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Old 01-13-2005, 04:34 PM
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Default tree stump tank: what is a good wood to use?

I have a 30x30x24H arcylic tank (90 gal) I built for fish, that I'm making into a frog tank. I'm going to divide it into quarters to keep different species. For decoration, I want to take a tree stump/w roots and cut it into quarters, to make it look like the base of a tree / forest bottom. What is a good wood to use? How worried should I be about rotting? Where can I get stuch a stump? Thanks - Tim
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Old 01-13-2005, 05:24 PM
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Alot of people, myself included, prefer oak, because it lasts a real long time.
That is not to say you cannot use maple, poplar, etc.
One thing to watch for when picking up wood for terrarium use, I've found if you use a piece that feels real light, once it gets wet, it starts to break down real fast.
In my first dart viv, I made a real cool "bromeliad tree" that had 4 small neo species attached, :cry: it only lasted about 6 months. I don't know the species of wood, but it was about an inch around, and was real light.
Good luck!
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Old 01-13-2005, 05:36 PM
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Is there a way to seal/waterproof wood that wouldn't harm the frogs?
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Old 01-13-2005, 05:45 PM
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It might be hard to find a sealer that wouldn't add a shine to the wood, and take away the natural appearance. You could always use some kind of clear epoxy or silicone, but it will look much nicer if left as it is.
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Old 01-13-2005, 06:12 PM
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I agree, forget about trying to seal it. Chances are pretty good it would just end up peeling off.
If you choose good, dense wood, it should last a real long time, and support good moss and epiphyte growth...and springtails seem to like climbing on the wood.
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Old 01-14-2005, 07:52 PM
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I think the best thing you could do is get a fiberglass or resin tree stump, it will last for ever and you can match the tree species to tropical areas...with large roots and such.
Back to Nature has some nice Amazona backgrounds wich have tree bases but they are expensive! I am making similar trees now after getting the same idea you have. I wanted a tree base that looked alive, not like it was just chopped down (although that would better match current Dendrobates' habitats...)
-Steven
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:03 PM
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Steven,

You'll have to tell me how your project works out. Are you going to the MADD meeting? It's in your neck of the woods. If you need a ride, just let me know.
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:09 PM
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Is there a website for these backgrounds? I can't find any pics of fiberglass backgrounds. Tim
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:28 PM
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Osage orange and locust are also two very rot resistant woods. However, they are very hard woods, and the osage orange will really dull the blades on your chainsaw! I have several roots from osage orange trees that were blown over or exposed when the bank on which they sit was undercut by a stream. No signs of rot after 2+ years even though moss is growing on some parts of the wood.
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Old 01-16-2005, 02:11 AM
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Just search Back-to-Nature...you should find their website.
David, Ill be there and maybe ill have some of these backgrounds
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Old 01-17-2005, 04:12 AM
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What about cherry? I forgot exactly what type of chery it was but it took for ever to saw becasue it was so hard. Do u think it wil work?
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:01 PM
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I've found some good cherry roots - but I think I may build a stump in the middle from a 5 gal bucket and cork bark. What do you use to attach everything? Silicone? Good stuff? The tank is arcylic and I didn't want to permanently attach anything that couldn't be removed later. Also: for heating, is there some type of thermostat controlled heater one could use in a dart tank? And one more question, what are those clay beads useful for that I've heard people use? Thanks
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Old 01-24-2005, 01:54 AM
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The clay beads are called LECA and are used in the drainage layer of tanks, either by themselves or on top of a false bottom. A good layer of 2-3 inches is needed to make sure your plants have proper drainage and don't get water logged. They can be found online or at a hydroponics store. Gravel (heavier) or packaging peanuts are also used for the same purpose.
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Old 01-24-2005, 06:25 AM
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Bog log, or other woods that are recommended for aquariums are very dense and don't break down readily over time. I have numerous rare plecos that do their best to actually rasp it away with little luck. Just for an idea for alternatives. It's not always cheap, but usually has a very gnarled and natural look.
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Old 01-24-2005, 08:31 PM
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If anyone is interested....there is a picture of the resin tree I was talking about in my gallery.
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Old 01-24-2005, 08:54 PM
 
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Default Resin Tree

Steven that tree looks great, can you give us construction details?
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:13 PM
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The technique has evolved from months of trial and error. It has taken me a long time to get to the point I am at now. It took a lot of problem solving since I had to come up with almost every step on my own. Making it safe for frogs was the hardest part. I was really limited by the amount of safe products I can use. If it werenít for a terrarium/aquarium this project would be MUCH easier...I could have used regular paints, plaster, wire, ect...
This tree was made with a latex mold taken from a live tree. After taking the mold, I used epoxy resin to recreate the details of the tree...matching the color and such. It takes some artistic ability but mostly time. Many copies of the tree can be made from one mold.
If anyone can post the pic in the thread that would be cool... I dont know how to do that!
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:17 PM
 
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Here ya go!
Was that from a beech tree?

Mike
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Old 01-25-2005, 01:11 AM
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thank you![/i]
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Old 01-25-2005, 12:26 PM
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how much would some thing like that cost?
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:04 PM
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http://www.on-the-rocks.se/

Back to natures website
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Old 01-25-2005, 07:17 PM
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Ill probably sell them for about 40ish dollars... I have to check back to see how much the products have been costing me to say for sure. But definitely not higher than 60, for that size.
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:06 PM
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Steve I would be interested in purchasing one of these resin tree replicas if you are interested in selling them. Please let me know.
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:26 PM
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Steve, you should check out some of the larger Zoos and Public Aquarias in your area as they ofen have a fabrication shop and can tell you what materials or sealers are safe to use.


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Old 03-01-2005, 09:57 PM
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Hey Ed and all,
I am a keeper aide at the Amazonia exhibit at the Nat Zoo..... We have quite a few artificial trees in the exhibit but none are as detailed as these. They used fiberglass to construct the trees while I use epoxy resin. The artists who made the trees on exhibit sculpted them by hand while I used molds taken from actual trees. Amazonia is actually where I got the idea to make a fake tree as opposed to dead wood.
It looks like the only place I will be selling these is at IAD....Iím not going to bother shipping these things out. I should have a few different types and sizes with me there if you guys are interested and are coming to IAD.
(edited for spelling)
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Old 03-01-2005, 10:40 PM
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There is always a need for better looking items like that tree. I am glad to see someone interested in it.
I wish we had some people at Philly that could do that kind of work. Almost all of the decorations in the cages here are concrete layered over sculpted styrofoam and then sealed with a fiberglass paint/resin mixture.

How long have to been at Amazonia?

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Old 03-02-2005, 01:42 PM
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Please give me some info about IAD as I work for an Airline so travel is no thing.
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:47 PM
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If you want to find out about IAD, I'd suggest making another thread in the Lounge. More people will look at it.

As for the replica, will plants grow on those fake trees?
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:23 PM
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This should help with the info you need

http://www.intlamphibday.org/Welcome.asp
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Old 03-02-2005, 08:49 PM
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They are textured enough to hold plant roots just as a real tree would. Plant roots can grow onto these trees but not into them, they are made of epoxy resin which is a hard plastic. Also these can be cut and drilled so a planter pocket could be made if desired.
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Old 03-03-2005, 01:21 PM
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To be honest I am going to be putting this into a freshwater planted tank.
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