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Vivariums and terrariums


Somewhat Unstable
Is there already a thread like this if so sorry!

I am about halfway through a very detailed vivarium though I plan on maybe a single tree frog in there.

It is a 48gln , 1/4 octagon. All things Epi(phytic). I have a couple plants in it but I am waiting for most in trades. I've begun "mossing" the tank and aging wood so as to be primed for moss and epi-roots to take hold. I will get a pic up in a week or so. It is already coming together slowly. I gotta say, its lookin like Dutch Vivarium quality.

Anyway..... If you got a Viv.or Terrarium, It's show and tell day.

actually i plan on working on one this spring/summer/fall if i can find some one to drill holes in glass(if anyone has suggestions on doing it your self shoot me a pm). i have a 75 gal tank that was set up for my lowland neps but im going to try to harden off my favorites and trade off the others and turn the tank to more of a highland set up. its a narrow tank so neps get to wide for it to fast so i want to get some Helis, epiphytic Utrics, and such. it will have an automated misting system. plants will mostly be in pots but they will be sunken in to some sort of free draining medium with moss growing over it. anyways thats my plan and hopefully it will work out. cant wait to see your set up Joe. what i would do if i had the room to build.
Cut a peice of pressure treated plywood or similar to fit the tank. Cut holes with a circular saw so pot drops in but the lip holds it up. Paint the wood with a latex paint, several layers. (Latex won't bother the plants, but Urethanes and such will) Layer the bottom with gravel then sand on top. As for glass drilling, it's never worked for me. I have a friend who can blow holes through just about any glass but I'm not sure of structural integrity.

As for moss, I've found a mix of chopped sphagnum, peat and rich loam or compost in a ratio of: 40% - 40% - 20% to work well.

I was toying with the idea of some S. purpurea in a tank with frogs. Not an original plan, I actually saw it in Reptile Magazine. The plant was in pot, but the frogs liked to sit in the pitchers. For small frogs right now, I only have one green treefrog and two firebelly toads.
I know Helis work well, but you would probably want montane frogs for those, since Helis do better in cooler temps.


I have... a ten gallon tank with standing water and live sphagnum growing along the bottom! (Oooh, ah!) My five Nepenthes are in there. It's pretty boring, and very, very cramped - I'm looking into building/getting something larger and putting some sort of water fixtures in it. I like that driftwood idea of yours, Rattler - I might just try it.
Are we going to get to see some pics of the new rig, Joe?
As most know........I HAVE NO CAMERA. Thats sucks cause I would take pictures of lots of things. I will try to get pics up but I'll probably wait till I have it mostly done or completely.

I need some help on making a backing or wall. NO prefabs! I am an original person and likewise for my projects. I am looking at a hypertuffa creation possibly but weight is still an issue and I won't settle for "Plain ol' cork bark"
The back will have branches coming out which will house more Epi's(If you haven't noticed, I love that word).

Hey Guys! I finally got my 33 gallon hexagon tank from my friend,so I was wondering if you guys could give me some ideas on how to set it up
I was thinking that...OH MY GOD!!!You will not believe what just happened!There's two pieces of glass to cover my new terrarium and one just fell and split my poor VFT in half
And then(after I swore at the top of my lungs)my mom came in to help me and the other piece of glass fell and smooshed one of my Sundews!!! I am sooooooo upset!!!
Anyways,I feel like crap now,so I'm gonna go.Bye.*Niki*
I'd go to your local landscaping dealer and look for a big chunk of scoria or maybe pumice... some light volcanic rock of sorts. Those bubbly rocks are easy to chip apart with a hammer and chisel (or an old wide flathead screwdriver if you are careless with tools like I am.) You could do the whole thing with that, or mix in driftwood, or do just driftwood...
You can bind smaller pieces of rock together with silicon epoxy or some other plant-safe adhesive. I once made a volcano for school in this manner, but I don't think I used silicon. I made a mold and alternated between filling it with rock and sand and layering on the glue. I had to patch it in several places where there was too much sand, but when it set it was remarkably sturdy - it fell off a table at school and only chipped a little... Anyways, you could probably use epoxy and rock/sand in conjunction with some sort of backing like PVC pipe to make nice planters or something.
Isn't hypertufa a mix of concrete and stone? I think that might be too heavy for a terrarium. When I was in highschool I decorated my two 20-gallon aquariums and my friend's snake terrarium with ceramics - either things that didn't fire well, or broke, or I decided not to finish building and chop apart... Anyways, if you know anything about ceramics, or know a ceramicist who might help you, you could make something that looked pretty much however you wanted, and it would be fairly lightweight.
Sorry to hear about the camera situation. I'm in the same boat, except that I had one and broke it o_O
  • #10
Thanks Endparenthesis, those links were very helpful indeed.

That sucks man. I have mangled a plant or 2 from falling sheets of Plexi or glass. Boy that sh*t just cuts 'em right in half, don't it?

I have come up with my solution and it is cheap and I have most materials. I am going to do a variation of whats described in the Blackjungle link. A few different materials that are available now that probably werent when it was written.

Thanks guys,
  • #11
I know I need a camera but........

Today I finished up the back wall and it looks excellent. Tomorrow it should be cured and I'll start moving in . I am also pleasantly surprised to find my lichens alive and spreading as well as moss thriving in a Rubbermaid untill move in. Pics will come upon completion.