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Fishies_in_Philly 11-20-2012 12:56 AM

My Madagascar Inspired Mantella Paludarium
i decided to move this build journal over to this thread since it is for frogs. to see the beginning of the build, you can go here :

this is going to be a quickie update. after 2 days of foaming, adjusting, adding my diy rain system, i am finally complete the "construction phase" of this project. the vinyl tubing you see in the pics are for my rain system. basically, it's a hydroponics irrigation system that runs off of a pond pump that i modified to work for me. they will eventually be covered in silicone/coco fiber to look like vines. i do have pics of how the rain system works, if anyone wants, i will post them on request.

here's where we are at, after all the foaming is done and curing. i'll start covering the background in a few days

sorry the pics aren't better, but i've been working one this sucker the past 4 nights straight and i am whooped!!

crazydaz 11-20-2012 02:47 AM

Great start Bill! I would love to see more details regarding the rain system, if you wouldn't mind sharing!

Learner 11-20-2012 03:04 AM

Whoa Bill, thats gonna be a sweet set up. Are you going to automate the rain system? What kind of water do you plan on using for the rain? are you goign to filter the main water area? how are you gonna get the silicone to stick to the vinyl? Wow I cant wait to see this monster progress. Sorry for all the questions, cant wait to learn some more from you guys.



GMYukonon24s 11-20-2012 01:06 PM

Nice build you have going

Fishies_in_Philly 11-20-2012 03:37 PM

@Don, i'll post pics of the setup tonight

@JD thanks :) the rain system will be on it's own timer. I will adjust it throughout the year so that i can replicate seasons for the orchjds as well as to simjlate breeding conditions, if possible. The water will be tank water recycled. The pump is under the false bottom along with a heater and the submersible filter. As far as the silicone sticking to the vinyl, it will stick. Silicone adheres to almost anything except cured silicone.

@yukon, thank you, even i am curious to see how this turns

Wy Renegade 11-20-2012 06:28 PM

Subscribed into this one as well. Coming along very nicely, I'm curious to see how you set-up the rain system and the type of timer you end up using. How about some more detailed info on the vinyl tubing? I assume you've got some behind the scenes plumbing going on that we are not seeing or is that yet to come?

Fishies_in_Philly 11-21-2012 12:17 AM

ok, here are the behind the scenes pics of my rain system. first off, let me say that this sucker works off of a pond pump. no need for a high dollar, high pressure pump. also, this system uses a LOT less pressure than a mister. but also, you don't get as fine of a mist. the pump for it is hidden inside the false bottom, along with the heater and submersible filter. i can access it all through the chimney on the left side. the pump feeds 1/2" i.d. vinyl tubing. it gets split into a Y connector so that i could vary origination points of my "vines". installation is simple. you get yourself this fancy installation tool

punch it into the tubing to make a hole

insert the 1/4" self sealing fitting

these are some of the fittings i am using.they are 360 degree spray nozzles. i will have them at the ends of my vines, pointing down like a regular sprinkler head. i forgot to get 180 degree ones, i'll pick them up this weekend.

that's pretty much it. i told you it was simple. now, i have yet to test THIS setup, but i did find that 5 fitting was enough to prevent pressure buildup, which was wreaking havoc on the pump. more fittings, less pressure, happier pump. of course, more fittings will also reduce the spray pattern.

oh, i also started covering the great stuff with titebond/peat moss tonight because i am writing a step by step tutorial on this tank for another forum. i only did enough to show how it's done tonight. i'll try to finish the covering over the next few days.

hope you enjoy, until next time. Hope everyone has a nice, happy, safe Thanksgiving!!

Fishies_in_Philly 11-21-2012 12:22 AM

oh, i forgot. i got all the rain maker supplies from this company
yes, they ship. or, if you are interested, shoot me a pm, and i would be more than happy to send you the items via mail. and to give you and idea of my expense on the rain system, the pump was $27 and everything i bought at the hydro store (below) was $30, including the pots and hose that i tossed. i bought tubing at h.d. for $5 for the 1/2" i.d. and $4 for the 1/4"

Kado 11-21-2012 05:01 AM

So the red things on the end of the tube, is that what makes to water come out as drops instead of a stream?

Learner 11-21-2012 05:11 AM

Very nice set up once again. Have you had any issue with the peat moss or coco fiber releasing tannins into your water after being soaked with the titebond III? I want to use it in my build under the water but I dont want to endure the black water. I just like the look of the clear water.......especially sine my herps are 90% aquatic.

lbacha 11-21-2012 12:08 PM

I have a paludariums that has a lot of coco fiber covered foam and no tannin issues, I dd have some issues when I added driftwood but that's as because I didn't boil it first (I recommend drying the coco fiber in an oven first to make sure there is absolutely no moisture in it before applying I to the silicone) great looking start I had a blast making Borneo tank and it is growing in nicely.


Fishies_in_Philly 11-21-2012 12:18 PM

@kado yup, that's all it is. I'll hide those behind branches. The ones i can't hide will get wrapped in java moss
@JD nope. No problems with tannins. Like Len said, i dry my coco fiber out first. I actually like the tannins. I'm a big fan of blackwater tanks.
@Len thank you :) your Borneo tank was inspiring to watch being built. It gave me quite a few ideas for other builds i have done.

If you guys want to see a biotope paludarium, check out len's borneo build. It's breathtaking to say the least.

Soothing Shrimp 11-21-2012 01:27 PM

GREAT step by step tutorial! This actually has answered many questions I have had concerning a cheap way to do DIY misters. We should have more like this.

Oh, and would you be able to show a vid of the mister working when you have a chance?

lbacha 11-21-2012 01:34 PM

Just so everyone knows I have gone both routes and have had success when it comes to misters the DIY is a low pressure setup that works well but usually requires a pump in the setup to do and it is a larger spray (not really a mist) the setups from places like mistking use a high pressure pump and produce a very fine mist, it all comes down to price but the basic package with one mister for a mistking is $99 so not terribly bad if you are misting a large area the. It goes up as you add more nozzles. One thing I have learned about DIY is that what seems cheaper in the beginning a lot of times ends up being just as expensive when you are done.


Fishies_in_Philly 11-21-2012 01:36 PM


Originally Posted by Soothing Shrimp (Post 2085559)
GREAT step by step tutorial! This actually has answered many questions I have had concerning a cheap way to do DIY misters. We should have more like this.

Oh, and would you be able to show a vid of the mister working when you have a chance?

If i i get it working the way i want it to, i will. :)

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