MossGully: 75g Paludarium build - Dendroboard
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:41 AM
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Default MossGully: 75g Paludarium build

Building this one for a few Ranitomeya highlands, but I like a challenge so...letís add a waterfall, some emergent growth, lots of orchids, lots and lots of various moss species, maybe some sundews and pings, a colony of cherry shrimp, and a few celestial pearl danios. And fog..gotta have fog.

1-1.jpg

The tank will be connected to a 40 gallon sump (by a hidden siphon) and if necessary, with water sprite thrown in to soak up extra nutrients. The return flow will supply the waterfall. The filtration for the pond area will simply be filter floss. Iím adding Bio-Bale for extra nitrifying bacteria.

Due to the extra oxygenated water from the waterfall and sump, I will also run Co2 through a separate pump connected to a diffuser. This will run down into the pond area creating necessary flow and bringing in Co2 for a carpet of riccia and hairgrasses, the only plants in the pond area. These plants will be started using the dry start method, but I will combine that with an ebb and flow, simulating a rainy season at a rivers edge. After a few weeks of this, it should have lush growth and will then be permanently flooded with 3Ē of water with about 1Ē of empty space between the false bottom/dry land and water level.

Iím going with a combination of an empty space false bottom and a hydroton (or similar product) drainage later for the back 1/2 of the tank. The empty space is in the back corner where the drain pipe is located. The pipe is adjustable and able to be seen from the side so if and when I need to siphon the tank, Iím not working blindly.

siphon.jpg

The front corner of land will have 1Ē to 2Ē of Eco-complete substrate with some top soil mixed in. This substrate sits on top of 3Ē of hydroton and a substrate barrier. This is for some emergent growth plants at the ponds edge: hairgrass, riccia, anubias. The pond substrate will have 1/4Ē of topsoil capped with 1/2Ē of sand. The main land substrate will be ABG mix.

The rain system will be ran through a separate tank of RO water, which will be ran once every week or two. During the ďrainĒ I will do small water changes from the sump to feed my houseplants. It will also be split into two separate lines for each half of the tank. This is to be able to provide a dry (winter) period for the pinguicula dormancy, while still being able to run the rain system for the other half of the tank.

I want the tank to look as natural as possible so I donít want any chunky fans and pipes in the display area so for air flow, I ran two channels for air lines which face the front of the tank. This will be run off of a high powered air pump with a valve to control output. Hopefully this will help with any condensation on the front glass, but itís not its main function. Because Iím running Co2 in the pond, even if very little, I still want proper ventilation...just in case. Plus the plants like fresh air too. The air will be ran for a couple of minutes every hour or two.

AIR.jpg

The gaps in the hose will be filled with vivarium putty.

The lid of the tank is made of 1/4 acrylic and drilled for all the plumbing so it is completely sealed, save for two vents in the back that can be covered if necessary.

Lighting for the tank will be all be led: 1 - 48Ē Finnex Ray2 because itís a decent light and I like the extra bells and whistles. This will run along the back 1/2 of the tank. On the front/pond side of the tank, there will also be 1 24Ē Spectral design for light greedy plants, and enough to reach the carpet of riccia and hairgrass under the water.

The cpís will be placed up higher in the tank and planted in hollows made in the foam. This will give them more lighting and allow for specialized, nutrient free substrates that are separate from the main ABG mix. IFFF..I decide to add sundews, itíll be months after adding the frogs, so I can watch their behavior and see where they like to roam. Where I plan on placing the sundews, Iím hoping the lil guys will avoid this area for the most part, as itís higher up in the tank closer to heavy (led) lights. If they do like to hang out there, then no sundews will be added.

The pinguiculas will be added to a steep wall higher up in the tank so the frogs will be less likely to trample them. A little Dolomitic lime added to the ping substrate may help with the lower ph of the water due to tannic acids, and gives a lil extra calcium and magnesium to the shrimp. It will also help keep a healthy nitrifying bacteria colony in what little substrate thatís in the pond area (and the bio-bale). No shrimp or frogs will be added for months after planting until water parameters are stable and suitable and the whole tank has completely cycled.

T1.jpg

Thats all for now. Next is building the rain system and securing the plumbing fittings to the lid. Hopefully in a week or two I can get some plants in there and a headstart on some moss. Let me know what you guys think?!
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: MossGully: 75g Paludarium build

WOW! I can't wait to see how this turns out. MAybe you could use some sort of wood or natural looking barrier to discourage the frogs from going into that higher area. I also don't know how I feel about the 3 inch deep water with frogs thought it looks like you have plenty of land area.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:11 AM
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3” does sound a little deep for thumbnails, but most of the substrate will be about an inch deep, a little less. With planted hair grass and riccia, there might only be about an inch of water or less left in some areas.

Larger, moss covered stones will be popping out of the water as well giving any frog that decided to cliff dive into the pond plenty of ways to get out. The amount of water that will be in the pond area will be less than 5 gallons, barely enough for a few shrimp cherry shrimp, which only serve as a sort of clean up crew for the pond, but the frogs are most important.

And yes, I think they have plenty of dry land space with an air gap of 1” between water and land so wicking doesn’t occur. There’s roughly an 18” square patch of dry land on the far right side of the tank, and another 10”x10” space in the center. Behind the wood is a 5” gap connecting the two spaces. Plus all of the cliff sides and waterfall area on the left side if they decide to be high up.

Underneath and behind the waterfall will be a foamed in cave area for a few anubias and java moss, and more land area. A single led pin spot will be ran through the substrate to shine down from the roof, hopefully looking like sunlight coming through the roof of the cave. Super excited about that 🙂
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:02 AM
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A pic of the ping wall (light diffuser) with the fern out of the way. Pretty steep slope so I’m not much concerned about frog traffic. Orchids and bromeliads will be at the base and front side of the slope, sort of framing it, to further prevent wall climbing as well.

The dark area in the bottom left will be the cave.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: MossGully: 75g Paludarium build

Wow this is looking amazing. I am embarking in a 75 gallon column tank and looking to do mixed waterfall, pond area and hilly land space. Love the idea for the air, but would an air pump provide enough airflow? Also like the idea of the rain system but would like to see it working.
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:21 PM
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Thanks! Can’t wait to start planting it. I’m using a heavy duty air pump meant for larger or multiple tanks, probably a Coralife Super Luft. Should be more than enough airflow, but I can always add a fan to the acrylic lid if I have to.
The rain system is a simple drip line ran around the tank and hooked up to an ro water reservoir.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: MossGully: 75g Paludarium build

Awesome, I was looking at a pump similar since my waterfall will be using an airlift pump design vs a regular mechanical pump. Will give the coralife one a look to see.

Assuming that you won't be incorporating a misting system due to the open body of water, waterfall and rain system?
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:15 PM
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Yeah, I’ll be misting by hand if the tank needs it. With it being pretty much completely sealed, I might not have to do much. The rain is mostly for show and when I do water changes.

I may eventually add a diy mist system to this one using a 50w micro diaphragm pump. Should be able to run a few tanks off of it too.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:21 PM
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Picked up a few plants yesterday for the aquatic and emersed growth sections. I’ve always had pretty good success with Top Fin plants, and since they’re already growing emersed(ish) it’ll be a nice head start.
2 anubias nana, 2 spikesedges- eleocharis acicularis and cyperus helferi, Windelov Java fern, and Temple compacta.
I also started a few clippings of rabbits foot fern growing in a bit of potting soil, spag moss, and coir.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: MossGully: 75g Paludarium build

Testing out light in the cave using a flashlight and hooked up the fog. I'm liking it so far
cave1.jpg
cave2.jpg
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:10 AM
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This is a cool project and similar to what I’m working on. Maybe I missed it but what do you plan to use for the main water in the pond? Tap? Distilled/RO? Do you plan to add nutrients? If so what? How do you plan to keep a high PH to keep the shrimp happy?
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:15 AM
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I’m using ro water for everything-sump, rain, mist, pond, and waterfall. The sump will be lightly planted with no substrate. I’m using Bio-bale to hold much of the nitrifying bacteria as there is very little aquatic substrate in the display area.

The plants will be started using dry start, but I’ll be flooding with heavy Co2 water once or twice a week for about an hour or two, then drain it again. This will help acclimate the plants to total submersion with less melting/die off.

There will also be no terrestrial plants added till after the pond area is flooded. This is to prevent excess nutrients in the water while dry starting. Excess nutrients leads to Cyanobacteria, which is also why I’m using ro water for everything... 0 to very little phosphates added to the system.

Once full submersion takes place, I’ll then add the terrestrial plants and microfauna. The water will be pumped with heavy Co2 @ about 7 or 8 bps, and slowly lowered to 1 or 2 bps over a few weeks. During this time, I’ll moniter the nutrient levels in the water column, the nutrients coming from watering the terrestrial plants and dead/decaying matter, etc. If I need to dose anything, I’ll use something like Flourish, but at very low doses.

For raising ph, I’ll be using Dolomitic lime in some of the terrestrial substrate above the water. If this isn’t enough, I can add crushed coral to the sump.

With it being a “highland” tank, it will run slightly cooler, the pond water being around 70į. The water from the sump-to waterfall-to pond will also be pretty oxygen laden. Both of these can reduce ph slightly. And by the time I add any shrimp, the Co2 that’s ran during the day will only be 1-2bps. I will also do 50% water changes with ro water once a week, which reduces excess nutrients and phosphates.

A decent flow in the pond area is created from the two Co2 lines ran under the water level. The water line is still nice and calm which help the plants take up more Co2.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanks View Post

For raising ph, I’ll be using Dolomitic lime in some of the terrestrial substrate above the water.
Interesting idea. I like it! Any chance this adds to marks on the glass at the water line?

Where will you be putting the biobale. In the sump I assume? Or maybe under the false bottom?

Do you happen to have a photo of the sump? Or is it a refugium?
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:44 AM
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Also is the CO2 for anything else than turbocharging the moss in the water? Are you planning on DIYing this with yeast culturing?
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:40 PM
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I doubt it will add limescale or calcium deposits as I’m using very little. By the time I need to adjust ph for shrimp, it may have already balanced itself out with the weekly water changes...though I’ll still have to dose. I can always clean it with vinegar if I start to see it too.

The bio bale will be in the sump, which I guess is technically a refugium as it houses plants. The sump is very simple- a 40 gallon fish tank with a plastic drawer rack to hold filter floss and the bio bale...kinda like a giant canister filter.

I may also add a 2” layer of sand or pumice stone in a drawer and cover it with plexiglass with holes drilled in. This will sit outside of the shelf/rack and on the floor of the sump. This is for an extra colony of anaerobic bacteria...though I may not have to depending on what false bottom media I use in the main tank. I’ll post pics of the sump when I get it set up..hopefully later today.

The Co2 is for getting my riccia and hair grasses to carpet faster. It will probably only run for 5 or 6 hours a day once shrimp are added. The rest of the day and night it pumps regular water into the tank for necessary water flow. I’m also running Co2 because of higher lighting on that side of the tank.
Low Co2+ high lights + low water movement+ high nutrients = algae paradise.
I’m using pressurized Co2 ran through a powerhead... diy/yeast is a headache for me lol
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Old 02-03-2019, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: MossGully: 75g Paludarium build

MossGully-1 month old
tank_2.1.19.jpg

Started planting the emersed section and stream bank a week ago, everything is doing great with new growth and roots forming.
Staurogyne Repens
Anubias Nana
Alternanthera reineckii
Hygrophila corymbosa 'siamensis'
Bolbitis heteroclita
Cyperus helferi
Eleocharis 'mini'
Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Microsorum pteropus ' windelov'
tank_2.jpg
tank3.jpg
tank5.jpg

Planted some of the wall spots and started adding mosses. Using red lava rock underneath the false bottom for bio filtration. I'll add the rest of the land substrate and plants after the hairgrass and riccia carpet is finished in the pond area.

Button Fern - Pellaea rotundifolia
Kangaroo Paw fern - Microsorium diversifolium
White Rabbit foot fern - Davallia (Humata) tyermanii
Java moss - Vesicularia dubyana
Pincushion moss - Leucobryum glaucum
Strawberry begonia - Saxifraga stolonifera
Pilea Mollis
Gynura aurantiaca
pothos
various Tillandsia
sheet moss
tank4.jpg
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:52 PM
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Started the mini hairgrass carpet yesterday using dry start method with ebb & flow. For substrate, I used topsoil from the back yard. After rinsing and straining any dried grass and floaters a few times, I carefully placed about 1/2" of mud' on the bottom, capped with about 3/4 in. of EcoComplete.
dsm2.jpg

The waterfall will continue to run during the dry start allowing for access of fresh, clean water to new roots. This will also oxidize/mineralize the topsoil over the next 2 months. A heater in the sump (a temporary plastic bin) keeps the substrate at 79ļf. An extra powerhead in the sump has an airline attached to keep the water highly oxygenated for strong root development.
I'm also injecting Co2 in the air supply for faster growth(the temporary white elbow connect in the pond area). Every three or four days, I will flood the pond with 3inches of Co2 heavy water for about a half hour/ 45 minutes and then drain it back down to about 3/4 inch, just under the substrate. Filtration is simply filter floss and activated carbon.
dsm1.jpg

Before planting, I split up bunches of hairgrass and grew them emersed in a separate tank, in potting soil under a daylight lightbulb for about a week. This produced some really nice roots and new growth on the separated pieces for a head start in their new home. You can kinda see the new white roots on the hairgrass in the first pic at the front of the tank...when first separated and planted in potting soil, they had little to no roots.
dsm3.jpg

I also placed the S. Repens and C. Helferi in its final spot and added a few cryptocorns. The Riccia should be here in a few days along with a few Bromeliads and Aroid Vines.
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:02 AM
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2 months old:


Emersed plants are all doing great..lots of new growth.



Strawberry begonia sending out runners like crazy:


Hairgrass is starting to take off:



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Old 03-02-2019, 02:07 AM
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Cryptanthus turning pink over 3 weeks under a Finnex planted 24/7 cc 48Ē



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Old 03-08-2019, 08:11 PM
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A few new plants added

Huperzia squarosa


selaginella kraussiana ďgold tipsĒ
I took a few clippings and placed them in different spots around the tank to see where they like it. Hopefully itíll take off.


A few Pygmy sundews enjoying the light and humidity till spring gets here. Not permanent residents though.
D. Paleacea ďgiantĒ in the foreground
D. Sewelliae in the back


hemianthus callitrichoides planted in and around the stream bank


Nepenthes Ampullaria recovering from shipping shock...may or may not be a permanent resident.


A permanent cp, Nepenthes Bellii also recovering from shock..been in for about two weeks. A few leaves have been slowly dying off but that was expected. The central vine seems to be doing alright and has recently opened up to reveal bright green growth


Some neon orange mushrooms popped up in some moss


Nosy parrot climbed down my arm to see the new tank :P



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Old 03-08-2019, 11:55 PM
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Nepenthes ampullaria does insanely well in the terrariums. Mine grew from 2 juvenile pitchers to 3 adult pitchers and 3 growing pitchers in a couple of months.

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Old 03-14-2019, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: MossGully: 75g Paludarium build

New order of fun plants came in today!

Microgramma heterophylla. Tiny lil thing..Sheíll grow here for a couple weeks on the lfs before moving to the right side wall.


Pyrrosia piloselloides, also called Dragon scale fern...hopefully itíll grow up and cover the front of the tree stump. With Neo. Babe x Ďclose of dayí and Neo. Ampullacea thatís starting to get its stripes


Marcgravia sintenisii cutting. One of my favorites, to grow up the side of the stump. Another Neo. Amp and growing tips of Huperzia nummularifolia


Dryadella cristata orchid and a mini Aroid vine in the back that seems to be doing alright...been in for about two weeks. Will probably remove the strawberry begonia..it likes it way too much in there. Iíve removed about 6 plants from the runners and left 3. Most likely will be replaced with Lepanthes calodictyon...similar in shape but way cooler.


Pleurothallis grobyi 'Smallí. Excited for this one to grow into this spot. A beautiful deep purple Neo with an unfortunate name, and a Neo tiger cub.


I cleaned the glass and had to take some random shots



Top view..


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Old 03-16-2019, 10:35 PM
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Went to the Ann Arbor orchid show today and picked up a few lil guys for the tank







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Old 07-05-2019, 04:01 PM
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Couple of flower blooms

Painted begonia. Might take it out as itís gotten pretty big


schoenorchis fragrans starting to bloom


Specklinia picta


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