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.
very blue. this will be planted into the spyra mostly.
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)
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.