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Old 11-21-2012, 06:20 AM   #46
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Fantastic! Looking forward to seeing this one come together as well. You've got some very inspiring builds going right now.
thanks a bunch......inspiration comin form all over the place...fishies in philly has set the bar too high for me I'm afraid, but I gotta start somewhere. lol

I picked up some of those tiny crypts from petco and will be trying them out. I have no rare plants so I am just going to go for it and see what happens. I do love experimentation.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:24 AM   #47
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Agreed - don't put anything super rare or expensive in there. I have a bunch of different kinds - not sure what species - but nothing that cost more than $6 or so at my LFS.
Got it. Hey, my newts are no longer showing any breeding signs. Has something changed in my tank possibly or did the courting and aggressive hugs just not work out for him?
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:35 AM   #48
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So I finally got around to putting on my third and fourth layer of drylok onto the BG. Coloration and detail was tricky and just didnt turn out according to vision, but overall I am still content with the colors.

I need your guys' help with the final little touches to make it look better.

I used titebond for the coco fiber on the walls and I would like to use some of it below the water line (right now it is all above the 9 inch water level). I am however afraid of tannins leaching thru the titebond and into my water. I want clear water for this build. Do you think the waterproof titebond will keep it from leaching??

I would also like some moss on the walls as well. I have used silicone and gorilla glue in the past with the moss from LFS. It of course turns brown in less than a month and often breaks off. Any other thoughts or ideas?? I know with lush plant growth, the BG will be masked a great deal and look much more realistic. I am also not quite done with the detailing just yet.

Anyways, heres the time for critiques. Dont be shy, your only making me and my build better. We spend so many hours working on these things and staring at them, that sometimes its hard to step back and be as objective as we should.
Oh btw, I am almost out of room for attachments. Not sure what I should do.
Cheers mates

JD
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:13 PM   #49
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Got it. Hey, my newts are no longer showing any breeding signs. Has something changed in my tank possibly or did the courting and aggressive hugs just not work out for him?
What's the water temp right now? Sometimes they need sustained cooler temps (into the low 60s) to maintain breeding dress and to get the females interested. Also, young males will sort of 'try out' their courtship behavior during the first few seasons but not make a real effort to grab the females and hold on until later seasons.

Keep in mind that these are long-lived animals: they don't usually become sexually mature until 7 years of age and will live for over 40 years. I've had my adults for more than 20 years. They might still be in the awkward teenage phase.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:41 PM   #50
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Don't worry about tannins in the water. If you mix the titebond and fiber together, the titebond will actually seal the fiber in. And if you do get any tannins in the water, it will be nothing that some charcoal in a filter can't handle.
And i seriously wish i could make my backgrounds as detailed as yours. I just prefer to cover my shoddy craftsmanship with plants......lol
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:30 PM   #51
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Thanks for showing the pic of titebond, too. I had wondered what that was since it was mentioned a number of times. I'm guessing it is obviously water resistant?
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:49 PM   #52
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100% water proof. That stuff is awesome!!
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:25 AM   #53
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Don't worry about tannins in the water. If you mix the titebond and fiber together, the titebond will actually seal the fiber in. And if you do get any tannins in the water, it will be nothing that some charcoal in a filter can't handle.
And i seriously wish i could make my backgrounds as detailed as yours. I just prefer to cover my shoddy craftsmanship with plants......lol
Your crazy! the builds you have gone thru this year are epic. I cant wait for Madagascar to be finished so we can start on the buttress tree build!

as you can see I went with some more titebond under the waterline and added some more details. So glad to hear you havent had tannin issues. I am jsut about finished with the BG and can hardly wait to plant it and get it growing. Forcing myself to be patient and do it right. I want everything cured and set before I add substrate. I am gonna try and silicone the pieces in the tank within the next couple of days. Whaddya think......2 weeks for the silicone to cure completely before adding life?? I will probably wait 3-4 days and then add some water + pump + charcol. Any thoughts or critiques welcomed
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:32 AM   #54
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Color is once again off. The rock looks much darker and realistic than my iphone shows. I think the green from lush plant growth is going to compliment the build and really finish it off. Planning on trying to get java moss to crawl up the tree roots and areas of the BG adjacent to the waterline.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:52 PM   #55
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That looks incredible. Extremely naturalistic. you did an amazing job with it. I think 2 weeks would be overkill. But, when it comes to our little friends, 2 weeks is a pittance to ensure their safety. I would give it 3-4 days before i would start working on the aquatic section. As long as there is no silicone smell, then you're good.

Do you have pics of the little creatures going in this home?

And thank you for the kind words, but they're just tanks. madagascar is about a week away from the start of planting and i think the collaborative efforts of the buttress tank are going to make that one a sight to behold. that's why i love the forums so much!!
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:49 AM   #56
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thanks bill!!! I am down to 4 newts now which is a bummer. I took the top off to do some maintenance and got going on a WC with another tank and one must have made a break for it. Lesson to be had. I'll get some pics tomorrow although their tank has been quite neglected. BG goin in tomorrow if I have enough silicone..may have to go into town and get some more. Keep ya posted
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:09 AM   #57
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thanks bill!!! I am down to 4 newts now which is a bummer. I took the top off to do some maintenance and got going on a WC with another tank and one must have made a break for it. Lesson to be had. I'll get some pics tomorrow although their tank has been quite neglected. BG goin in tomorrow if I have enough silicone..may have to go into town and get some more. Keep ya posted
i really know how that feels. i hate losing critters. i have been fortunate though, that they returned, on their own. one after 2 months...lol but i have a feeling that a newt won't last long

please do keep us posted, and snap some pics when the BG is in btw....i had this really cool idea, about a real collaboration. i'll shoot you a pm later, my clay is done in the oven
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:16 AM   #58
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I'm in for the collaboration......you know that. Let me know whatever you need and we'll make it happen. BTW, I have decided to tear down and redo the waterfall hex tank after the newt build. Will be pickin your brain soon enough on that one! I wanna do something crazy!
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:58 AM   #59
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Here are a few of the little guys going into the new build. Sorry for the low quality pics.

All pieces are glued in the tank and the plumbing seems to be fitting nicely in the corners. I was a little thin on the BG in the left corner and the shadow cast by it doesnt quite cover up the intake as I wanted. Overall I am happy.

Water went in and I am running a small filter pump with charcoal to rid the BG and water of any nasty chemicals. I am going to perform a few 90% WCs before I start planting just to make sure.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:42 PM   #60
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Jake, that looks awesome!! you kept showing us the background, but never the side panels!! great job!! those adorable little critters are going to love their new home!! any plans for flora now that you got everything together? and see? no tannins
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