Paludarium? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Hello all,
I have a 110 gallon tall tank (48x18x30), that I have been flip flopping on what to do with. First, I guess here is some of my background. I have always kept goldfish, and currently have a 55g setup with some fancies in it. I stumbled across this forum, researching other things, and have fell in love with the tanks on here. I saw the post by AzFishKid, on his 90 gallon build in the tank journals section. But he made so many changes in the 90 or so pages I am not sure what I need lol. So basically, I want the misting system, and rainfall, with fog. All I have now is the bare tank (not drilled), so every other part of the system can be flexible. The flora I would need extensive advice on what would be appropriate, and for the wildlife, I guess the only definite requirement would be some cool frogs. So an anybody help me? I think the system that AzFishKid, had a fluval fx5, and a co2 systems, for the filtration parts, but I am not 100% sure. I do now that his setup was a riparium, and that did not have the land mass I would need for the frogs. All of this is new to me, coming from a fish only background, so all help would be greatly appreciated.
P.S., the wife says she wants neon tetras in the water, so would that be suitable?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:55 AM
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You know, every time I consider a paludarium I feel clueless. I've been hanging around my lfs, which also sells paludariums, and learning a lot by asking them questions. It might be another source for you while you learn what you can on the forum.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply!! I wish I had a lfs that was like that, all we have here is a pet smart. I have been doing alot of reading on this forum, and others about these. I believe I have come up with my basic design, now I need to figure out my plumbing. I was thinking of doing an overflow box located against the back wall of the tank, but if I drill holes for the piping, then that would stop me from ever changing what this tank could be used for. Any suggestions for a plumbing setup?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 05:07 PM
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You might still consider something more like a riparium-style setup. Compared with a paludarium it is generally easier to plan, assemble and service a riparium because you don't have to build a complex 3D background. If you do something like that setup that AzFishKid kid made with a big manzanita stump out in the midground then you could still have some abovewater habitat for frogs or other animals and everything would still be movable/removable. Another advantage of a riparium setup is that you don't have a big background structure taking up the water space, so there is more room for fish. There are some really cool plants you could grow in a setup like this. There are a couple-few members in the Sponsors And Power Seller Specials section selling real nice large manzanita stumps.

I haven't really tried to keep frogs or other amphibious animals in riparium setups, but several frog hobbyists have suggested African reed frogs as a possibility. Some of them live in swampy habitats, so they would be accustomed to climbing around in foliage above the water. They are nice and small too and thus less likely to trample the plants. There are a number of them available as imports but I guess that people haven't kept them very much so not a whole lot is known about their specific care requirements or breeding. Here is a Wikipedia image...

Image credit: Alfeus Liman
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, hydrophyte!! Like I said I am still flip flopping on what to do with this tank, and it does seem that the riparium would be easier to do, so I can get my feet wet lol. BTW do you run the riparium supply website?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 06:17 PM
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You know one of the coolest kinds of setups that you could do in that tank would be a brackish riparium. Last year I got a start on something like that in a 65...

I didn't follow up with this project very well and got a kind of busy with other stuff and failed to put better lighting over the tank, so most of the plants flaked out on me.

There are several really compelling features of this kind of setup. Some of the coolest kinds of both fish and plants grow in brackish estuary environments and I have already tried several of those kinds of plants with good results. Here are a few of them...

Pandanus tectorius

leather fern

Cryptocoryne ciliata

black mangrove

You probably wouldn't want to keep frogs in a brackish tank, but there are two kinds of fish that would interact in really cool ways with the abovewater portion: 1. mudskippers 2. archerfish. A big manzanita stump would be perfect for mudskippers to crawl around on. Scaping the underwater portion of something like this would be easy too. You could just use some white aragonite reef sand and drop a nice piece of manzanita right in there. You can see in that picture above that the manzanita contrasts real nice against the aragonite.

A misting system would also go real well with a tank like this. Those plants don't really need high humidity, but the misting system would look cool and it would also help to rinse accumulated salts from the leaves. I understand that archerfish sometimes spit a lot, but if you use RO in the misting system and direct some of it toward the front pane of glass then that will wash away the waterspots that the archerfish make.

This is a really good idea. I don't know why I haven't seen anybody else do it yet(???).
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2012, 03:33 PM
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It would be a little harder to do with this big of a tank, but you could fairly easily create a paludarium by siliconing a glass divider of the desired height into the tank, creating a wet and a dry area. If you're up to a bit more of a challange, you can create a waterproof barrier using rock and silicon similar to what I did in my Tiger Salamander paludarium. If you set it up with enough height on the water side, you can easily incorporate a riparium look to the aquatic side, balanced by a nicely planted terrestrial side.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2012, 11:20 PM
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That's what I was thinking as well - with the water depth of 8-10 inches the planter cups would fit in just fine (they are 3.5in tall and about 3 in wide or about 3.5 wide with the suction cups in use). From guessing, it looks like 3 would fit in your water area. I also think the Pandanus would look great in your set up. I won't be much help on the plumbing as all my tanks are non-plumbed. Looks like Wy Renegade would be a big help with the cool set up he just put together.

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