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Snake Vine River Paludarium

6788 Views 17 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  atticus22
Hi guys, thought I would start a thread about the new build I am doing, its not a planted tank in the usual sense of those on this forum, but thought people may be interested as I find myself on this forum a lot taking inspiration from the aquascapes and techniques used, plus it will feature some fish and aquatic plants so hey, what more dyu want! :tongue: Haha

I have a Green Tree Python who has been stuck in a RUB for the last year or so and the time has come to give him a new home worthy of how pretty he is :D

For anyone who has read any of my past threads or saw my last build, I am into my paludariums and water features, so I intend to set up a no-expense spared, in-wall paludarium as a display in my spare room. It will feature LED lighting, misting systems, artificial rocks, trees and vines etc, as well as a few aquatic critters.

I learned a massive amount from doing my last build:
and so will hopefully be not making the same mistakes this time around in terms of equipment selection and ease of maintenance when its all up and running.

I love the look of the aquascapes featured in the various Aquascaping Contests held every year and so these will be something I will be hoping to replicate but with a bit less water involved! I have a rough idea in mind of the layout, so we'll see how well it goes!

Would love to hear any input as this progresses :)


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So here is the progress so far, I decided on a 4"x2"x2" tank size, fits nicely against a wall in my spare room and will be boxed in eventually:

Stand build:

A little hint at the layout I will be going for :)

I ordered the tank new from ND Aquatics as has heard really good things about them and the price was the best I could find. Have to say I was extremely impressed with them, the lady who contacted me about the order Carolyn was extremely helpful and accommodating to the specifications I wanted and I was given an approximate lead time of around 6 weeks.

About 6 days later I was pleasantly surprised to get a phonecall saying it would be ready the following week and so got it delivered within about 2 weeks of ordering! :D

So on the day of delivery, only thing I was dreading was how to get this tank (which is a LOT bigger than you think when you're measuring up your stairs with a tape measure, not to mention bloody heavy!) up 2 flights of stairs to my top floor. I have to say what a star the ND Delivery driver was who helped me up with it, apologising for every hole that was bashed into the walls, like I said to him, it was the only way and nothing a bit of Polyfilla wont fix! Just dont tell my landlord...getting it down on moving out day in a few years will be fun..!

So up on the stand, which as you can see I added a lot more bracing to just to be sure it'd be completely sturdy, I'm only planning to fill about 6 inches of water or so but that's still a lot of weight and I wanted to be sure.

The quality of the tank seems really good, a few bits of stray sealant but easily sorted and overall the finish was excellent. I went for the optiwhite front glass so that the display will be crystal clear, I plan on spending a small fortune eventually on LED lights so it'd have been silly not to go for this option.

It is also drilled with an outlet and inlet hole in the rear left corner, as unlike my last build, this time I wanted to utilise a sump to hide all my equipment such as heaters/filtration etc in.

The tank and stand were brought forward initially as I fitted a diffuser background. This is a technique a lot of the professional aquascapers use to produce various lighting effects when placed behind the tank, which I'll be attempting eventually.

The diffuser can be bought from proper aquatic sites however it is essentially the same privacy film you get for windows, I used this one:

Was completely self adhesive, just cut to size and then sprayed some water with a little washing up liquid on back of the tank and the film, then squeegeed out the excess water/air bubbles :)

Diffuser fitted and tank in place against the wall, I added the beer bottle to try and give an idea of size, as the tank looks tiny in these pictures, but I can assure you it looks huge in reality!:

Next stage, plumbing!
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Subscribed. Looking forward to seeing how this build turns out! That snake is gorgeous. A pet store near me has a full grown one on display that lives in the store and is not for sale. Does he ever hunt for anything in the water, or just feeder mice that you give him?
Yeah they're lovely animals, they have a bit of a reputation for being bad tempered but mines lovely, I just dont go near him at night! Such great display animals though, he just sits out on the open on his favourite branches, rather than hiding under some log all day.

He never showed any interest in the water below him in his last one, or any of the fish, they drinks from their coils so the misting system takes care of his drinking water source.
So after giving my local aquarium shop a go and finding them to be the most unfriendly, unhelpful shop ever, I decided to go through and order all the plumbing bits, seems like it'd all be quite cheap when you're clicking on an 80p part here, a £1.10 bit there.....

...clicked on checkout and I'd suddenly spent £85! :eek: Its just as well I have no other expensive hobbies! Haha!

The parts came literally the next day, very impressed.

You'll have to excuse my cat Lily, she's an attention seeker and refused to move.

Doesnt seem like much for so much £££ does it!?

So after gluing the relevant bits together and putting them in place:

I also added in a couple of ball valves so I can divert the returning water out the tap on the right hand side to allow for easy water changes, this was something in my last build which was a right b*tch to do, so this should be very handy.

Also got a delivery today with some more goodies for the next stage ;)

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Man this is awesome! I'm very excited to watch it progress. Are you planning to put a Powerhead or internal filter in the water for Circulation? This is going to be so cool
that snake is beautiful. I haven't had a snake in 20 years, but I'm tempted after seeing that pic. My wife had one as a child so it probably wouldn't be too difficult to sell her on...
how large is the Python?
previously tank looks great, can't wait to see how this one turns out!
Yeah the return pump will take care of the flow on the left hand side, but it will be eventually under a platform which will make up the land layer so I think in order to stop the right hand side becoming a dead spot with no flow, especially under the right hand platform, I'm going to have to put in a small pump of some sort to keep the water moving around.

Yeah I love snakes, especially GTP's, they're perfect for display tanks, especially because of the fact they're primarily arboreal, gives you some good options. He's about 4.5ft atm :)

One day I plan on doing a massive display featuring an underwater river scene complete with amazonian fish and a green anaconda. Need a bigger house first though!
Wow Lily's face, looks like some (attention) starved kitten pleading for love!!! Has she been 'helping' you with more of the build?
Haha shes never further than about 3 feet of me, which unfortunately means she gets banished on occasion when I have stanley knives/saws out.

Have been having a play with some egg crate and have another delivery of a few goodies due today/tomorrow, so should have a bit more progress in the coming days
So finally I've managed to get on with this build, been on holiday for 2 weeks, then have been stuck waiting for some filter foam to arrive before I could proceed any further.

Unfortunately I ordered this foam from China and after waiting about a month after ordering, THIS arrived:

They sent me what I can only conclude is a baby penguin sushi rice mould!?

Now although this literally was the best thing to ever happen to me, it didnt help in regards to getting on with my tank! So I ended up spending a bit more and ordering some Epiweb instead, I've since read a few articles saying that cheap filter foam from China can leach toxins, so I suppose its a good thing overall.

I built the platforms using PVC piping and egg crate, quickly finding out that silicone sealant is USELESS on plastic/pvc, so used zip ties instead.

You can see I also added a small powerhead to keep the water flowing around the tank.

I then added a layer of the Epiweb to the platforms, this is for a few reasons, it will hopefully give the various plants/mosses something to dig their roots into besides the hygrolon, they're meant to be pretty effective when used together, and I want to use springtails etc for a bit of waste management and this will give them somewhere to get established, as well as being an actual filter for any waste from the GTP!

Then wrapped the whole thing in Hygrolon..

I also finished the sump part, added a heater, filter foam, and the return pump:

Next I'm going to play with some Great Stuff Foam and carve out some rocks :D Oh and make some sushi penguins...
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On the sump, I suggest moving the heater into the compartment with the return pump and loading that initial section with some foam the same way you have the filter floss set up.

I like this build a lot and it reminds me of something I plan on doing myself soon.
Hi guys, sorry about the lack of updates! Decided to just crack on with it all over the summer so have been playing with expanding foam, cement, ropes and getting paint everywhere most nights, made some good progress and will do a proper update with pics pretty soon.

Have taken your advice and changed the sump around adding lots more filter foam :)

For the moment, heres a sneak peek of what came today ;)

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