Well, I picked up a used Exo Terra 24"l x 18"d x 24"h terrarium last week for a super price! Had some water spots on it as the previous owner kept a panther chameleon with a misting system. He only had the tank set up for 2 months and then switched to a screened unit so his loss was my gain!
With a good razor blade and water I was able to get all the water spots off the back, sides and doors. The hard water spots actually came off real easy!
So I'm in the planning, hunting, gathering stage of my viv build. At this moment in time, I simply have the terrarium. As the title states, I'm planning to keep a crested gecko, maybe a mated pair. My build thread will be modeled after grimm's vivs and the these initial pics which have a manzanita (ghostwood) root with the branches coming down into the water portion. I'm currently on the hunt for that special Manzi root piece. As soon as I find it, I'll post pics.
Background constructed out of GS, titebond III wood glue with coco fiber and saragrassum moss mixed in for the top third and the titebond with a brown sand mixed into the bottom (submersed area).
I may drill the back with 2 x 1" holes for the incoming zoom med repti fogger line and the canister filter that I will use to run the waterfall and circulate the azuarium portion.
Lighting: Exo Terra 3 x 26watt hood with 3 x Walmart 26w T2s but may pop for a 4 x 24w HO T5 Hood with 6700k bulbs
Meter: Exo Terra Combo Temp/Hyd meter, this is still up for selection
Right now my plans are to place the root in the middle and free fall the water and the fog down the root into the water. Will use red eco soil in the aquarium part and plan to plant mini anubias, with java fern. Fish: probably some small neons and a couple shrimps. The root branches will be facing and dangeling down into the water. I will of course use some gravel to provide a second area fro the gecko to get out the water if he falls in.
I think I'm convenced as to separate my land and water area using a false bottom for the planting in the land area with a buildup with egg crate with drain line tubing in the planted sections so I can drain as needed. I'm really not set or sure on the meter selection. Is the zilla combo meter similar to the exo terra as far as accuracy or not?
also possibly considering a digital aquatics herp controller. Ran the reef version on my reef tank and it was fantastic, loved it. Not sure if I want to pop for the bucks on that yet though.
I think I may not drill the back of the tank and just carefully take my fogger supply piping and in/out from my canister filter up and over the tank. Will probably build a vertical riser box tower in the center out of egg crate, foam, and coco fiber background to allow the piping to come into it from above. This will also allow me to access the seperate waterfall pump and serve as the center feature of the stump waterfall. Will probably just use rigid pvc piping out and over the top (through the screen) and paint the pvc black with krylon fusion paint.
Am also considering a 4 x 24w HO T5 hood with 6700 bulbs in stead of the 3 x 26w exo terra hood. This will allow me a little more light for the water plants in the aquarium and the possibility to go to 2 x 10,000k fixtures for more crisp lighting look. I use these 10,000 k bulbs on my planted waterfall tank and love the look.
any recommendations for plants for this build? I'd like to go the home depot / lowes route or local nursery if possible
Hope to have progress pics up soon, but not in a big hurry at this point.
All ideas, insight and info welcome!