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Thread: Need to Pick Your Brains on a Water Feature for a Terrarium Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-20-2012 07:02 PM
schoolzoo Hi, I just tried the heat gun and plastic trick to control the warping -Worked great. I'm sure that it would work for what you and your students are trying to achieve too. I had one of the shop students help. I'll post some pictures of what will become my stream on my thread.
12-20-2012 04:10 PM
Wy Renegade I saw your thread, you got a nice build there. Unfortunately, I can't use the terrarium as a water collection feature as there are soil heating pads and probes buried down in the soil. If I were working with an aquarium that method would work great. Thanks for the input though. Perhaps something similar in a tub as was suggested would work.
12-20-2012 02:13 AM
Taari Might be too late, but the way I did my dart frog tank is with a false bottom made of egg crate and made it like an inch or so smaller than the bottom of the tank all the way around. We built a top and 4 sides and held it together with zip ties, then covered the whole thing with fiberglass screen and used zip ties to hold that on too. We cut out just enough to allow a piece of tubing to go through the egg crate and fiberglass at the point we wanted the water feature, then attached the pump from the underside.

Once it was in the tank, we filled in around the sides with pea gravel and covered the top with ABG substrate. The water feature is a piece of cork bark turned concave-side up with a hole drilled into it and another smaller piece of cork bark over top of the outlet to baffle it. The water collects in the curve of the cork bark. I put some java moss on it and it's growing nicely.

This is an old pic, I've changed it a bit since this was taken, but you can get the idea on the water feature.
12-19-2012 06:01 PM
Wy Renegade Excellent suggestions folks, no final plans as yet - I'm planning to do some experimenting over the Holidays and we'll progress from there.

In the mean time, as promised here is an updated picture of the carnivorous terrarium;


Might have to try again when the lighting is better.
12-15-2012 04:01 PM
Learner get a pvc coupling, and glue the screen to that, it should slip-fit over the other piece of pvc, making a lid that's accessible, yet keeps the critters out.


what a great idea.................cant believe that never came to mind!
12-14-2012 07:13 PM
Fishies_in_Philly
Quote:
Originally Posted by keithy View Post
what about using clay, like pottery clay of some sort? that way you can shape it however you want.
It would have to be fired in a kiln otherwise it will melt and turn to slop. But still doable. I made mushrooms in my mantella tank out of oven bake clay from walmart, then sealed it with clear nail polish. That may work as well.
12-14-2012 06:53 PM
keithy what about using clay, like pottery clay of some sort? that way you can shape it however you want.
12-14-2012 06:26 PM
lochaber
Quote:
Originally Posted by Learner View Post
They are mostly used inside fake waterfalls where they are completely hidden. I did a little DIY project to try and keep one in my newt build. I used a a 2" piece of PVC with a notch cut out for the cord. I kryloned it black and then hot glued a thick plastic screen over the top to keep the critters out. Also kryloned black. Trick is to only hot glue one edge so that you can lift up the screen like a flap to access the fogger. It worked well.
I hvae some of that weird screen left. I have no idea where to find it. It works perfect for this application and I hvae never seen it since. I found it in my classroom one day in the deep dark recesses of the science stock room. Who knows.........its probably 20 years old. I can easily put a piece in an envelope and send it to you if you want. Just pm me if your interested. good luck and keep us all posted!!

JD
Something similar that I have done to keep critters out of waterfalls/homemade filters is to use a piece of pvc like you mentioned, and instead of gluing the screen/mesh directly to it, get a pvc coupling, and glue the screen to that, it should slip-fit over the other piece of pvc, making a lid that's accessible, yet keeps the critters out. As to plastic mesh, I've used the plastic canvas that they sell in craft stores, I think it's made of nylon and typically white/natural colored, though I have seen black (and other colors) numerous times. pretty inexpensive and pretty useful.
12-14-2012 03:23 AM
Learner
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wy Renegade View Post
Good idea. I've been considering/wondering if I exposed it to controlled heat, say like with a heat gun, if I could kind of control the warpage and mold it into the shape I desire? Then I could add foam and maybe try the titebond method to make the foam look more natural on the edge/outside and add sand and rock to the bottom.
I have done this a couple of times and used GS to make the edges look more natural. You wont even have to heat it at all, jsut carve it to look good. I kept the lip on mine since most tupperware will warp. You can insert small, flat slate rocks to the almost dried GS along with small driftwood pieces to further its natural look.

I have an ultrasonic fogger and it will be devastating to any critter. The frequency is intense and the water is quite warm at the source of the vibrations. It takes some work to conceal them since most of them have a bright red light when turned on that radiates in every direction. They are mostly used inside fake waterfalls where they are completely hidden. I did a little DIY project to try and keep one in my newt build. I used a a 2" piece of PVC with a notch cut out for the cord. I kryloned it black and then hot glued a thick plastic screen over the top to keep the critters out. Also kryloned black. Trick is to only hot glue one edge so that you can lift up the screen like a flap to access the fogger. It worked well.
I hvae some of that weird screen left. I have no idea where to find it. It works perfect for this application and I hvae never seen it since. I found it in my classroom one day in the deep dark recesses of the science stock room. Who knows.........its probably 20 years old. I can easily put a piece in an envelope and send it to you if you want. Just pm me if your interested. good luck and keep us all posted!!

JD
12-13-2012 04:38 PM
Wy Renegade Thanks, you too!
12-13-2012 04:32 PM
schoolzoo Might work - I think that I'm going to try this to for the salamander's new tank. I was thinking of carving out some great stuff black pond to make the stream I don't think that I'll get it too look the way I want - a shallow dish that has been "heat curved" might do the trick.
Good luck with your build.
12-13-2012 04:03 PM
Wy Renegade Good idea. I've been considering/wondering if I exposed it to controlled heat, say like with a heat gun, if I could kind of control the warpage and mold it into the shape I desire? Then I could add foam and maybe try the titebond method to make the foam look more natural on the edge/outside and add sand and rock to the bottom.
12-13-2012 03:01 PM
Fishies_in_Philly That is a bloody brilliant idea!!
12-13-2012 02:47 PM
schoolzoo Just a thought - haven't tried myself - if you don't want the plastic container to look so geometric - it might warp if after cutting the top rim off put it in a microwave. I know that a peanut butter jar gets all distorted from warming water in it in a microwave.

Looking forward to what you and your students create.
12-12-2012 10:20 PM
Fishies_in_Philly ok, here's what i am thinking. get yourself a nice sized tupperware tub. however big you want your water section to be. i would actually look for one that about a third of the tank. trim it's height to your desired height and you can build your false bottom in that. kind of like i said using plexi to make a mini tank inside the tank. something like this:

sorry for the dirty stuff, it's my not so ready for prime time carnivorous tank....lol
i hope you can get where i'm coming from on this. once it's trimmed, you can literally plant the sucker and it will go away. and your water feature and be framed out by branches and mosses so it doesn't look as geometric. i hope that makes sense. the most important thing is that you trim the sealing lip off the top, then it becomes a small open tank in the tank. otherwise, i have no freaking clue how to make a water feature in a tank that can't have water in it.....LOL
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