Paludarium project - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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Paludarium project

Hi all!

I am new here. A 42 year old educated male. Work in health care. Back round in bonsai, koi pond building.

My latest hobby and what brings me here tonight is my paludarium project.

Here is my set up: 55 gal tank. Bow faced front. I used great stuff foaming insulation to create a waterfall and cliff side which i then embedded some cups into for planters.

I did my very best to seal the great stuff in with clear 100% water proif silicone from home depot.

The final layer of silicone got a bunch of rinsed red lava rocks, round river rock and sphagnum moss pressed into it.

I know, i know! Thats a lot of chemicals! This project is well 2 months in....

I now have an aquarium heater with water set at 74f, a 511 turtle canister pump/ filter, fluorescent vita light, extra in pond small pump for a current. I have filled and emptied HUNDREDS of gallons and tested and retested the water at my local pet store after leaving the tank running with plants and moss clinging to the artificial cliff i created.

So far, ive killed about 9 .19 cent gold fish from pet smart.

Once a week, i try again to add a few and they end up dead in 24 hours.

This is my best go today.... Goldfish has lasted over 27 hours so far. I cannot tell if he is well or sick.

I did notice that the goldfish at pet smart are crammed ina tank & theres always a few dead ones.

I'm welcoming all criticisms and advice. My goldfish may be dead by the time your reply.

The plan is to add frogs, newts and salamanders when this thing isnt a death trap.

I will try to include photos. Sorrybut i am on an iphone and still goofy on thos site.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 04:57 AM
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Hello @Budo00. Nice start to your project.

Feeder goldfish are often in poor health from the pet store. Like you said, dead fish in the tank. Plus they are cold water fish so that heater isn't helping their situation. Try a couple of zebra danios instead. They are extremely hardy and can easily survive the nitrogen cycle. Have you read up about the nitrogen cycle? If not I highly recommend. It's quick and easy to understand. Hope this helps!

"Be the change you want to see in the world"
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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Good points, waterbearr

I was wondering if anyone has seen poisoning from great stuff or silicone before & what does behavior do the fish display?

Is this crappy pet store goldfish that is already sick issue or a toxic water issue?

Aquarium is about 74... Is that too warm for goldfish? I though that it was ok for them to go from the petstore 65f to 70f to a bit warmer temps ?

Oh and you mention starting the tank. I have had it running about 1 month and when it first was started, i added some pee in it. Since then have done about 6 water changes. Havehad the water tested several times at the pet store and it is fish safe (so long as its not filled with some unforseen toxin from the foam insulation or silicone.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 05:01 PM
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What kind of silicone? If you got GE Silicone II or some other kind with fungicide that'll kill stuff quick.

Also I'd do lots of research before mixing amphibian and/or reptile species.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 04:27 AM
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Cichlids are probably the hardiest fish around. As long as you don't mind having to catch them again Convict cichlids are great. I had one that survived several days in an unheated bucket by accident.

Most likely those are feeder goldfish, they are intended to last about 10 seconds in the tank as they are basically just prey for larger fish.
I had a 2" giant snakehead that finished off about 15 small goldfish and doubled in size in the next few days, they are basically living calories lol.

I would try with Livebearers, Zebra Danio, Hardy american cichlids like convicts etc
I would also recommend getting a handful of substrate from an established system, from a friend or an LFS, then their beneficial bacteria can distribute in your substrate. Alternatively some filter media from an established filter (ceramic rings, spongies etc) kept in the tank water from the same system and transported back to your aquarium and then put into your filter (transporting it in its own water will stop any bacteria from dying in transit)

Good luck with your project it looks like you did a great job with the background
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