My First Build - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 9
My First Build

I've been stalking the forum for awhile now and finally decided to sign up, this is my first post and I just wanted to thank everyone so much for all of their helpful posts! Ya'll are great and for sure gave me the confidence to undertake my first viv build! After recently losing my little girl (13 yr old leopard gecko), I didn't want to let her aquarium go to waste so I've started on my viv build and wanted to share progress! As of now, I am done with the build and I am just letting my plants get adjusted and have a chance to grow in a bit before I add my critters. I am planning on adding two red eyed tree frogs, I had read that a ten gallon tank is acceptable room for a pair of RETFs, but any more would be too crowded. I had also read that they thrive best with a buddy. Anyways, here is my progress/process:

This is my false bottom out of eggcrate and zipties, I created a pool in the front and an area to house my waterfall pump in the back corner.

Here i have added the PVP supports and I also covered the eggcrate in a mesh to keep substrate from slipping through and clogging up my waterfall filter. Also, the back has been siliconed and the bottom two inches on the front and a small portion on the side to hide the GS foam.

Here ive started using the GS to build up my waterfall. I also filled in my PVC supports with GS to keep stagnate water at bay. I cut a plastic water bottle and sized it to create a flow path for my water to flow down into the pool. I then siliconed it in place and put silicone over the flow path and covered it in aquarium rock to give it a creek bed appearance.

Here I have continued the GS onto the back portion of the tank to build up my vertical climbing space. I included a small tree like structure that will house a plant as well as a rock that will be carved out to form a small cave.

After letting the GS cure for a few days I applied another layer of silicone and pressed the coconut reptile substrate stuff. It came in a brick form and had to be broken up. It stuck well for the most part but there are a few places I had to go over again and apply a second coat, but here is the background.

I used a combination of organic potting soil, I made sure there were no crazy chemical fertilizers or anything too unnatural in it, I also added charcoal and peat moss/sphagnum moss. After planting and getting the pump in, I covered the corner with some flat sandstone so the pump was easily accessible. After adding water and putting down my substrate, I am quite pleased with how everything has turned out. I cannot wait to get my RETFs in there, but I still need to build my fogger and I want to find a better way to light it up. Any lighting suggestions would be great. Ive been monitoring my humidity and temps and it seems to stay at about 80 F with my light on it and drops to about 74 F at night. I have a screen top and can only hold about 40% humidity, so Im planning on making a fogger from tubing and a humidifier. I am also planning on getting strip LEDs in blue so I can watch them do their thing at night without turning a light on. But any suggestions on lighting and or a better lid option would be fantastic. The finished product:

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 10:25 PM
Algae Grower
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: GA
Posts: 32
Looking good! I only have one suggestion, you might be able to find some one selling emersed crypts and plant them around your little pool, it would add to the natural feel of the viv. and would be something different.
Can't wait to see how it turns out! Good luck :-)

All it tanks is one live plant in your betta tank...
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 9
Thanks so much!

Do you know if these are best to buy online or do greenhouses/lowes/home depot perhaps sell them? I'm slowly growing more familiar with plants, but I am not sure how common or uncommon these are ^^
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 06:56 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 118
Cryptocornes aren't gonna happen at your garden center, but maybe at a pond shop? And I've had GREAT experiences buying plants (and fish and shrimps) online, both here and on other sites.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 9
Great to know, I'd hate to go running around all of Oklahoma City in search and come up empty handed! I am already planning out another build with a more aquatic aspect so if I have luck finding a great shop online i'll be able to continue using them. Any suggestions on a website that carry them as well as other aquatic plants?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 9

I've been letting my tank circulate, and have been waiting on the reptile expo the come to town in Brokenarrow, OK at the end of this week -- in preparation for possibly bringing home 2 RETFs, I have completed the rest of my set up. I have added a monsoon mist system that I purchased on sale for under $100 as well as a hood and fluorescent style tropical daylight bulb (15W Repti Glo 5% UVB 30% UVA) I have also invested in strips of LED lighting to view them at night, It has a very large color spectrum to choose from but I assume that the blue lighting would be the most natural. Here are the latest pictures. Aslo, Everything has really started to grow in great, I've had to prune several times since planting!

Regular lighting

Blue LED lighting. Comments and suggestions are always welcome!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-11-2013, 08:00 PM
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Location: Boston, MA
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Looks great. If you are looking for plants, talk to gordonrichards. Is your substrate pretty much saturated? It seems like you didn't leave much space between the water level and the substrate. I'd like to note that misting will add water to the system.
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