65g column project--first paludarium build - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Cara@BML's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 145
65g column project--first paludarium build

Just [mostly] finished converting a Marineland 65g column tank--which I'd never liked working with as a planted scape, into a setup where it's height was an advantage. It's taken far longer than I imagined, but I'm pleased with the results thus far.

The entire project started as a home for my mini orchid collection and emersed Crypts, but has slowly evolved...as these projects seem to do.





From above, while still adding orchids:



Moved it off the living room floor and back onto its stand today, so water will be added this week and the waterfall will start running. Then it will be time to test for any nutrients leaching into the water and add sand a Buce's. Still a good amount of work to do, but almost there! The real test will come as the plants settle in and grow!

Lots more build pics, if anyone's interested.

Cheers,

Cara

Has a LiCor and knows how to use it.
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 04:22 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
Posts: 30
This looks awesome!

I love the look of the background.
Osomini is offline  
post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Cara@BML's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 145
Thanks! It's been a ton of work and research...I started it the week before Thanksgiving and just got it off the floor today. Yes, sitting in the middle of my living room floor the entire time--the sight of bare floor is kinda amazing now.

Has a LiCor and knows how to use it.
 
post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 10:36 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Centennial,Co
Posts: 1,836
Nice to see your a user! Would love to see some more build pictures. What did you use for the basic structure.
BruceF is offline  
post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Cara@BML's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 145
Thanks, Bruce! Oh yeah, longtime hobbyist and user. I'm always in the middle of some sort of new build or project, you know how it is.

Here's the steps, from beginning to the plants going in:

First stage was research and gathering all the materials.



I used egg crate for the false bottom on the land area.



I also siliconed in egg crate on the sides to reinforce the foam background. The egg crate structure in the bottom right corner is a false wall to hide the filter intake tubes.



Checking to see if the land section of egg crate fits.



Bump:

Bump:

Bump: I didn't glue in egg crate on all three sides because the completely enclosed tanks make me feel claustrophobic, so I tried for an organic trailing edge about halfway between front and back of the tank, using a heat gun to melt and re-shape the egg crate.

With the false bottom in place (temporarily).




Testing out various pieces of wood.




Getting net pots in place, to be covered in foam so that there are planters imbedded in the background.



Bump: In order to cover the egg crate in the water section of the tank, the land section false bottom came back out, and the Great Stuff foaming commenced.

The many build threads I'd read had me convinced Great Stuff foam was the messiest, hardest-to-control substance ever and would end up everywhere. In my experience that was not the case, fortunately! Especially since I didn't really bother with gloves or drop cloths to protect the floor or other normally-prudent investments....

Foaming time



The net pots were covered in foam to provide planters up in the wall. I've since poked holes through the bottom of them to allow for drainage. Also, you can see the rolled-up tube of plastic sheeting inside the filter intake false wall...since Great Stuff foam doesn't stick to it, I used it to prevent the intake area from being filled with foam.



Then the cork bark pieces were placed and squished into the Great Stuff foam while still quite wet.



Finally, the land section was going to be heavy enough to require extra support but I didn't want it to be highy visible, so I cut some PVC pipe, set it upright in a cylinder of plastic sheeting, and filled the whole thing up with foam.



Bump: The tank had to be rotated as each side was foamed, but before the sides could be done, the false bottom had to slip back in place. A dremel with sandpiper grinding bit proved very handy in cutting out the groove so it could fit in place, and also left a lip of foam around all the lower sections to provide extra support for the land section.



The glaring flash in this pic is annoying, but allows one to see the differing textures in the foam. The matte grey areas are where it's been dremmeled or carved down, the shiny areas are the original dried foam surface. Eventually all areas were shaved down. I probably should've worn a face make while doing this....



Then it was time to brush Gorilla Glue onto the foam background and pat peat down into it...and this step was just as messy as predicted on other build threads. The peat/glue mix will probably be gone from my fingernails by April, since no gloves. Notice a trend here? Also, zip-tying the branch into the false bottom made for much tighter maneuvering than was necessary...should've waited to add that after the background was done.


Has a LiCor and knows how to use it.
post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 04:27 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Centennial,Co
Posts: 1,836
This is great stuff Cara but your helpers look a little unimpressed. I am curious about how your plants do. I always seem to drown orchids when I try and grow them in closed environments. Are you planning on using a lid?
BruceF is offline  
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Cara@BML's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 145
Ha...the "helpers" were very unimpressed, Bruce!

I have to use a lid, even with daily misting everything dries out too fast to stay happy...particularly the Crypts. With a lid cracked up, I can keep humidity up enough that things look better. Once the bottom third is filled with water and the waterfall is running this may be less an issue, and I'm planning on adding fans and misting system to increase humidity or ventilation as needed. The whole setup will eventually be automated, but that is likely another month or two off. So for now, heavy misting twice a day.

A lot of orchids are fine with high humidity as long as the water doesn't sit on them, which means if droplets aren't evaporating off in an hour or two you may need a fan. And when I initially moved all my orchids into a holding tank I noticed a period of acclimation to the higher-humidity environment from dry house air, but then they settled in. Lots of types of orchids though with a variety of demands...what were you keeping?

Has a LiCor and knows how to use it.
post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 05:52 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Centennial,Co
Posts: 1,836
I don’t really know the types. I suppose they were Dendrobiums of some kind. First we dried them to a crisp then we drown them. I do keep a few aquariums with emersed plants but I always seem to have problems with them being too dry or too wet. I suppose that means I need to understand the venting and the misting parts better. I have a 10g that is full wall to wall of the crypt nurii but every time I try and grow it emersed I seem to kill it off. I suppose you are right in that the transitions are the biggest problems.

I’m interested in seeing how you work all that out.
BruceF is offline  
post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Cara@BML's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 145
Oh yeah, Crypts get really unhappy about transitions...move them into a setup that is high humidity and spray them down every day and they'll convert. They may melt off a bunch of leaves in the process, but they'll pull through. Crypts are one of my favorite groups of aroids, but they're whiny...they love to display all their complaints.

Has a LiCor and knows how to use it.
post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 06:56 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Alaska
Posts: 455
wow, another awesome build... this is looking great. love the journal pics! keep us posted!

JD
Learner is offline  
post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Cara@BML's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 145
Thanks, Learner! Water and substrate went in last night, so as soon as it clears up there will be updated pics. Picked up a few more plants this weekend too.

Has a LiCor and knows how to use it.
post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2015, 04:44 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
knm<><'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oahu, HI
Posts: 788
Looking forward to the update!

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
| Mr Aqua 7.5 Cube Paludarium | Zoo Med Nano Tall & Small Tall Vivariums
Fraternity of Dirt #168
knm<>< is offline  
post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2015, 02:21 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Iowa City, IA
Posts: 263
great build. nothing more rewarding then building your own setup
what are you using for a substrate on the false bottom? I've had a hard time figuring out what to use in the past


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Nestle_ is offline  
post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2015, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Cara@BML's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 145
Hi Nestle,

I went for overkill on the false bottom, I think, but I figured that's better than getting my terrestrial plants soggy if the water level is too high.

Layers (from bottom to top):
egg crate
screen over the egg crate as a substrate barrier, zip-tied down
porous clay pellets (brand is Plant!t, a Hydroton dupe)
ABG mix (from Josh's Frogs)
Plants added into the substrate
Live sheet moss (also from Josh's Frogs) and some more sphagnum to help with moisture retention

So there's a lot of layers there, most of which are hidden by the spray foam edge. I think the best proof of a good setup is the test of time, so I'm still a few months away from being able to say this project worked...thus far one of the Crypts has melted and now sent out new leaves (the other was completely unfazed), one orchid is looking really unhappy, and everything else is just settling in and growing slowly but surely.

The waterfall will start running this evening and I need to add more sand to the bottom, but the bulk of the build is done. And our best local greenhouse/nursery got in some great plants, so I've added a few species! Ficus pumila var. quercifolia and even a little Drosera (sundew)! Here's the pic from last weekend as I was tossing sand into the bottom (and on the glass):



Also, I just got word that a really REALLY cool rare aroid may be heading to the paludarium...in which case, I may start pulling out more common species in here and going with more of a Malaysian setup. We'll see though.

Has a LiCor and knows how to use it.
post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Cara@BML's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 145
http://youtu.be/3Yis2hN609o

Got the waterfall running, so the only thing left is a ventilated lid with fans and perhaps a misting system. In the meantime, here's a brief low-quality video of it today.
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome