Tentative vivarium planning

  1. renthus Well Known Member Member

    So, I'm working on planning out a vivarium I'm probably building later this year, and I'm trying to get a feel as to what my stocking options are so I can plan the rest of the habitat around that. Since I'm building the tank myself, I'm leaning towards an unusual footprint:

    [​IMG]

    It might be a bit smaller on each side, but as-is, we're looking at a 7 square foot footprint. In terms of height, I'm leaning towards about 3-4 feet, which would put me at a 160 gallons. Shame I'm not using it as a fish tank.

    In terms of general plans:
    - I'd like to have this thing dirted and planted
    - I'm inclined to take up a considerable amount of space on a foam 3D background and flooring, so there's the appearance of being in a canyon. Because I have so much space to work with, I'm probably going to cut the foam deep enough that it actually has paths for whatever stock to move along or just use as shelves to rest on.
    - I'm absolutely going to include a small waterfall culminating in a small stream at the bottom and a pool on the side.
    - What I haven't decided is whether this 'pool' is going to be substantial enough that it could house an axolotl. I'm tempted to have it extend so that the entire base of the viv is about 9 inches of water, with an opening to the pool off to one side and the lowest level of land as a shelf about an inch over the water. The only problem I see with this is that cleaning underneath would be a nightmare. I'm more inclined to just have a pool the size of a 5.5g with the top half cut off (except a more natural shape).


    Now, here are my restrictions in terms of stock:
    - Whatever I put in here needs to be able to travel well. I need to move back and forth between Maryland and Connecticut about 4-8 times per year. I've got it down pretty well with my fish, but things like insects are probably a bit much. I suspect that hermit crabs are trivial to travel with, and frogs/lizards probably aren't too much of a hassle. How do you catch those things, anyway?
    - It has to be at least nearly silent. I live in a college dorm 8 months out of the year, and I've effectively been told that since it's still better than what the other kids do in their rooms, I can do pretty much whatever i feel like as long as nobody feels the need to notice. Loud croaking and mating calls seem like something I can't really get away with. By nearly silent, I mean my actual tank filters make their sounds and my cories have a thing for smacking the hood with their tails (and my ADFs recently started singing o_O) but anything more is too much.
    - No snakes. Seriously.

    Any ideas? Everything is entirely in the planning stage right now, so hit me with your weird creatures!
     
  2. MJDuti Well Known Member Member

    Nice project! Good luck. I would assume reptiles are easier to catch than fish. Are you set on adding a pool to the tank? If so, that could change your stocking ideas significantly. Are we thinking lizards?
     

  3. renthus Well Known Member Member

    I am almost 100% set on having a water feature, mainly because I think it'll look cool, be fun to build, help with the plantings, raise humidity, and act as a water source for any stock. Besides, it opens up the world of semi-aquatics, like hermit crabs, frogs, toads, newts, etc.

    Smaller lizards are an option, I think. I've done some glancing around at things like anoles, and they look like a definite possibility.

    Just. No. Snakes.
     

  4. psalm18.2 Fishlore Legend Member

    Red belly newts sound perfect. Where are you going to hide a 160g tank in your dorm? Sounds like a lot of work if the school finds it and says no.
     

  5. Micaela13 Well Known Member Member

    Sounds like an awesome project!! Good luck with that being in your dorm lol :p you can probably get away with it tho if you do it right. Stay away from most geckos because they screech too, even tho they are super cool to have, you don't want to be holding one and it lets out a scream in the middle of the night lol :p

    Sent from my HTC6435LVW using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  6. renthus Well Known Member Member

    In terms of the dorm part, as long as there's not too much water, I can always make the case that it's just a place for growing plants or a cool modelling hobby, so I'm not too worried about that. That is part of why I'd prefer smaller things that aren't an obvious focal point. A 2 foot long iguana is more or less off the table. It's all about downplaying the creatures, when it comes to the unlikely event that the school like... notices.

    Do red-belly newts do much climbing beyond the water, and do they have much in terms of substrate requirements or plant vulnerabilities?
     
  7. psalm18.2 Fishlore Legend Member

  8. Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    What about a Russian tortoise? Mine doesn't make any noise and likes to go in his water all the time.


    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum