A few weeks ago I was on Craigslist and came across a free de-rimmed 20g long aquarium. It was in rough shape when I picked it up. Cracked on one side, dirty, etc. I had wanted to do something different for awhile, had been doing planted aquariums for over 3 years- I decided to experiment and try for a vertical vivarium.
I already had a 20g vivarium full of plants that I could harvest from as well.
I went with special kitty litter clay background- even though I have read a dozen horror stories about collapses, and sliding. Figured I was on a tight budget and wanted to keep things cheap. If it doesn't work out, no real loss other than time and effort.
I collected some nice looking pieces of wood from private property- keeping in mind it was a vertical viv that would possibly house some small tree frogs in the future.
The wood is somewhat rotten, which is great for moss and plant's, but bad in term of holding up more than a year. It already had moss growing on it, however mosses from northern climates die in indoor terrariums due to the heat and humidity.
I would like to one day setup a high tech terrarium capable of growing cold climates mosses. The moss on it will die in a matter of weeks and the tropical mosses I add in should take over nicely. I also hiked a local stream and collected some rocks.
I also made a custom soil mixture- Peat sphagnum, sand, topsoil and coco fiber.
The base is gravel and small stones, along with some play sand. Then the soil mixture on top.
The plant list is still growing as I have ordered some plants online from a friend- keeping it on the cheap side still!
Ficus Pumila Quercifolia
An unknown Philodendron vine collected in Florida (non-native)
EpiWeb Moss mixture (I have heard good stuff about it)
Mediocalcar decoratum orchid
Dwarf watter lettuce
Might add a Brom pup as well.
Most of these aren't planted in the tank yet. I'm worried about my lighting.
I'm using 2 garage dome clip lights, 23w CFL bulbs, 6500k. I'm hoping it's strong enough to get good growth throughout the entire tank. Again my purpose was keep things cheap, I think both lights and bulbs came to 20 dollars.
I guess I will find out!
I also ordered an acrylic door kit from josh's frogs. It was just hinges, latches, and a handle. I already had some acrylic pieces in my garage to use for the actual door. So far it hasn't worked out. I put the door together using silicone. Unfortunately it falls apart- the silicone isn't strong enough. Will have to find a different adhesive.
I will keep updating as it moves along and grows out.
Some pictures below