Bulkheads are installed and leak proof - had to make a couple adjustments along the way. Pump works like a charm, creating a nice ripple effect at the top of the water. Overall water level is a little lower than I wanted because of the gap between the top two rocks, so I'll be siliconing in another small rock between the two which should gain me about an inch of water level. I did find when I was able to fill it all the way up that I did have a leak, so I have some holes to plug to get everything water-tight. Redrained and waiting for it to dry out so I can seal holes and add the rock.
Pump is a bit loud on start-up, but quiets down nicely once it gets going. Overall volume of water is about 5 to 6 gallons - and the pump moves about 70 gallons of water per hour. So the turnover should be pretty good. Overall movement isn't quite as much as I'd hoped for however, so I may have to look at some other fish options. Anybody have thoughts on a type that does well at room temperature - maybe White Mountain minnows?
Anybody know anything about ripple tubes? I've seen some people saying they work great and others saying they don't work at all. Curious if anybody has any thoughts.
Terrestrial side should begin going together this afternoon, although I can't really add any dirt till the wall is 100% water-tight, so that will slow me up a little.
I'm figuring on a base of small rock, covered with a sheet of landscape fabric with potting soil on top. I'm still torn between the potting soil or a sand/peatmoss mix as that might allow for incorperation of some carnivours plants. With the salamanders being such diggers though, I'm leaning more heavily toward the potting soil. I'll also be burying a clay pot which will later be filled with bark and provide a spot for the Lady Slipper orchid. I hope to get the terrestrial part covered in moss, anybody have suggestions on type?