My South American Paludarium! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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My South American Paludarium!

Hello All. I came here looking for some info on some future projects I want to do and I figured I'll post some pics of the new paludarium I just put together.

It's really a trial run. It was my first attempt using Expanding Foam to build a natural looking background. I think it came out really nice and I cant wait to setup a larger tank.

I used an 18" Cube Exo-Terra and I used Expanding Foam as I just mentioned. I built a waterfall in it using some 1/2" OD PVC tubing running behind the foam. The far left side has a really nice looking cascade now.

Used some driftwood and grapevine I had lying around (dont expect the grapevine to hold up forever in a humid environment, as said this was a trial run). So far it seems to be fine though.

I'm using a Supreme Ovation 700 filter hooked up to the waterfall I made. I am using Purigen instead of Carbon in it as Purigen is not supposed to steal nutrients from the plants like carbon does. I used the CL Bark Bend to hide the filter. Using a tetra preset (78F +/-2) 50w heater which for 12 bucks works surprisingly well. Havent figured out how to hide that from view yet. Next paludarium I am going to Drill/Plumb it as I dont want any equipment visible in the tank.

Plants include some Anubaias nana, A. nana "Barteri", Asst. Crypts, Green Bacopa, Java Fern, Purple Waffle Plant (Smaller emergent pond plant), and some Jave Moss in the Pond. Have some Pelia and Christmas Moss on the way, not sure if I am gonna use them in this tank though as the ponds already planted pretty well.

Terrestrial Plants are Fireball and Liliputiana Bromeliads, Tilandsia Mel. Tricolor, and 3 small epiphytic orchids of which I am not sure the names (friend gave them to me). Looking to get a few more epiphytes, especially some with color as the tank is predominently green right now.

Fish include 5 Cardinals, 3 Rummynose, 4 Glo-Lites, and a sm African Butterfly that I am probably gonna move into his own tank. I wanted to keep it all south american but I always liked them so I bought him on a whim. He's doing fine but its under 10g total water so he'll be too big eventually anyway. Threw some red shrimp and 2 chocolate gouramis in also even though they are asian species, they are doing great though. pH is perfect at 6.8, just a little acidic.

Anyway, here are some pics. First ones show how cloudy the water was initially due to the tannins. Last pic (in next post) shows the water being Crystal Clear after putting Purigen into the filter. Cleared it up in under 4 hours, that stuff is incredible!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Some more pics.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 11:31 PM
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it looks fine, but DIY paludariums are actually nicer than those that are commercially available.

check out this page: https://www.plantedtank.net/articles/...to-Journal/28/

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 11:36 PM
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Looks nice. I would get some more broms, maybe some neo fireballs or something big and bold. (They are probably a bit too big for your tank though.. but get some colors) Also get a background creeper to fill in and it will look great! (AGA judges loved them, as long as they weren't "overgrown"

Nice water section, it seems you've got a lot of fish in it though.

-Andrew
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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@[email protected], this was a DIY setup. I didnt use the exo terra background or any artificial plants. I did everything myself. Unless you mean the tank itself and the stand, lol.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Hill View Post
Looks nice. I would get some more broms, maybe some neo fireballs or something big and bold. (They are probably a bit too big for your tank though.. but get some colors) Also get a background creeper to fill in and it will look great! (AGA judges loved them, as long as they weren't "overgrown"

Nice water section, it seems you've got a lot of fish in it though.

-Andrew
Yeah, have a few more fish in there then you normally would put in an 8 gallon aquarium but the depth seems to give them plenty of room. Right now the water quality if perfect, but if it starts to change due to the number of fish I can always move some off to a seperate 10g tank I have setup.

There's actually a couple fireballs in there but they arent showing any color yet. Black Jungle mentioned a hybrid of Fireball and Liliputiana, but they didnt have it in stock last I checked. Thayt might be an interesting one to try.

Any recomendations on the creeping plant for the back wall? Something that wont take over the whole tank, lol.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2008, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goanna View Post

There's actually a couple fireballs in there but they arent showing any color yet. Black Jungle mentioned a hybrid of Fireball and Liliputiana, but they didnt have it in stock last I checked. Thayt might be an interesting one to try.

Any recomendations on the creeping plant for the back wall? Something that wont take over the whole tank, lol.
Well strong lighting helps them color up usually. I would checkout Aaron at frogbroms.com I think he may have changed domain names since he upgraded greenhouses and stuff but It should redirect you.

I would recommend the classics, creeping fig and mini ivy for filling in the back, but there are many other choices these days.

-Andrew
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2008, 09:55 PM
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oh sorry the background looked a lot like the exo terra. now looking at the picture of theirs i see the difference. the only recomendation i have is maybe add a land section and add some moss, maybe plant a small fern.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Well, this tank has ben up and running for over a year now, and it was time for an upgrade. .

I recently ordered a glass drill bit for a new tank I am setting up, and after I successfully drilled that tank, I thought "Why not drill the exo terra and setup a canister filter on it!"

So, I ordered two more 1/2" bulkheads from the LFS, a new Eheim 2211 canister, and some 3/8" to 1/2" adapters from a computer site (xoxide.com, they are used for PC watercooling).

I cleaned out the whole tank, reserving the substrate, water, plants, etc to be put back in later. Rinsed down the glass and dried it off, and then drilled and installed the bulkheads. I put the intake under the water level close to the substrate, since the water volume is so low I dont want it to run dry, and the return got installed up higher but is then attached to the tanks existing 1/2" PVC plumbing that's embedded in the foam background.

I am just waiting the recommended 2 hours for the PVC cement to fully cure before I fill her up and test everything. The benefit to this whole setup now is the Eheim 2211 has much more filter media then the little submersible filter I had in there that would get clogged every week. Having the filter outside the tank benefits me in another way, so I can clean the filter as often as needed without having to worry about the day gecko running out and me having to chase her all around the living room, which is not fun, lol. Also that filter took up a decent amount of already limited water space. So now there's a little more room for fish in this setup.

I am thinking about rescaping the water area. I have some anubias and java fern in there but I was thinking about maybe doing something for ground cover. I like HC but not sure how well it will do in this environment. Any recommendations will be appreciated.

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