PA Woods Vivariums - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 46 Old 08-04-2018, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
PA Woods Vivariums

This is the thread discussing both the Western PA Woods and the Pine Creek PA Woods Vivariums that will have a pair of American Toads and a pair of Gray Tree Frogs.

The Western PA Woods is a 125 Gallon native perennial and native wild amphibian enclosure that got it's inspiration from various townships in Western PA. This enclosure is home to Ace and Pious (Toads) who are around 2-3 years old overall and over 1 year in my care. Christian (Male Tree Frog) is the only tree frog in this enclosure because I haven't gotten a female for him yet. I have a baby frog I'm hoping to be a female to house with him. The climate of this enclosure will is
PA Woods Soil:
Plantation Soil
Top Soil
Leaf Litter
Sheet Moss

Fertilizer: Bloom Plus

125 Gallon Western PA Woods Vivarium Temperature:
Highs: May-June 71 July-August 73
Lows: May-June 65 July-August 68
Consistent temperature

Feeder Days:Thursday & Saturday
Fertilize Days 2 Per Month
Temperature Control: Zoo Med Hygrotherm*

This enclosure is supposed to copy the environment of the western woods.

The Pine Creek PA Woods is inspired by a state park in Potter County PA the Pine Creek State Park.
The difference between the two climates is the Pine Creek a few degrees warmer then the Western Woods and is higher in humidity also. This build will have a different emphasis as the Western Woods focused on an open woodland space where as this build will feature runoff from a hill that will run down and make a small water feature. My goal was to have fish in this but they will be in another build. This enclosure will house the largest male toad I've ever seen "The Golden Toad" Wellsboro his mate Belmont and the lone Gray Tree Frog Bane. I am still searching for another female for him. Bane and Wellsboro are the largest two of their species. These two are very serious hunters so it should be very fun to watch them team up and even rely on one another to hunt.

The climate for this enclosure is

75 Gallon Pine Creek PA Woods Vivarium Temperature:
Highs: May-June 71 July-August 80
Lows May-June 65 July-August 67
Consistent Temperature

Feeder Days: Thursday & Saturday
Fertilize Days 2 Per Month

Right now the Pine Creek PA Woods is not built yet so all the amphibians are in the Western PA Woods until they hibernate and then I'll start working on the 75 Gallon so when the amphibians wake up their will be two enclosures for them to go.

You can see the amphibians in this video

These two enclosures will be featured heavily on the YouTube Channel and Facebook Page. I will have the link for the Facebook Page in the next post as well as more information on care articles and such I used for this build and more info on the YouTube channel. I hope that you can follow up with me as I update frequently on the status of these amphibians.

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post #2 of 46 Old 08-05-2018, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
Sources for care

Facebook Page

YouTube Channel
Top Videos Playlist:

First PA Woods Vivarium

2nd PA Woods

Pre build of Western PA Woods

Toad Care
Reptiles Magazine

That Pet Place

Part 3 That Pet Place

Gray Tree Frog Care
That Pet Place

Reptiles Magazine

Both species in PA

I will be creating a care sheet for both species and a mixed species care sheet featuring these amphibians.

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post #3 of 46 Old 08-11-2018, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
An update on devices, the enclosure and the next part to the Swarms Battle...

Before we get into this week post don't forget to checkout the new video in the link and follow us on Facebook!

So I've been trying to get the Zoo Med Hygrotherm to work for me to accommodate what I need with my tank but it won't be able to do that at least in the summer. So I bought a Zoo Med Timer and I am going to attempt to have the fan on a day and night cycle along with the fan. I'm still debating what the best decision would be. I'm hoping to get the devices back up and running. So far just the light is working and up. I am reconnecting the Mister Fogger and Fan tomorrow.

The enclosure is great and up and running. After the devices are connected next is the plants and insects. I need to add Woodlice and Scallions. My goal over the next year is to make this enclosure a true bioactive setup. There are worms in my soil and baby crickets from the banded crickets that were in the enclosure and produced offspring. There are too many toads for the Woodlice and Crickets to establish colonies. It wouldn't be good if there were say hundreds of crickets but about 5-20 would be good and when the crickets in the past survived there weren't more then that. There are 4 amphibians that would eat them now from different angles so there would be no way for the crickets to have that many.

I think this would be a possible next year mini series trying to get different insects to colonize in the enclosure. What do you guys think would it be cool if I showed this?

The swarms battle part 2 is coming soon. I'm very close already to having the video done. I have some small stuff to do but it turned out great. You will see Christian shedding and then stop completely to eat a cricket. The shot I got of him eating is unbelievable how good the quality was. You will also see how I will introduce the animals so if your watching the video you will know the animals by name. After the next video is coming out the next one will feature from popular vote Earthworms, Waxworms, and the Mealworm Beetles.

Has there been an insect you thought could work in your enclosure along with your animals?

What should I add to the next swarm battle with the worms and beetles?
A) Fogger, foggy day in the woods
B) Mister, rainstorm

Is there something you want me to talk about during the video like care for one of these animals or something like feeding schedules or anything about the enclosure? Let me know!

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post #4 of 46 Old 08-12-2018, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
I have a bad situation with some devices but don't worry I have a plan...

Today I did in fact get my Mistking setup. The problem was then it started dripping and did not spray anymore. I have had my Mistking for over a year and had problems with it. I had an Exo Terra Monsoon for around 3 years and then had a problem. I think I'm going to go back to the Exo Terra Misting System for the Western PA Woods. Thank goodness I have a fogger still. The foggers have proven to be more consistent and reliable then misters.

So I have figured out that I'll use my Zoo Med Repti Temp Temperature Controller for my Fan. I'll need to get a hygrometer and see how my humidity during the day is. I may have my fogger on a timer to run through the day on a low level just to keep my humidity near 50-65 just how humid I want it. I'm going to try and use the timer I bought but I had a hard time figuring out how to use it lol. So I have my humidity plan figured out and my fan will take down the humidity some and the fan and fogger will keep temperature down. When I get the monsoon up and running it will run once a day and maybe not every day I may have to only use it once a week because the soil stays moist in this setup. So for the next video my tank made it's own decision that I will have a foggy day when the PA Woods inhabitants battle the worms and beetles.

I will give my Mistking to the animals in my hallway which are the exotic animals. I'll get it up and running again but for the Western Woods needing consistently upkeep there is no room for inconsistent mister production no matter the brand. The Five Lined Dumpy Family will love the 7 Sprayers that will be split up into their tanks. This means the old mister they had will be given to the Pine Creek PA Woods.

One of the most unique interactions I've observed is how my young female toad Belmont follows my Adult female toad Ace. She follows her and it seems like Belmont and Ace have formed a bond as females. They seem to like each other's company. I'll have to get it documented in a video but it's so unique a toad is teaching another about life.

In about two weeks the next swarms battle part 2 will come out finishing the battle with the banded crickets for 2018. The Swarms Battles will be a series next year also. After I do the next swarms battle the worms and beetles I will be doing shorter feature videos of the other series called perspective. For this video series I will only feature one or two amphibians and introduce them and discuss their care and as suggested feeding advice and other interesting information.

In the Perspective series pick a number that you want to see in the premiere episode of The Perspective Series:

1 Ace and Christian (Cover Animals)

2 Wellsboro and Bane (Pine Creek Ambassadors)

3 Pious and Belmont

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post #5 of 46 Old 08-18-2018, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
More understanding of what I'm looking for...

I have said the many features my 125 Gallon possesses and I'm proud of the hard work paying off for this build. My Mistking Mister has once again developed a problem so now the 125 Gallon has no mister once again to start September. This same thing happened a year ago and I also was having a hard to figuring out how to get the Hygrotherm to cooperate with my needs for my touchy climate. So the two most critical devices failed me.

This year is different then last year. I have a better fan, I have a clutch Fogger that does the job and the Zoo Med Repti Temp controls the fan to shut off when the temperature I set is reached. The Temperature Controller will be able to control the fan which will save the life of the fan not running as much and I am looking into my timer to use the Fogger. I'd like to have it set in the morning since in Western PA it's foggy to start the day. Then I can toggle when I want the fog to come on. These 3-4 devices are clutch for survival of my life in the enclosure.

The toads are good I haven't seen them much since I was on vacation. I will be excited to split up the toads once the 75 gallon is theirs. Everyone seems happy and healthy.

The same goes for the tree frogs they are good too. Both are healthy and happy. I will be happy to see how both male frogs interact with a female and how that looks in their own setup. The baby tree frog is growing and hopefully is a female. Then I'd just need one more tree frog!

The second Swarms Battle is out now.
The battle with the Banded Crickets was very fun to make and watch. I'm excited to see the next battle because there are a few feeders for these videos. The Earthworms and Waxworms won the vote to be the next swarm battle so they will be next. I will be excited to show more of the appetite the amphibians have with these insects because neither are fast moving so it should be a highlight reel.
I may have something planned though for the next video. A guest appearance by a feeder insect. A swarm of them.

The perspective Series will be coming soon and I'm sure you will love to hear more of the background of the amphibians. I will discuss many things about the specific animal that is being discussed.

What is one thing you want me to talk about in the next videos?

What are your experiences with the Mistking? What's better Mistking Mister or Exo Terra Monsoon?

Should I use the Fogger in the next video?

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post #6 of 46 Old 08-19-2018, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
More updates! Toad and Tree Frog Care Sheets coming in September...

In September I will make 3 care sheets. I'll try to start and finish an American Toad, Gray Tree Frog and an American Toad and Gray Tree Frog together care sheet.

I will begin filming soon for the Second Swarms Battle and the Perspective Series Premiere video.

So after I went through my ideas I felt I only needed 3 series for the PA Woods Vivariums. Swarms which is feeding videos, Seasons (coming soon) how the animals interact with a changing environment and PA Woods Vivariums which will feature Perspective Series videos and when I do Toad Week and Tree Frog week. The PA Woods series will cover many different types of videos in the enclosures.

The first Perspective video title:
Animals of the Western PA Woods

Swarms Battle 2
Worms and Beetles

Update on devices
So as I ordered crickets from Josh's Frogs I bought more tubing to fix my Mistking problem. I'm going to see how it works and if it's still a pain then I'll try using the tubes on my old Monsoon RS400 Exo Terra. I have to drill holes in one piece of plexiglass and hook up the other devices. The plants are pretty set except the Scallions. I need to plant those soon. I'm trying to get the devices setup then plants. I am excited to create care sheets and to try to finish the Western PA Woods and to make more videos of it!

I'm excited to try and start the Pine Creek PA Woods planning for the spring too.

The Pine Creek PA Woods will have a Rain Wall, Fogger, Mosquito Fish and pairs of American Toads and Gray Tree Frogs. It will be slightly warmer and have different plants.

The Western PA Woods will be updated in the background since the toads dug into it. This will have a Mistking/Monsoon, Fogger, Drainage Pump, Speakers to simulate noises (Both tanks will be impacted by this), fan for lower temperature and humidity and Repti Temp Controller and Timer to regulate fan and fogger.

Are you excited to see two PA Woods Vivariums?

Have you ever seen a rainwall in a background?

What's your thoughts on a mixed species care sheet?

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post #7 of 46 Old 08-25-2018, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
I finally got some devices working again...

I got the fan connected to the Repti Temp Controller and then I got the fogger connected to the Zoo Med Timer. So the good news is I put good use to some of the devices. The bad news is the Mistking Mister didn't work for the PA Woods so I took it out and added it to my White's Tree Frog enclosure. It for some reason worked fine in there so I decided to give it to the tree frogs. This means that I now have a decision and a lot of time to decide which Misting System I will use for my enclosure.

The amphibians are doing great and the next video will be a Perspective Video on the Amphibians of the Western PA Woods
The video will be featuring these animals and I am very excited that I get to share different information on these animals.
Is there anything you want to know about any or all of these three amphibians?

There is not much news on these guys I was focused on the animals of another enclosure all this past week but I can say everyone is doing well.

One sad note. The baby gray tree frog didn't make it. I believe it was a female and it was about the size of my pinky nail. We still have a problem finding two females for Bane and Christian. Let's hope that we can find some for their sake so they can breed.

After the first Perspective video comes out the next Swarms Battle is coming. One big thing is I'm going to a reptile expo tomorrow which could mean there is a feeder insect that I could choose to use in a Swarms Battle. I'll let you know if I find a feeder insect that will make it in a future video. Is there a certain insect if I find it you want me to get for a video?

I said in another thread about how this might be the year of my White's Tree Frog. Around Thanksgiving would you want to see a verses video between the Western PA Woods and the Dumpy Family and the enclosure who receives the most votes will be the winner?

What would you like to know in a perspective video featuring care of each specific animal or them as a group?

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post #8 of 46 Old 08-26-2018, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
Some takeaways from the Reptile Expo what I found and more...

So this was the third place in my area that held an expo and when I walked in I saw things I never saw before! There were so many enclosures and accessories and possibly inverts for my Skink Dynasty in another thread. I will share more of what I went for and some other important occurrences.

I went to get more leaves for my enclosure and I did get some, however I made some connections with some vendors and the place I got insects from gave me advice on caring for a new feeder insect, gave me 100 free crickets and said they would possibly further talks of sponsoring me. What does it mean if a store and vendor sponsors me? It means first hopefully I save money and can get free feeders for my animals which would be high quality. Next I might be able to get some products they have and review them. Lastly it would be more exposure for the forums, my Facebook Page and YouTube Channel because that is how I would be able to partner with them. They gave me the number of the boss (owner) and said to call him because he's into working with people and doing this such thing. If I could only have feeders or products I would choose feeders in a heartbeat! Imagine going to the grocery store and getting what you want and eating comfortably and never having to pay for it! As I said there is a lot of talk that needs to happen but it would be great in many ways!

So other then Crickets I got a new feeder and they told me they sell them cheap and are able to ship to me. So I have to research YouTube and Google to see if there are videos of American Toads and Gray Tree Frogs eating this insect. For the first time I have been able to get some Hornworms that will hopefully provide a very nutritious meal for the tree frogs and toads! So as requested I will post the next Swarms Battle with Earthworms and the Mealworm Beetles. The battle after that will probably be a one part battle with the Hornworms. These can get as big as a toad (4inches) so I got a small size and will allow them to grow so the Gray Tree Frogs can even eat the Hornworms. What are your thoughts on an upcoming battle with a new enemy?

So there was something else at the Expo that I saw that hot me excited. I have been fascinated with Ants and love Ants Canada how he has so much information on the ants yet it's interesting to watch. These are not ants but something that I heard is a good feeder for tree frogs and toads. There was a vendor who breeds Earwigs! They are Giant Asian Earwigs so not zoned from PA but could be a feeder as well. I'm not sure yet what I would want to do if I would keep them as a colony but I'm thinking about it. A trusted herpetologist said an earwig is a valuable feeder for toads and I'd imagine tree frogs too. Have you ever considered using insects such as Ants or Earwigs?

I am going to begin shooting for the next Swarms Battle and the Perspective video that will feature the care of the American Toad and Gray Tree Frog. I'm really excited to get another video out for you all for more educational purposes. I am attempting to provide care sheets and document feeding encounters with feeder insects anyone can obtain but you can see an honest interaction if the toads and tree frogs will eat the insects. I can tell you now the Gray Tree Frogs won't eat a Red Wriggler Earthworm. I am hoping they will attempt the beetles but I believe the Gray Tree Frog must be opposed to insects that secret odors. My toads all 4 however don't care. This behavior is very fascinating because I have toads that will consume a foul smelling insect that's how opportunistic they are and many toads do not eat these worms so my toads will be showing that toads will eat this specific worm. My toads will consume things that many other animals wouldn't meaning they are very opportunistic hunters but even as they have gone sometimes long without food the same toads have a peaceful temperment not hunting the tree frogs. I truly believe I have some of the most fascinating toads of their species how opportunistic yet peaceful they are. My featured toad Ace is a beautiful color I've never seen and Wellsboro a featured toad for an upcoming build is golden and Ace's mate Pious is an ordinary looking toad yet he keeps growing. So I have colorful toads and unique with their traits. I'm also thankful for my tree frogs. I can't believe how friendly these two are how much they trust me. Bane in the first Swarms Battle hunted on a higher level then I thought a tree frog could. Christian the smaller featured tree frog for this tank is so active and he interacts with the toads. He's so fascinating because he will push the toads out of the way even just to get to wherever he wants. He has also come to the floor a lot at night to even sit among the toads. I can see Christian feels more comfortable with Ace and Pious which is good because those are the toads next year that he will be living with.

So to end my rant I have all the devices set into place and have the feeders for more videos and still am looking for female gray tree frogs and am looking at what mister will fit this tanks needs. I may get sponsored by a company and on Thanksgiving the Western PA Woods will face the Dumpy Family for bragging rights as to who has the better setup.

Have you ever used Hornworms as a feeder?

Are you interested in voting on Thanksgiving for your favorite enclosure?

Are you surprised of my observations of my amphibians of their personalities?

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post #9 of 46 Old 08-27-2018, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
1st picture is cover photo for 2018-2019
Cover for the Perspective video (care sheet compatible video).

2nd photo is the next Swarms Battles Ep cover.

3rd and 4th photo the Hornworms

5th photo the Mealworm Beetles colony.

I am going to talk to the company sometime this week. I have begun recording for the next two videos.
It so far has been a toad highlight reel. Just a beginning of the week update!

Here is the playlist for the Western PA Woods so far!

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post #10 of 46 Old 09-01-2018, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
This week was crazy...
So I was feeding my animals and as I was doing that some really crazy unbelievable situations happened. I'll elaborate more in this post but things have really changed.

So I decided to use the Hornworms that I got at the reptile expo and I found some very interesting interactions.

So when I first put the Hornworms in they were very small little critters. There were some that ate the worms.
Ace, Bane and Belmont had decided to eat them. While I saw this I also learned more about my animals personalities and I Saw what happened in the tank while I went on vacation a few weeks ago. Let me explain what I mean. I saw Belmont change the ecosystem of the tank. She was the least likely that I thought to be the dominant animal in the enclosure. She actually bullied Pious to the point he climed up to get away from her. She took a Hornworm from Wellsboro the biggest male toad I've seen. She even showed dominant behavior with Ace. Belmont has single handedly caused all the amphibians stress. Tonight was the first time I saw the tree frogs come to the ground. Sadly I will not be able to keep her with the animals of the PA Woods because she is too aggressive and as a juvenile toad she is harassing adults and that could be terrible when she grows up. I'm going to see if I can find her a home and if not I'm going to have to release her. She has come a very long way with how dominant she has become. It's very disappointing but I'd rather release a healthy strong willed one eyed toad then lose all the other amphibians I own. In the next Swarms Battle I was supposed to have the Earthworms and I filmed that but I saw a lot to help people who own toads and tree frogs. So I am going to put out the Hornworm battles.

So outside of what I saw from my toad the few amphibians that did eat the Hornworms the first time once the worms got bigger they wouldn't touch them after they grew a few inches. I think the toads thought they were poisonous or the little horn they saw on the back deterred them from eating the worms again. This shows that the toads understand that there is something dangerous to them and they will not just eat anything. Another example of this knowledge is Ace who had eaten a Hornworm just a few days ago and she had two chances to eat another. She came up to the worm like she would eat it and she just followed it and she was contemplating on whether or not to eat it and she decided not to. I saw a lot of the intelligence by the toads and once Bane saw it he didn't even try again to eat one. So the next video is going to be of the Hornworms and I'm going to say my opinion of whether or not that someone should use the Hornworm as a feeder.

What do you think I should do with Belmont?

What do you think of my findings of the Hornworms being used as a feeder?

There was more info but I'll talk more about it tomorrow.

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