Bio of the 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium
So from the post above as the announcement of 125 Gallons for 4 American Toads and 4 Wood Frogs to be created to replicate the PA Woods where these amphibians were found has many interesting parts to this build. Out of the 8 inhabitants we know the two toads (Ace and Pious) from the 75 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium are going to be the first inhabitants to enter this enclosure. To see these two toads and the current setup also to see this build on video once I start the build you can check it out on the YouTube channel as well in these links below. Make sure to like it on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube to support this build and the vision behind it.
The Facebook Page
This enclosure was a long time in the making. I love my native frogs, toads, and lizards so I spent years researching what would be the animals I'd be the most passionate about and I narrowed it down to around 10 native species. My favorite animal is the American Toad so it was automatically in. Then my favorite pond frog the Leopard Frog got the other spot with my first attempt at creating a local setup. As you can see from the earliest videos the mix was successful with a male leopard frog and a pair of toads. There was illness, an escape, among other situations that led to the leopard frog being left out of the next generation of this build as the leopard frog escaped and committed suicide. Next I wanted to create a setup for my favorite lizard which was the five lined skink. This is the current setup with a pair of sexed toads and skinks living in there since August to whenever the 125 Gallon is in commission. This build despite the reptile and amphibian stigma proved to be very successful which I would say is more successful then with the leopard frog. The goal of this through the generations was to reproduce the toads and the other native animal with them that I took from the wild with the hopes of giving back as offspring from the animals that were taken. I was unable to hibernate the toads and the skinks and leopard frog were not from my county so I could not release their offspring into the wild. So I went to my second favorite frog which is the Wood Frog. These are abundant in my area and would be legal for release. They are kept just like the American Toad so this was a no brainier for me. I have heard these are intermediate level frogs and I am embracing the challenge to keep and breed these frogs successfully with being prepared to invest financially in these frogs and toads I have and will have in order to reproduce healthy offspring and to treat my pet frogs and toads the best I can. They are pets first and a reproductive pair after. Should the Wood Frog be a failure due to their level of care then I will invest in Gray Tree Frogs which are also abundant in the wild. So there will be either tree frogs or Wood Frogs in this setup.
The vision is to replicate the woods of PA and to recreate a native enclosure with the goal of reproduction and long life span for all inhabitants.
So now that the introduction of the animals has been discussed the plants are just as important for this build. Species of native ferns and ground cover will be the bulk of the plants. The Autumn Brilliance Fern, Spleenwort Fern, and the Cinnamon Fern will be in this enclosure. I am aware of the size of the Cinnamon Fern but it's not in the wild so I am anticipating it won't grow as fast. It's not a big deal to me if I need to trim it time from time. The Autumn Brilliance Fern is a success as I have one now that is 2 years old raised in this enclosure through every generation of this tank. English Ivy and Pachysandra will be the ground covers. The Pachysandra is another success as with the Fern I have the Pachysandra living almost a year in captivity. The ivy was a suggestion from a plants expert that will be shouted out after the build is complete. One massive attempt this build will have that the previous generations did not is the introduction of vegetables. Scallions and lettuce will be attempted not just as a plant to observe, but a crop to potentially eat should it pass some health regulations. This tank could reproduce life and grow crops at the same time! The goal with these plants and vegetables is to have a heavy planted native tank so the Wood Frog feels safe as this is a requirement for the species for their success. Other plants will be an iris that is already living in the enclosure now and some Moss.
There will be a wide variety of insects introduced to the vivarium in hopes they breed and create colonies to create some stalk in the tank for the frogs and toads to hunt just as they would in the wild. On the first generation of this I watched crickets figure the routine out of the Leopard Frog and Toads so they would not be eaten. They would only leave their home at certain times to avoid the predators. This got the crickets to 3 generations in the enclosure. I have had stone centipedes survive in a previous build as they entered from a plant but were not destructive. I always have Springtail, Earthworms and Woodlice in the enclosure so they by default will remain in the new enclosure. So as far as insect inhabitants the three mentioned will be included and the stone centipedes will be welcomed and not treated as a pest this time. Both Banded Crickets and the common Pet Store Crickets will be encouraged to breed as they bring noise to the enclosure which sounds like a woods. The goal is to have both thrive in this setup to have food for the animals but to have them survive and make the setup more natural.
A Mistking misting system is the designated watering system for the plants and animals in the enclosure. 3 sprayers will be on opposite sides of the enclosure. This will keep it humid, water the plants, moisturize the frogs and toads and simulate rainfall. A temperature control will be used to keep it cool for the wood frogs as a fogger and fans will be plugged in to create a cool breeze of fog that will keep the vivarium from over heating. This can be paired with the Mistking to represent a rainstorm with clouds, rain, and wind. A 6ft T5 Odyssey light will be the light for this build. I have the 4ft build since the first generation in 2014 with original bulbs in and it still works. This will be adequate for growing plants and crops, providing day and night cycles for the insects and animals, and will light the entire tank. These lights are on a timer and can replicate morning, afternoon, evening, and night. The night light will be paired with 2 others that I will have on a timer to come on so the animals will be under the impression the moon is out for a few hours and then when the lights turn off it's darkness. This will be great for video display. For breeding a mini fridge and an area in the enclosure for the animals to go as a small pond to encourage reproduction after hibernation. Speakers will be on top the enclosure to simulate noises of the woods day and night as well as seasonal mating calls to encourage the frogs and toads to call and compete with the recording. Plaxiglass will be used as the lid with custom holes to ensure the enclosure breaths and heat and humidity can escape but also be retained as well. This is more specifics of the upcoming 125 Gallon PA Woods Vivarium with American Toads and Wood Frogs coming soon. If you have any questions or want to know further details comment on this thread or pm me and I'll be happy to answer you.
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