Also, if your vivarium is enclosed, you definitely need to add ventilation fans because it heats up very fast under the lights. If it is open concept, then no issue.

    I think the water will be quite cool if you are making a waterfall, due to the evaporation.

    The soil again depends on what plants you are growing. But I think one important thing to note is do not allow the substrate to be water-logged, which is what happened to my tank. So the choices of plants I can grow are very limited.

    I think if you just want to keep frogs or vampire crabs, with no fishes, a vivarium is a better choice than a paludarium, as it is much easier to maintain. It is like a making a small garden in a tank.

    Maybe you can google images of vivarium/paludarium to have more ideas.

    Just some suggestions... look forward to see you tank setup

  4. #4
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    Re: My first vivarium

    Hi gorilla83, thanks for the reply. Your tank has gave me lots of inspiration and ideas for my upcoming setup.
    I'm thinking of creating a 'pond' in the center of the tank instead of the usual 50/50 setup. I plan to use spray foam to create a reservoir for the water and act as a partition to divide the water and dry land. I'm not sure if the foam is able to do that.
    Meantime, I will continue to update my nano vivarium (which is setup in the office). If anyone knows where I can find vampire crabs please let me know.
    Cheers.

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    Re: My first vivarium

    20150803_175511.jpg
    20150803_175645.jpg
    20150803_175835.jpg
    20150803_175634.jpg

    The plants survived the weekend. Here are some pictures I took today. The lights is a little purplish due to the leds. Will be adding vampire crabs next week after the long weekend.

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    Re: My first vivarium

    DSC_0012.jpg

    Couldn't resist and bought 2 vampire crabs during lunchtime.
    will update with more pics later.

  7. #7
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    Re: My first vivarium

    Swee! Got try to identify gender anot?

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    Loving crypts <3

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    Re: My first vivarium

    Btw you might want to create a leaf litter for even more hiding space and they can graze on decaying ones too.

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    Loving crypts <3

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    Re: My first vivarium

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAquarist View Post
    Btw you might want to create a leaf litter for even more hiding space and they can graze on decaying ones too.

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    I'm not sure how to check the gender as I'm afraid of hurting them. I'm having trouble finding them as they disappeared once I placed them in the tank. Thanks for the advice on leaf litter. Will put some dead leaves tomorrow.

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    Re: My first vivarium

    Same as normal crabs, the carapace, narrow ones are male, wide carapaces are females

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    Loving crypts <3

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    Re: My first vivarium

    DSC_0015.jpg

    Found one casualty this morning. No idea why...

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    Re: My first vivarium

    20150817_114511.jpg
    Updates on my vivarium. Having lost one crab, the other seemed fine for the next week. So I bought another 3 more.
    Heres a pic of one of the crabs.

  13. #13
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    Re: My first vivarium

    20150817_114528.jpg
    Top down pic. How many crabs can you spot?

  14. #14
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    Re: My first vivarium

    2? How are they doing?

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    Loving crypts <3

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    Re: My first vivarium

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAquarist View Post
    2? How are they doing?

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    There are 3 crabs in the picture if I remember correctly. One of them quite hard to locate in the picture.
    I had half neglected the tank, only adding food and topping of water daily. I can't even find the crabs due to the dense forage and black sand (newbie mistake) but I know they are there as the food gets scattered overnight.

    I've setup another tank last week which has not that many hiding spots so I am able to see and locate the crabs easily.
    This new tank is currently occupied with 2 red vampire crabs. I will eventually transfer the 2 crabs from the old setup into this tank when ready.

  16. #16
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    Re: My first vivarium

    Share the setup maybe? I am probably setting one too and the end of the year, simple one with easy plants and leaf litter.

    Maybe if they breed, i can get them from you

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    Loving crypts <3

  17. #17
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    Re: My first vivarium

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAquarist View Post
    Share the setup maybe? I am probably setting one too and the end of the year, simple one with easy plants and leaf litter.

    Maybe if they breed, i can get them from you

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    Believe me, I just spent the last 10 mins trying to upload the pictures but the site kept saying the picture exceeds the size even though its less than 500kb.

  18. #18
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    Re: My first vivarium

    This site is full of bugs.. making it hard to post pictures. I even have to post links from images within its own site.
    Anyway, enough ranting.

    This is my newly setup vampire tank, inspired by Jervis and his crab dungeon. View his vampire tank here.
    http://www.arofanatics.com/forums/sh...hlight=vampire



    Vampire crab foraging in the grassland


    I really like this picture, the vampire hiding amongst the darkness, spying on me like a pontianak.

  19. #19
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    Re: My first vivarium

    Wouldnt this setup leave molting vampires vunerable?

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    Loving crypts <3

  20. #20
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    Re: My first vivarium

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAquarist View Post
    Wouldnt this setup leave molting vampires vunerable?

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
    No issues on molting for now as there are only 2 crabs with plenty of space for both. In fact, each of them had already lost a leg before I bought them and I'm waiting for them to molt before I transfer the other 2 crabs. Will definitely create more hiding spots then.

    I'm looking for pictures of vampire crabs in their wild habitat, and would like to mimic my setup to suit theirs. Anyone with info and pics, do share!

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