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Old 10-27-2017, 01:24 PM
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Figured I should start a build thread since my tank finally has some traction to it. I was in the hobby about 4-5 years ago. Since then a lot has happened... graduated college, got a big boy job, bought a house, got married, and FINALLY got approval from the wife (ok... the tank just showed up due to a good craigslist find) to set a tank up in the office.

My inspiration for the tank was "The Tree" which is an old build on here which was an 18x18x36 3-side viewing tank with a centralized wood structure with a bunch of epiphytes. If the original person who made this tank is still on here, i'd love to see more pictures!

Anyways... let's get into some pictures shall we?

Picture of the tank after some MAJOR clean up. Tank was gross with water stains and a random siliconed in piece of glass on the bottom for a water area



Ended up finding a 12x12x18 a couple days later for $15... This is the size of the tanks I've had in the past. Never realized how much bigger this one was. Tankception anyone?



Tanks side by side, figured I might as well set up the second just in case. I used black contact paper from amazon for the bottom of the tanks. The back was painted black with a latex based paint



I had glass cut at my local glass shop for the top. Left about a 3/4" gap in the front for a screen to help with condensation. Also this is the first time I drilled my own mist nozzle holes. Wasn't too bad of a process, just have to go nice and slow. Once i was content with the top it was siliconed in place. Disregard the 2 sweepers & carpet cleaner in the back... we have two huskies who like to play in the mud and shed 24/7.


The original plan for the bottom of the tank was a false bottom. After much back and forth and talking to some of the local people who have been doing this for A LONG time i decided to scrap the eggcrate and use Hydroton with the screen on top of it. Also, lighting is two Evo 18" which were purchased on eBay.


First round of plants & supplies were next. I HIGHLY recommend checking out mygreenobsession on ebay. Larry has an AMAZING greenhouse here in Ohio full of Broms and other plants. ABG came from Bullseye Frog Supply (Austin). Couldn't come up with a better way to store the Broms so in the bottom of disposable coffee cups seemed to work well


In regards to driftwood; oh boy. I spent almost TWO HOURS in my LFS. I wheeled the box of driftwood to the back corner, pulled every single one out and sat on the floor coming up with different combinations until I was happy. $60 later this is what we got:.


After attaching the Broms and adding some plants from the local nursery. All the broms except the top two were just wedged into crevices. The top two were wired / super glued into place.



2nd round of supplies arrived from GlassBoxTropicals. If you've never purchased stuff from Mike his stuff, in my opinion, is ALWAYS the best. Not only is it top quality, but his packaging is on point. Not much really to see, just another gallon of ABG, the nut pod you see to cover up the hole for drainage (yes... i didn't drill the tank...bite me), and some duskmoss mix. At this point i've saran wrapped the top vent and bottom vent to help keep the humidity up until the moss mix hopefully takes off.
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Last edited by SirRobby; 10-27-2017 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: 18x18x24 Exo Build - No shortcuts this time! Pic Heavy

Wow! Love the driftwood you selected. Do you plan on doing a background?

Larry is great! I ordered Broms, marcgravia, microgramma from him and the plants are always beautiful! I'm jealous that all the good vivarium plant shops are on the opposite side of the state from me.

I have an 18X18X24 also just sitting on the shelf. Will be interesting to follow your progress on this one.

Joe
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:31 PM
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Wow! Love the driftwood you selected. Do you plan on doing a background?

Larry is great! I ordered Broms, marcgravia, microgramma from him and the plants are always beautiful! I'm jealous that all the good vivarium plant shops are on the opposite side of the state from me.

I have an 18X18X24 also just sitting on the shelf. Will be interesting to follow your progress on this one.

Joe
No background on either this or the 12x12x18. Hey if you don't want to set up that 18x18x24 let me know Maybe if you ever come up this way i'll take it. I wanted to keep the overall feel very open. I need to take a trip down to Mansfield here soon and visit him. We are hopefully going to the Mansfield Reformatory this weekend so maybe I can convince the wife to make a pit stop beforehand
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:30 PM
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Saving to my “ideas album”! Thanks for sharing, it’s so helpful to us less creative types.
Can you tell me the name of that little round-leaf plant?
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Old 10-28-2017, 12:00 AM
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Saving to my “ideas album”! Thanks for sharing, it’s so helpful to us less creative types.

Can you tell me the name of that little round-leaf plant?


I’m like 90% sure it is a peperomia prostrata.


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Old 10-28-2017, 03:17 AM
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Are you worried about algae growth on your glass? Watching youtube videos on some of the tanks people have and see a ton of algae.

Putting the vent in the back of my tank really helped cut out the water buildup on my doors.
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Old 10-28-2017, 12:52 PM
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Are you worried about algae growth on your glass? Watching youtube videos on some of the tanks people have and see a ton of algae.



Putting the vent in the back of my tank really helped cut out the water buildup on my doors.


With the gap I have up front the doors stay clear and the tank is still over 80% humidity. Granted right now everything is sealed most of the day so it’s at 99% and temps around 76-78. Trying to get the moss mix to take. I also did leave a little spot in the back (currently plugged) that I can feed a wire though for a small PC fan if need be.


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Old 10-28-2017, 09:28 PM
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Subscribed!

This build is awesome and it's going to look even more incredible once everything planted grows in!

And I love the no-background approach. Almost all of my favorite builds don't have one. I think they give a unique look, and if something was to happen in a worst case scenario, it's a lot less of a nightmare to tear everything down. My current build I'm working on is a 20h vert and it isn't going to have a background.

I might have missed it, but what inhabitants are you thinking about putting in the viv?
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Old 10-28-2017, 11:44 PM
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Subscribed!



This build is awesome and it's going to look even more incredible once everything planted grows in!



And I love the no-background approach. Almost all of my favorite builds don't have one. I think they give a unique look, and if something was to happen in a worst case scenario, it's a lot less of a nightmare to tear everything down. My current build I'm working on is a 20h vert and it isn't going to have a background.



I might have missed it, but what inhabitants are you thinking about putting in the viv?


I’m thinking a trio of nominal fants or 1.1 standard lamasi.


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Old 10-31-2017, 06:57 PM
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More plants to be here Thursday/Friday... I think i'm starting to develop a problem
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:53 AM
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I think it is called an addiction and we all have it and we all are enablers.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:56 PM
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Looks good.
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:31 PM
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It's not an addiction, we can stop anytime we want. We just don't want to stop at this particular point in time.
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:55 PM
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It's not an addiction, we can stop anytime we want. We just don't want to stop at this particular point in time.
Ha, try to explain that to my wife
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:56 PM
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Final planting done (I think). Just need my Mistking and leaf litter and we're good to go!


Also, first life from the moss mix


Nice comparison from Driftwood placement / brom package /final plants
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:12 PM
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Beautiful Sir!

I really like the placement of the Microgramma. What type are those sections?
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:07 PM
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Beautiful Sir!

I really like the placement of the Microgramma. What type are those sections?
Oh shoot... let me message Larry and i'll get a list. I'm a bad person and got too excited; didn't keep my list
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:04 PM
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Probably Microgramma lycopoidies or Microgramma piloselloides. Those are the two I ordered thorugh his ebay store.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:27 PM
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Nice. Love seeing progress pics.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:40 PM
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Probably Microgramma lycopoidies or Microgramma piloselloides. Those are the two I ordered thorugh his ebay store.


Here’s what we could come up with plant wise:

Microgramma vacciniifolia nitida
Peperomia angulata l
Pilea sp.
Ficus panama lance leaf
cissus amazonica.


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Old 11-08-2017, 12:08 AM
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He also sells the Microgramma lycopoidies which is stunning.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:15 AM
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Vivarium's looking great, man! Subbed.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:30 PM
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He also sells the Microgramma lycopoidies which is stunning.
Maybe next build haha. Still on the hunt for a 24x18x24 or 36x18x18...

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Vivarium's looking great, man! Subbed.
Thanks I think this is 100% the best one i've ever done. I'll see if i can find pictures from the old tanks.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:35 PM
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Please do! I'm waiting on the delivery of my next vivarium - your photos have got me itching with excitement!


Created a cardboard imitation of the viv - sad, I know - so hardscape is already laid out. My partner's been giving me funny looks as I hum and ah for longer than I'd care to admit trying to figure out the best placement for the wood!
Plants arriving today and tomorrow.
Better than Christmas.
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:34 PM
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I know it is hard to find used tank SirRobby, but Petco.com has the best prices for 24X18X24 tanks. Look for the $30 off coupon that comes up on their site every couple of weeks. I have ordered 4 tanks (24X18X24) that way for $101 each/including free shipping and tax. They ship by FedEx freight. Kind of a pain because FedEx calls on the day the hub receives it and then you schedule a time for delivery. Request they call 30 minutes before arriving to make sure you are there. One time the guy even waited for 10 minutes for me to get home.
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:23 PM
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This is a great viv! "The tree" is actually my tank, I'm honored you used it as inspiration! I think yours may have surpassed mine though! Mine is still uninhabited at the moment, just growing broms and peps, Ill try and update my original post later today. Looking forward to watching yours evolve!
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:25 PM
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This is a great viv! "The tree" is actually my tank, I'm honored you used it as inspiration! I think yours may have surpassed mine though! Mine is still uninhabited at the moment, just growing broms and peps, Ill try and update my original post later today. Looking forward to watching yours evolve!


OMG!!!! So happy to see you’re still active! I wish I could’ve viewed more of your pictures but it has that stupid upgrade photobucket crap instead of pictures. There’s absolutely no way mine is better. I’d love to see how grown in it is.


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Old 11-12-2017, 06:40 PM
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OMG!!!! So happy to see you’re still active! I wish I could’ve viewed more of your pictures but it has that stupid upgrade photobucket crap instead of pictures. There’s absolutely no way mine is better. I’d love to see how grown in it is.


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Oh that's right I totally forgot about the photobucket change... I graduated from medical school recently and started residency so have been away from the forums for a couple months. I think I still have all my original pics though, Ill check and try to switch them out. You did a fantastic job on yours!
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:26 PM
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Would love to see pics also!
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Old 11-20-2017, 12:58 PM
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New picture and video time. Final shipment from GlassBoxTropicals. Now we sit back and enjoy until Spring!




Also, is it normal for fern leaves to turn this color?



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Old 11-20-2017, 01:27 PM
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Your tank is looking good SirRobby. What kind of fern is it that you have planted? My only experience so far is Rabbits foot fern. I got one from Lowe's, grew it under lights for a couple of months. When time to plant, I broke it up into a few smaller plants, planted in my 24X18X24 tank and a couple of 10 gallon tanks I am using to grow out some azureus and fine spots. In the large tank I am seeing some die back in the leaves. In the 10 gallon tanks, I also saw some die back at first. I trimmed off the die back in the 10 gallon tanks, reduced the light and now the 10 gallon tank with the ferns looks great and have seen more fuller growth.

In another tank I saw a lot of die back from a fern package I bought, but now I am seeing lots of new growth. I don't know the names as they were not labeled. I thought the ferns were dead, but I left them in there and now they are growing back.

Maybe the fern needs some more shade or maybe it is getting acclimated to your tank?
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:59 PM
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Your tank is looking good SirRobby. What kind of fern is it that you have planted? My only experience so far is Rabbits foot fern. I got one from Lowe's, grew it under lights for a couple of months. When time to plant, I broke it up into a few smaller plants, planted in my 24X18X24 tank and a couple of 10 gallon tanks I am using to grow out some azureus and fine spots. In the large tank I am seeing some die back in the leaves. In the 10 gallon tanks, I also saw some die back at first. I trimmed off the die back in the 10 gallon tanks, reduced the light and now the 10 gallon tank with the ferns looks great and have seen more fuller growth.

In another tank I saw a lot of die back from a fern package I bought, but now I am seeing lots of new growth. I don't know the names as they were not labeled. I thought the ferns were dead, but I left them in there and now they are growing back.

Maybe the fern needs some more shade or maybe it is getting acclimated to your tank?
Honestly no idea... it was a local find labeled "mini Fern". I do have a rabbit's foot fern that's doing well. This guy just seems to be coloring up.
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:31 AM
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Just got a coupon from glassbox tropicals for 10% off misting system. I went with the advanced system since I have 5 24X18X24 tanks and 1 18X18X24 to setup in the next year. They were out of the double nozzles. I placed the order because I was afraid of someone buying it before I did. You mentioned you had to get a t valve at Lowe's, do you have a link for what you got?

Thanks!
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:53 PM
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Just got a coupon from glassbox tropicals for 10% off misting system. I went with the advanced system since I have 5 24X18X24 tanks and 1 18X18X24 to setup in the next year. They were out of the double nozzles. I placed the order because I was afraid of someone buying it before I did. You mentioned you had to get a t valve at Lowe's, do you have a link for what you got?

Thanks!
I ended up going to BioDude's website and ordering a push-in t-valve... didn't like the overall look of the t-valve behind the tank and al lthe stuff running to the wrong. yeah he just released some blackfriday sales too... better jump on that!
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:07 PM
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Crazy to see how far it's come in a little over a month. Here's a one month update. I look at the tank everyday and always think it looks the same.Maybe I just need need to cover it up for a month and not look at it



Also had my first Ping flower
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:23 PM
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Just got a coupon from glassbox tropicals for 10% off misting system. I went with the advanced system since I have 5 24X18X24 tanks and 1 18X18X24 to setup in the next year. They were out of the double nozzles. I placed the order because I was afraid of someone buying it before I did. You mentioned you had to get a t valve at Lowe's, do you have a link for what you got?

Thanks!
oh man... you're gonna make me scour the terrible lowes website

https://www.amazon.com/Watts-PL-3003.../dp/B000BVMY9S

I literally showed them this and they found it haha.
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:27 PM
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You have done great work! My tank I started around the same time is not nearly as far along as yours. I am still acquiring plants. I have started to notice things are growing. It takes a few weeks for plants to get acclimated. I planted Microgramma lycopodioides which seems happy where it is placed and started to shoot out rhizomes. I was excited because I read this Microgramma is a slow grower. I have become a Marcgravia and Microgramma/Pyrrosia addict.

What is that flower? I have never heard of a ping flower.

Last edited by JoeKitz; 11-30-2017 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeKitz View Post
You have done great work! My tank I started around the same time is not nearly as far along as yours. I am still acquiring plants. I have started to notice things are growing. It takes a few weeks for plants to get acclimated. I planted Microgramma lycopodioides which seems happy where it is placed and started to shoot out rhizomes. I was excited because I read this Microgramma is a slow grower. I have become a Marcgravia and Microgramma/Pyrossia addict.

What is that flower? I have never heard of a ping flower.
yeah my Broms are to the point they can almost support themselves. Everything is finally growing from the cuttings I had. Ferns are still hit or miss...I don't think they like being wet all the time. I haven't pulled the trigger on any Marcgravia yet but I really want some... just so expensive

It's a type of carnivorous plant. Pinguicula or Butterwort is the common name. I can't remember what type I have exactly but it was a rescue that I fried by accident and it's rebounding slowly. Not in the tank but under a 2bulb T5HO with my bonsai trees since it's cold in Ohio now
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Old 11-30-2017, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: 18x18x24 Exo Build - No shortcuts this time! Pic Heavy

I found some awesome marcgravia packages. I set up my 18X18X24 tank for growing out Marcgravia and through in a couple Philodendron as well.
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Old 11-30-2017, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: 18x18x24 Exo Build - No shortcuts this time! Pic Heavy

I am thinking about getting into Bonsai as well. Right now I have 3 4ft T8 grow lights for growing out plants. I have several 10X20 trays/humidity domes. I have my extra Broms under these lights and they have retained their color and look great. Actually, all the plants I have under these lights seem to be doing great.

I also just setup a single sunblazer T5 HO light that rests on a 10X20 humidity dome. What is your T5 setup like? I was thinking of adding a 4 foot T5HO but not sure if I should use 2 or 4 bulbs. I will be placing 10X20 trays under the lights to grow more plants.
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