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Thread: Vivarium Basic Setup Article #1

  1. #1
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    A Vivarium in general is a term used to describe an enclosed area with terrestrial and land plants in combination with land and water area. In this particular arrangement aquatic plants are also inclusive but just on a lesser scale. Ratio of land to water area is in the region of somewhat 70% / 30%.

    For a basic start up, four important elementary factors are involved.

    Lighting: To ensure maximum penetration to the ground dwelling plants and also encouraging good plant growth.

    Filtration: For easier water maintenance as well as filtering out debris so as to have constant water flow and to bring up the humidity levels.

    Humidity: In a setup as such, humidity levels are kept at medium to high levels depending on the plants requirements. These are to ensure high success rate for plants to take aerial roots due to the high moisture contents in the air.

    Ventilation: With proper ventilation, plants will have a constant supply of fresh air thus providing a better rate of gases exchange and also to eliminate any presence of foul smell.

    To begin start up on a new setup, ya'll need a glass or acrylic tanks. Both have their pros and cons. For glass, it's more scratch resistant and longer wearing wherelse acrylic tends to have scratches over time. Only downside for glass is that they're heavy and fragile. In all, it's you who'll decide what's best for yourself aesthetically and financially.

    1.Thoroughly wash the tank and let it dry overnight. In the meantime, standby a pail of water and leave it to stand overnight also. That'll come later in the water section.

    2.Have a rough visual of what ya'll be planning in your setup. Whether it's going to be a simple maintenance or high one depends on your ability to cater to their ( flora & fauna ) needs. If ya can't have any visuals running as yet, look through nature magazines or encyclopedias or even browse through the net for inspirations. What i tend to do is to observe the natural surroundings around me and work with it.

    3.Get your plants ready and wash the roots off all fertilizers and such. fertilizers is an absolute "NO" as the fauna in the setup will be affected. Rinse them in warm water to discard off any old wilting leaves or rotting ones.

    4.For substrate wise, go for clay pellets as they can be sterilised by just blanching them in hot water and also they're light, non-smelling and they retain their shape for a long time. Also, they provide good drainage for the plants as well as having spaces in between for the roots to "breathe".

    5.Next form your land area. Cordone off an area in the shape of a triangle or preferably just lengthwise with an acrylic sheet. The height of the sheet depends on how high the water will eventually cover the filtration pump fully. next when you've decided on where to place the land area, silicon it in place sealing it tight so there's a seperation between land and water area.

    6.Upon the next two days, the silicon would have dried and cured. So now, you can place in the clay pellets. You might want to add a background such as corkbark or styrofoam walls first in case the clay pellets are obstructing it. Place the plants in as to your desired taste in visual design.

    7.Once all that are in place, next up would be the filter. For this one, you can install an internal filter comparable in size and having it lay down on its side. Place it in the water area and if you want to have water feature in the back, have a connecting hose from the internal filter to the backwall. The hose can be disguised with ferns and mosses. As for the filter, rocks can be formed together to hide it to be aesthetically pleasing.

    8.After all those things are in place, water the plants through and just make sure the pellets are constantly moist but not too wet. Put your lighting on and voila, your first creation!!

    Last but not least, have your biological system running about a month or so before introducing any livestock. This is to prevent shock as well as damage to your existing scape.

  2. #2
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    hi,
    that's an interesting article there on setting up vivarium.
    I wonder if there any aquatic shops in singapore with certain amount of specialization in vivariums. seems like all the shops are into aquatic setups only....

    8-O
    compass

  3. #3
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    Try greenchapter or ecoculture. Would say they are good with such set ups..
    Last edited by Justikanz; 12th Feb 2007 at 13:31. Reason: Removing immediate quotation
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  4. #4
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    Re: Vivarium Basic Setup Article #1

    hihi,
    very nice basic guide for a newbie like me..

    I came across this forum while searching for more information about shops in that sells terrarium tanks.. didnt found those but found this forum.

    Anyways,
    Is there a dedicated thread where someone has listed the shops where we can buy the equipments necessary for a vivarium. etc

  5. #5
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    Re: Vivarium Basic Setup Article #1

    I used to utilize a small canister filter for a small medium sized vivarium, the EDEN one, much better than an internal 'powerhead'.

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    Re: Vivarium Basic Setup Article #1

    Hi roychan,

    Can you upload some picture how you did it? we are all always very hungry to improve our terrarium to the best of best!

    share your thoughts, please?
    cheers
    eddy planer

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  7. #7
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    Re: Vivarium Basic Setup Article #1

    Hi Roy,

    Yes I am also interested to see how you managed to work with a small canister filter. I'm setting up my first small vivarium.

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Re: Vivarium Basic Setup Article #1

    bro roychan69, any photos of ur setup to share?

  9. #9
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    Re: Vivarium Basic Setup Article #1

    ya bro, any photos to share with all of us...
    might be interested to set up one

  10. #10
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    Re: Vivarium Basic Setup Article #1

    What if you cant get or find clay pellets.? Would pebbles be ok to use.? If not what else can be used?

  11. #11
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    Re: Vivarium Basic Setup Article #1

    I will be putting pictures up as i build my Vivarium but cant start till my order of stuff comes from Petsmart next week. Will let you all know.

  12. #12
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    Re: Vivarium Basic Setup Article #1

    Hi folks and butterflychild

    I would strongly recommend you to upload your pictures and stuff in your new thread not on this sticky thread, please. This will help of us not to be too confused by this sticky thread, which uploaded and shared an inspiration vivarium article by our ex-mentor, wild ginger.
    cheers
    eddy planer

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