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Old 03-17-2013, 05:04 AM   #106
hydrophyte
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This is such a great setup.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:26 AM   #107
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Omg this is Amazing
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:39 AM   #108
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Wow I was soooo happy to see an update on this old subscription of mine pop up in my User CP!!!

Awesome update, it's so great to see how well the setup has filled in and done with the passage of time- always speaks well to the quality of the initial setup!
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:34 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnomecatcher View Post
I tried going back to look at the pictures of how you set it up, but the pictures URLs were all gone. I'd be interested in seeing how the tank was built, so if you don't mind or have the time, maybe you could upload them to your Photobucket?

This is a gorgeous set up and very inspirational! Love it.

I'll go back and update those photos. I should have them on this computer.

Some of the missing photo's are in my photo album here. The links changed for some reason.

Regards,

Last edited by JDowns; 03-18-2013 at 08:49 PM.. Reason: because I wanted to :)
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:05 PM   #110
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wow! Truly amazing. Great job.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:28 PM   #111
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Thanks for that! I didn't realize you partitioned the tank off like that. Seems like a good idea, maybe I'll stick that in my ideabox for the plexiglass riparium that I would like to build.

What kind of substrates did you use for the land areas? Just plain potting soil, peat moss, etc?
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:08 PM   #112
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The soil for the land area was a mixture of an organic potting soil made by a local greenhouse which is very close to Black Gold's Organic Potting Soil mixture, nursery charcoal, and ADA Aquasoil that I had left over. Basically at a ratio of 2 parts soil to one part Aquasoil to half part charcoal. I also through in some clay I had left over from other projects. The soil is still very arid and retains moisture well. By design all mist water will trickle through the soil and the soil guard mesh into the void area below and back into the sump. The sump is on a trickle pump that constantly keeps the waterline and overflows into the void areas and back through the duct work where the fans are. This also serves to keep humidity high and temperatures down.

I could work up a basic schematic how the systems works.

One thing that has amazed me is how long the manzanita has held up. I did not expect the wood to last this long under high humidity.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:39 AM   #113
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There's no need to draw a schematic, I think I have a pretty good idea. It seems like it's working, evident through your happy plants. High humidity set ups deter me because it just seems like so much work to get it right.

I wonder if manzanita has some sort of anti-fungal properties. Or if it's just really dense. Don't know, most of the manzanita that I have collected in Oregon is pretty weathered.

Did you use any expanding foam or grout in the construction, or is all the driftwood just stuck in place?
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:59 PM   #114
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The manzanita is held together by its own weight and how it naturally rests on the bottom. I few small pieces I zip tied together. The only expanding foam used was in the construction of the base of the land areas. I lined the glass with plastic wrap, placed in the egg crate, laid down the weed guard and wrapped the weed guard down between the glass and egg crate, then foamed the edges. This created a solid seal around the edges stopping soil from entering the lower voids along with creating the pressure needed for the air circulation system to function properly. The other place I used foam was inside the cork logs that line the edges to hold them in place so they wouldn't float up with the water level.

High humidity isn't to difficult. Just give yourself plenty of variables. More vent then you think you may need that can be plugged or unplugged. Out of the six that I drilled I only use two. Variable speed fans for circulation. One thing to remember is as the tank matures and plants become more dense or with seasonal weather patterns come and go you may need to adjust things. I was fortunate with this setup that once I added LED's it was fairly simple to dial things in. It just takes patience and make slow adjustments over a longer period of time. Much like fertilizing a planted tank.

After this tank settled in. I only use two of the six vents. Circulation fans set at 7.5 volts, and the misters come on twice a day 8am and 2pm for 1:58. I maintain humidity here in Arizona at 80-85% with temps between 75-78. The front of the glass never fogs up. It takes very little fresh air from circulation drawn across the front glass for the glass to remain humidity free.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:26 PM   #115
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What was the plastic wrap for before you put in the egg crate and weed guard? Protect the glass?

I have a tank that I want to make into an open top paludarium/riparium. I have no idea how to build a waterfall, but I was thinking of using expanding foam to hold together some driftwood/cork bark. I am a little apprehensive about putting expanding foam right on the glass.

LED's are really great. They're my lighting of choice.

Maybe since you already know a lot about keeping humid set ups, you might find it easy. All that equipment is too troublesome.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:37 PM   #116
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Yes the plastic wrap was to protect the acrylic. If I screwed up the foam would easily be removed from the tank with the egg crate. Once the foam is set and dry the plastic can easily be ripped off at the edges. Expanding foam works well (pond foam) also Gorilla Glue works really well for bonding bark to wood. Gorilla glue will expand up to five times and bonds really well to various objects. You can mix in small quantities Gorilla glue with wet sphagnum moss and a little bit of clay dust and create a natural looking cement. Be sure to wear rubber gloves. You can experiment outside the tank with a mock up design before you perfect your methods. If your waterfall is going against the glass in a tank then you could make a mock up of the tank out of 1/8" mdf. Line that with plastic and then transfer the finished mold into the tank later.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:39 AM   #117
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That sounds like an excellent idea! I hadn't even thought about making it out of the tank first. And how about covering the expanding foam to make it more natural looking? I could do a similar thing with Gorilla glue that you mentioned, but cover all the exposed parts of the foam.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:11 PM   #118
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You can cut and shape the foam once you are done. For covering the foam you can do one of two things. Once the foam skins over but not yet dry you can cut a slit in the foam and apply sphagnum moss or whatever your material of choice is. Or you can let the foam cure, then use Gorilla Glue. Also once the foam cures you could use a heat gun to melt the foam temporarily then apply your covering material. Lots of choices.

This is a timeline photo of this tank over the years.

Edit: Nevermind the timeline. The forums keep converting .gif into .jpg for some reason.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:19 PM   #119
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Put the timeline photo into PB.

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Old 03-21-2013, 10:40 PM   #120
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I like that idea, I'll try and procure some spaghnum. I really look forward to this project, thanks for the suggestions!

Nice time lapse.
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