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fullmonti 05-06-2013 05:57 PM

Planning first time Paludarium, questions please
I have a 180 peninsula style planted Discus tank that just sprung a leak. It's near the very top so OK for now but I don't trust it full of water long-term, but a few inches in the bottom sure. So I'm in the process of finding a home for my Discus (very sad) & plan to use this tank for a paludarium.

The tank is 60x30x24". I'd like to set it up using much of the rocks & wood I already have. Here is an older photo so you can see what I'm talking about.

I'm thinking a higher area of land & maybe a spring or small waterfall on the left with taller plants, a stream that would run diagonal left to right kinda like the low area in the tank now and leave the wood more or less where it is with it setting in a boggy area.

Was thinking for critters something like fire belly toads & newts, small fish in the stream & maybe a some kind of climbing lizard like a anole for taller places. I have a friend I can get some pitcher plants from for the bog area & would like a bunch Epiphyte types growing on the wood.

This tank was a reef tank in it's earlier life, So I already have all kinds of pumps, filters, T5's & metal halide lights a bunch.

I have started reading threads here enough to see how much I need to learn, but this isn't going to happen over night anyway. Any suggestions and links to good info & supplies about & for plants, animals, soil, lighting etc would be appreciated. Probably not books though as I'm not much for reading long technical articles, a bit dyslexic but really good with practical stuff.


cah925 05-06-2013 06:19 PM

I've been doing a lot of reading on and

fullmonti 05-09-2013 07:29 PM

OK 90 people have looked at this and only one had any thing to offer. I know I ask a very open ended question & maybe that wasn't the way to go about it. I have read through the latest 4-5 pages in this forum & some vender info & was a great help but still have some questions. So would it be better if I posted specific questions one at a time?

merritt1985 05-09-2013 07:42 PM

You should check out joshs frogs he's got just about everything you'd need. Also have a few other sites I can't remember right now but when I get home I'll post them for you. I think anoles would be awesome, there just something you don't see very often. I'll also post done tank journals for you when I get to a computer. I don't know but it looks like your rocks might be a but big, the might cover up to much soil. Not enough room to plant left over and more open soil means more humidity.

Hobbes1911 05-10-2013 12:28 AM

No pitcher plant will do long term for you. There are not many species that can successfully take the vivarium conditions. Sure you could go with lowland plants, but you also have to remember the size and nephentes grow large. Check. It dendroboard and start reading. There is no one who will be able to give you all the answers and dendroboard had already been suggested. They have a build section, go there and look around! Then ask specific questions, but your best strategy will be to do research and research and then some more research.

If you have specific questions, ask away, but for now go read!

fullmonti 05-10-2013 02:38 AM

I called Joshs Frogs today & talked to a very nice person (Zach), he was extremely helpful! He answered many questions & offered some suggestions. Thanks merritt.

I have had a reef tank with hard corals & kept Discus, both took a great deal of research, so I'm sure your right Hobbes. It really helps to get started/pointed in the right direction though. Thanks for the info on the pitcher plants, I found a website that sells them & emailed some questioned along those lines & have not heard back as yet. Next stop the dendroboard.

Thanks cah for help input too & if any one wants to add anything else it would be appreciated.

merritt1985 05-10-2013 07:02 AM

you should check out this build too

greekquarist 05-11-2013 09:20 PM

Looking at your discus setup I am sure this will be a great build! Much luck!

fullmonti 05-12-2013 02:21 AM

Thanks all for info & help. Already learned a lot & still not sure exactly how this will end up being configured. I really like driftwood & fish. I thought about setting it up for mudskippers for a while but brackish water would be pretty limiting on plants & tank mates. I'm looking at some large manzanita wood from Manzanita Burlworks. If that works out the setup will be built around the wood, probably with dart frogs & some fish.

I'm looking forward to this project but still have to find a home for my Discus first. They cost a bundle & the good venders sell out every month but I haven't found any one that wants any of them for a reduced but not a give anyway price. Guess a give away price is where I'll end up. Here's a link to a video of my fish. As nice as I believe this paludarium can/will be I will miss them.

the_deeb 05-15-2013 10:02 PM

That's a great looking tank. I really like the way you terraced the substrate with those big rocks. Are the rocks real or some sort of module?

Sorry to see the discus go but I think this tank could make for a spectacular paludarium. As mentioned already, dendroboard is a terrific forum. You might also want to check out my old paludarium build thread (link in my signature).

fullmonti 05-15-2013 10:11 PM

Thanks & real rocks. Here's a link to build thread for the tank
Check it out, think you'd enjoy the build. I'll check your out right now.

I really like the dendroboard thanks to all that mentioned it.

fullmonti 05-15-2013 10:32 PM

Checked out your link. Small world, I have seen & enjoyed one of your videos of your paludarium on youtube several times. It was great to see how it came to be & sorry it is no more, at least at your house.

I love the little vining pitcher plants, had already planed to try them. How did yours do in that setting? Are they safe with PDF?

Again love your old setup!!! Any plans for another?

Fishies_in_Philly 05-31-2013 01:42 AM

i've been away for a while since i don't keep planted tanks currently. i have done a number of paludariums though, and i normally post on frog forum. here are a few resource threads i have posted there:


lighting: (nothing new

plus you can check out my build threads in my sig. hope this helps

fullmonti 11-23-2014 01:43 PM

It's been a long great trip but my paludarium is up & running & I love it!!!

Build thread link It's a long one but lots of pix if you don't want to read everything.

As you can see the dendroboard was a big help. Thank you all so much for the start up info.

I have had a fish tank of one kind or another since the 60s, a paludarium is my fave by far.

Thanks again

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