Trying my hand at a paludarium (56k warning)
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:18 PM   #1
dubvstudent
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Trying my hand at a paludarium (56k warning)


Well the regular tank looks great and is filling in nicely so I need a new project.

I found a used 25 with some equipment on craigslist for $50 so I snagged it. I took off the top rim (congrats to the factory workers at all glass aquariums, they put that sucker on tight). After spending about an hour manhandling off the top rim i noticed the bottom rim had a crack in it and was loose. I flipped the tank over and literally just lifted it off. I have noticed a lot off people will remove the top rim and leave the bottom intact. What effect will removing the bottom have on the strength of the bottom pane of glass (especially in terms of stacking stone in the tank now)?

The tank still has some hard water stains on it but I will try to remove them with vinegar and see what effect that has on the stuff.

I have been thinking about the best way to tackle the separation of soil and water and have come to the conclusion that this is the most efficient method: See crappy ms paint drawing

I will angle and silicone in some acrylic sheets and use silicone to attach gravel to their fronts and the back wall of the tank. the top (shallow acrylic planter) will house some sort of hanging plant (probably creeping jenny) and flow down the back hopefully hiding much of the background.

Any thoughts, criticisms, or suggestions?

Last edited by dubvstudent; 04-07-2011 at 01:38 AM.. Reason: photos removed
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:22 PM   #2
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interesting idea with the angled land areas, I have not seen it before. As far as the de-rimmed tank I have no experience with it so I cant offer facts, I would think if you have any hesitation or the silicone on any of the inside edges look thin there is no harm in re sealing it or adding another layer. But paladariums tend to be only filled about half way or less so it wont stress the joints as much as a filled tank.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:28 PM   #3
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Yeah, I figured the angles give more water area while still leaving an adequate soil area for deeper rooting plants. I plan on leaving a layer of corse gravel in the bottom still and a strip of air line tubing that goes down in one corner in case I get excess water in there. That way i can just hook it up to my Toms aqua lifter and pump it dry slowly.

Has anyone ever tried the silicone and gravel background idea? I have seen alot of people trying a lot of things to add structure/texture to the background but never like that.

Im gonna try to work on it tonight and hopefully snap some pics.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:31 PM   #4
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in my paludarium project i have smeared silicone all over the glass that divides the land and the water and pressed pool filter sand into it... it looks ok but i will be hiding as much as i can with my scape. If you check the link in my sig you can see what i have done, the pics of the waterfall section show what i have done with larger rocks to create a trickling stream effect, but i wouldnt try this approach on a vertical pane of glass as rocks of this size dont stick as well to the silicone and i wouldnt want one of them falling into my tank.

also most silicone available for aquarium use will not adhere well to both glass and acrylic so you may have to consider using glass as the divider (this is what i discovered when researching for mine)

Good luck and i hope to see some progress soon
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:12 PM   #5
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Okay... So the angled dividers didn't work out. I suspect that they might have if I used some heavier material, but 1/8th inch acrylic is pretty flimsy. The gravel however stuck to the acrylic just fine and the divider is now siliconed in place.
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:45 PM   #6
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I have completed the basic structure. I have some ideas for plants that I want to use but the more I think about it the more I want to wait until spring and use materials from the lake. This might become more of a lake Ontario shoreline biotype...

We shall see.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:47 AM   #7
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I have attached some updated pics. From what I have been reading this isn't a true paludarium. I guess it is closer to a vivarium, but with an open top, more like a riparium... Its just a mess in general right now. But I have put a few plants in there an figured out the whole waterfall situation.

The last pic is a light bulb I purchased for this thing. It is a 42w 6500k cfl screw in bulb made by brinks. I found it at walmart and I thought it would be perfect. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it will not work in a standard socket. Anyone ever tried one? WHy don't these things work?

For now it is lit by a 26w 6500k spiral cfl.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:48 AM   #8
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I like that a lot, maybe too much......

***sneaks off to garage**
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:07 PM   #9
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Did some more work on the tank and I have to admit that I am pretty satisfied with the results.

I'm contemplating whether or not to put some type of lid on this thing. If I do I might try to house some sort of frogs in it, not sure yet though.

I suspect that I will need more light.

The moss is just gathered as is alot of the stone and driftwood.

I need to do some more research on humidity requirements for some of these plants, but more or less I think I made some hardy choices.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:44 AM   #10
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That looks great. good work

it would be great to see some frogs in there i think
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:44 AM   #11
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couple new pics. Everything is growing which is a plus but I can't figure out what to put in in. I was thinking about dart frogs but the ppl over at dendroboards.com say that the setup really isn't ideal for them. I'm looking for ideas as to what to put in here. With the lid on there is quit a bit of humidity so I think I can do alot of reptiles but I want something that will enjoy the water section as well as come on land. Anyone got ideas?

Might put a betta or some livebearers in the water as well. I haven't really decided yet.








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Old 04-07-2011, 04:00 PM   #12
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Firebelly toads would work if you didn't have fish, because they are poisonous.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:00 AM   #13
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJiqerR_VfE

quick vid
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:19 AM   #14
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More or less I have abandoned my original concept in lieu of a more traditional vivarium. I was just having too many moisture issues with the original design. I might add some leaf litter and buy some dart frogs for it but I will need to culture some fruit flies first.

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Old 06-05-2011, 12:41 AM   #15
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I bought a few bromiliads to add some color and purchased a couple dart frogs (dendrobates auratus I think).



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