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Old 10-12-2008, 03:38 AM
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Default 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

Just wanted to share pics of our 46g Bowfront Vivarium build. This vivarium will eventually house 4 Cobalt Tincs (who are patiently awaiting their home and are currently housed in a 18x18x18 Exo-Terra while they're still little). We are still making improvements as we go, especially with the water feature which we seems to be having some minor difficulties (primarily with getting the water to fall the way we want it to, LOL). Any recommendations or suggestions would be welcome.

We decided, after much research, to do a false bottom to ease the workload on maintenance.
Click the image to open in full size.

We also decided to do an eggcrate background and suction cup it to the back (10 heavy duty suction cups which are siliconed to the back, we will update you all on how that works for us in a future post ). Our decision to do this was to decrease the damage should we have to dismantle the viv in an "emergency".

Laying plants out (we have a potho too but it's incredibly large so I'm not sure I'll put it in...still wanting some creeping oak ficus but...may have to skip it for this tank so I don't encounter overgrowth issues later on. )
Click the image to open in full size.
Arranging water fall pieces:
Click the image to open in full size.

Then we cut out the floor section where we will have the shallow pond. This will later be have perforated plastic grids siliconed to the edge of the eggcrate and will act as both a safety guard (so froggies don't go underneath the false bottom) as well as a slope separating land mass from water.
Click the image to open in full size.

We did some Dremel work on the wood pieces in hopes to get the water to flow where we envisioned. We are still working on this part but I think we are on the right path. (Again, updates will follow in future posts.)
Click the image to open in full size.

The hubby even did a special carving to commemorate our first major viv build.
Click the image to open in full size.

The filter we are using is an out-of-tank mini canister filter by ZooMed (Model 501). This will be our filtration and also acts as the waterfall pump. It has been tested and runs quietly and so far, does the job we were looking for it to do. Here we are giving it a thorough test to make sure everything flows properly.
Click the image to open in full size.

Testing the falls (not working out quite yet, but we are almost there).
Click the image to open in full size.

We appreciate, in advance, any positive remarks or helpful feedback. This is our first large viv build that incorporates a water feature and we're both very excited to complete it and watch our frogs enjoy their spacious home.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

Looks great so far.

Clearly, you've both done a lot of planning before starting, which is VERY important. Especially with a homemade water fall.

Regarding the falls/feature, it's just a matter of playing with it until you get it just right. The dremel, maybe a small stone to change water direction, or a small clump of moss... things like that to make minor adjustments to the path and flow. Even some creeping fig or java moss which can withstand constant wet can grow into the feature to convince the water to go where you want it....

Right now, I have a piece of aquarium filter sponge stuck into the top of my falls to slow the water until I rig a better solution... Somewhere I have 1 particular stone that fits in there "just right" to get the flow right... and I misplaced it with the rest of the stones....

Just wanna say great job, and EXCELLENT PLANNING which many people dont seem to spend enough time on. That aside, just take your time with the waterfeature to get it "just right"- and I've pointed out just some of the "creative" things that can done to tame that water.
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

hi there

great job , i hope to see it when is done, quick question , after you apply the g/s to tha back wall and the g/s expanded did you carved the hole to put plants?? or did you use the pot instead and cover it with g/s??
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

Thanks for the kudos.

Jausi, we actually used various sized pots and siliconed them to the background board before G/Sing it. There *are* areas that we have carved out, either for the wood elements to fit and look right or for additional plants to have a place to root. I prefered the pots to be in place first because it gave a clear guideline as to where things needed to be in order to fit into the tank properly (as we'd laid everything out in the beginning).
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

Okay, it's about time for some updates. Sorry it took so long - we've had some financial struggles and in addition, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia - the combined stressors had our poor tank (and our darts) waiting for quite some time. We're nearly finished now but here are the latest pics:

Okay, time to update with some more photos!

Lining the sides w/ brown silicone to hide the false bottom/hydroton layer
Click the image to open in full size.

We then lined the bottom with nylon window screening, lined the outside edges with more GS to hold in the hydroton and did a silicone/coco fiber dusting (like we did for the background) to ease the transition from land/water mass.

Click the image to open in full size.

We placed a thin layer of hydroton atop the false bottom sections and laid down weed blocker to keep the dirt from sifting through (because we'd rather it not clog our filtration system and dirty our water too much...hehe).

Click the image to open in full size.

Next we used a plastic grid to separate the gravel front (which hides the false bottom from spectators from the front view) from the layers of hydroton and depth of dirt. The gravel 'spills' out into the pond area.

Click the image to open in full size.

Added coco-fiber to the ground and aerial pots and started planting. You'll notice there is one pot in the upper left corner that is not planted - I WAS going to plant another mini-baby's tear in there but after looking at the viv as it was, I'm now not sure if I want to do that or something else. A Pothos seems like it would just be TOO big compared to the miniatures I've got in there. Ideas or suggestions would be great!

Click the image to open in full size.



Okay - that's almost it. Some Riccia or another sort of ground cover (we're thinking just on one side) and then the hides.... add water, fidget with the waterfall to make it flow just right.... plant springs..... should be ready for the darts before Christmas! I can't think of a better Christmas present to give them.
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:42 AM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

That looks great. The riccia will look pro.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

It's a huge relief to have the viv come this far - we were beginning to worry that it'd never get finished!! All night tonight I've been staring at it...wondering how I can tweak it a bit more without ruining its current beauty.

Yeah, I like the look of Riccia but had set my heart on Corsican Sandwort, Arenaria baleaerica (URL with a photo: http://www.riverbendnursery.com/inde...4390/index.htm). I purchased some and stupidly placed it in a window where it got too much sunlight and burned. I placed it into the viv tonight and am praying that the few tendrils of healthy green will rekindle growth in the viv - here's to hoping. Someone had offered to give/sell me Riccia from these boards and I forgot who it was. Could you please email me/PM me if it's still available? (I live near Vancouver, WA). Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

looks good! i cant wait to see water in it!
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

gotta be honest. one of the nicest, cleanest setups i've seen. Can you show how the return from the filter fits into the background a little better? just wanna see the utility side of things. thanks
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

That is a SWEET looking set-up!!!
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

nice setup looks great - any updates / photos
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

Any updates?
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: 46g Bowfront Viv (Lots of Photos)

Hmmm, maybe I can get Kender to post some toughts on our on our Viv... We lost one of the tincs last year... the vet diagnosed something (can't remember what) and gave us some meds but the little guy didn't pull through.

The other three are thriving. The Viv needs to be trimmed of some plants and have some plants added. There is also some settling of the substrate which has exposed the plastic infrastructure in a little bit. So we're just going to add some some more coco-fiber and gravel.

The pics below span the last two years. The ricia started out thriving and spreading all over the ground but has since started to die off. The vine seen the upper most part of the viv and on the right has really taken over the tank and most of the other plant species were pushed out.

The plan I think is to trim back the vine (I don't know the name of it, tbh) and establish some other plants. I also plan on building (eventually) a custom canopy to increase the lighting, especially toward the from of the viv.
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File Type: jpg fulltank2.jpg (85.6 KB, 80 views)
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