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Old 12-07-2012, 03:12 AM   #16
Natalie
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The water level will be 12", the height of the overflow.

We've had somewhat of a change in plans. Due to concerns about the Ash branches rotting out too quickly, and honestly mostly due to my desire to have mosses growing in the tree, I am scrapping the Ash branches.

We will build the tree with an internal irrigation system. I will try to make it as similar in appearance to a mangrove as I can. I will make it out of PVC, 1/4" copper tubing (it's for refrigerator ice makers, so water safe), floral foam, Great Stuff, and two to three shades of tinted concrete painted on.

This tree will be quite a project, but could be pretty darn cool if we can figure it out.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:20 PM   #17
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wow the new tree plans sound awesome, really looking forward to seeing how it develops.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:21 PM   #18
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I don't know about using copper tubing. I would be concerned about copper leaching into the water column. While it's not as important to fish, if you plan on having any inverts in this tank, the copper could be deadly. There are much safer and easier to work with materials.

Remember, drinking water safe and aquarium safe are 2 different things. and cement on a diy tree could get quite top heavy. Also with the weight on the branches , if they flex, the grout will crack. Maybe foam/drylok would be a more safer way to go?

Just a few suggestions
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishies_in_Philly View Post
I don't know about using copper tubing. I would be concerned about copper leaching into the water column. While it's not as important to fish, if you plan on having any inverts in this tank, the copper could be deadly. There are much safer and easier to work with materials.
i personally have no clue how copper line would affect inverts but they do make the exact same refrigerator water line out of plastic, another nice thing with the plastic versus copper is the plastic is way easier to manipulate and form.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:16 PM   #20
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Duh....i forgot to mention alternatives, thanks zoo. Yup, plastic works, but is a bit less forgiving when it comes to connections. Quick release fittings work best for plastic. Vinyl or silicone tubing is even more flexible and works easily with push in barbed connectors. It's also less expensive. All are much better alternatives to copper.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:06 PM   #21
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Hey everybody. I am Natalie's husband and helping with the build.

In response to the copper, we wanted to use it for the structure as well so the plastic tubing wouldn't do any good. We are thinking about scratching the copper and using something else, maybe conduit with a tube on the inside of it for the water to run through and then a coating on the outside of the metal to cover it and protect it. We are very thankful for all the ideas you guys are giving us.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:38 PM   #22
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Hi Natalie's husband! If you're planning on making the structure that way, best bet is to use pvc pipe. You can run your irrigation system through it. Metal is bad for anything like this where humidity and water is a factor. Besides leaching of toxins, you run the possibility of corrosion, even with a coating on it. It's amazing where water can get to. Just ask the reef folk about the weird places they have cleaned salt creep from......lol

Another option would be to hide an irrigation system in the canopy. You can run a system like did with my madagascar tank pretty easily and inexpensively.

Also, other options on the tree coming out of the island are use dried oak branches instead of the ash. Or you could plant something live there such as a ficus ;'benjamina' or a tree fern. Growth would be slow, but as you grow, mosses can be added as well. Just a few ideas for you one thing you will find with this forum is there is rarely ever a shortage of ideas
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:19 PM   #23
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like pilly said pvc works great, ive seen a few people on this forum do some amazing things with pvc, grreat stuff foam and grout.

might want to check out these threads for an example
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=198414

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ght=mudskipper
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:34 PM   #24
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If you think PVC might be structurally strong enough (it will) but not flexible enough, you can heat it and bend it, curve it and so on. And it is still water proof. I have seen it done for swimming pool installations.
I would start with something as large as 2" near the bottom, and run some feet out to the edges for stability. (The feet do not have to be 2") Then reduce the size going up as the 'wood' branches off.
When you cover that with Great Stuff you can create the look of convoluted wood.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:31 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie View Post
The water level will be 12", the height of the overflow.

We've had somewhat of a change in plans. Due to concerns about the Ash branches rotting out too quickly, and honestly mostly due to my desire to have mosses growing in the tree, I am scrapping the Ash branches.

We will build the tree with an internal irrigation system. I will try to make it as similar in appearance to a mangrove as I can. I will make it out of PVC, 1/4" copper tubing (it's for refrigerator ice makers, so water safe), floral foam, Great Stuff, and two to three shades of tinted concrete painted on.

This tree will be quite a project, but could be pretty darn cool if we can figure it out.
I think concern about the branches rotting is entirely valid, but I'd just suggest you go with bigger branches. It will still decay, but will take much longer, and in the meantime supply nutrients to the plants. If you want to slow the decay even further, you could soak it with thinned epoxy resin or something.

I've got a chunk of driftwood sitting in a pot that I've filled with plants, and it gets watered almost every day, so the wood never quite dries out. There has been some notable decomposition, but the plants look great, and I don't think the structure has been severely compromised.

Heres a pic, from about a year ago (attachment)

anyways, I've seen some great builds done with pvc/great stuff, but as people said, I'd avoid the copper. I think you'll get all the structure you need from the pvc.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:56 AM   #26
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Excellent suggestions... So inspiring!! A heat torch, PVC, and foam test branch will be coming!!
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:19 AM   #27
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Looking good
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:37 AM   #28
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just out of curiosity, did you secure all that foam down to the bottom of the tank?
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:06 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishies_in_Philly View Post
just out of curiosity, did you secure all that foam down to the bottom of the tank?
Yes. It's held down by weight (35# pot built inside) and a bit of silicone.
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:17 PM   #30
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Cool. I hopes yours holds. mine came floating up, even with silicone attaching it to the bottom. It's amazing how buoyant that stuff is. You've got enough foam there to save a 200 lb man from drowning.....lol
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