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love it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·


We're dirted, capped, and on day one of the six week dry-start. I wrapped the top with Saran Wrap and threw some shop lights up there for light until I get the halides hung.

I planted DHG, Bolbitis Heteroclita (El Nino Fern), Wisteria, and Amazon Compacta sword.

I'll open it up once or twice a day to mist and ventilate.

This will be a long few weeks I think. :)
 

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looks great - a set up like that is almost asking for one of those banana plants / small lillies with the floating leaves.

and a butterfly fish :)
 

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looks great - a set up like that is almost asking for one of those banana plants / small lillies with the floating leaves.

and a butterfly fish :)
I agree on the 'Nana plant! I have four, and two of them have actual leaves almost five inches across! Havent gotten any lilly pads to last though, they 'stem just keeps geting longer and longer, and they never unfurl. But ive seen some that have, and they are so pretty!

Great build! Youv e given me new plans! Lol Cant wait to see updates!
Any ideas on stocking? Or did i miss that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Thanks for the kind comments! I was skeptical at first whether or not I'd be able to pull it off, but I'm becoming more confident. In some small way I guess it lets me use that Wildlife Biology degree. :icon_mrgr

Honestly I have no idea what aquatic creatures will live here. I'm so inexperienced with the types of freshwater fish. I'm starting to research though. The butterfly fish are very cool!! With saltwater, you have research extensively and plan your stocking lists carefully for success, so I'm trying to do the same here. I am very open to suggestions!!

I am hoping that when the upper tree section is more grown in and stable that it will be a lovely home for a Panther Chameleon, but I'm continuing to read on that as well. There are some very creative ways out there to feed "free range" Chameleons.

THanks for looking!
 

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Thanks for posting the pics and the updates and such.

I think a lot of these systems (aquaria, paludaria, riparia, etc.) can be pretty forgiving/flexible, so long as you aren't too specific in your demands/goals.

You have a pretty good volume of water, and with the center island like that, you could even make it into something of a stream biotope, by putting some circulation pumps to get the water flowing around the island (if there were some high-current fish you wanted)

It looks big enough that you should be able to put most types of fish in it, plus it's a lot easier to control the water conditions then the air/land conditions (more so with an open build)

I just liked butterfly fish cause it was fun to feed them when I found a bug in the house :)
 

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The lighting you have planned is way too much for these plants really, maybe a single 250W MH but it will need to be 20-24" away from those poor plants on the top. The other possible approach is to add Maiden hair ferms and other house plants around the tank to mop up some of the overspray from the lighting. The humidity from 4x4ft of warm water will lead to mold during the winter.

You can use Xmas moss, a weedy moss on the water/air interface, this will provide water and a substrate for the roots growing well above the water line.
It will attach and creep up above and down into the water.

I would create a more bowl shaped planting base, this will prevent the tips from being burnt by the light. T8's work fine for most of these type tanks or T5 at lower ranges, more light is not better, it tends to toast the house plants, that are commonly used, they are mostly all shade plants.

Obviously there's a min threshold, but you are a long way from that.

I would focus more on using natural materials or get real good at covering up anything that looks fake or tacky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Thank you for the feedback. I haven't started building the canopy yet, and already owned those lights, so it would be very easy to change plans.

Would T5 or T8 provide enough light for aquatic plants at that distance? Would you recommend pulling the existing plants from the tree, enjoying them in my home instead, and replacing them with more high-light species?

Perhaps a third option would be using the great big reflectors that are on the halides but with a different type or intensity of bulb.
 

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This is beautiful so far! I look forward to seeing the finished product. I've seen a lot of tanks lately, of the "big, square, shallow" dimension, and I have to say, I love them!
 
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