Duff's 8g tank revamp - Paludarium (ish)
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:31 PM   #1
duff
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Duff's 8g tank revamp - Paludarium (ish)


So my 1st attempt was a failure. The AC filter did not have enough go -go juice to draw up the water and after the 1st power outage of the season the motor was fried and the tank was just too small for a Riparium in the end.

So... It's coming back as something different. This poor little tank is turning into my play/creativity tank. Not sure what it will turn into eventually but it will be somewhere between a Riparium/Paludarium ish tank on the cheap. I am smitten with Paludariums and had to try my hand at carving something. It may end up failing as well but 3/4 of the fun is trying something new

I had a few PVC sections left over from a kitchen re-do and a heat gun I use in scrap-booking/card making. Who knew it would work to melt PVC - but it did great! Here are a few photos of the work in progress.

I envision a land like area across the back, maybe a peat covered something or other for mosses or a few emersed plants. I have an old internal filter that I'll probably use off to the left, hidden by the land area. This time thinking that an internal filter will be easier with the constant summer power outages we have here. We were on rolling black outs last year due to the heat and I don't want to risk burning out another motor. I still think the water area will be too small to house any fish but who knows, maybe a few micro fish later on.

Here is the start (along with my little micro helper )



The bottom of the stump will be cut off after I have the final shape done



I love black foam, what a great invention!



Carved stump - the black shiney spots are the last bit from foam can #1.



Close up of the stump





I am not sure what I am going to eventually cover it in but now that it is carved, I see where I need to add more foam and re-carve it.

Feedback or suggestion on hat to cover it with would be great!
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:37 PM   #2
Quinton1
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Thats awesome!
i use to make something similar for my reptile tank but i used styrofoam to make the design and sometimes covered it with grout but mainly we used that foam. We covered it with Modge Pog (not sure if thats how you spell it lol) but that made it water proof.
But the things we made werent met to be sumberged
Good luck!
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:41 AM   #3
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Thanks Quinton! I'm spending a lot of time learning about making underwater features and their pretty cool. Any pictures of the creations you've made that you can share? I'm thinking grout might be the best way to go but, it's still in the early stages of planning.


Here are a few ideas that are floating around in my head for the end result... The stump will be brown no grey but you get the idea



then I was playing around with photoshop and tried this. I forget how cool photoshop is!

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Old 05-15-2012, 04:51 AM   #4
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Looks interesting, looking forward to seeing it progress.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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Looks good!
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:17 AM   #6
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Thank FitBMX & Schoolzoo!

I played around with it a bit more this weekend and realized that it's just too small for a stump and a water feature so I stuck with the stump. I created a false like bottom with egg crate and a bit of leftover landscape fabric and a few 2 inch pots. If nothing else it has been a fun project to play around with. I still have more carving to do. I created the whole thing to "lift" out of the tank using a sheet of acrylic to build the base on. Once the foam dries for a few days, I'll take it out to finish it outside the tank. I also hid a small internal filter behind the tree stump so there will be a bit of filtration going on.

With the False bottom I am hoping to be able to keep the water just high enough to try my hand at a few emergent plants. I should have enough space for about 1.5inch of dirt above the water and enough space for a few small fish. The land area will most likely be coco-peat mixture and below the water black silicone for the walls and brown for the tree. As for plants, no idea yet but they will have to be small. Maybe a small vine, HC, Parva s.repens or something along those lines.

If anyone has any ideas on Plants, I'd love to hear them







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Old 05-21-2012, 09:00 PM   #7
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Looking awesome so far!
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:34 AM   #8
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More playing went on this week. Finished the shaping to a point that I was pretty happy and coated it in colored foam coat then realized I needed more shape on the left side and added another spot for a plant. 2nd coat finish today and will probably do one more thin coat and mix up a few different colors to play with shading. I made the front barrier deep enough to be able to raise the water up and "flood" it or keep it just below the base to try different plants, thinking dwarf hair grass and some type of moss on the base. Not sure what will go in the planters quite yet.



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Old 05-27-2012, 06:34 PM   #9
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Really awesome work here! cant wait to see it done!
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:53 AM   #10
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Thanks Matt!

Here is a few more shots of the peat background and the almost finished painted tree stump. I'll be adding one more layer of browns and tans to make it look a bit less driftwood like and a bit warmer. I'm dying for it to be done so I can add plants! Here are the photos that inspired the stump

http://myretirementchronicles.blogsp...-of-three.html

Before paint:


After Paint:




So far I have about $25 in the project and the egg crate was the most expensive part at $13.00, 2 can's of great stuff and Titebond III. Peat came from my spring garden clean up. So far it's been the most fun $25 I have spent in a long time!
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:45 AM   #11
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Made a little more headway today. Now it gets to sit till next weekend and will then get a coat of sealant for the areas that will be touched by water. Hurry up and wait!



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Old 05-31-2012, 05:09 AM   #12
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Prooooogrreeeessss!
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:06 AM   #13
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Wow, what a sense of scale. I can't believe this is a 8g. Awesome.
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:00 AM   #14
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that's looking great.
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:16 AM   #15
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i'm amazed you can create so much depth with a 8gal.

Keep up updated
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