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Old 01-15-2005, 12:19 PM
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Default Paludarium Construction Photo Journal

I've been getting a lot of "how'ed you build that" questions, so I thought I would post a construction journal.

The finished product.

Tim

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Old 01-15-2005, 12:19 PM
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Default Dry Fit

Dry Fit.

The plexiglass has been curved and siliconed into place.
A shelf has been cut and fitted onto the plexiglass to create a cave area
(to maximize the land and water areas).

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Old 01-15-2005, 12:20 PM
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Default Back Wall

Cork Bark

Cork Bark has been siliconed to the back wall of the tank above the water line.
Rocks, gravel, and bog wood have been siliconed to the back wall under the water line.

I routered out a channel in the bottom of some Ghost wood to fit on top of the plexiglass.
The only place the plexiglass is visable is the front of the tank.
The wood also allows for easy egress, should any of the land dwellers fall in the water.

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Old 01-15-2005, 12:20 PM
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Default Rear View

Rear View of Tank

Rear view of the tank, showing P-glass, Cork Bark, Wood, Gravel, and Rocks silconed to rear wall.

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Old 01-15-2005, 12:21 PM
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Default Bottom View

Bottom View

This is the bottom view of the tank. Notice silicone was not spared, except on the front viewable portition of the tank.

The tank was predrilled with two (2) holes on one side. In hindsight, I would have gotten a tank drilled on both sides,
one side to drain the land side and one side for an overflow drain on the water side.

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Old 01-15-2005, 12:21 PM
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Default Water Supply Line

Water Supply Line

Notice the perferated water supply tubing running along the rear of the tank and through the cave area.
The idea is to flush out detris from behind the rocks and cave area.

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Old 01-15-2005, 12:22 PM
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Default Overflow Drain

Overflow Drain

Having an overflow drain was necessary in maintaining a constant water level.
Notice the overflow drain (right rear), running through the land/water divider and through the tank bottom.
This is the reason, I should have bought a tank that was drilled in both corners.
I made it work but it could have been far easier.

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Old 01-15-2005, 12:22 PM
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Default Sump and Filters

Sump and Filters

The Sump made a lot of since once I got more involved with the project.
I use the Sump to house the filters and 2 water heaters.
The water from the overflow drains into a home built filter box.
I, also, use an Eheim canister filter to fine polish the water.
Then I planted the sump to help with water quality control.

The sump lights are also on timers opposite the display tank.
The sump is lit at night while the display is dark and vise/versa.
My original thinking was at night the sump plants would give off Oxygen for the display tank,
while the display plants created CO2 that would be pumped into the sump.
However, I now believe there is too much water agitation to maintain CO2.
It does, however stabilize the PH levels very well.

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Old 01-15-2005, 12:23 PM
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Default Waterfall and Lagoon

Waterfall and Lagoon.

Close-up of the right side of the tank.
Flexable water line was concealed in the corkbark background and plumbed to this waterfall.
It keeps the back wall wet and allows for lush plant growth.

The cork bark curl in the right rear corner conceals the water supply line and the Eheim supply line.

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Old 01-15-2005, 12:23 PM
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Default Operating System

Tank & Sump

Here is an overview of the entire operating system.

All of the lights are on timers (the sump and display lights are scheduled opposite of one another).
The lights on the display tank are, also, timed to light gradually, simulating dawn and dusk.

A UPS backup system is used for the pumps, only, in case of a power outage.

The mag drive pump pumps the water to 4 valves,
one operates the perforated supply line that runs along the back wall of the tank,
two operate 2 different waterfalls in the tank and the 4th is for a "Rain Bar" in the hood over the land area.
I use the rain bar for water changes, just open the valve, rain on the land area, then refill the sump.

The valved line in the left rear corner under the tank (in the cabinet) is a drain for the land side.
It allows me to drain the land side to prevent the substraight from becoming water logged.

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Old 01-15-2005, 02:02 PM
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Very nice Tim...
I have been contemplating building a paludarium, and these pics might sell the idea to the other half
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Old 01-15-2005, 02:22 PM
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WOW, great thread Tim! The step by step process is really helpful.

Ed
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Old 01-15-2005, 05:32 PM
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You have given me many great ideas. Thank you and you did a wonderful job
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Old 01-15-2005, 05:39 PM
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Simply the best I've seen, that thing is amazing, you should do custom work on the side.
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Old 01-15-2005, 05:52 PM
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i again can't stress enough how incredible this thing looks. bravo, and thanks for the step by step!
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Old 01-15-2005, 09:59 PM
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Amazing tank!!!! Where did you get the original aquarium though? I want to begin a 20-25 gal for some casts.
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Old 01-15-2005, 10:09 PM
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Just wondering what the water substrate is and how many gph is that eheim pump. Thanks Tim.

Luke
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Old 01-16-2005, 04:18 AM
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Tim,

This is the nicest looking tank I've seen, especially because your separation of substrate and water keeps tannins and dirt from clouding the water. Great job.

Dave Willmore
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Old 01-16-2005, 12:30 PM
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Very cool, and nothing like setting it up on the nice dinning room table... :-)
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Old 01-16-2005, 03:19 PM
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Thanks for all of the nice complements.

The tank is a 72 gallon Bow Front.

The canister filter is an Eheim 2213,
you can see it in the "Sump and Filters" picture.
I actually don't pump the water back up into the display tank,
but return it to the sump.
This really improves the flow,
because the pump doesn't have to contend with the added head pressure.

The water substrate is a coarse grain sand.
I choose it mostly for the looks.
I like the white bottom look.
The sand is coarse enough not to compact
and the water plants are doing very well.
The sump substrate is Flourite.

The "Finished Product" picture is actually about a year old,
I will post an updated picture soon.
The tank has under gone some changes including minor replanting
of both the land and water sections.

Tim
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Old 01-17-2005, 03:52 PM
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Very nice. You wouldn't happen to have any other pictures showing how you covered your entire divider to camoflauge it, would you? Or the water fall? I have an empty 55 gallon, and this has sparked my interest. Thanks
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Old 01-17-2005, 05:09 PM
 
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Default Dam Tim,

You should write a book.
Dave
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Old 01-17-2005, 06:47 PM
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That tank is unbelievable.

Jordan
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Old 01-21-2005, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Paludarium Construction Photo Journal

Beautiful setup Tim. Very well done. Well worth the effort !

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Old 01-22-2005, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Benson
Very nice. You wouldn't happen to have any other pictures showing how you covered your entire divider to camoflauge it, would you? Or the water fall? I have an empty 55 gallon, and this has sparked my interest. Thanks
Derek,

I don't have any other pictures of the divider.
But all I did was silicone some lace rock to the plexiglass
and then smear silicone inbetween the lace rock and mash sand into it.
I, also, stacked lace rock up against the divider, especially in the cave area.

For the top section I used a piece of ghost wood with the same shape as the divider as a cap.
I used a dremel tool to router out a channel in the ghost wood,
so that it sat down over the plexiglass.

Tim
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Old 02-08-2005, 09:35 PM
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Default Updated Pictures

I though that I would post some updated pictues.
Since I replaced my 3 X 40 watt T-12 fluorescent lights
with 4 X 55 watt compact fluorescents, my plants have really improved.

Here's an upclose picture of the waterfall.
I the "moss" is actually Riccia, I really like it's bright green color.
The Earthstar's color is kind of washed out in this picture and is a really nice red.




In this picture you can really see the roots on the bromeliads,
they're also sending pups.
I never could keep baby's tears alive before,
but these bloom regularly.

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Old 02-08-2005, 09:42 PM
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Here's another shot of the Baby's Tears and
a better representation of the EarthStar's color.

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Old 02-08-2005, 10:48 PM
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Wow, beautiful. Is all the moss in your tank riccia? I was thinking about using java in mine, but after seeing the pics i think i might got with some riccia. The only think is it's hard to come by riccia, and when you do it's usually expensive. Where did you get yours?

Luke
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Old 02-09-2005, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Updated Pictures

Tim,

once again, beautiful !!! Does riccia grow like javamoss ? Just curious, I never tried it. Java always worked for me, but it would be nice to try other stuff.

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Old 02-09-2005, 01:01 AM
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Riccia is similar, except that it does not root like java moss. It is a floating plant, so you would have to hold it down with something underwater. But on land there won't be a problem.

Luke
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Old 02-10-2005, 12:00 AM
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Thanks guys.

I've got a mix of Java Moss and Riccia. I really like the look of the Riccia, as it's much denser, tighter and brighter. However the Riccia is much slower to spread and seems to require more lighting. The Riccia grows fairly quickly in my waterfall, so I pick it out of the waterfall to get it started other places. I originally picked it up at my local fish store.

I'm going to add the following sections to my Construction Photo Journal soon:
- Land portion substrate
- Misting System set-up
- Lighting System
- Hood construction with computer fans for cooling

Tim
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:58 PM
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Tim, did you notice a big jump in the heat produced when switching from the T-12s to the CFs?
Ed
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Martin
Tim, did you notice a big jump in the heat produced when switching from the T-12s to the CFs?
Ed
Ed,

Yea, the 4 X 55 CF's put out quite a bit more heat then the 3 X 40 NOF's. But the hood I built locates the CF bulbs about 7" above the tank and there are two small computer fans on each end - one blowing in, one blowing out. The fans actually work too well and I need to put them on a timer to operate only a few minutes every half hour or so.

Tim

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Old 05-28-2005, 06:31 PM
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Wow that aquarium is shocking nice. :shock:


Cheers
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Old 05-28-2005, 07:07 PM
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Tim, how about some more updated pictures. I'd love to see what the CF lights have done to your setup.

Marty
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Old 05-28-2005, 09:12 PM
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Default Wowie. .I'm impressed!

I've never seen anything like that before. I was just deciding to do something with an old 55 gallon tank we have lying around. This obviously isn't a 'beginner' project, although I'd like to have a go at it none the less.

Would this type of tank only work properly with the extra tank underneath for overflow? Could it be possible to do something with a deeper area for a 'pool' with a few little fishies? Lastly is there no worry of the darts drowning? (I didn't see any way for them to climb out.)

Sorry for the novice questions.
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Old 05-30-2005, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty
Tim, how about some more updated pictures. I'd love to see what the CF lights have done to your setup.

Marty
I'll see if I can get some new pictures up this week. The tank has really grown in with the new lighting and MistKing misting system.

Tim
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Old 07-23-2005, 02:45 PM
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Any chance for more pics Tim?

You did a beautiful job!

Brooke
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Old 07-26-2005, 01:57 AM
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That is a beauty! Did I miss what you have in it? I didn't see it posted.

Tanya
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Old 01-24-2006, 12:48 PM
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Yes, Beautiful! I am starting on a 150 gallon project with a waterfall,water area and land area. I would also like to know what frogs you have in there and how do you keep them from drowning. If you have tades in that water, how are the fish with them, or do you make sure you pull all tads? I have only set up two vivs before, and have never done a background, waterfall, false bottom, or even drainage holes in mine, so this will certianly be a much more advanced project that I am working on. It will go in my living room so I want it to look as nice as possible. I am going to follow your construction journal when I get started.
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