Extending a fish tank upwards - paludarium - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Extending a fish tank upwards - paludarium

What I want to do is take my 40 breeder and build a plexiglass canopy on top of it which encloses an area two feet above the tank. So the internal area of the plexiglass enclosure would be 36" x 18" x 24".

The plexiglass enclosure would be mostly airtight to keep humidity in the paludarium and light would shine through the top. It would need to have doors or a removable panel on the front in order to allow access for care and feeding.

The 40 breeder would be filled to its normal capacity, the whole "paludarium" space would be above the normal water line.

I was thinking of using a wooden frame built into my stand - basically wooden uprights on the corners of the tank would extend 2 feet above the top of the tank and plexiglass or polycarbonate panels would be attached to the wooden uprights.

Has anyone ever done this before?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 02:12 AM
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Sounds like you are describing a riparium rather than a paludarium, unless you were going to have a land area. Maybe you were.

Your idea is novel to me; I haven't seen it done before. Thin plexiglass does have a tendency to warp in those conditions. You would either need active or passive circulation to prevent condensation. But it would be fun to see. Keep us posted.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tzen View Post
Sounds like you are describing a riparium rather than a paludarium, unless you were going to have a land area. Maybe you were.

Your idea is novel to me; I haven't seen it done before. Thin plexiglass does have a tendency to warp in those conditions. You would either need active or passive circulation to prevent condensation. But it would be fun to see. Keep us posted.
You are correct that what I am describing is more of a riparium. However, the water section of the tank will house plant-unfriendly fish so I may have to get creative with my plantings and maybe build some sort of land section. I want to leave most of the space in the tank for the fish though.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 04:33 AM
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This would seem to be an acrylic tank upside down on a glass tank? If you made your own you could make it to sit on the lip inside the top frame of the glass tank. And, with no water pressing out on it, you could use something like 1/4 inch thick sheets to make it, so warping would be lessened.

Why should it be nearly airtight? If it were somewhat ventilated the condensation problems would be far fewer. And, if the light were a foot above the top of the plastic it shouldn't heat it enough to cause warping. (But, it would take a lot of light to get reasonable light at the bottom of the glass tank.) This should be a very entertaining project, so I look forward to seeing how it goes.

About the riparium style planters: to get a land area you could make an acrylic shallow box, supported by suction cups, or much better, by magnets, that would be as large as you want the "land" to be. Just to brainstorm: you could buy, on Ebay, a acrylic dome, maybe 10 inches in diameter, then cut it in half, to have a quarter of a sphere. Glue a flat acrylic sheet to the back and it holds water or dirt. You can buy magnets that could hold up a ton, so that would only be a problem in that handling really strong magnets is difficult and extremely hazardous.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 04:43 AM
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Sounds like this might be of interest to you: http://www.glasscages.com/?sAction=ViewCat&lCatID=76
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