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Old 02-17-2012, 04:36 AM   #16
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I like where you are going with this and I have a few comments.

I would be a bit hesitant to use the Ponderosa pine chunk ... I don't know how long you've had it, whether its been kiln dried, sealed, etc. but pines and cedars tend to exhude oils toxic to animals (plants too). Short of sealing the wood, I think it's safer just to steer clear of these woods.

As for substrate, have you considered ABG (Atlanta Botanical Gardens) mix? Many amphibian breeders, especially those who specialize in dart frogs, use ABG as the substrate of choice. It contains a lot of "chunky" material to prevent the substrate from getting compacted and promoting anaerobic decomposition. For a high humidity environment, I would suggest a layer of hydroton or leca, a sheet of weed block or fine mesh, then layered with ABG, and finished with a smattering of dead leaves. I would strongly discourage premixed potting soils unless you get some without added fertilizer, and definitely avoid perlite as it will stick to amphibians and causes impaction if ingested.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:53 PM   #17
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Idk if the land mass is enough for a full grown tiger. They get near 8" long and are way more terrestrial than aquatic....
Yeah, that is what I read on line and what all my research showed as well. Mine after two years are only about 6" and for some reason they spend all their time in the water side rather then in the terrestrial side of the existing tank. I'm not sure that I have a large enough land area for them, but if it doesn't work out I'll do something different for them, and use this one for something else.
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Great work, can't wait to see the final product
Thanks - me either. Hopefully hydrophyte gets the Ion Brick shipped out soon.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toksyn View Post
I like where you are going with this and I have a few comments.

I would be a bit hesitant to use the Ponderosa pine chunk ... I don't know how long you've had it, whether its been kiln dried, sealed, etc. but pines and cedars tend to exhude oils toxic to animals (plants too). Short of sealing the wood, I think it's safer just to steer clear of these woods.

As for substrate, have you considered ABG (Atlanta Botanical Gardens) mix? Many amphibian breeders, especially those who specialize in dart frogs, use ABG as the substrate of choice. It contains a lot of "chunky" material to prevent the substrate from getting compacted and promoting anaerobic decomposition. For a high humidity environment, I would suggest a layer of hydroton or leca, a sheet of weed block or fine mesh, then layered with ABG, and finished with a smattering of dead leaves. I would strongly discourage premixed potting soils unless you get some without added fertilizer, and definitely avoid perlite as it will stick to amphibians and causes impaction if ingested.
Thanks so much for taking the time to look, but especially for the comments!Appreciate the feedback on the Ponderosa - based on your input I believe I'll pass on that, since it has been treated in none of those ways. Really appreciate the comments on the substrate. I'm off to check on those items now. Everything I read said not to add any thing with added chemicals, so I was assuming that meant all those slow release fertilizers, but wasn't sure. Also very good to know on the perlite as well.Thanks again.

Last edited by Wy Renegade; 04-16-2012 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:34 PM   #19
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Default Hardscaping

Well its been so long, I bet you all thought I had given up on this one LOL. Actually the last two months have been spent filling, finding leaks, draining and trying to get them stopped. Finally go the last one sealed off last week and ran the tank for a full 24 hours with no leaks. Here it is after I drained it for what I hope will be the final time, so I could add the hardscape portion of the aquascape. My wet/dry shop vac proved to be a huge asset on this project!


Saturday I was finally able to spend some serious time putting things together. In the initial build stage, I created two pockets in the aquatic portion of the rockwork to provide pockets for aragonite sand.

The right hand pocket near the barrier wall;


And the left hand pocket in the left rear corner;


I used hydrophyte's Ion brick substrate as my base throughout the rest of the aquatic area, sloping it up from the front to the back and from left to right to create a deeper pool in the front left corner. I placed two large pieces of lava rock that contain Rabbits Foot ferns, a piece of driftwood and several larger pieces of larger black river rock into the Ion Brick substrate, and then planted a Ruella plant that I also aquired from Hydrophyte that has outgrown the smaller tank I was keeping it in.


I then covered the remaining ion brick with polished river rock to create a stream bottom look. Here's a shot just after it started to clear-up;


I decided the polished river rock was too uniform in color and size, so I had to make a quick trip to the local hardware store to pick up some additional polished rock of different sized and markings. Removed all the original polished river rock and then added the new and finished with a scattering of the original. Here's a picture of the new look when the water started clearing up;

Last edited by Wy Renegade; 07-13-2012 at 05:03 AM.. Reason: replacing pictures
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:14 PM   #20
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Looks good. Can't wait to see this finished.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:40 PM   #21
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Looks fantastic! I have always wanted to build one like that. Hate to say it but what you have there is a Paludarium not a Riparium tho... Ripariums have no land, but regardless of names it looks amazing!
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:06 PM   #22
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It does look fantastic! You're going to have a great home for your salamanders. Have you decided on what mix you will be using on the right side?

Looking forward to seeing your updates!
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:14 PM   #23
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Looks good. Can't wait to see this finished.
Thanks, I'm looking forward to it myself, especially since it means that monstrosity I'm currently using can go away.

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Looks fantastic! I have always wanted to build one like that. Hate to say it but what you have there is a Paludarium not a Riparium tho... Ripariums have no land, but regardless of names it looks amazing!
Thank you - yeah that whole name thing LOL, I waivered considerably on that from a vivarium to paludarium to riparium to vivaquarium. Finally I just picked one. After spending some more time researching, I reached pretty much the same conclusion you did, in that paludarium is most likely the correct name. But alas, a little too late for my title.

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It does look fantastic! You're going to have a great home for your salamanders. Have you decided on what mix you will be using on the right side?

Looking forward to seeing your updates!
Thanks - the current mix plan on the right is Earth-Gro topsoil and reconstituted coco fiber in a 50/50 mix. I looked for the ABL, but nobody in the area carries it. On the Caudata site they indicated the Earth-Gro (available at Home Depot) will also work.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:35 PM   #24
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Is GE II safe for riparium animals? I know some report having issues with fish when using it.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:05 AM   #25
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Default Filtration

With the tank in its final placement, I was able to complete the plumbing on the filtration system. All the attachments to the bulkheads are plastic and the hose attachments to the bulkheads are locked in place with plastic locks. Here's what it looks like top-down;


I seeded the ZooMed 501 with a sponge and material from the aquaclear filter on my bog tank. Even with the added filter materials, the filter still pushes a pretty good current;


The overflow is hidden behind the permant rock structure in the back left corner, and both the overflow elbow and the overflow strainer is black so without looking very carefully, you can't even see it. The return on the other hand as you can see in the above picture is very visible, so I had to hid it under a rock;


After running for two days, the pH is testing a just above 6.5, which while in the range of the acceptable is still lower than I prefer, so I won't be adding anything living beyond those few plants for a bit yet.

Last edited by Wy Renegade; 07-13-2012 at 05:00 AM.. Reason: replacing pictures
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:09 AM   #26
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Is GE II safe for riparium animals? I know some report having issues with fish when using it.
Personally, I think this is one of those topics that will be debated till the end of time LOL, but here is my personal take on it. All GE type II is not created equal. I have tubes of GE II that say 100% silicon and say nothing about mold or mildew resistence in clear, white, and black. I also have tubes of GE II that say mold and mildew resistant on them (usually labeled as indoor/outdoor). I also have tubes of aquarium silicon and GE type I (in the same colors) that say 100% silicon and nothing about mold or mildew resistance. So long as its 100% silicon, it should be aquarium safe although if you read the tubes, they all say not aquarium safe (except the aquarium silicon). I've never had any issues with type I or type II so long as its the 100% silicon and not the mold or mildew resistant version.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:15 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by FinalJenemba View Post
Looks fantastic! I have always wanted to build one like that. Hate to say it but what you have there is a Paludarium not a Riparium tho... Ripariums have no land, but regardless of names it looks amazing!
Interesting! I tried to change the title, and while it shows in the editer that it is changed, it doesn't change it on the site. Oh well, not the end of the world.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:50 AM   #28
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awesome build so far!
i'd very much like to see your current "ghetto setup" for the salamanders- sounds intriguing xD
are your salamanders wild-caught?

only one problem i saw-
on the initial post, under "vertebrates," you had crayfish...
crayfish are inverts too :P

but really, this is something i'd like to do in the future... subscribing!

EDIT: why not add something to raise the pH (not chemical, natural... something calcium? limestone, maybe?) to the water?
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:36 AM   #29
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very unique build, lookin forward to seein it progress

I do have a couple questions. how do you intend on maintaining water level with your inflow there? just seems like a couple days evap and you could be suckin air, but maybe you've added something I'm not seein or maybe I'm just seein it wrong. Also, what's your main water source? I've been tryin to figure out ways to lower my pH since I live in a hard water area..

You mentioned orchids earlier, sounds sweet! still plannin on that?

Good luck with the rest, I'll be watchin
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:38 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatB View Post
awesome build so far!
i'd very much like to see your current "ghetto setup" for the salamanders- sounds intriguing xD
are your salamanders wild-caught?

only one problem i saw-
on the initial post, under "vertebrates," you had crayfish...
crayfish are inverts too :P

but really, this is something i'd like to do in the future... subscribing!

EDIT: why not add something to raise the pH (not chemical, natural... something calcium? limestone, maybe?) to the water?
Thats easy enough. Here's a picture of the old ghetto set-up from the exterior;


And here's a shot of the interior;


Good catch on the crayfish LOL - I fixed it (I think).

In regards to the pH, I'm hoping the two pockets of aragonite sand will accomplish just that. Under low pH, the aragonite should dissolve and raise the pH. Devin indicated that the Ion brick will cause the pH to lower for the first week or so, so I'm hoping the effect is only temperary.

Last edited by Wy Renegade; 07-13-2012 at 05:07 AM.. Reason: replacing pictures
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