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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As we all know, this hobby is addictive and after setting up my 60g I decided to turn my old 55 into a terrarium/herb garden for my Eastern American Toad. She loves the new space and proper habitat, but changing a small bowl of water literally every day was getting real old real fast.

Welcome to Paludarium Paradise v2.0: 55g


It's undergoing a major redo right now, so it looks really ugly, but this little duckling will grow-up to be beautiful!

The tank is a standard 55g with a broken T-brace, so it couldn't be turned into a full-blown aquarium (You haven't had an OH $H!T moment till the T-brace on your tank fails explosively on the 54th gallon of water). The water area worked out to 5.6 gallons total volume.



I found this beautiful piece of Manzanita at my LFS, which I think will work perfect for my vision. I'm going for a very simple minimal type aquascape. Substrate is going to be black, either BDBS or Amazonia. I'm all about low-tech, low-maint, so any suggestions about which substrate is better (aka. easier) would be awesome. Plants are going to be S. Repens, Anubius petite and nana, and either a fern or sword in the back left corner.

Other than that there will be a rock feature in the back right for the toad to soak in about .5" below the waterline (she loves to just soak in the water, and use it as a bathroom, lol), because toad's are terrible swimmers she needs an easy in easy out solution.



On this end-plate of glass I will be making a glass waterfall. It is going to be the filter return, that is pumped up a tube and then a spraybar will evenly distribute the water down the whole side of glass and back into the aquarium. I think it should look pretty clean and Zen. I needed a quiet solution, because this tank is in the bedroom.



Seeing as how it's a nano tank, I will be stocking it with nano things, hahah. I'm thinking a nano fish of some kind, I was looking at Tetras, but I'm open to suggestions (looking for easy and I'm not particularly keen on all the Tetra diseases and problems). After I get the main nano fish I'm thinking either some Shrimpies or a small school of Cory's, just cause I love them.

That's all for now, more later when I finish up!
 

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awesome man! love the ideas for the new setup. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

I am actually planning on doing the same thing with my 30g Long. It's 36 x 13 x 16 - Hoping to keep some small species of tree frogs in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think that driftwood is malaysian.

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I think you're right, haha.

Bump:
awesome man! love the ideas for the new setup. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

I am actually planning on doing the same thing with my 30g Long. It's 36 x 13 x 16 - Hoping to keep some small species of tree frogs in it.
Thanks! I can't wait to see how it turns out too. I've learned a lot from the first two tanks, so I think this one should look pretty good. I really enjoy keeping frogs, they are so fun to watch!

Going to pick up the black blasting sand substrate tonight and ice almost figured out my filtration solution.
 

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Malaysian, manzanita, both 9 letters...Dang auto correct! Lol...seriously rad idea though. Looks like some little toad should be happy.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Malaysian, manzanita, both 9 letters...Dang auto correct! Lol...seriously rad idea though. Looks like some little toad should be happy.

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Same same, haha. Mr. Toad (who is actually a girl haha), will be very happy. He, ehrm, she misses watching the fish like she used to in her old tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Anyone have any experience with these filters?

http://www.amazon.com/Corner-Filter-Aquarium-Internal-XY-2008/dp/B00HSCB9GC/ref=sr_1_16?rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1463795825&sr=8-16&keywords=corner+aquarium+filter&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011

I'm thinking about hiding one of these in the back right corner, behind the platform for the toad soaking area hahah. I'd hook it up to an inline water pump and then pump the filtered water up the back left corner into a spray bar where it would waterfall down the entire end plate of glass and back into the tank.

Thoughts?

Bump: Also got my 20/40 BDBS today, all 50lbs of it.... Only going to use like maybe 3lbs, so if anyone wants some and is local to Austin feel free to pm me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One Step Closer







...and if you look rreeeeal close, you can see the golden eye of a grumpy toad, who is very much looking forward to this project being completed... lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I was just thinking. This was at one point an herb garden and as such I bought a beast of a light. 48" T5HO (something like 115 Watts), with two Agromax PURPAR bulbs, which are specifically designed to emit the red/blue/UV spectrums optimal for plant growth (they emit a weird purple light because of this). Man can they grow stuff! I've had basil and lettuce coming out of my ears for the past few months hahah. As such I'm thinking my little 5.6 gallon aquarium in the corner isn't going to stand a chance against becoming an algae farm.

Obvious solutions are to get a new, lower wattage light, get different bulbs, and/or raise the light.

The GF is already none too pleased with a new hobby and all the "wasted" money that goes into having one (I also race cars as my other hobby and let me tell ya, maintaining a race car aint cheap!), so buying anything I already have is out of the question. I need about 8ish hours a day to maintain the toads natural rhythms, so cutting the photoperiod beyond that is a no-go. I will raise the light, but beyond that it's probably cheaper to just replace the bulbs rather than do something like CO2 injection... Which I don't think I could do anyways, because the off gassing of CO2 would build up in the tank and suffocate my little toady.

Maybe I could add a broad-leaved plant to shade the water from direct light? Just thinking out loud here ATM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Moving forward..

Trying to find the right pump for my filter/waterfall feature, but can't seem to find one I like. They either have too much flow or not enough, according to the 10x flow per gallon rule.

I'm going with this filter assembly


It will go in the back right corner and be hidden with the toads soaking platform as mentioned before. The top spout comes off, that is where I will be attaching the intake hose of my submersible inline pump.

This is the pump I am leaning towards getting, but I'm a bit concerned about the 210gph rating.

Or, I just found this one.

Which actually looks pretty promising. It's rated at 250gph, but it's adjustable down to 87gph, which is very close to my target gph.

From there the tube from the pump outlet will go up the back corner of the tank, right angle into a spray bar along the side glass and back down into the tank.

Does anyone know of a good, small, quiet in-line pump they could recommend for this setup? Otherwise I'm ordering this stuff in a little bit today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Went ahead and got the corner filter and the AAPW250 pump. They arrive Tuesday, where I will put it all together and flood the tank for the first time! Gotta start finding some plants!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Install Complete...

It's not as clean as I wanted it to be, but it works and it doesn't leak, which is all I care about for now.


Should be plenty of flow and surface agitation.


Full tank shot. Now to scape the rest and put the new plants in, both above and below the water.


I'm not happy with how the waterfall looks, so I'll have to fix that later. For now I just wanted to get it setup and cycling while I'm on vacation.

More to come!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm really happy I added a flow control valve to the pump assembly. During the day the waterfall is great, decent pressure and lots of surface agitation. At night it's just a little too much at times, but turn it down just a little and it transforms from a waterfall to a gentle seep.
 

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Very awesome! I'd love an automated valve to do something similar in my tank. Well, the fish will find calm spots I suppose. Yours is a different ball game. I bet the gentle cascade works well at night.
 
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