29G Paludarium build w/hypertufa background - Dendroboard
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:30 AM
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Default 29G Paludarium build w/hypertufa background

Hello everyone,
First time poster here. I decided to build a new 29 gal pally in the style of RafD (look him up on youtube) combined with a little bit of Justin Grimm. This is my 3rd build over the years, and I wanted to try something different from the standard great-stuff, silicone, and peat background. I instead elected to try a new method (to me anyways) involving great-stuff and hypertufa as a background. I also made my own branches and vines out of PVC pipe that I melted, bent, sculpted, and painted. The results are promising! I intend to make this a mini orchid, fern, and neoregelia bromeliad centerpiece, also with leucs of course! Here are some pics of the construction and initial planting. I in no way claim to be a photographer haha.
Please add your comments, criticisms, and advice. More specs to follow!
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: 29G Paludarium build w/hypertufa background

looks good. what will be kept in there?
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: 29G Paludarium build w/hypertufa background

Specs/Under the hood:

Lighting: Standard T5 fluorescent tube, white (used, brand unknown)
Ventilation: RadioShack 1.5 inch computer fan spliced to 6v AC wall adapter
Waterfall/filtration: Penn-Plax Cascade 500 external canister filter (overkill maybe, but adequate suction was needed for the low water level)
Heating: Zoo-Med 16w under-the-tank heater
Irrigation: Monsoon RS400
Humidity: CVS brand compact ultrasonic personal humidifier with modified PVC coupling
Drain: Continuous drip siphon made from aquarium airline tubing and in-line irrigation valve
Substrate: Eco-complete planted aquarium substrate
False-bottom: Pink-panther blocks from Home Depot, covered with Eco-web fabric
Background: Silicone, great-stuff foam, and hypertufa (1 part peat, 1 part perlite, 1 part Quikcrete acrylic concrete fortifier, 1.5 parts Portland cement, 1/8 cup Quikcrete brown liquid concrete color)
Plant anchoring: Dr. Elsey's Ultra Precious Cat litter (bentonite clay-based) mixed with water
Décor: Schedule 20 PVC, Rapiclip foam wire, Walmart grapevine floral wire
Lots of timers

Did I need to add so much acrylic concrete fortifier to the mix, substituting for water? Not sure, but this stuff will never to break down in water! Did I need to use great-stuff foam? Probably not, as the hypertufa could probably have stuck to the silicone or possibly even the glass just fine, but old habits die hard. Plus I needed to cover up the background plumbing. Of note, please use a GOOD quality mask/respirator when working with Portland cement and/or when sculpting PVC. The dust particles are a mess!

Last edited by razorTsax; 10-08-2015 at 04:07 AM.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: 29G Paludarium build w/hypertufa background

@JonRich: I have put in Dendrobates leucomelas froglets.

Last edited by razorTsax; 10-08-2015 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: 29G Paludarium build w/hypertufa background

Good stuff, my First build thread here was also Made from hypertufa, I can remember all the mess from mixing it. Anyhow, nice build, the fake logs Are good looking

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Old 10-09-2015, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: 29G Paludarium build w/hypertufa background

Do you need to do anything to mitigate the high ph of the concrete? Good looking build!
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: 29G Paludarium build w/hypertufa background

Looks great... The only thing, and I don't know as it may be too late to do something about it but that looks like exposed (pink) polystyrene in the water portion. Is it?
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: 29G Paludarium build w/hypertufa background

Looks good, I can see both of their inspiration in it.
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