Turning lemons into lemonade (potential 360g paludarium build)
For reasons that I'm too heartbroken to discuss, I'm taking down my 360g marine reef aquarium. Suffice to say, it has a structural flaw and I don't trust it as an aquarium any more.
That said, it's still intact and structurally sound, but I'm not comfortable keeping it full to the brim with water - so I'm entertaining other uses. My first thought is to transform it into a vivarium or paludarium. So, I'm doing some research - firstly to verify that this is a reasonable concept, and secondly to learn HOW to do it, what I can keep, and so on!
The tank is 6' long x 4' wide x 2' tall. It's built in to a wall such that the "font" side is fully visible, and only portions of one end and the back side are revealed. The other "end" is against an adjacent wall. I have plumbing and electrical run to the tank from it's life as a reef aquarium, so the "support" systems are all there. I have equipment to provide for heating, ventilation, filtration, and so on. My plan is to create a divider wall, maybe 10 - 12" tall, across the tank, such that half of it can be a shallow water feature (in the range of 80 - 100 gallons, most likely) and the other half can be dry land. I would like to heavily plant both sides, and "scape" it with rock, soil, driftwood, and so on to look like a natural jungle river bank.
That's about the extent of my plan at this point. I've kept marine aquariums for about 18 years, and have had an occasional freshwater tank, including a few "high tech" planted tanks. So I think I have the basics of the hobby down, but this is definitely new ground for me, so I have lots of questions:
1) Is this even reasonable?
2) Good sources for info on the plants for the "dry" side of things? i.e. species of plants to use, care info, and so on?
3) Good sources for info on the potential animal life on the "dry" side? Frogs? Other amphibians? This is totally new ground for me. I've done some research on dendros and it looks achievable, but very, very little of the info I've found has been about paludariums, and none of it has been about setups on this scale. It would seem a shame to put a bunch of time and effort into a 1/2" long dart frog that I never see because it's so tiny compared to the size of the tank. What species would be appropriate in a tank this large, while still having reasonable care requirements?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts, links, or advice.