building my first paladarium need advice - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: california
Posts: 6
building my first paladarium need advice

hi im a newbie here im building my first paladarium been doing tons of research it and what I want my end results to be.after looking at tons of pictures of paladariums and vivariums if came up with the basic design I want,i plan on housing plants (not sure on aquatic yet but a possibility),fish,my yr old waterdragon and maybe some dart frogs later.i want a large water section with raised landscaping just barely touching the water maybe 3-5",waterfall incorporated in and a diy background with tank dimensions are h:36",W:33",l:24"(plexi), my plans are to have the first foot or so the aquarium portion with a raised landscape
Click image for larger version

Name:	water dragon.png
Views:	666
Size:	28.7 KB
ID:	457658
that's my basic design im looking to make.this is were I need help I want it to have its own little eco system.
im planning on using plexiglass to raise all my landscapingand just have my drainage layer submerged in the water with a 4" trim around it with holedrilled in the sides to allow proper drainage for my substrate and allow waterflow through my drainage layer. what would my pros and cons be ?is it ok that my drainage from my landscape mixes with the aquarium?

next I plan on using bulk head fitting to eliminate hoses and what not running through the tank, has any one done this and what would the cons be by doing this?

do I need a air bubbler or co2 system and will a co2 system have negative effects on the waterdragon or dart frogs?

will I be over filtering the water running an internal and external filtering system?

is it a good idea to have a overflow drain just above my drainage layer to prevent any possibility of the substrate soil becoming soaked?

should three mist nozzles be sufficient for this size tank?
wr3ckl1ss is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 12:39 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 620
There is a section for paladariums, you should post this there. If you plan on over filtration, then I would remove the internal filter and use a canister filter for your waterfall. Yes you can have a tank drilled and use a bulkhead fitting. If you use water from the aquatic portion to mist, then there is no need for an overflow. I would this this would be a better option as it would remove more nitrates from the water. If you wanted to automate your system you could incorporate an automatic top off. I don't see the need for a bubbler since you are breaking surface tension with a waterfall. You only need CO2 for certain plants. I'm not sure about using it in a paladarium with air breathers. It seems to me that without proper ventilation you could gas them pretty easy. But if you had proper ventilation, then you would be wasting CO2. If it was me, I would try to steer clear of it.
loach guy is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 12:31 AM
Planted Tank Guru
lochaber's Avatar
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 2,318
I have yet to build a paludarium with a misting system, but I imagine the amount/direction/type of nozzles has more to do with spray coverage, and then you can vary the timing to increase/decrease amount of water/humidity and such.

I wouldn't use tank water, I think eventually the various impurities will clog the nozzles, use a separate reservoir of distilled water.

I also wouldn't worry too much about over-filtering, paludariums typically have a much smaller water volume then a similar sized aquarium, and a lot more plants that help to draw out nutrients and such. If you do want to over-filter it, I think going with a larger cannister filter, or setting up a sump would be a much better choice then an internal filter - they take up too much space, and don't add that much in filtration. A sump will also make it easier to keep a constant water level in the main tank, and have any fluctuation be limited to the sump itself. Also gives you a handy place for heaters and such.

I wouldn't bother with the CO2, especially if you plan on having critters in there. I'd focus mostly on the terrestrial/epiphytic plants for appearance, and just have the aquatic ones in there as something additional, and stick to ones that do well in a low-tech setup.

I imagine you can skip the airpump/bubbler, especially if you have a waterfall - that should provide adequate gas exchange.

I think it's generally recommended not to put dart-frogs in paludariums, but I've never kept them before, so I'm not terribly knowledgeable on them.
lochaber is offline  
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: california
Posts: 6
My progress so far. I've built the enclosure installed mist nozzles drilled the holes for the bulkheads that will be the feed and return for the external filter.decided to run the mist system off the tank water, so ice drilled another hole for the supply line. Built my hardscape floor , risers for the flooring and gs foamed the front for appearance.the old entertainment cabinet that will be housing it.the build plans have changed a lot since my first post. A lot more automation is being planned such as: temp/humidity controller,storm system,internal air circ. Fan, exhaust fan vent (closed system unless in use)something like a air duct damper,uvb heat lamp, working on building a mini swamp cooler to help control temps due to the high Mojave desert temps I get(as high as 115 at times),also an inline water heater automated decorative led lighting, update will be the completed background and waterfall
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20150410_180813860_1429508042718.jpg
Views:	115
Size:	32.8 KB
ID:	463449  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20150416_095155933_1429508280859.jpg
Views:	107
Size:	56.8 KB
ID:	463457  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20150417_080515563_1429508416432.jpg
Views:	107
Size:	33.1 KB
ID:	463465  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20150417_132937358_HDR_1429508457200.jpg
Views:	122
Size:	26.8 KB
ID:	463473  

wr3ckl1ss is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: california
Posts: 6
So I've made some progress on my tank its taken quite some time but its starting to come together. So far I've gotten the bottom section of the tank figured out and about ready to be assembled.better pics to come once I've assembled the bottom section.the rest of the tank will be fun. Still need to order a temp humidity controller, build- swamp cooler ,exhaust vent set up, mount cooling fans,finish ducting my fogger one duct comes in through the cave in the waterfall the second will be in the glass top.once that's been finished I can start on the background and décor. Anyone know of a good temp and humidity controller ?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20150807_095050648_1439303279271.jpg
Views:	99
Size:	52.7 KB
ID:	505530  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20150807_095038114_1439303300355.jpg
Views:	113
Size:	40.2 KB
ID:	505538  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20150807_094957158_1439303319267.jpg
Views:	103
Size:	58.3 KB
ID:	505546  

wr3ckl1ss is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 08:42 PM
Planted Member
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 162
You'll want to make sure there is a gap between the platform and the water level. If it's touching, the soil will absorb the water and be too damp for plants. But if you have dart frogs, you'll need to create a way for them to get back on land when they fall in the water.

Does that tank have a door? If not, dart frogs will escape and you'll have dried frogs around the house. I was always careful when opening the tank for feeding and one still managed to escape, only to be found months later.

Here's a link to a dart frog paludarium I built quite a few years back
Biznatch is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: california
Posts: 6
Thanls for the advoce n yes it does have doors ive just left the off for now till im finoshed with the decor ,for easy acces.So I've made some progress. It's starting to come together quite nicely, got the lower section assemblied, electrical routed , waterfall pump , and started on the rest of the background. I also got my mini swamp cooler about finished have to put in the pads ,spray bar for the pads, external water pump and overflow left

wr3ckl1ss is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 02:42 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Veritas's Avatar
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 835
i'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet....

dart frogs do NOT mix with a Chinese Water Dragon......

- Praecox Dwarf Rainbowfish, Glowlight Danio, Rummynose Tetra, Leopard Danio, Ember Tetra, Scarlet Badis, Anchor Catfish, Red Cherry Shrimp, Assassin Snail, Neirite Snail
-20G L -
- Celestial Pearl Danio, Dwarf Emerald Rasbora
Tank Journal (120):

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Veritas is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: california
Posts: 6
So I've finally made some progress with the tank its taken some months. I've finally gotten it in its stand and filled with water still have some electrics to finish wiring up.need to decide what lights I'm going to run for the planted section.I'm currently cycling the tank and working out any flaws .I do have the misters up and running,fogger, aquarium filter,accent lighting,black light for glow fish,waterfall. Im still wiring up swamp cooler,ato(reservoir),fans,arduino. I do have a question for lighting will uv rays transfer through plexiglass or will the lights need to be mounted in the tank or have holes cut for them?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20151231_171748907_1451613378397.jpg
Views:	77
Size:	47.3 KB
ID:	566329  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20151231_172449102_1451613425057.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	40.0 KB
ID:	566337  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20151231_172514533_1451613457617.jpg
Views:	76
Size:	30.3 KB
ID:	566345  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20151231_172543891_1451613524269.jpg
Views:	74
Size:	40.0 KB
ID:	566353  

wr3ckl1ss is offline  


Quick Reply

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


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

Email Address:


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