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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:cool:Hello - I would like to share my new tank with all of you. Trials and tribulations. With the hope that you can praise, comment, disagree, provide warning, advice suggestions or possibly learn something from my DIY aquatic adventure. :bounce:

Small introduction - I grew up with aquariums, Avid Gardener for 10+ years and recently renewed my interest in aquariums when i found a free 5g. Two years later... Since then i have had multiple tank syndrome.

Right now i have
2G - Guppy - Platty
5G - Tettra - Raspora - Pleco - Shrimp
30G - Short Long Tank
10foot Shoreline at the Cottage
30G - Paludarium - work in Progress 60/40 water/land


DIY BACKGROUND

After doing some research the Plan for the 30G paludarium. I decided to make a background out of the styrofoam that is not recommended. The White Stuff, the reasoning was that I already had several pieces that seemed suitable. They had existing nooks and crannies that would be suitable for plants and caves. I shaped them further with a heat gun, to create less uniform edges etc.


PAINT
I then Painted them with a tan acylic latex mixes slightly mixed with sand. then dusted sand on top. Three coats later with thicker sand mixtures i let dry 24hours between coats.

I also experimented with Vermiculite and the packing material for Yams - Peat soilish with fiber threads that are similar to coconut.




The Vermiculite looked great but tended to absorb to much of the epoxy.
EPOXY
Next I used West Systems Epoxy and Hardener. Drying times took forever. After 4 days was still sticky - Finally I went on vacation so I could dry indoors. Without breathing in the vapors. Which by the way gave me a nagging cough when I applied outdoor with a fan. Being a smoker probably did not help.:eek:

SILICONE
90Degree
I decided that I did not want to silicone my background to the tank. This is my first background and wanted to be able to change or remove all or parts without having to buy another tank.
My solution was to silicone two pieces of glass and plexi together at a 90 degree angle. The first attempt failed. Although after cutting slight grooves into the plexi the silicone bonded better.
http://i907.photobucket.com/albums/ac272/AquaBlueThumb/01aug200901
[SIZE=5]BOYANCY ISSUE[/SIZE]
Why use the two pieces you might ask - well - needed something to counter the styrofoams boyancy and figured the gravel would be able to hold it down. I also planned on using one of those slightly translucent glass blocks that are hollow. Figured that would be necessary, filled with gravel to counter boyancy issues.

I then Siliconed the pieces onto the glass, using egg grate (eggcrate not sure which is correct) and Undergravel Filter to raise them above the future substrate. After some further reading I decided to not use the UGF and Ripped it out.
[IMG]http://i907.photobucket.com/albums/ac272/AquaBlueThumb/7babtism-aqua033.jpg
Finally used Epoxy on top everything and let it seep between any holes.

Did several water cycles - tried a blue pond dye

NATURAL ELEMENTS
Found various pieces of driftwood to add realistic look and feel. I really like the ones where nature has hollowed out the knot where a branch used to be.

Also gathered some long pieces that hopefully would make the waterfall into a drip effect.

SUBSTRATE
Started a thread here
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/substrate/92709-zeolite-flourite-laterlite-sand.html
Flourite - zeolite - acrilite - laterlite - Grvel - Sand


LIGHTING
Used an existing 4 tube Florecent from garden Tiered unit. Will mix Cool and Warm to achieve full spectrum.
Using a 4" computer fan to cool it off - Enclosed by wood
Sitting on top of light Diffuser (egg grate)

EQUIPMENT
Fluval 304
Marineland filter
150w submersible heater
Air Pump
Mist Maker
Future DIY co2

FLORA Aquatic / Mix / Above
Need to take better care when getting plants most of the names escape me, some are available but will not go into detail at this moment. Will take detailed photos and gather names and post a different thread for help.

FAUNA
Tetras - Pleco - Shirmp - Cory - Loaches - Would like to add a Crab - Salamander and frogs if i get ambitous enough.

:sleep:
PRESENT
Right now it looks like this

The piece on the bottom right was going to be a beach, but now will probably end up being a waterfall.
The water level will be just under the lip of the 2 blocks
Left block is a cave
right beside that was part UFG tube and Fluval Intake - Might close it off - Has space for future equipment the top presently pops off.
The Right Wood Piece is removable
Need to cover up the White Screws - Maybe Wrap some moss or Fiber.
Would like to remove those egg crates for more space for substrate, but there in pretty stiff.

FUTURE
Need to figure out substrate - mix
Hope Lighting is enough
Figure out My Flora and Fauna
DIY CO2

Thanks for reading browsing Viewing.
:thumbsdowDestructive or :thumbsup:Constructive Criticism all welcome.:bounce:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks

Super Excited cant wait - want to add my substrate worried about the soil

The soil - Is Scotts Miracle gro - organic soil for bed not containers
http://www.scotts.com/smg/catalog/pr...4&id=prod70308

"Benefits

Contains an exclusive mix of 100% organic ingredients: compost, sphagnum peat moss and manure. Natural fertilizers provide both quick- and slow-release feeding to get plants off to a fast start and keep them growing. Delivers nearly double the yields of topsoil naturally. "

I Think this will be unsuitable...Since doing some research on this product..some people claim to have found garbage debris. I have found none
although it does seem to contain a lot of bark.

"Diana Walstad has recommended the garden UK - Miracle-Gro - Organic Choice Premium Garden Soil "
http://theaquariumwiki.com/Walstad_method
 

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Miracle Gro Garden Soil.

Do you think the Miracle gro Garden Soil Non organic will work? My wife happen to have about a quarter of a bucket left and I was thinking on using it. I read the ingredients and it says is organic matter with nitrogen .15% (.05% ammoniacal nitrogen, .05% nitrate nitrogen, .05% water soluble nitrogen) .05% Phosphate P2O5 and .10% Water Soluble Potash(K2O).
Thanks.
 

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Do you think the Miracle gro Garden Soil Non organic will work? My wife happen to have about a quarter of a bucket left and I was thinking on using it. I read the ingredients and it says is organic matter with nitrogen .15% (.05% ammoniacal nitrogen, .05% nitrate nitrogen, .05% water soluble nitrogen) .05% Phosphate P2O5 and .10% Water Soluble Potash(K2O).
Thanks.
Just so you know, this thread is a year old and the origanaly poster hasn't been back here for a year.:icon_mrgr
Jake
 
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