Firstly, you'll need to make the false bottom.To make this type
of vivarium, you'll need: Six PVC couplings (The couplings should be about the same height as the pump. 1/2 couplers
work well with micro jet pumps, mini jets need 3/4 couplings ), egg crate panel (not actually having anything to do
with eggs. It is a 4'x2' sheet of 1/4 inch plastic grate that is manufactured as lighting panel.), A bag of LECA "Light
Expanded Clay Aggregate" (gravel will work, but LECA is better), an aquarium heater (optional), a small water pump,
1/2 inside diameter or similar sized clear vinyl tubing that fits your pump and an appropriate sized end cap , glue (goop
brand works great, silicone for aquariums works fine too.), a lid (I use just plain glass with a stick-on handle, some use
screen tops), a bubble wand, and an air pump.
Start with your tubing. You are going to be gluing the
tubing across the top backside of the aquarium and down into the base reservoir where it will attach to the pump. Measure
out the tube and fit it in place with the end-cap against the back left wall. The way the tube was rolled will determine how
it wants to fit to the tank. Take note of the position it fits best. You'll be making holes in the tube that will face
down and toward the back glass. I use a black marker to make a line on the tubing to line up the holes. Drill small holes,
or puncture with a hot nail so that they will aim toward the rear glass when the tube is in place. The holes should be 1/4
inch apart along the length of the tube that will extend across the top of the tank. The part that turns downward towards
the reservoir is best not drilled.
Connect the pump and end-cap and glue the tubing place. I couple
of clamps, masking tape or a high threshold of boredom are helpful to hold the tube in place while the glue to sets up.
This tank utilizes what is known as a false bottom. The substrate, LECA, is elevated over a water reservoir. The pvc couplings
will serve to hold up the egg create, that will support the LECA substrate. Cut the egg create to fit flat inside the tank.
Clip a corner off the side that will go over the pump to allow for the water and air tubing as well as the electrical cords
from the pump and heater.
Place the couplings on the bottom glass, one in every corner and a couple
in the middle. In larger aquariums adding a few more is a good idea. I glue these down to keep them from shifting.
We're in California!
If your tanks are in a room where ambient temperatures fall much below 65f it
is a good idea to include a high quality aquarium heater in the water reservoir. . I set my heater to 70f. At this temp, it
will help keep the terrarium warm in winter and leave a buffer zone for summer temperatures. Putting a bubble wand on
the tank bottom is also beneficial. I lightly secure the air tubing and electrical cords in the tank corners beside the water
tubing with silicon sealer. It will keep the cords out of the way & not let any frogs get stuck behind them.
Put the egg crate in the tank, on the pvc couplings, and you're ready to test the system. Fill the reservoir and make sure
the water fall is flowing at the rate, and the way you want it to. If it is, you're ready to add the LECA (3" is sufficient
for many plants) and LANDSCAPE! .....using Captive Plants
Top it of with a double bulb full spectrum fluorescent light that spans the length of the
vivarium to keep the plants happy. Frog don't need this much light, but they don't mind it as long as they have some foliage
It is best to let your vivarium 'age' for a month before adding frogs. During this time we recommend fertilizing
your plants with liquid kelp. This not only gets the plants off to a great start, but helps build up colonies of beneficial
microbes. Unlike other fertilizers it is all organic, yet contains no animal products to rot in your tank. Liquid kelp is
safe to use with frogs. It adds needed trace elements to distilled water!