any ideas for a deep unheated paludarium? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2003, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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I've done alot of looking but never found much on deep paludariums. My problem is that I have pond envy--I want a pond but can't have one. I want plants that stick out of the water! The paludarium seems like an interesting option. I'd want one that is mostly aquatic with a basic aquarium filtration system and just an "island" built up, perhaps on the side. Sounds simple. Due to evaporation my tank is often pretty close to that!

The catch is that I already have the fish who would live in this paludarium (is it still a "paludarium" if it's mostly water?). And they're large cold-water fish. Let's just call them "goldfish" and say this paludarium will have to be around 75 degrees F. I need to replace their 75g tank anyway...

So I was thinking of just buying a larger (or at least taller) tank than what I have now, throwing in an island, filling it up almost all the way, and treating it like an aquarium. Does it work like that?

I'm missing something obvious, aren't I? Any suggestions would be appreciated! :shock:
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2003, 06:03 PM
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This is something I have been pondering about too... some thoughts:

1) How are you going to built the "Island"? I think this is a great idea to maximize the water volume (and not needlessly fill it up with substrate). Just build it up from the bottom? or create a "swimming island"?

2) There is a lot of plants that grow out of the water, or even terrestric plants that will grow into the water (like Lysimachia nummularia for example). Problem will be your goldfishies might just eat them.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2003, 06:05 PM
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I guess it'd still be a paludarium if there is a mixture of land/water. What I'd do is fill the tank most of the way up and then buy some plexiglas sheets at Home Depot and build up the walls above the water level to keep the inhabitants in. You could just use aquarium silicone to hold them together. Wouldn't need to be waterproof or anything, either. Just mount the lights on top of the plexi walls.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2003, 07:17 PM
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An interesting idea for building Island in a mainly water paludarium is to use tall buckets. Just fill them up halfway with styrofoam and then add the substrate of choice. Plant them like you would plant a flower pot. Place the bucket in the water and hide it with rocks and bogwod. This will allow you to get the emersed look, while still maximizing the water amount. Hope this helps... mario

I remember seeing this done before with beautiful results. I will try and hunt down the website where I saw it.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2003, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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My island wasn't going to be much--maybe just a big log sticking out to which I could attach some plants. I wasn't planning on any terrestrial or amphibious creatures (but I know I'll be tempted). By "swimming island" do you mean something attached to the wall that the fish could get under? That would be worth doing because I don't want to reduce swim space too much. This would be foremost a replacement fish tank, and I think the fish look crowded in their current tank. I could probably have a larger island, too. Or a cheesey bridge with gnomes fishing on top!


The goldfish themselves don't eat plants much. They will uproot anything that isn't well-potted. This leaves me with potted or floating plants that plecos don't like because there are going to be plecos here as well. I guess that's one reason to try the paludarium. If the catfish crawl out of the water to eat the terrestrial stuff then i know they're pure evil!

Any advice on acrylic vs glass? I have a feeling I'll end up scratching acrylic with rocks and things, but if I'm sticking them in position with silicone maybe it won't be an issue.

And how do you prevent water deposits from forming at the waterline? Do those get razored off (another reason to go glass)?

By the way, this thing has to house two comet/feeder type goldfish and two plecos, each about a foot long, plus two 6-inch kissing gouramis, and one hard-working Chinese algae eater (5 inches). They aren't a pretty bunch but they're family. :P

Thanks for the ideas, guys!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2003, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mori
By "swimming island" do you mean something attached to the wall that the fish could get under? That would be worth doing because I don't want to reduce swim space too much.
Exactly, something attached to the back, like a triangle shape, to be filled with some kind of substrate. I don't like soil or peat or moss, I would prefer to go hydroponic and use gravel or -- better -- fired clay.

And perhaps even have some kind of accessible compartment in the back to house a fluorescent tube with a little reflector to light the area underneath which would otherwise be dark...

It's all in my head... no idea if it is possible to do.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2003, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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the bucket idea is intrigueing--it has the added benefit of being able to go back to water easily if things don't work out. i should always incorporate an escape plan for failure!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-11-2003, 12:50 PM
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Actually, the most interesting palurdium I have seen. Consisted of a piece of driftwood. However I am guessing it was part of a root system or something since it had several roots coming down from it. then the person sawed the roots and the top to get it kinda even and used glued black pvc tubes to steady the log. With a black background and the combination of black pvc tubes and black eggcrate, you can barely see the framework from the front. Above the water line is a line of Cork Bark with epilytic plants and she has drilled holes in the driftwood for some pothos vines and java fern has grown up the side. The centerpiece plant is a bromeliad in the center of the island. The rest of the tank is planted but this is not a cold water tank.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 02:42 PM
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This is a slightly complex solution, but you could frame the upper trim of your existing tank with a wider lip. This lip should extend above the top of your rim, all around the tank. Similar to how the inner lip of your upper rim is, so that it can hold a glass top, or light fixture. Except, this will be used to hold another tank ontop of your existing tank. Build the island so that it fits inside the rim where your light fixture would normally go.

The tank on the top should be upside down, like it is a porcelan doll glass bell. I wouldn't suggest doing this with two 100Gal. tanks. However, two 20Gal. Longs or two 40Gal. Breeder tanks should work fine.

Make the lip that holds the two tanks together about 4 - 6 inches tall, so that you can leave a gap that is wide enough to feed the fish, and allow hoses and stuff to still be used. (See the picture)

If you want better access, find a tank with one side that is smashed, (For a discount. Remove the broken side by cutting all silicone with a knife, and have a glass cutter make you two doors. Where the glass was, place two double-rail sliders, one on top and one on bottom. Now place this upside-down on top of your other tank. The top tank now has full access to the lower tank, and to the island area. (Critter tanks are great for this, because they have thinner glass, not designed for water holding. This will translate into less stress on the lower tank.)
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