65 gallon Iwagumi style Paludarium for vampire crabs. - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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So this weekend the family had nothing on the books so I kept it that way and made some real progress (finally) on this tank.

First I started with a basic skeleton I made out of egg crate and zip ties. This is the framework that will hold the lava rock and form the waterfall portion.



Next I added some planters to the structure as well as some walls for what will be a shallow pool.





Then I siliconed in the egg crate along with a material called hygrolon, this is a material that is very good at wicking water and will help to keep the clay/sphagnum moss wet. I cut this to shape by basically just eyeballing it.







After the silicon dried I created the cork bark mosaic. I arranged the cork bark to have multiple ledges to increase overall usable area in the tank. I arranged it with no real rhyme or reason other than to create the most visually appealing layout and also creating as much horizontal surface area as possible to increase the amount of usable land area for the crabs. I then siliconed all the cork to the back wall and sides of the tank. One concern I have is the upper most piece on the left side of the tank. I am hoping it will not impede the opening and closing of the lid of the tank. Only time will tell and if that is the case I will have to remove it.

After the silicone dries the gaps in between the cork will be stuffed with sphagnum moss and clay.

Will there be enough cork?



Finished product.



Sorry I didn't get more pitures of this process but you have to move fast when doing it. I am happy I made some actual progress. Next step will be arranging the lava rock and foaming them in.

Well that's just like.........your opinion man.


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post #32 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 05:57 PM
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Looks great so far! Seems like you made some nice progress. Keep the updates coming!
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post #33 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Looks great so far! Seems like you made some nice progress. Keep the updates coming!
Thanks! I was arranging the lava rock how I'd like it for the waterfall feature while it is still on its side. I am almost ready to foam the rock in place.
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post #34 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 04:07 AM
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Make sure you have a lot of land area as the crabs spend most their time on land. They mold in water (or at least that's where I found most molts) but they live on land. They also bury so make sure your substrate is deep enough.
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post #35 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Make sure you have a lot of land area as the crabs spend most their time on land. They mold in water (or at least that's where I found most molts) but they live on land. They also bury so make sure your substrate is deep enough.
Thank for the advice. I'd Like to think that with all the space with the background along with the land portion they will have plenty of terrestrial space. This ain't my first rodeo with vampire crabs. I actually found at least with the crabs I have kept that they spent far more time in the water than conventional wisdom teaches. Could be that their favorite food were pest snails.

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post #36 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Arranged the lava rock and started foaming. Unfortunately I underestimated how much foam I would need and couldn't finish. I am planning on getting some more tonight. I am wondering how the new foam will stick to old foam I am assuming I will need to sand or cut the old stuff to roughen up the surface so the new stuff can take hold.





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post #37 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 10:06 PM
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post #38 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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I started carving foam last night and forgot how time consuming it is. I think I have enough foam in place that I could sit the tank upright and no rocks would shift. Still have a little carving to do then I am going to foam in a few places I missed with it still on its side, then I am going to flip it upright to foam in the two basins the one at the inflow and the one on the lower level.
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post #39 of 40 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Got done craving foam then decided to foam again with the tank on its side. After carving again i decided I needed to foam again with it sitting upright. So much foaming and carving but it's finally done! I think I will scrap the lower basin as it is just too hard to see where to carve it out and I am not sure it would look how I envisioned it.

Any one who followed my previous tank will know my main goal was to get some lush moss growth on the clay walls. I have some encouragement for this in the form of one of my dart frog vivs. If I am starting to get this in a viv with no water feature and only hand misting I would like to think it will happen once this one is done.





Bump: I also tried over the weekend to bond the main 2 rocks together using the cigarette filter / super glue method and failed miserably. I think the glue I was using (gorilla glue brand) was more of a gel type than liquid and just sat on top instead of soaking in and causing the reaction. It could have been worse as the rocks are not stuck together so I can try again. Anyone out there that can recommend a good glue to use?

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post #40 of 40 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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So did a little research on super glue and the video I found he was using loctite 401 (in case anyone was wondering) so I went ahead and got some thru prime. 2 Days can't come fast enough.

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