Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby Buck Rogers » Fri May 15, 2009 12:51 pm

As the topic says (and after reading boa boys topic about his chams) I am interested in who has set -up some natural vivs?

Lets share some tips and techniques and see what has been working for you guys and what has not been working.

Iset-up a viv for arboreal frogs (indigenous) earlier this year, i used one of those spin off exo-terra cages and divided it in half for half water and half land. I used a cocoa peat moss as the soil substrate with a layer of perlite to retain moisture. I planted various plants, like a small lover palm, ground cover, moss, a type of kreeper and another plant which I probably will remove in the next few weeks. One thing I had trouble with in the early stages is with mould developing on the substrate, I introduced an eartworm to the soil and this seems to have stopped, I don't know if there was a connection though.

Another thing is I used drift wood bought from a pet store (melk boom I think) and noticed the moss has trouble growing on it cause its a very strong thick wood and the moss can not get it's roots into the wood.

I will add some updated pics tonight but here is the link in the meantime http://sareptiles.co.za/forum/viewtopic ... 97&t=15166

Would love to see and hear what others have done.
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby marc bt » Fri May 15, 2009 3:50 pm

hi BR,
i'm working on a natural viv as we speak for arboreal vipers. i'm thinking of either kanburi vipers, white-lip tree vipers or west african bush vipers. it's a wooden box that has a lip in the front with a glass door that you open like a door. the dimensions are 650mm(h)x 350mm(w)x450mm(b) the lip is about 120mm.
i'm going to put a light inside with a casing over it. it will be placed near a window so plants can grow.
i will take pics once i'm done, i can't wait it's going to look awesome!
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby Buck Rogers » Fri May 15, 2009 3:57 pm

Awesome!! I got some brilliant advise from Mamba about getting white lips feeding when they hatchlings... Off the topic but just thought of it now.

Anyways post the pics ASAP or your fired!!!! Lol!
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby marc bt » Fri May 15, 2009 4:08 pm

haha lol,
yeah i will when i get my mates camera but i want to finish it first.
i was thinking of putting keeper in the back wall of the viv, does it need alot of sunlight to grow?
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby boaboy » Fri May 15, 2009 5:02 pm

Hi, not sure about how much sunlight creepers need to grow but I think it all depends on what type of plant you use.
The main thing about doing a natural viv is researching the climate you what to create and getting plants according to that.
You will need a full spectrum UV light so the plants can grow as UV is filtered by the glass. Your best bet is to get some semi shade plants as they don't need as much light and i have found they do better in planted vivs.
Best thing to do with planted vivs is to let it settle for a while before introducing the inhabitants so you can make sure everything is running right and the environment requirements are being met for both plants and inhabitants.
The biggest and most important thing when doing this is WASH THE PLANTS THOROUGHLY before introducing them as the chances are there are some insecticides and all sorts of nasties on the plants that you don't want near you animals!!
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby marc bt » Fri May 15, 2009 5:20 pm

thanks for the info BB :)
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby Whitelipp » Fri May 15, 2009 9:08 pm

Howsit guys well I'm using natural substrates in all my vivs and they work great. In my gaboon vivs I use organic potting soil with mondo grass and some orchids they are hardy plants but I keep the orchids in pots that are hidden in bark chips.So its not vissible. In my whitelip viv I have a ficus going and its doing well all you need is uv and enough water. Natural vivs are awesome once you get them going.
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby Buck Rogers » Wed May 20, 2009 1:46 pm

Here are the pics that I promised of my arboreal frog viv (sans the frogs)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Okay guys your turn :D
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby marc bt » Wed May 20, 2009 3:27 pm

WOW!! Thanks BR,
i guess i better get a move on with mine. school has just been so crazy with tests so haven't really had the time.
i suppose now that the Sharks have been knocked out of the Super 14 :( i can now finish my viv :).
i think your viv will put mine to shame though..
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby boaboy » Wed May 20, 2009 4:22 pm

Looks good BR!! Any Idea of what frogs you are going to put in there?

Will post some pics of my Brookesia tank later or tomorrow! Also got my GTP tank done, gonna let it settle for a while before adding my little one!

With the moss, I hear if one smears natural yogurt over an area the moss goes crazy also if you bend it with some butter milk and then past that down on an area it will also grow like mad! Planing on doing a test this weekend and seeing how it goes!
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby froot » Wed May 20, 2009 4:29 pm

Small correction, you need to blend the moss with yoghurt or buttermilk in a blender and paint that on the surface you want 'mossed' and it's important not to let it dry out. I'm not sure what the ratios are but 50/50 would be my first guess.
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby Bushviper » Wed May 20, 2009 6:54 pm

Whatever you do never put any vivarium in direct sunlight whether through a window or not. Not even just for a few hours a day. Even in winter the hot house effect will go so high that it will kill whatever is in the cage. Rather go and buy plant grow lights and put them in the cage if the plants are the type that require more light.
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby marc bt » Wed May 20, 2009 7:10 pm

@BV: will the plant grow lights effect the snake/frog ? i know that you shouldn't use more than a 2.0 UV light for snakes, so do plants need a higher than 2.0? will these typer of lights be available at nurseries?
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby Bushviper » Wed May 20, 2009 7:18 pm

Plant grow lights will not affect snakes and I doubt that it will affect frogs. It is far better to just use plants that are indoor plants and avoid this problem.
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Re: Natural vivs... who's tried, who's failed, who's succeeded

Postby marc bt » Wed May 20, 2009 7:22 pm

oh okay thanks BV, i just thought that all plants needed a light source like a UV but i guess i thought wrong :)
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