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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-22-2013 05:18 PM
Silmarwen This is beautiful so far! I look forward to seeing the finished product. I've seen a lot of tanks lately, of the "big, square, shallow" dimension, and I have to say, I love them!
01-18-2013 11:25 AM
Natalie Thank you for the feedback. I haven't started building the canopy yet, and already owned those lights, so it would be very easy to change plans.

Would T5 or T8 provide enough light for aquatic plants at that distance? Would you recommend pulling the existing plants from the tree, enjoying them in my home instead, and replacing them with more high-light species?

Perhaps a third option would be using the great big reflectors that are on the halides but with a different type or intensity of bulb.
01-18-2013 05:05 AM
plantbrain The lighting you have planned is way too much for these plants really, maybe a single 250W MH but it will need to be 20-24" away from those poor plants on the top. The other possible approach is to add Maiden hair ferms and other house plants around the tank to mop up some of the overspray from the lighting. The humidity from 4x4ft of warm water will lead to mold during the winter.

You can use Xmas moss, a weedy moss on the water/air interface, this will provide water and a substrate for the roots growing well above the water line.
It will attach and creep up above and down into the water.

I would create a more bowl shaped planting base, this will prevent the tips from being burnt by the light. T8's work fine for most of these type tanks or T5 at lower ranges, more light is not better, it tends to toast the house plants, that are commonly used, they are mostly all shade plants.

Obviously there's a min threshold, but you are a long way from that.

I would focus more on using natural materials or get real good at covering up anything that looks fake or tacky.
01-18-2013 03:49 AM
lochaber Thanks for posting the pics and the updates and such.

I think a lot of these systems (aquaria, paludaria, riparia, etc.) can be pretty forgiving/flexible, so long as you aren't too specific in your demands/goals.

You have a pretty good volume of water, and with the center island like that, you could even make it into something of a stream biotope, by putting some circulation pumps to get the water flowing around the island (if there were some high-current fish you wanted)

It looks big enough that you should be able to put most types of fish in it, plus it's a lot easier to control the water conditions then the air/land conditions (more so with an open build)

I just liked butterfly fish cause it was fun to feed them when I found a bug in the house
01-18-2013 01:22 AM
Natalie Thanks for the kind comments! I was skeptical at first whether or not I'd be able to pull it off, but I'm becoming more confident. In some small way I guess it lets me use that Wildlife Biology degree.

Honestly I have no idea what aquatic creatures will live here. I'm so inexperienced with the types of freshwater fish. I'm starting to research though. The butterfly fish are very cool!! With saltwater, you have research extensively and plan your stocking lists carefully for success, so I'm trying to do the same here. I am very open to suggestions!!

I am hoping that when the upper tree section is more grown in and stable that it will be a lovely home for a Panther Chameleon, but I'm continuing to read on that as well. There are some very creative ways out there to feed "free range" Chameleons.

THanks for looking!
01-17-2013 09:40 PM
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
looks great - a set up like that is almost asking for one of those banana plants / small lillies with the floating leaves.

and a butterfly fish
I agree on the 'Nana plant! I have four, and two of them have actual leaves almost five inches across! Havent gotten any lilly pads to last though, they 'stem just keeps geting longer and longer, and they never unfurl. But ive seen some that have, and they are so pretty!

Great build! Youv e given me new plans! Lol Cant wait to see updates!
Any ideas on stocking? Or did i miss that?
01-17-2013 09:00 PM
lochaber looks great - a set up like that is almost asking for one of those banana plants / small lillies with the floating leaves.

and a butterfly fish
01-16-2013 10:15 PM
rainbuilder Sweet! Nice job on the above water part! That dimension tank is really nice, I wish I had one.
01-16-2013 10:14 PM

We're dirted, capped, and on day one of the six week dry-start. I wrapped the top with Saran Wrap and threw some shop lights up there for light until I get the halides hung.

I planted DHG, Bolbitis Heteroclita (El Nino Fern), Wisteria, and Amazon Compacta sword.

I'll open it up once or twice a day to mist and ventilate.

This will be a long few weeks I think.
01-01-2013 01:55 AM
Natalie Thank you!!
12-31-2012 10:56 PM
laqu love it!
12-31-2012 10:37 PM
lochaber Looks great, good job, and thanks for posting pics (they are showing right-side-up)
12-31-2012 03:48 AM
chevyguy8893 That is some amazing work you have done there, I can't wait to see what everything will look like completed. Also, the pictures are oriented just fine on my laptop .
12-31-2012 03:26 AM
Natalie Oddly, the photos are right-side-up on my laptop, but upside-down on the iPad. So, my apologies if they are wrong on your device. Strange, no?
12-31-2012 01:17 AM
Natalie The above-water structure is done, painted, planted.

The stand is done, frame painted. Still needs trim and doors.

Although not shown here, the 40b sump is placed in the stand.

Closer view of the tree:

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