In a vivarium/paludarium we can, at best, only achieve an approximation to a natural habitat - the background has always been, with me and up to now, something of an afterthought.

My new bigger/better/brighter (900x360x450mm) vivarium/paludarium is complete and one of the three frogs (the largest) from the original (600x300x300) has been caught and introduced into its new home (the remaining two are proving to be a bit trickier to catch).

The original, smaller, viv/pal had a randomly painted background in appropriate colours on an art canvas attached to the back - pretty conventional. The new viv/pal (currently) has a background of artificial ferns of varying types 'sandwiched' between the rear of the viv/pal and the wall of the room in a space of about 50mm.. The wall is painted a moderately dark blue-green colour. The viv/pal itself has a good selection of mature and maturing plants along with rocks, bogwwod, driftwood, a waterfall and a pondlet. Looks great - almost natural :-)
As soon as the frog in question was introduced it spent a fair amount of time crawling up and down the back of the viv/pal, apparently trying to get into the background ferns (before hopping away into a dark, damp crevice to think things over :-).
I'm not at all sure if the frog can actually 'see' the artifical ferns through the glass. After all, in the original viv/pal, when chasing food, they seem content to leap through the air and land on the front or side of the viv/pal with seemingly perfect judgement - they don't seem to 'see' beyond the glass walls.
Is the artificial fernery background a good idea - what do you think?

Tony Sanders
New Zealand/Aotearoa
kiwib9k9@(nospam)yahoo.com
Is the artificial fernery background a good idea - what do you think?

I would give the frogs a few days to sort themselves out after the move, explore their surroundings, and learn their borders.

Unless you start seeing them rubbing their noses or banging them into the glass (watch for discoloration on the end of the nose to indicate they've been doing it when you're not looking), I would leave the fern background in place.

-Z
dark, damp crevice to think things over :-). I'm not at all sure if the frog can actually 'see' the ... seem to 'see' beyond the glass walls. Is the artificial fernery background a good idea - what do you think?

Ive often thought the same..
The animals will learn the boundaries of the tank. I also use tanks bigger than usual for that reason.

Im partial to a solid black or dark green back and sides. Using the thick poster board at craft shops.
Almost like eighth inch color styro..you know what I mean. The stuff seems to insulate the glass better than thin paper or similar backgrounds.
Ive also made custom backgrounds using posterboard. These are basic "shadow shapes"of dark green or brown on a lighter green base.Almost like a leafy pseudo-camo.
This all really depends on how the tank interior background is. Some people use cork bark fixed with silicone to cover the back of the tank.
I agree with Z on watching for nose-rubs and letting the frogs acclimate for a couple weeks before passing judgement.Covering 3 sides of the tank will help with nervous "wild-caught" animals.
AD
Okay, will wait and see. I have managed to catch a second of the Green and Gold Bell Frogs, and introduced it to the new vivarium.

It did exactly yhe same as the previously introduced one - it hopped out of the net, stopped and looked around, and then hopped onto and climbed up the back wall of the viv. Reached the top, looked around and started own again. Except this one then stopped, locked onto and then leapt across the viv to catch a fly.
Munch, chomp, slurrrp ... seems happy enough :-)
Ive often thought the same.. I agree with Z on watching for nose-rubs and letting the frogs acclimate for a couple weeks before passing judgement.Covering 3 sides of the tank will help with nervous "wild-caught" animals. AD

Tony Sanders
New Zealand/Aotearoa
kiwib9k9@(nospam)yahoo.com
Okay, will wait and see. I have managed to catch a second of the Green and Gold Bell Frogs, and ... started own again. Except this one then stopped, locked onto and then leapt across the viv to catch a fly.

Looking to escape into the realistic looking jungle beyond.. Thats why I lean toward solid colors.
AD