Carnivore Cove - Geosesarma Crab Viv Build ***PIC HEAVY*** - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Carnivore Cove - Geosesarma Crab Viv Build ***PIC HEAVY***

Geosesarma bicolor vivarium build
Exo Terra 24x18x18

Started Jan 1 2014

Fauna: G. bicolor crabs
neocardinia shrimp

Flora:
Carnivorous plants- Nepenthes ampularia 'brunei red'
Drosera sessifolia
Drosera spatulata 'fraser island'
Utricularia graminifolia

Other plants- java/taiwan moss
anubias nana
anubias nana 'petite'
anubias frazeri
java fern
hygrophila pinnitifida
Bucephalandra sp.?
Rotala sp.
Riccia

Tools:
Disposable brushes
cheap metal knife
large razor blade
scissors
needle nose pliers
spraybottle


Supplies & Materials:
Great Stuff foam
100% silicone sealant
eggcrate light diffuser
zip-ties
fiberglass screen material
Quickwall concrete
polyester casting resin
acrylic paint
peat moss & fir bark substrate
long fiber sphagnum moss
corkbark
manzanita branches
small fountain pump (harbor freight)
computer fan

( I know this isn't an aquarium, but it's planted, and has water...so its kinda like a paludarium..but not really. Whatever.)

With the success of my quickly put together red devil geosesarma paludarium, I decided to pursue a more advanced and appropriate vivarium build for a different species of Geosesarma crab. I almost gave up on keeping crabs when i build my first, nice paludarium for them and had them slowly die off over time. I also had none of them breed so my small population was not sustaining itself. I completely neglected the tank except for an occasional mist and a glance to see if i had any crabs left. I literally almost tore down the thing one night till i noticed i had baby crabs in the tank! Here and there, and everywhere, I immediately gave the tank more food and attention. I think i ended up raising close to 20 crabs and have fallen in love with them all over again. So, that's how this build even came to be.

I made many mistakes with my first build such as getting poor soil coverage over the great stuff background, too many holes, nooks, and crannies for the crabs to get into and get completely out of sight. I also didn't really know how to use the great stuff, so this time around I was much more liberal with it's use. I also wanted something that kept the tank more humid, short of installing a misting system (which i may still do in the future), so i built in a waterfall feature. I also wanted it to look more like…well, something real. So i made it look like a tree root going into a river or pool of some sort( the waterfall feature kind of breaks this goal, but whatever it looks cool). I also wanted to make this DIY to the extreme, so everything is build from scratch and made with found and bought materials, nothing was prefabricated except for the wood and bark, but that's made by nature, so it doesn't really count.

I also wanted to put few of my passions in the tank: Crabs, plants, carnivorous plants, and art/making/fabricating. So this also highly motivated me to even make this tank in the first place. Im really a noob when it comes to carnivorous plants, but I really wanted to give it a try, and knew the crabs would be fine with them. Specifically the N. ampullaria which some geosesarma crabs actually live in out in the wild. So this will be a big experiment for me with CPs, so we will see.

I'll try to explain things as needed, but I hope most of the pictures speak for themselves. I don't want to have to explain every decision and step in this first post, I'll just let you look and ask.

I will say that I already have some regrets with the polyester casting resin. I may have not let it cure properly, or I didn't mix it properly with the catalyst. It was gorgeous and crystal clear when I put it on and after it hardened, but literally as soon as it was in contact with water for a few minutes and turned a nasty, cloudy, opaque, color which totally lost all the detail in my paint job on the concrete features. So i think i should have gone with some sort of epoxy resin. But i wanted to did it on the cheap, and fish safe which i knew it was ( but i wish it knew it did this before I used it). I may be able to dry the tank out and let it cure better, but I may just say screw it and let the moss and algae grow on it so it looks natural enough.

Please enjoy, and I will try to update as much as possible, but now that it is actually built, it will be more plant growth and inhabitant updates from here on out. But feel free to ask about anything.

Here are some pics of my first crab paludarium.




Here is the Exo when I bought it.


And the build...










Well that escalated quickly!






















Future flora and fauna ...
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 06:15 AM
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Beautiful build, thanks for the detailed pick of the build. I hope to make a viv like this someday.


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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 06:31 AM
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Beautiful and very detailed! Please keep updating with plant growth, crab behavior/feeding!

Hi its Nam =D
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 12:06 PM
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what did you use on the great foam that is under the water fall? doesn't the dirt just wash away over time?


very cool build though!

Will
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 01:36 PM
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Wow man this an amazing tank!!!

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Carnivore Cove - Geosesarma Crab Viv Build ***PIC HEAVY***

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic Delight View Post
what did you use on the great foam that is under the water fall? doesn't the dirt just wash away over time?


very cool build though!

I used silicone and a soil substrate to cover the foam. And I have that screen mesh and a weed blocker material so no dirt falls through. It is separate from the water.
And directly under the waterfall I used a concrete mix and polyester resin to seal it.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 05:18 PM
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very nicely done. love the layout.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 05:29 PM
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Wow that's a great looking tank. Where did you purchase your geosesarma crabs?
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshBA View Post
Wow that's a great looking tank. Where did you purchase your geosesarma crabs?

I actually work at a pet shop. But the distributor is segrest farms.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 06:05 PM
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Awesome build! nice job on the egg create. Where did you find the fiberglass screen material?

75G, 29G, 20L, 12L, 10G, 5 Nano's, 3 Betta bowls


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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NanoDave View Post
Awesome build! nice job on the egg create. Where did you find the fiberglass screen material?

Walmart or lowes should have it.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 02:39 PM
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Very nice looking tank! Brings back memories of my build. What microfauna did/will you add pre-crabs? Also, how does one get bicolor nowadays? I cannot find them really anywhere and it's sad.
What are you feeding the crabs? and what is your humidity like? Are you planning to cover the background with moss/orchids/broms. etc?

Keep up the good work and keep the thread updated!
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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I need to get some springtails from my other red devil crab tank. Because I will be getting the crabs in there soon.

And I get them from segrest farms. So if you have a LFS that gets fish from them. You can get some more.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:59 AM
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I clicked on this purely because I saw the crab name and went 'geo-sa-whatnow?'
Very pretty little crabs! I assume that the first one shown is a female and the second is a male? They're interesting....
Can they swim, or do they walk around underwater? I assume that they would go in the water in some fashion, seeing as how there's a definite water area and not just a bowl...
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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Well typically that could be a female or a young one and yes the second is a male. And they do need fresh water or just a simple bowl of water, but I made a really nice watering hole or them plus a small pool uptop to hang out in as well.
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