My first post here (I think, maybe second?) but I have been browsing these forums for a pretty long time before my I registered.
So, I have been looking into building a small paludarium for a while on and off now, and I'm closer to pulling to trigger than I have been. Wanna eventually do a much larger build, but just for the sake of trying things out I want to start small, and before that I have questions. I've done some of my own research, but always seem to end up without final answers.
I want to do a 10g paludarium with a base of expanding foam that I'd shape according to my whims (muahahaha!), and cover with some sort of fert/soil. The expanding foam would, on one end, build upward to a level that would reach over the water and be the land portion of my project. Prior to fully enclosing the expanding foam area, I want to have tubing (PVC possibly?) with a powerhead on one end drawing water and a trickling waterfall spouting on the land-end that would find its way back to the water.
For filtration, I was hoping to do some kind of internal power filter, but have no experience with them.
The end goal would be to have a dwarf baby tears carpeting the underwater portion, and some combo of plants/dry ground on the land with return water coming from the land via the waterfall. I don't have much experience with plants, and I have none with carpeting. Would this require supplemental CO2? If so, is there an alternative to a pressurized CO2 system?
For this build, I would like to have either 1-2 nonschooling fish or a small school of neon or black neon tetras. That said, I'm not sure of the safety with possible amphibious (or reptilian?) tank-mates. I'd like to do 1-2 firebelly toads or newts, but tank temp is a concern that it looks like I won't be able to overcome. What other possible inhabitant combos can I look into?
Hopefully when I post this it isn't overwhelming long, as it has felt while typing! Next time I'll draw up a diagram or do some kind of sketches