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-   -   Mudskipper paludarium (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=134866)

HX67 04-20-2011 08:12 PM

Mudskipper paludarium
 
Hi all.

I didn't want to go the traditional "sloping sand"-route in creating a habitat for my mudskippers.
To start with, I had three Periophthalmodon septemradiatus males. This is not the most aggressive nor largest species of 'skippers, but it still wants to form and defend a small territory.
What I wanted was to create a habitat with multiple spots where the fish can hide from each other's sight.

I started with an old 140 gallon sump tank:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC07961.JPG

I disassembled the sump to replace the old, scratched front glass with a new one and painted the trims:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC07970.JPG
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC07983.JPG

For hardscape I wanted to make a DIY root system with multiple little shallow pools and an inbuilt plumming to circulate water in the pools.

A sketch:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6...2072010011.jpg

Platforms and volume of the scape:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6...2072010017.jpg

Roots bent of pvc and added volume with foam:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_6...2072010022.jpg

A bit of shaping with a knife:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC07868.JPG

A stage after a few layers:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC07907.JPG

Hardscape pretty much finished:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC07927.JPG
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC07939.JPG

Glued in and the first test was very succesfull. All the pools were filled up with just one pump feeding the plumbing system in the scape:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC07995.JPG

The mudskippers are using the whole scape and seem happy with it:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC08545.JPG

FTS, early stages:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC08553.JPG

BOOOOO!
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6...6/DSC08788.JPG

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC08780.JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6...2/DSC08475.JPG

The tank is still maturing. Water is kept at 1.002-1.003. I'm trying to find plants that would co-operate with me, but haven't had too much luck yet.

There, thanks for looking!

jwm5 04-20-2011 08:19 PM

this looks fantastic. what did you end up using to paint the faux wood? did you seal it up with something also? I am looking to do some sort of faux structure when I redo my 55.

tuffgong 04-20-2011 08:22 PM

That's a sweeet setup! The mudskippers look cool. Great job on the hardscape!

HX67 04-20-2011 08:23 PM

Thanks guys.
It's all grout, no paint at all. Colored grout, a few colors.

It's not sealed, but there's acrylic polymer added to the mixture before brushing on. It seals some and gives a hardier structure.

hydrophyte 04-20-2011 09:11 PM

Wow!

You are an artist.

Gatekeeper 04-20-2011 09:21 PM

Well, I have to say it. Probably one of the best faux backgrounds I have seen yet!

My only critique would have been to bench the soil up more inside the water line to really bring the roots into the shoreline more, but you could easily mask that with some plants.

Man, that is just incredible.

tuffgong 04-20-2011 09:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hydrophyte (Post 1364609)
Wow!

You are an artist.

I agree. I would say that is museum/professional quality work at least. The more I look at the setup the more I like it. The mudskipper's blue eyes are mesmerizing.

HX67 04-20-2011 10:16 PM

Thanks a million, guys!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gatekeeper (Post 1364621)
My only critique would have been to bench the soil up more inside the water line to really bring the roots into the shoreline more, but you could easily mask that with some plants.

I know, I know!
I could easily have made the hardscape to "fill in" under the rootsies, too. But I wanted to maximize the amount of water in the tank, and left open the lower parts.
I hope some of the plants I'm working with start showing some growth eventually, so they'll fill in the bottom a bit, as you say.

Hydro, I'm really interested to see what you come up with in that brackish riparium of yours! I'm going to steal all your ideas and results as far as plants go.

In addition to having potential for better water quality with more water (there's about 40 gallons), I'm able to put in some other fish, such as these bumblebee gobies:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC08854.JPG

There's also a trio of Anableps growing up a bit on their way to a 250 brackish tank:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6...0/DSC08921.JPG
Thanks again!

macclellan 04-20-2011 10:31 PM

Wow

VaultBoy 04-20-2011 10:43 PM

Subscribed.... That is a beautiful tank! Incredible work on the hardscape.

TheNailman 04-20-2011 11:00 PM

W0W! such a cool tank. i cannot let my gf see this thread. .... she wants mudskippers so badly.

Khooxo 04-20-2011 11:16 PM

Wow! Awesome looking tank, I wouldn't have the patience to work on a hardscape such as that. I'd probably break down after waiting for the foam to cure and just buy something close enough to what I wanted.

Chrisinator 04-20-2011 11:33 PM

Truly amazing.


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houseofcards 04-20-2011 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hydrophyte (Post 1364609)
Wow!

You are an artist.

+1

I worked on a scape once with a guy who did these type of setups on a large scale for the Bronx Zoo in New York. He was most definitely an artist of many sorts.

Cynth 04-21-2011 02:18 AM

This is one of the most awesome setups I have ever seen. I LOVE mudskippers!


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