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I guess its offical... an upgrade?

To discuss crab care products and businesses, new and old, good and bad. Retailers - please check the sticky post for the rules pertaining to businesses. Also for presenting do-it-yourself projects for your crabitat and for discussing and displaying custom built crabitats.

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I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: aussieJJDude » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:16 am

Sobbing backstory (skip this to the pics if you want the good stuff!)

As many of you know, I have a very long term temporary tote setup housing my crabs. While I was going down the path of custom built tank, the uncertainty of the total cost (I estimated close to $1000 to get the basics of a wooden vivarium done) I decided for the time being, on a part timer uni student budget I'll stick with store brought.

My only requirments:
- its wide and tall (ideally 60cm/2ft min, but 45cm/1.5ft is ok)
- front opening access!
- Potentually allow a multi tank setup.

While I initially looked at exo terra and other reptile tanks, I quickly dismissed them due to not being wide enough. While the CADE terrariums were nice, their $1000 plus pricetag that included things I didn't need like filter input/output, misting system and everything but the kitchen sink made the overall investment not worthwhile.

I then looked at aquariums. A 80cm (little less than 3ft) cube tank came up for sale which I was thinking of purchasing however the thick glass made it heavy - very hard to get into my room and car - not to mention was missing the bracing system. Other than that, no good deals.


Except for ebay. So as you can guess, I am a proud owner of a exo terra terrarium!

ImageImage

Backstory done!
To rehash for those that skipped - shame on you! - I purchased a exo terra terrarium. It's size is the Large Tall, which total dimensions is 3ft long x 1.5ft wide and 2ft tall. Good enough for me to be happy!

The first thing I have to do is get it on a stand. But not any stand, a low one in order to fit under my windows which I currently dont use a quarter of my room for. I still trying to hash out some ideas, but the stand has to be a max of 20cm/8 inches tall, anything taller and it makes it hard to open the window, especially if i do decide to get a second tank and connect the two.

Other than that, I am still trying to decide if I just want to set it up as quickly as possible and then go back and set it up properly - with all my bells and whistles - or just do it right in the first place, and the crabs can wait in the tote for a few weeks... Dunno what to do, I'm leaning towards the first option, since I want to see their cute little faces... and also, I really want to dismantle those totes!

But of course, minor mod work is needed - like the front, otherwise the substrate is going to be a little shallow... i still debating if I go glass or just use plexi - or use what i used last time... options? Im thinking glass tbh, it looks a lot nicer personally and my local fish store has loads of sizes to choose from so it shouldn't be too hard finding the right fit IMO.


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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: Kermie16 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:58 am

Wow!! Congrats on your upgrade!! No judgment here! We all do what we can with what we have got! That is a fab looking tank! I would love one like that in our hermies’ future:) I’m not too familiar with what to put in the front but like you said ur local store has some good glass pieces then I may just go for that! I am the type of person to get all my stuff together first then put crabbies in but I can totally understand your excitement! It is so much fun setting it all up and then watching how the hermies explore their new home and to be able to see them better! Good luck with the set up and I know we would all love some pictures when all is said and done:):)


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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: RiNiKy506 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:59 pm

Very nice! Congrats on new tank! How would you add the glass to make the substrate deeper? Just put a panel at the front of it? I’m just curious, I do like the look of those tanks.


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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: GotButterflies » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:56 pm

Woo hoo! Do it right, and let it take a few weeks - you won't regret it! :)
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: hprmom » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:40 pm

Woo hoo, congrats! Normally I’m the instant gratification type, but I took the time to set up my 65g “right” so I’d only have to relocate everyone once. If your guys are otherwise comfortable, I vote go for broke on the new setup! Can’t wait for pics!


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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: ciaraalston » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:12 pm

Congratulations!!!!! Take your time, get it exactly how you want it. They can wait

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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: aussieJJDude » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:37 am

Thanks everyone... I guess they can wait a little longer, I'll probably do the bulk of the work after uni exams (late Nov) but I could easily gather supplies now for it IMO.
RiNiKy506 wrote:Very nice! Congrats on new tank! How would you add the glass to make the substrate deeper? Just put a panel at the front of it? I’m just curious, I do like the look of those tanks.


♡ Rod ♡ Salty ♡ Bob ♡ Squirt ♡ Crabina ♡
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Basically it sits along the front, so you can make the substrate at the same height (or higher) than the bottom of the doors. This is especially important since when they dig it goes everywhere! Link to another post to explain, since my explanation is horrible
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url=ht ... are_type=t
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: RiNiKy506 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:47 am

Thank you, that’s what I was thinking but I wasn’t sure. That’s a great idea.


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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: aussieJJDude » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:50 am

Well, something new came in the mail for this setup which Im pretty excited to use once its all set up.
A thermostat.
The Microclimate B1ME to be exact. Not like any old thermostat, one with the option to have a lower night temp... so I'm pretty excited to have the option to lower the temp a bit at night, and stimulate day/night cycles.

Image

And cords/wiring - the sensor cord is really thiccc! Image

I have a light coming in the mail, and recently brought a few potential plants to grow out for the vivarium. Yeah, just like everyone else, Im going (to try!) planted. Hoping to have a group of fast growing robust plants in there, that tolerate high tropical temps and humidity. I don't expect them to grow, but should be fun while it lasts IMO.

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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: ciaraalston » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:19 pm

That looks great!!! I'm interested in how it works. Also, good luck with the planted!!!

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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: aussieJJDude » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:07 pm

ciaraalston wrote:That looks great!!! I'm interested in how it works. Also, good luck with the planted!!!

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Haha, yeah. Same here! I'm pretty excited to set it up, and see how well it does. It looks really well made, so thats always a good sign.

Haha thanks. I needed that. I'm hoping that somehow my last few years of planted vivariums research can be applied to hermies and have moderate success with plants in there... if not, then I'll go plastic - which is something I really dont want to do... I love my planted fish tanks too much!

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I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'. They're just pets I forgot I had planned to get.
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: aussieJJDude » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:04 am

The light came. Its a basic fleabay light, will it support plants... eh, probably. But it hopefully will be enough to keep them alive... until the crabs decide to have fun.
In saying that, I would happily chuck this on my aquarium and expect the plants to do fine. Even though I have no idea on the PAR, its certainly bright enough visually and gives my named brand lights a rum for its money. But, it does wash out my red plants quite a bit, which is a little bit of a shame - makes them appear pink!

Heres some pics on the exoterra, and me playing around with it.... it is in a dark room, so its certainly bright. (Bonus plants for me to 'ahh' over...
Image

A pic showing the LED - yep, blues, red, purples and greens... as well as basic white.
Image

All blue 'night mode' - definitely wont be using this, way too bright... If I want a night mode, old fashion night light for reptiles or fairy lights would be a good option.
Image

And yeah. You may notice the plants. These are the ones I plan on experimenting on... I'm not expecting them to grow and do well, but rather experimenting on what may work well enough that its my poor husbandry that kills them... not the crabs. *fingers crossed*

Hoya - from what I can tell, hoya species seem to be around the same area as wild populations of C.variabilis... so I thought why not try and see how it goes. It mostly a vine-ing plant, so i hope it growing on the wall keeps it from harms way.
Image

Ficus pumila 'variegated' (also have a small cutting of normal ficus pumila)... these tend to be avoided in dart frog setups due to them becoming rampant and will quickly cover other plants. I hope to use it to my advantage, and let it grow and potentially become robust enough to stay alive while the crabs destroy it...
Image

Peperomia prostrata... this is an experiment plant, which is commonly used as a groundcover or draping plant. I'm hoping by planting it off the substrate, it will avoid the majority of the attacks and do somewhat well in the setup.
Image

Also not shown is a pothos - once again, indestructible -; a christmas catus - have around 10 different pots of these, where I can get a cutting and plop it straight in if they do kill them... i pretty much have a never ending supply of organic, local tropical cactus. So why not - and its flowers look pretty... potentially may include a ficus microcarpa that I have been growing organically for the last 8 or so months... its rather solid, but worried about their lighting requirements...
And maybe try growing some leftover mosses from my aquarium that no one wants...

So yeah, thats my gameplan. Slowly coming together, I've now just gotta focus on getting a stand of some sort, the glass for the front and materials for my DIY background - expanding foam method and sealing with a concrete layer.... last time I covered styrofoam pieces with concrete, it turned out well and the crabs loved it! And once uni is finished for the year, piecing it all together!


Edit: recently purchased 2 different 'variaties' of bromeliads to go in there; Neoregelia 'chiquita linda' and N. 'fireball variega'... very impulsive purchases, but the local bunnings (hardware store) had them for sale and snapped them up in heartbeat! Even though in the past, members haven't had success, I figured why not give it a go? Worse case - nd most likely - it dies....

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'. They're just pets I forgot I had planned to get.
Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: GotButterflies » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:18 am

Very cool! Can't wait to see more of this thread!!!
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them!
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

PostAuthor: RiNiKy506 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:26 am

Wow! So cool! You’ve got a lot of very nice stuff, I love that light. I can’t wait to see you put it all together.


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