New terrarium questions about keeping humidity and water filter

grounded_cloudJanuary 5, 2009

I have got my terrarium started. I used about 3"gravel for my drainage with a piece of landscape fabric on top and then my substrate which is a small layer of organic pottings soil which contains sphagnum and pete moss. and on top i have coconut shavings with calcium sand mixed in it. I have a green tree frog and am wanting to figure out how to seal it the best to contain humidity without blocking out to much airflow. I am also having trouble with the water in the bottom turning red. I have a waterfall that runs across a red rock and am wonering if that is the problem. I am also wondering if a filter of some sort my help me keep my water clear. If you have any advice by all means, help me out.

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You can put glass over half to two-thirds of the top to keep in humidity. I don't know whether or not the red rock you mention is the cause of your problem with red water, but I would guess that it is sandstone or something else sedimentary, and I've read that sedimentary rocks break down easily and so should be avoided. the other option would be algae of some sort, which is probably harder to get rid of. I don't know that the potting soil is a good idea either, though it could be much harder to replace than the rock. I would recommend that you read some books on terrariums before you go too much further. One good book that you can probably get from your local library is: Natural Terrariums by Philip Purser.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 1:18PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Any idea what that "red rock" is? You could try removing said rock and see if your water color problems disappears.

However it is also possible that tannins are being leached out of the coconut "shavings" you are using. Did you soak and rinse the chunks several times before using? If not, the tannins are harmless though the result is discolored water. Of more concern if you did not thoroughly rinse the coconut chunks are the salts that would also be getting leached out and entering you water system.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 9:19PM
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My terrarium has a small space between the glass top cover, and the top of the terrarium, so some air can flow. I am still getting condensation on the sides of the terrarium walls, and am wondering if that is normal. ?? Or...should I increase the space between the lid and the terrarium, a little, until I get clear walls?

Should I be getting condensation?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 12:02PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Mike, probably best to just start a new thread for your question and a pic would be helpful. The answer is "it depends". How much condensation are we talking? How persistant is it (24/7, just for a day or so after watering,........)? What type of plants? Are you getting a great deal of mold or algae?

To reduce or eliminate the condensation, you could leave more of the tank uncovered or even install a PC fan in the tank.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 1:49PM
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