Building an ecosystem!!

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binskiboi

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I have plans (within 2 weeks) of starting and finishing a 70 gallon tall terrarium ecosystem. It will include 20 gallons of swimming space for neon tetras and some swordtails.
The top 50-60 gallons (HIGH) will have many branches and such going up for green tree frogs and green anoles.

DEBATING on finches on the top canopy however I need to figure out a system for their waste. (CURRENTLY thinking having mesh with small holes giving the finches a 10 gallon area which is plenty for 2-3 finches.)

(I have been saving up for this for awhile now and currently have 300$ towards it and have been working my job a lot the past 2 weeks and will be recieving a nice paycheck for a teenager!) I am planning on making a DIY thread here to keep everyone updated if anyone is interested.



(This 70 gallons may be unrealistic, like I said I am still researching it... however that would leave 20gallons for the water/terrain area for the fish and fire bellied toads... 40 gallons for the anole lizards (green anoles) and tree frogs... and 10 gallons for the finches.)

Any tips/advice welcome! O0
 
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platy ben

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I'm gonna have to agree with your comment of it being unrealistic. The finches just won't work. They're not going to want to sit above your tank all day, they will most likely be flying around the room all of the time and spend next to no time near your tank.
EDIT: I just read, a 10 Gallon area? for birds? Kind of cruel in my eyes

What happens if a lizard falls in the water and decides it wants fish to eat?

Your lizards also aren't going to stay in the tank, they will probably climb out and run around your room, then they could even die from being cold. The only way you could stop this is by putting a lid on the tank. Then you have finches trapped under a hot light.

Good luck with it and I hope it works, but to me, it just won't
 
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Elodea

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I would agree that the finches will be unrealistic. I doubt the lizards will eat the fish if the fish can help it. Here is a site that has the process of building and stocking one:
 
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binskiboi

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platy ben said:
I'm gonna have to agree with your comment of it being unrealistic. The finches just won't work. They're not going to want to sit above your tank all day, they will most likely be flying around the room all of the time and spend next to no time near your tank.
EDIT: I just read, a 10 Gallon area? for birds? Kind of cruel in my eyes

What happens if a lizard falls in the water and decides it wants fish to eat?

Your lizards also aren't going to stay in the tank, they will probably climb out and run around your room, then they could even die from being cold. The only way you could stop this is by putting a lid on the tank. Then you have finches trapped under a hot light.

Good luck with it and I hope it works, but to me, it just won't
Let me address your concerns...

First off the finches will be in a cage... you NEVER let finches out of cages lol. They aren't meant to be tamed so it would be the same as them inside a cage sitting next to my chair like other families have it, just up higher which birds prefer.

Second green anoles don't would never eat fish. (even if they did eat fish they would be too small to eat something like a swordtail!)

I think what you don't realize is they will be in a tank... it's not like they are going to be free floating lol! Haven't you seen a lizard or bird in a cage/tank? Same thing.

Except I don't really like the overall product of this example it shows my means. Search youtube for more examples if you'd like. When I said unrealistic I meant I may have to go bigger in size not the actual thought.




Ty for the site Ulodea!
 
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platy ben

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So how big of a cage do you intend on keeping the finches in?
 
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binskiboi

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platy ben said:
So how big of a cage do you intend on keeping the finches in?
An approp. sized cage which is not big at all. I currently own a parrot, parakeet, and have owned finches. Basically it wouldjust be the finches caged blended in with the rest just for the added affect of a rainforest canopy. I would use tightly holed mesh to collect the droppings before entering the other sections.

The frogs, lizards, and fish would be kept in the big vertical tank together. With plenty of things to climb on for the frogs and lizards. I would not get any fish that could be eaten. The only thing that could possibly try and eat a fish is a frog. However I'll end up getting something like swordtails which them being eaten, isn't very plausible being 5"+
 
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platy ben

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Well form the video I understand the fish and reptile/amphibian section.
But I would keep finches in a small avairy? I used to keep a pair of java sparrows and they had a big avairy to themselves?
It sounds like it could work the more you explain, but I just don't get the bird bit too well.
 
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binskiboi

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platy ben said:
Well form the video I understand the fish and reptile/amphibian section.
But I would keep finches in a small avairy? I used to keep a pair of java sparrows and they had a big avairy to themselves?
It sounds like it could work the more you explain, but I just don't get the bird bit too well.
the bird bit is still a work in progress.


in detail:

A finch cage with the same width and depth as the rest of the amph/fish section
Mesh wire for flooring on the bottom of the cage
(mesh is used instead of paper so that you can see through it and gives it more of an effect of being part of the whole thing.)

Basically mesh acts as paper...its just see through.


The cage would sit attached to the top of the glass amph/fish section.
 
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TedsTank

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Do you understand the maintenance involved in this. You will be making a micro system...includung temps, airflow...planting, feeding etc. Sounds really cool but it won't be self sustainable and it seems you are mixing animals from different habitats.

Anyway you have the dedication to do it!!!!
 
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platy ben

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I guess I understand it now
Just a thought Mabe you could make the mesh so you can simply slide it in and out from between the cage and tank, it would make it much easier to clean
 
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binskiboi

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TedsTank said:
Do you understand the maintenance involved in this. You will be making a micro system...includung temps, airflow...planting, feeding etc. Sounds really cool but it won't be self sustainable and it seems you are mixing animals from different habitats.

Anyway you have the dedication to do it!!!!
Please don't over think it too much.
It's a fish tank (which I already have 5 of)
a fish tank with lizards and frogs

all the frogs and lizards require is a UV light and humidity ( I own a bearded dragon and frogs )

and the birds don't need anything special




Not as much maintance as you are thinking!



and I will use that idea platyben!
 
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Hendryx

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I havn't read through this whole thread but just wanted to add my 2 cents..
You say finches belong in a cage? this is totally false, finches need a lot of space to fly and be birds, they are usually kept in aviaries, to keep them in tiny cages is cruel, I am owned by 6 large parrots and do a lot of work in bird rescue, if I saw finches with only a 10gal amount of space to live in I would take actions to have these birds removed from the home..while your idea sounds beautiful it is not realistic, I would leave the birds out of it.

<EDIT> I just read where you said "and the birds don't need anything special" omg..birds need a lot to be properly cared for, you may want to research finches, I don't know where you are getting your infromation but you have been sadly misinformed.
 
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Hendryx

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I also wanted to add, and I am un sure if you are aware but, how can you plan on keeping bearded dragons, frogs and anoles all in the same tank? they are all from diff areas and require diff humidity, temp and lighting..It is a great idea and will be beautiful, I would just suggest reaserching a lot more before you begin, and make sure you look into the diff requirments for each species you are planning to keep together to make sure they are all compatible.
 
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binskiboi

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Hendryx said:
I also wanted to add, and I am un sure if you are aware but, how can you plan on keeping bearded dragons, frogs and anoles all in the same tank? they are all from diff areas and require diff humidity, temp and lighting..It is a great idea and will be beautiful, I would just suggest reaserching a lot more before you begin, and make sure you look into the diff requirments for each species you are planning to keep together to make sure they are all compatible.
PLEASE read my posts... I've owned a sunconure and parakeet for 6 YEARS. I love them and they love my family back. They are very well kept and tamed. I will upload videos if you don't believe me.

Also I know tons of people with happy, thriving finches in cages.. I do not mean LITERALLY 10 gallons. I mean a finch appropiate cage, they are not that big.


Also I NEVER said I was adding a beardie. Greene anoles and frogs can live in the same humidity as long as there is a UV light for the Green anole. If you don't think I haven't done my research on these animals you are sadly mistaking. I would never take a life for granted.
 
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Hendryx

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I am just trying to help you out, I'm not judging you in any way, I do believe the finch cages on the market are very cruel but this is just my opinion, I still think it is a bad idea to add the birds, and I am sorry I for some reason thought you wanted to add a beardie, I didn't read every post. anyway, good luck with what you decide, I just really hope for the sake of the finches you decide against adding any birds..
 
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binskiboi

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Hendryx said:
I am just trying to help you out, I'm not judging you in any way, I do believe the finch cages on the market are very cruel but this is just my opinion, I still think it is a bad idea to add the birds, and I am sorry I for some reason thought you wanted to add a beardie, I didn't read every post. anyway, good luck with what you decide, I just really hope for the sake of the finches you decide against adding any birds..
Sorry I did not mean to come off rude. Just had a bad day. And right now I am leaning far against it. Just trying to come up with some ideas right now
 
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Hendryx

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lol, no big deal, we all have bad days...you have to understand that I am a bird freeeek lol, it's what I do, so I can get a little worked up over all things bird related, birds are just such intelligent little feather angels that in my opinion don't belong in captivity at all let alone in a tiny little finch cage, sorry for being so blunt about all this, birds are my passion and I have spent 20 years trying to rescue and save and educate people on their well being and care..
 
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binskiboi

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Hendryx said:
lol, no big deal, we all have bad days...you have to understand that I am a bird freeeek lol, it's what I do, so I can get a little worked up over all things bird related, birds are just such intelligent little feather angels that in my opinion don't belong in captivity at all let alone in a tiny little finch cage, sorry for being so blunt about all this, birds are my passion and I have spent 20 years trying to rescue and save and educate people on their well being and care..
It's all good! I feel so horrible because I know so many birds go to horrible homes.
 
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Hendryx

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Yep, so,so many..people just don't realize, the abuse I have come across over the years is horrific to say the least.
 
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Hendryx

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Oh, and don't get me wrong, I absolutly love your idea of a little rainforest enviroment, just might not be the best living situation for birdies that's all.
 
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ilikefish

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Excuse me for any possible ignorance but couldn't you just let the finches free fly in the tank? like no caged off section? It would look better and I doubt the would eat the lizard or fish... and I'm sure the lizard won't mess with them either... and that way they would have 70 - the substrate and water... that's like 50g... that's better than what a pet store has to offer so I think that even though its not humane it would be like saving some from the pet store... Also If your worried about lack of air excaping /entering then you could get the lighting grid/mesh stuff from home depot... its like 11 dollars for a had plastic mesh that has 1 cm squares and it would let the tank perspire... idk... Just a thought... And I love the determination! don't give up! If you have to save a bit longer and get a 200 gallon then so be it! ^^ lol
 
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bolivianbaby

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ilikefish said:
Excuse me for any possible ignorance but couldn't you just let the finches free fly in the tank? like no caged off section? It would look better and I doubt the would eat the lizard or fish... and I'm sure the lizard won't mess with them either... and that way they would have 70 - the substrate and water... that's like 50g... that's better than what a pet store has to offer so I think that even though its not humane it would be like saving some from the pet store... Also If your worried about lack of air excaping /entering then you could get the lighting grid/mesh stuff from home depot... its like 11 dollars for a had plastic mesh that has 1 cm squares and it would let the tank perspire... idk... Just a thought... And I love the determination! don't give up! If you have to save a bit longer and get a 200 gallon then so be it! ^^ lol
The bacteria in bird feces would be a major concern. Also, birds don't do well in tanks. They are prone to overheating and air circulation is extremely important for them. Also, if I'm not mistaken, their feces has a very high ammonia content which wouldn't be good for anyone. I know when I'm around a finch cage that isn't properly maintained and cleaned, there is an ammonia smell.

IMO-not combining the species in the same area would be best.
 
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Scott H

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hI binskiboi,
I think this idea would be great but I think if it was to be successful it would have to be done on a much larger scale than your planning. if you were to have a smal pond **** a full size avery built aver it so that there was floor space as well, then you could have a uv lamp for the lizards in a corner away from the water, high perches for the finches to roost on and a nice pond with logs and branches for the fish and frogs.
and a couple fo fish tank heaters is enough to keep a small pond at tropical temp so you wouldent have to worry about the cold.
hope this helps and good luck with it all.
 
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Evan_Taber

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I love the whole idea! And the fact you know your I formation. Goodluck!
 
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JRDroid

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wow, this got me looking around, and I think I want to set up one of these! this is an amazing idea! I vote for leaving the birds out of it because I think it would make it overly complex, and while a neat idea, would detract from the over all beauty of your setup.
 
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SFwriter

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Or you could just move to Phoenix where we have lizards running around all over the place naturally, and cactus wrens aren't all that big of a bird. All you need is the pond and you have it all.
 
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