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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 02-07-2017, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Hey JD,
I sent you a PM about fan options (not selling anything! I am more of a buyer...), by the way. Lots of options.

Terribs are always out, but mine don't do too much, especially my mints. Really, mine mainly just sit where I feed them and silently judge me. Leucs, though, always seem to be out and about exploring their enclosure. They are more fun to watch, in my opinion. Terribs can also be susceptible to foot issues sometimes associated with wet substrate. Since you have a huge water feature in there, it might be tough to keep their substrate dry. That's just my $0.02.

Mark

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Originally Posted by AOA View Post
i have a while to decide, but now I'm really not sure what to get. i was set with leucs and now the more i hear from ya'll, I'm starting to waiver.

terribilis sound bold and fun to watch.....even more so than leucs.....

I like the colors of the leucs better........ is one easier than the other to keep??

do all new comers go thru this torture...hahah, good torture i guess.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2017, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

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Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
Hey JD,
I sent you a PM about fan options (not selling anything! I am more of a buyer...), by the way. Lots of options.

Terribs are always out, but mine don't do too much, especially my mints. Really, mine mainly just sit where I feed them and silently judge me. Leucs, though, always seem to be out and about exploring their enclosure. They are more fun to watch, in my opinion. Terribs can also be susceptible to foot issues sometimes associated with wet substrate. Since you have a huge water feature in there, it might be tough to keep their substrate dry. That's just my $0.02.

Mark
pm replied....

thanks for all the help. I'm sticking with leucs...atleast 87.4 % sure for now.

i wish i could go back to the beginning of this build. it didn't start as a dart tank and now I'm trying to make the necessary changes. Im a hardscape guy and enjoy the artistic-building aspect of the viv hobby. just a bit worried that i don't have enough substrate for microfauna and such. I've since built in a few more small places for substrate and more surface area for frog space. even though the tank is large, the usable space isn't really that impressive. kind of a bummer really, but theres no turning back. i have over 80 hours in the build right now!!

haven't posted any pics lately cause I'm working on plumbing (boring). there are more coming soon! tank is drilled and detail work is almost done!
thanks again for all the support

Cheers
JD

Last edited by AOA; 02-09-2017 at 03:30 AM.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2017, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

This is a pretty awesome build. I would love to do something like this some day
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2017, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

What did you use to do the detail work on the roots and stuff.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2017, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

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What did you use to do the detail work on the roots and stuff.
I described some of it above a little bit. the really fine detail is with small art brushes and a palate of shades made with dry lock and concrete coloring. The colors blend a lot like oil paints and can give a pretty cool look. The natural materials are coco husk, moss, kon tiki 3 mm natural gravel, and local agates from our continent's tallest active volcano! my favorite part!!

JD
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2017, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

I have the tank drilled now and got the bulk heads installed. will test this weekend.

been thinking a lot about the tank lately after reading an awesome thread on newbies always wanting to do water features in dart tanks. Its a must read for anyone wanting to put a water feature in...even more experienced folks would benefit.

I have built a lot of moving water vivs and made every mistake in the book. I have never kept darts. In my younger years i kept all kinds of critters but in the past decade or so I have focused on the viv itself, living and growing with flora, not fauna. This takes out so many variables and worries which has made some really successful builds with nice water features.

With this build I am starting to get concerned with having complicated features in a dart tank. The original design was for a few shrimp and rasboras, maybe a couple of wood frogs as a temporary observation and release. It wasn't until after i started that i decided that i wanted to give darts a try. The tank could just be "so cool" i thought. Newbie mistake waiting to happen right. I have to remember my 5 year old river tank and 4 year old newt tank are still running strong, but have very simple inhabitants like guppies.....not sensitive darts. Feel free to give advice or point out pitfalls you may see along the way!

My distilled water will be well filtered, clean, and maintained with WC every week (thankful for students needing extra credit). It will also be well monitored for all the possible issues (NH4, NO2, NO3, etc).....again thank you students. With the 25ish gals of water in there I'm hoping it won't be tempermental once we get it stabile.

I can siphon out my little water section now and again as organics build up but i don't want to cause unwanted stress on frogs. In my experience ALL water features add maintenance no matter what. Is that going to be a problem? AND how trashy are they...obviously not like a FBT or something (thank goodness). But maybe its more than i am anticipating?????

With that said, I have been building in some contingency plans for the tank that will allow me to scrap the drip walls, river, or pool if necessary.

more to come soon, my fingers are crossed.

Last edited by AOA; 02-10-2017 at 06:02 AM.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2017, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

making a few more changes soon.
Update: Right side drip wall removed, ledges dug out for more frog space, expanded on some more ledgy areas to make them more cave like for breeding. They now will have a bunch of cool places to breed that offer privacy! Hopefully they'l like one of them.

Almost there

JD
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2017, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

This thing looks great! I can't wait to see it planted. Keep the pics coming!
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 02-14-2017, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

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This thing looks great! I can't wait to see it planted. Keep the pics coming!
thanks Keni. Im making some adjustments to the hardscape to give the frogs some more floor space with soil to encourage microfauna. I hope to make some real progress soon. controlling water is so hard with these things. I am super worried about soggy soil. I think i have it worked out but its impossible to know until she's up and running.

I also started sanding the tank which is no small task, figured i better make a real effort to give this beast the viewing possible. thanks again

more to come
JD
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 02-15-2017, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

This tank will look great planted.
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 02-16-2017, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Looks awesome!
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 02-16-2017, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Any pic updates yet? 😊
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 02-16-2017, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Awesome tank!

I'm sure a group of leucs would love it in there
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 02-17-2017, 02:51 AM
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Any pic updates yet? 😊
AHHH its driving me crazy! I just can't seem to get to the tank at all this week! Too busy. hope to get something done this weekend!

thanks for the shout Keni, Im on it
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 02-17-2017, 02:56 AM
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Awesome tank!

I'm sure a group of leucs would love it in there
Thank you, Im chompin at the bit to get the darn thing back into the tank, almost done with the sanding!

JD
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 02-19-2017, 06:16 AM
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fans cut in and mounted. i think i am going to run the wires along the top of the side panel and then out the top. does that sounds right?? Thinking about tapping in a few small vent holes above the fan. a good idea?

I once used an air gap in one of my builds between the false bottom and my substrate. I think it helped with keeping my soil fresh and safe from an occasional over watering. Hope it helps keep my clay and soil mix from getting soggy. I put them on all soil sections that are within range of the false bottom. now all substrate layers will be suspended .5 inch above the false bottom layer on lower level pots. maximum drainage was my thought. who knows, maybe just a waste of an hour. can't hurt I guess.

Ive been acclimating my ficus trees to a humid environment and just lost one due to root rot. kicking myself...rookie move. It just came on so fast. took them all out of the store's soil and went with a straight inorganic bonsai mix for higher humidity environments. Had to trim a bunch of black roots from the other two trees that shared the pot with the one I lost. They are not looking great. Hoping for the best on that end. three still seem in decent shape. I'll post pics and see if anyone has some advice.

Added two small pots for riparian plants. Both dip down into the water below the false bottom. i think ill go with crypt.lutea on those.

Water filtration battle:
I built another small screen section in the back corner of the pool. Will now have two places for the eheim to push water in. The filters won't be sucking water out of the pool. its isolated except for the small windows of screen in front of the canister outlets. Its the only x factor with filtration.
I want good movement of the 30 gallons underneath the false bottom. Should help keep the water well filtered and give bacteria a good chance of colonizing the sump foam lining the tank. each of the two canisters are rated for close to 80 gal or something like that. I also have a jet pushing water along the back length of the tank to maximize circulation.
runoff and erosion should be minimal. All potted sections have good lips to keep soil in and leaf litter should help too. as long as the darts do not track a lot of organics into the river and pond, i might be good to go???

more to come...maybe steal some time tomorrow to finish some things.....

Cheers
JD
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old 02-19-2017, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

some pics.

some ficus not looking good, some looking ok
fans almost ready for detailing
all trimming and reshaping dry locked
old river pauldarium successfully turned into terrarium. Sad in a way but the evolution is on its way and i just didn't want three water features running at once.

lotta work for only a few updates....till next time
Cheers
JD
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old 02-20-2017, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

kind of normal for ficus to drop their leaves when you move them indoors when they were grown outdoors.
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old 02-20-2017, 04:12 AM
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kind of normal for ficus to drop their leaves when you move them indoors when they were grown outdoors.
thats for sure. they were grown indoors and i have had them for over 2 months. I assumed the soil was really well-drained and it just wasn't. The soil was packed in so tight onto their roots that they rotted out. I should have known better.....hope i don't lose any more.
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  #60 (permalink)  
Old 02-20-2017, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

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been thinking a lot about the tank lately after reading an awesome thread on newbies always wanting to do water features in dart tanks. Its a must read for anyone wanting to put a water feature in...even more experienced folks would benefit.
Hi, awesome tank! Will be following this thread. Could you share the link to the thread you mentioned? Gonna be moving in to a new apartment in 6 months, so I'll be building a paдudarium myself. Iэve been lurking this forum for a couple of years now, but any useful info is always great!
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Old 02-24-2017, 02:32 AM
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Awesome tank build! Can't wait to see it finished and again after it has had some time to grow in!
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2017, 04:46 AM
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thanks sigis and dvent! I can't seem to find that thread, i looked for it. Something like "whats with newbies and water features?"

at any rate, I'm frustrated as i can't seem to find the time to get working on the tank!! hopefully more to come

JD
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2017, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

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Hi, awesome tank! Will be following this thread. Could you share the link to the thread you mentioned? Gonna be moving in to a new apartment in 6 months, so I'll be building a paдudarium myself. Iэve been lurking this forum for a couple of years now, but any useful info is always great!
Here ya go, sigis.

What's with the water features??
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2017, 05:07 AM
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thanks mark.
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2017, 05:23 AM
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finished some detailing and picked my wood from an old planted 120
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:46 AM
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coming along nice!
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:27 PM
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WOW! What an undertaking. Great job! Can't wait to see the finished product.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:09 AM
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WOW! What an undertaking. Great job! Can't wait to see the finished product.
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coming along nice!
thanks guys, I'm super excited to get it finished, just gotta get the acrylic viewable.........such an annoying chore......
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Old 03-05-2017, 05:16 AM
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Update:
Finished the acrylic. Did not turn out awesome but much better than it was. My arms are pooped. Hope the lighting will be good enough. The LED fixture in front was not as bright as i was hoping. I am going to bring the 4 x 54 watt T-5 fixture a little further forward, might help. The night lights might look cool with he running river......
Starting to put some pieces in to see how its going to look. I fit the left side together for right now. I have to wait for a new bulkhead for the right side to come in. I broke one while fitting it in. Must have had a stress fracture or something. other 3 seem to be mission ready.
Note to self: should have bought more sump foam. I lined the outflow channels from the pumps to encourage bacteria growth but am going to run out before achieving the original goal.
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Old 03-05-2017, 05:18 AM
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Field tested the fan on the left side and am almost done detailing it out. Doesn't seem to have the flow i thought it would....supposed to have 30 cfm. Hope the 2 are enough to keep the front glass clear.
Cover for the hardware chamber fit perfectly and very snug.
Starting to look hard at my cover issue. Planning on getting some acrylic pieces but the middle is bowed down a bit. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:25 AM
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the big cave. wish i had a camera....
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:03 AM
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Installing a Webcam in there would be awesome...
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:32 AM
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Installing a Webcam in there would be awesome...
LOL, would be awesome eh.
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:23 AM
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the base of the hardscape is pink foam and the rest is great stuff. both are super easy to work with.

I cover all my scapes with drylock waterproofing. It is awesome and super easy to work with. my newt tank paludarium has been submerged for years and still looks great. it out gases over night, doesn't jack up your water chemistry for weeks like concrete, and is a breeze to color. any concrete coloring will work and it has a white base for easy mixing and dry brushing. 2-3 layers is enough. Down side is its a bit pricey in comparison. Once you have the basic color scheme your looking for, let it dry for at least a few hours and then dry brush it to give it that weathered look. Super easy: dip your brush in the white dry lock and then brush it off onto a little piece of cardboard. It should look like there is none left on the brush. then lightly brush over the whole tank. each little bump will grab some of the white and give it that old look. voila

accents are fun too. the 3 mm Kon tiki gravel from caribsea is sprinkled over a thin layer of smeared silicone (brown). lightly dab the area to seat the gravel and its done.

the mud look is titebond III mixed with coco husk/fiber. again kinda pricey cause it takes a lot of titebond and that stuff aint cheap either (especially up here). But if you really get the fibers completely soaked and then press it on, it will last for quite some time. only a very small amount has come off of my 5 year old newt tank (even when its submerged). It must be completely inert once dry because we did a bunch of water tests on all of the products. we even put fertilized coho salmon eggs in separate tanks with the silicone, GS, titebond III, gorilla glue, and dry lock to see if they would hatch and develop properly. each substance was smeared all over and then monitored for 4 months until they hatched. 98% hatched and were good to go. normal development and growth. was a cool experiment.

There are some serious tank builders on this site and i now many of them use concrete and other methods. this is just how i do it.
heres a few pics of the development

Wow! Can't wait for updates on your tank..I was planning on building a 80 gal Paludarium and was planning on just egg crates...but I saw your post and loved the pink foam. I was wondering if I can get more information on the pink foam and drylock...like where you got them/price/brand and if they are safe for dart frogs or croc skinks...I have a 20 gal viv and want to upgrade to a bigger tank...just seeing what you did with the foam is so amazing...looks easier to shape and build a lot of levels...keep up the good work and update as much as possible please
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Old 03-08-2017, 04:06 AM
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Thanks a bunch! The foam is super fun to shape and plan out for your ecosystem. It becomes the focal point of the tank. The more planning and drawing out, the better. And then once you get it going, it just evolves!! Heavily planted tanks just cover up all your work so figure out which one is more important to you and the critters. I think if your going to do darts, pick the species and then build it perfectly to suit them. Mine didn't start off as a DF build and I really had to do a fair amount of extra work because of it.

I am not an expert on polystyrene as far as safety for critters. there is some debate. I belong to the camp that thinks it will not leech a significant amount of styrene once it has polymerized (under normal vivarium use). However, I have not kept or bred darts. I will let you all know if i appear to have a problem. there are many great threads with guys a lot smarter than me on the subject. Do some searching and you'll figure out whats best for you.

The large hardscape with foam has its appeal and up side but also a list of issues. I would say that overall, my plant growth is best when i do not have so much foam in the tank. Large tracks of well made and properly drained soil is tough to beat once you throw some good wattage at the plants. The expansive hardscape requires good planning for plant placement and such. Once its built into the tank its permanent for the most part.

Up side for me is the water feature options and creativity you can have. I like the art aspect of the build so it fits me. Water control / manipulation has been more successful for me when I do large hardscapes, but there are a lot of great builders on here that manage success a lot of other ways. All water features add a level of commitment and maintenance IMO.

My options for buying are limited being in rural AK, cant help much there. I have only 1 home depot as a local option for supplies.

I use a serrated steak knife and hacksaw blade for most all carving, they work best for me.

Start a build thread when you get up and running!! good luck

JD

Last edited by AOA; 03-08-2017 at 04:13 AM.
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T1NY (03-09-2017)
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

Hey thanks a lot AOA..yeah i plan on making a tread for my next build..I have built 3 vivs so far and am happy with the results but i haven't really felt like they are "amazing" which is why I haven't posted any pics..plus when I am building my vivariums i get too excited on the next step and forget to take pictures lol

I come from an aquascape background but the semi weekly water changes has gotten frustrated and the easy maintenance of the vivariums so far had made my life so much easier (a little too easy that i get so lazy and my plants overgrow)

I guess the real issues im having is air flow and plants...i really need to figure them out before my next build

But thank you for all the info and good luck with your build
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Old 03-09-2017, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

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Originally Posted by T1NY View Post
Hey thanks a lot AOA..yeah i plan on making a tread for my next build..I have built 3 vivs so far and am happy with the results but i haven't really felt like they are "amazing" which is why I haven't posted any pics..plus when I am building my vivariums i get too excited on the next step and forget to take pictures lol

I come from an aquascape background but the semi weekly water changes has gotten frustrated and the easy maintenance of the vivariums so far had made my life so much easier (a little too easy that i get so lazy and my plants overgrow)

I guess the real issues im having is air flow and plants...i really need to figure them out before my next build



But thank you for all the info and good luck with your build

aquascaping is great but a lot of work. I have no planted tanks any more for the same reason. I do love them though.....such a cool hobby. Vivs are great for so many reasons and I'm sure you will be making some pretty sweet tanks right soon! keep us all posted!!

JF
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:51 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

i finally got the new bulk head in (AK takes forever with shipping). no leaks and can now move forward. Plumbing was tricky and took a lot of time to figure out. I made just barely enough room to maneuver all pumps and outflow jets. I think i have it planned out enough so went ahead and added all 17 pieces. No turning back now, its foamed in!
This is the slowest build ever, but I'll post some pics tomorrow. Should be able to run water down the river and dripwalls in a few days. heres a couple of pics that were inspiring during the build. None of them are biotope im sure, just a really beautiful niche i think.

cheers,
JD
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

few more junctions to hide and some foam to cover up but im getting there!

You can really see the rivers elevation change from the long angle pic. kind of a cool view. I hope they like to climb! its like a jungle gym in there.........

wow ,sorry for the crappy iphone pics ....they dont look nearly that blurry on my mac book....
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Last edited by AOA; 03-15-2017 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: 150 gallon stream bank

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Originally Posted by AOA View Post
few more junctions to hide and some foam to cover up but im getting there!

You can really see the rivers elevation change from the long angle pic. kind of a cool view. I hope they like to climb! its like a jungle gym in there.........

wow ,sorry for the crappy iphone pics ....they dont look nearly that blurry on my mac book....
holy moly! you are an amazing creature! wow..cant wait to see the finished product! have you tested your waterfall..does it flow just like you want? I had a couple leaks on mine and had to keep adding silicone until it stopped leaking
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