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Old 03-08-2018, 06:50 PM
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Default 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

So I recently acquire a group of Heterixalus madagascariensis and decided that it is finally time to try my hands on a Paludarium. I saw pictures of the Paludarim built my Greendeep and decided to use that as my inspiration.

I had a predrilled Exo terra that I brought second hand and it has been sitting empty for a long time. Finally decided that this is the right time to use it and build this tank.



Here's my current progress:

As I will be using a Hygrolon background, I first silicone the back and left side of the exo terra:



Then I attached the Hygrolon with Gorilla Glue. As you can see I used way too much Gorilla Glue on the side panel. Hopefully once the moss grows in it will be covered and less noticeable:



Next I redid the screen top. I had glass cut to size at lowes (for those who has the same dimension tank, it was cut down to 22.25" x 13") I remove everything from the frame of the top, silicone on the glass, then silicone back the brace next to the glass. After everything was dried, I use the spline from the screen top to put in some FF proof mesh:




As for circulation, I will be using an AC Infinity 80mm plug and play. I caged the fan in eggcrate then cover it with Hyrgolon:



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Old 03-08-2018, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

Next comes the waterfall. As this is a predrill tank, and I wanted to have fish in the water section, I decided to pump the water into a 10 gallon sump I had left from my saltwater days. The water will then be filtered and return to the tank via the waterfall. I built the waterfall out of insulation foam:




Then I coated the waterfall with Drylok mixed with Ayclic paint, this is my first time working with Drylok and I wished I found out about this product sooner!



First Coat:



After four coats and some added colors and textures:




The False Bottom consist of a layer of hydroton balls, follow by a layer of eco complete, then a thin layer of peat moss/Orchid bark mix. I will be growing mostly Emersed aquatic plants and epiphytes in this tank
This is the tank currently with most of the hardscape in place:



I am trying out Dusk Moss mix for the first time and I am hoping that in time the hygrolon will be covered in moss.

And Finally I am using two LE Power 50watt Flood lights which seems to illuminate the tank pretty well, I might add a 24/7 led to add more color to the tank eventually.



I am waiting on a few shipment of plants, leaf litter and rocks so I will update once everything is in and planted.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

This looks amazing, I really think the finished product is going ti look fantastic!

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Old 03-09-2018, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

looking good, can you show us how you're mounting those lights?
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussieJJDude View Post
This looks amazing, I really think the finished product is going ti look fantastic!

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Thanks man!! Really pumped for this project!

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Originally Posted by Louis View Post
looking good, can you show us how you're mounting those lights?
Louis, I thought about mounting the lights on a bracket but being a flood light, that would probably bleed way too much light into the room. Currently they are just sitting on the lid, elevated by a few pieces of eggcrate I cut so the heat doesn't get trapped under.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

Time for an update! Most of my aquatic plants came in but unfortunately, with the crazy weather up here, I am still missing a few plant shipments. Patiently waiting for a nice package from Larry Snow which should be here by the end of this week. But for now, some new residents!
I picked up a dozen clown killifish for the tank.
These are small micropredators that get to a max size of 1.5" They are currently attacking any FF that I drop in the water:

Clown kill w/ Cryptocoryne parva:


Look at those beautiful tails:


And here are some of the plants:
Anubias Nana Gold and Anubias Nana


Alternanthera Reineckii "Mini":


Piptospatha Ridleyi:


Java Fern Trident:


Cryptocoryne Balansae, Hygrophila pinnatifida, and Riccia:


Vriesea correia araujoi:


Utricularia Longifolia:


And Here are the full tank shots:
Front view:


Front View with fogger on:


Side View:


I will most likely update again this weekend once all the other plants come in, but so far I am really happy with how this tank is turning out
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

Looks very nice! I have the same lights as you for the same size tank and I find the lights to be insanely bright. Almost too bright. Much brighter than even evo quad snake eyes. I have a fan aimed at the back of the lights to keep them from running hot.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

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Looks very nice! I have the same lights as you for the same size tank and I find the lights to be insanely bright. Almost too bright. Much brighter than even evo quad snake eyes. I have a fan aimed at the back of the lights to keep them from running hot.
Thank You! I was originally going to get the evo quad snake eyes, but I wasn't too satisfied with the original evo quad that I have over my 45 gallon; just didn't seem bright enough. I am glad that this was a cheaper and better option. I currently have a small personal fan aim at the lights as well, eventually I will upgrade to a pair of cooling fans I can just leave on top of the lights.

Something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/AC-Infinity-M...c+infinity+fan
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Old 04-02-2018, 01:52 PM
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Update:
With the crazy weather we are having up here (It's snowing AGAIN today) it took a while for all the plant packages to arrive. But special thanks to Larry Snow and Charles Alford for the amazing plants!

I added 6 H. Madagscarenis, couldn't get a good picture of them since they all went into hiding, so here's a picture of the other resident :



Before anyone gets mad at me for mixing, I have done extensive research and make sure that both species requirements are met. I am also keeping a close eye and if any aggression or stress occurs I will be moving the Phelsuma to another tank.

And here are some close ups of a few plants I got:

Neoreglia Spaced Out:



Begonia Tiger Kitty:



Asplenium fragrans:



Elaphoglossum peltatum fma. flabellatum:



Lemmaphyllum microphyllum (Small Round)



Microgramma lycopodioides:



The Dusk moss is finally starting to green up:



Here's a full shot of the tank:

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Old 04-02-2018, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

LOVE this tank. I have the same tank and you're making me REALLY want to do something similar. Can you post a picture of your sump set up? How are you stopping the killi's from going down the drain? Return pump size? And since you didnt use glass to box off your "land" area are you having a problem with overly soggy substrate? Of course the utric and other aquatic's will be fine... but the begonia and such? Do you let the fan run 24/7 as well or is it on some type of timer? Last question i promise... are you worried about the hygrolon peeling away from the tank at all? Don't want any wildlife getting behind it!
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

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LOVE this tank. I have the same tank and you're making me REALLY want to do something similar. Can you post a picture of your sump set up? How are you stopping the killi's from going down the drain? Return pump size? And since you didnt use glass to box off your "land" area are you having a problem with overly soggy substrate? Of course the utric and other aquatic's will be fine... but the begonia and such? Do you let the fan run 24/7 as well or is it on some type of timer? Last question i promise... are you worried about the hygrolon peeling away from the tank at all? Don't want any wildlife getting behind it!
Thank you! I will try to get some pictures when I get home later tonight. I originally had problems with the killis getting into the sump so I glued a screen mesh on the cover to prevent them from getting sucked in. I also placed two of my Anubias plants by drain as to further discourage them from swimming by it. (The water still drains, but the leaves block the entrance somewhat.)

As for the return pump size, I honestly can't remember, I am using an old pump from my saltwater days but it's a big pump (prob around 500-800 GPH). Originally I was going to use a smaller pump but there was no way the pump was going to push the water all the way from the sump into the tank. The bigger pump had the power, but it also caused a tsunami of water gushing in, I solved this by adding a PVC Control valve so I can adjust the flow of water that is being return to the tank.

As I am growing mostly emersed aquatic plants and Utrics, only the top 0.5" or so is soil mix. The Begonia I have is currently elevated, I know you can't see in the picture but I created a gap inbetween two wood pieces and filled it with Orchid bark/Sphagnum moss. So far it's been doing well and no leaf rot (Fingers Crossed).

Honestly the soil haven't been getting soggy as I made sure the water level is well below the soil level (It's been running for almost three weeks now and it still has a nice earthy smell).

The Fan is on a repeat cycle timer (Currently I have it on for 3 minutes and off for 15). I might play around with this once I get some Orchids in but currently all the plants seem to be happy.

As for the Hygrolon peeling off, I did worry about that but I hope since I added a layer of silicone underneath the gorilla glue that will add extra support. Only time will tell since I still have a long way to go before it's fill with Moss.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:02 PM
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Hace you considered doing a T-valve (with a ball valve attached) and recirculating excess water back into the sump?

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Old 04-03-2018, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirRobby View Post
LOVE this tank. I have the same tank and you're making me REALLY want to do something similar. Can you post a picture of your sump set up? How are you stopping the killi's from going down the drain? Return pump size? And since you didnt use glass to box off your "land" area are you having a problem with overly soggy substrate? Of course the utric and other aquatic's will be fine... but the begonia and such? Do you let the fan run 24/7 as well or is it on some type of timer? Last question i promise... are you worried about the hygrolon peeling away from the tank at all? Don't want any wildlife getting behind it!
Sorry here are the pictures:



How I control the flow back into the tank, I had extra silicone so I decided to use that to seal the joints instead of using pvc sealer, looks messy but it works:

And heres a picture of the sump:



It runs through the scrubbie pads (Biological) then I also have a bad of purigen and carbon right before the return pump. I am thinking I am change it up and add a light so I can grow some stem plants for more filtration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussieJJDude View Post
Hace you considered doing a T-valve (with a ball valve attached) and recirculating excess water back into the sump?

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
I have not and honestly that might be a great idea so I can have the pump running at full strength, going to have to make a trip to home depot again, thank you!!!
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: 24x18x24 Paludarium Built "Sanctuary" Pic Heavy

Great looking tank. How does that fan setup work? Is it just a tube of sorts with the fan cycling air through it? Placing a fan in my 130g build and keeping the inhabitants away from it is one thing I have been struggling with.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:48 PM
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Great looking tank. How does that fan setup work? Is it just a tube of sorts with the fan cycling air through it? Placing a fan in my 130g build and keeping the inhabitants away from it is one thing I have been struggling with.
Yup its pretty much a long rectangle I built to fit the shape of the fan. I used eggcrate cause that's what I had, but you can make it out of corrugated plastic. The top and bottom are mesh screen to keep the inhabitants out and allow the fan to draw and push air. The fan is situated at the bottom and pulls the air from the bottom and pushes it towards the top of the tank.
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