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Old 07-14-2012, 02:06 PM   #1
joseph64
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Paludarium Project


Well Iíve been in two minds about writing a journal for this build for a long time. In fact just over a year.

I started the tank May 2011. I then went away for the summer, chasing work experience, and upon returning home I swiftly moved out to join a student friend in a house share while I completed the last year of my degree.

The tank sat in my parentís garage for this time with the occasional visit from me in which I would sit and stare longingly at it, dreaming of what it could be one day...

Last week I moved back with my parents and I once more have time on my hands. There had been various threats to the continuation of this project in the last few months as job prospects surfaced down in Cornwall where I had been spending my last two summers. But there was no promise and while I did get a call eventually, I had already decided that I should go do what Iíve wanted to do since I was ten, rather than wait around for a maybe.

The tropics have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Itís why I have recently been trying to emulate it in a large wooden box! When I started the project, I had no thought of actually going to the Amazon. But the conditions have been right for me to screw sensible convention and chase a dream. I am flying to Nicaragua, first stop of my year long solo adventure, on September 1st. This isnít a gap year, though. I mean not to come back.

So I have two months. Two months to finish what started a year ago and has seen desperately poor input up until now. But I feel confident I can complete 90% of what I started out to do; that is to say, make it a functioning wooden box. I aimed to use something like Arduino to get some impressive automation in there Ė intelligent rain bar, lighting, temperature monitoring and adjustment. But thatís way off now. My aim is to complete the landscape, have the water flowing nicely, and plant it up. Depending on the future I may return to it. For now, however, itís a gift to my mum who is herself a lover plants.

So anyway, enough rambling, Iíll show you some pictures and will keep this as regularly updated as I can. You understand with two months to go before disappearing for a year, I have lots of other priorities as well.

Incidentally, the only reason I am writing this and not working on it now is because I messed my fingertips up by playing with the tile grout with bare hands.

But I really enjoyed reading otherís journals when planning the project, and still look for them now. I learnt a lot from them (about as much as I have by doing it). I hope Iíll learn more with some input from you folks who actually know what youíre doing. I know Iím an amateur, and what I am doing is pretty ambitious, but I hope in two months time Iíll be able to post something Iím proud of.

I just looked at the calendar. Itís more like a month and a half. Oh holy cow.

Maybe by posting Iíll be able to miss out some trial and error and keep to the goal...

Iím still rambling...

I donít know how to upload pictures to forums (will find out later) so for now here is a link to my flickr page. Or search melmoth64.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/melmoth64/
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:07 PM   #2
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
Guns286
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Hey. Good luck with your trip! Sounds like it will be a great adventure.
I have to say though, I'm a little confused. If you have a tank and the time to work on it, why are you building your landscape in a wooden box? I may have missed the explaination and if i did, i'm sorry. But a Paludarium has water in it. If you are planning on using the wooden box, then you cant put water in it. Again, I'm sorry if I missed something. Anyway, the Flicker pics look good. I hope you post the pics here, eventually, with explainations about how you did each step.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:18 AM   #4
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Indeed, your initial steps look good. Unfortunately I can't help you with flicker specifically, but usually once the image is uploaded to these hosting sites, there is a icon you can click for an image code and you simply post the image code into your post and the image will appear when you submit it. Clear as mud? Looking forward to more explainations and and pictures.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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@ Guns286
Sorry, to clarify, the tank is the wooden box (or vice versa!). I'll be using a pond sealer on the landscape to make it water tight. Then I'll add the glass front (which I have sat behind my wardrobe ready for use), sealing that in.

As someone has rightly suggested, drying times are gonna be a bit of a problem. Still waiting on the current layer (one before last) to harden up a bit more before I finalise the shaping and get painting.

I know I'll have to paint in brighter colours as the sealer will darken the tones quite a lot. I need to experiment a bit there.

@ Wy Renegade
I had thought Flickr was a 'hosting site' - well actually I had no idea what a hosting site was until you said it and googled it. But I had thought I could upload to here from Flickr.

I'm no techno-phobe, but I have lots to catch up on with all this I'll sort out the photos soon. And will add in descriptions, too!
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