12" x 12" x 18" Paludarium Build and Journal (pic heavy) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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12" x 12" x 18" Paludarium Build and Journal (pic heavy)

It has been a long since I built my last paludarium, and I have been waiting for moooonths (probably more like years in my head) to get going on this new project. I bought the tank last year some time, the well known exo-terra 12x12x18, and have finally been able to acquire all the resources I'd been looking for and rationing paychecks for over the past while. Lost a few plants here and there during the loooooong wait, but am excited to see how this pans out, as I'll be trying some new things/techniques. That said, I don't think everything is going to go 100%, but I'm gonna give it a go. Originally had one layout in mind, but scrapped it when I purchased a larger exo-terra 18 x 18 x 24 and decided the layout in my head would be better for that one. So I decided to try to emulate a small chunk of tropical stream-side. This will not be a cool biotype tank, unfortunately, and will contain a hodge-podge of mostly tropicals and one or two subtropicals. I wanted a sort of exposed root and to incorporate flow through the natural shape of the wood. I also got some nice quartz I plan on using in the aquatic and marginal region to sort of separate planting areas for emmersed aquatics, and to mask the filter. My little nephew collected this big piece of quartz from the side of a road in the mtns and smashed it himself with a rock hammer! I'm privileged to have such a nice "in," and was able to get it all for no charge! My sister-in-law was happy to see it go, as it had been sittin in their back yard on a bench for months, and I'm happy to rehome it!

Some cell phone and some dslr pictures thru here, to explain some of the more obvious quality disparities.

Anyways, to get started here's one of the first mock-ups after siliconing the main wood piece in. Wanted to test the visuals and the pump! I ended up using a different pump than this one.


I liked the secondary pooling! I hope to be able to recreate this.


A short length of PVC to make sure I had clearance for the tube and so that it wouldn't be pinched.


And with some of the quartz. Again, just testing visuals to make sure I liked it. You can see the sort of in-progress stand it will be sitting on beyond the glass.


Layed down and siliconed in some spyra after being inspired by Sumer's vertical wall.


Working on the plumbing (not using that dw in this project, just used as a weight)



Also attached another piece of dw to the right side of the glass. Will be used as a planting pocket.


Adding another pocket behind the main piece of wood



Another visual test, you can see the spyra wicking the moisture w/ in minutes of becoming wet at the bottom.



Alright, some of the plant selection here:

the kicker of the whole sha'bang (I hope) a Bahama Cherry bonsai baby, Malpighia puncifolia. Honestly not sure how this is going to work out. It suffered being out of the heat and humidity of the greenhouse for the 2 days between buying and planting.


Selaginella uncinata very blue. this will be planted into the spyra mostly.


Tradescantia minima


Didn't get a good picture of it but in the bottom right is pellonia pulchra (thanks to Hobbes1911 for id'ing that lil guy)


Pilea glauca


The soil mix for the terrestrial/bonsai, a blend of coco-fiber, peat/sphagnum, zeolite/acryclite, and earthworm castings


There are several other plants I plan on using in the other parts of the tank including some buces, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

And that leads me to where I'm at right now.


Like I said, the cherry got a little sad in the 2 days out of the greenhouse. But I've seen worse off babies recover, so I think there's some hope. I think I'm gonna use mychorrizae and a little kelp meal tomorrow to help the roots take. I'm also gonna trim it back after it's leafed out a little and start training it some more eventually. It's planted thru the hole in the wood.

I've got a humidifier on it that I'm controlling manually for the time being and a 12" planted + as well as a 12" fugeray over it.

That's pretty much all I have right now, but will leave with a couple pictures of visuals that I was inspired to recreate the essence of in this new tank.

From a hike, near Mount Evans in Colorado


This photo is not mine, and not exactly the picture I'd hope I'd find, but the closest thing to what the display looked like when I saw it several years ago. This is Marnie's Pavillion at the Denver Botanic Gardens


Til next time.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 04:21 PM
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The Tradescantia minima is so cool looking! Is that a regular
Tradescantia leaf by it? I want some of that tiny goodness!!
Look forward to seeing more updates!

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.
Starting to update these threads

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Aqua, actually that is a variety of tradescantia, but not zebrina. I think it's possibly either t. fluminensis 'Lilac' or t. cerinthoides 'Variegata.'

Hope to update soon as I'm tryin to crank this lil guy out.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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catching up

Its been about 4 and a half years since this thread has been updated. I took pictures of this project for most of it's duration, and it lasted from about late 2015 - mid 2018, though I stopped documenting in 2018. I pulled this tank from out of the shadows recently and am in the process of trying to clean it up for re-use. So, in honor of finally officially tearing it down, going to share some pictures of this project from its living days. The tank ended up taking on several different looks over the years, and ended up far from my original plans, but was always pretty enjoyable.

I'll pace myself here w/ the pictures, as there's going to be a lot if I don't forget for several years again. Here's what this looked like shortly after first plantings, August 28 & 29, 2015. I'll follow up with the rest of 2015.

Fullview


The cherry tree started putting out new growth about as soon as it was finally planted. Not much to look at yet, though.


A view of some of the stuff goin on up top.


Some of the underwater and future marginal areas.






This tank changed a lot after inception and continued to change throughout its life. By the end of 2015, it had grown quite a lot, the cherry tree even gave me a bloom in January 2016. Those pictures soon.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 10:47 AM
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Wow, that paludarium is looking great! Love the wood with the water running down it. Awesome job!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-18-2020, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Sep - Dec 2015

Thank you, @newportjon. I appreciate it.

I'm gonna organize this update a little differently than I used to. Updates of each similar view, posted chronologically. I ended up experimenting a lot with the plants; added some, moved some, trialed some, pulled some, killed some. Seriously a lot of pictures comin up. Sorry if that's not your thing, enjoy if it is.

September 2015 - December 2015

Full View

Sep. 2, 2015


Sep. 24, 2015


Oct. 5, 2015


Oct. 15, 2015


Oct. 26, 2015


Nov. 29, 2015


Dec. 16, 2015


Bonsai updates

Sep. 2, 2015


Sep. 8, 2015


Sep. 15, 2015


Sep. 24, 2015


Oct. 6, 2015


Oct. 26, 2015


Upper Planting

Sep. 24, 2015


Oct. 15, 2015


Oct. 26, 2015


Oct. 26, 2015


Oct. 28, 2015


Oct. 28, 2015


Nov. 29, 2015


Nov. 29, 2015


Dec. 16, 2015 - Little cryptanthus bloom buried in there


Aquatic and Marginal Area

Oct. 16, 2015 - Pygmy lily pad


Oct. 26, 2015 - Pygmy lily pad


Dec. 16, 2015


Center Moss

Oct. 26, 2015


Dec. 16, 2015


Dec. 16, 2015


That's it for 2015. Coming up in 2016, had a slug issue for a little while in the beginning of the year. I also ended up taking out the t. minima. I loved it, but it just was outpacing everything in growth and was becoming a little untenable. The center mass of moss ends up goin pretty crazy, and the whole tank gets greener. Will update with that soon.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-21-2020, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Jan. 2016 - Mar. 2016

So, as mentioned in prior post, the beginning of '16 included quite a lot of slugs. I think they came from plants from a garden center plant that was in my 10g palu at the time which I took trimmings from. I don't think there was anything wrong w/ the t. minima, it was just unwieldy and I was not putting much time at all into maintenance during this time period (or for the next several years).

So, beginning of the year, I swapped out the tradescantia for lilaeopsis brasiliensis and lindernia grandifolia. I think that's when I introduced the slugs who ended up having their way with the cherry tree, some of the pellonia, as well as the emergent growth of the pogostemon and probably some others. I'm not sure if I really realized how bad it was until after March.

Anyways, as I maintained my tanks less, I took less pictures, so not as much to share from this particular period.

Full View

Feb. 8, 2016



Feb. 16, 2016


Tree

Jan. 15, 2016 - bloom


Jan. 15, 2016


Mar. 7, 2016


Upper - It was really too wet for the earth stars, tillandsia, and orchid, but I ran w/ it til they finally petered out.

Jan. 15, 2016


Mar. 7, 2016


Mar. 14, 2016


Lower

Feb. 8, 2016


Mar. 7, 2016 - You can really see how much the slugs munched these here, tho they seemed to ignore the prospernica palustris


Gets a little better from Apr. - Jun., so that'll be comin next.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-21-2020, 02:46 AM
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That Malpighia bonsai looks (looked?) really handsome. I'm surprised you got such good growth on it.

Last edited by hygropunk; 03-22-2020 at 02:05 AM. Reason: didn't notice species name in post whoops
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 01:03 AM
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Beautiful set up! Let's hope you don't forget to update this thread for another 4 years xD

Andrew - come visit my Youtube channel at Zokomo TV
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 01:30 AM
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Impressive setup! What kind of orchid was that?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all!

It was really pleasant to have while it lasted. Looking back I can see that I typo'd the species name in my OP and also said it was a Bahama Cherry. I should have typed Bermuda Cherry. Unfortunately, yes, it did die eventually. The slugs mangled it, but it hung on for a while until a power outage ended up killing the pump a couple years later (which could not be accessed for repair due to my poorly thought out design). By that time though, the whole tank was just outta control and it was time to let it go.

I don't recall the exact orchid. I got it from the greenhouse I worked in at the time, and we had just had an orchid show, so had some special ones we got from one of the vendors. I believe it was a tolumnia or tolumnia hybrid. It did alright for a while, but it was really just too wet in there for it. If I had a larger set-up, I probably would have been able to find a better place for it - maybe next time.

I'll try to update w/ more pics from 2016 soon.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-26-2020, 10:23 AM
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Nice work!! Makes me wana get back into one of these setups
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