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bloodraven 05-28-2009 02:37 PM

20L build
I am currently in the process of building my first tank with a background and real plants. 20L with a GS background. It has taken some effort from me, and I've learned a few things...

1) When placing plant cups in the background, do so more than 2 inches away from the top...
2) When spreading silicone in a new area, be careful of touching the not yet stuck coco fibre on the other areas, as you end up with a big, chunky mess
3) Coco husk takes a LOT longer than coco fibre to completely dry.

So, with that being said, here are the pictures of what I am sure will turn out to be a crappy build (I'm almost embarrassed to put it up here...) but everyone has to start somewhere!!

Plant holder that is going to be almost unusable...

The bare spots are from trying to spread silicone on the next area and will be covered...I am assuming I will use moss to put in those spots to break up the monotony of the background

And these are the plants I have for it

And a pothos and asparagus fern as well. That's it so far!!

ray1taylor 05-28-2009 03:03 PM

Re: 20L build
I would say it looks quite good so far. I like the plants you bought.

bloodraven 05-29-2009 01:03 PM

Re: 20L build
Thank you. Being new to plants and vivs, I sure hope I can get these things right!!

I haven't made any more progress...ran out of silicone and broke down!! So, there is $500 out the door that I don't have. Yay the surprises of life!!

bloodraven 06-01-2009 09:57 PM

Re: 20L build
Made a little bit of progress. Used what little bit of silicone was left to put some moss in the areas that where not covered. I also did the false bottom and got the pond situated. Next I will be putting in the substrate. I was going to cover the part of the GS background that is still showing with stuff, but since the car broke down, I have no way to go get more silicone. So, I will just have to landscape it so it looks good and covers up that area. The driftwood on the right side with the moss going down it will end up being mostly covered with substrate, as I wanted it to look more like a dead tree stump. We'll see how it goes when my substrate gets here!! (We live about a mile from ace hardware, and I walked there to get the stuff, but wasn't walking back with 40+lbs of soil and moss, so they're delivering it for free!!)

R1ch13 06-01-2009 10:07 PM

Re: 20L build
Thats a brilliant start mate...

Very welldone.. I love the wood on the backgroud, perfect placement IMO.


JoshK 06-01-2009 10:20 PM

Re: 20L build
It's looking good, and you bought some great plants. I must also give you your props for walking a mile for viv substrate, it shows passion for the hobby! Good luck and keep the pics coming.

DCreptiles 06-01-2009 10:34 PM

Re: 20L build
the tank is comming along nicely. dont get discouraged and dont rush it. iv rushed so many set up and after the frogs are in it i go... damn.. i wish i took more time to play with it.

bloodraven 06-02-2009 02:16 AM

Re: 20L build
Well, most of my plants were dying, but I got them in there. If they die, I'll just get the smaller broms from spring valley, but this looks good for now. I'm always the perfectionist, so I think that it could look a LOT better, but for my first attempt, I don't think it's bad. I added some springtails as well, not sure how long I have to wait until I can add my auratus. But, here is the completed tank! I ended up not using the hole I made in the wall up high, simply because, well, nothing could grow two inches from the top...I also didn't use my small tillie. I was afraid that with so many plants already, it wouldn't survive. But, here it is, thanks for looking!!

vrmarkii 06-02-2009 08:42 AM

Re: 20L build
Looks great. I just finished my first viv also and did the exact same thing. I built 2 ledges in the back left and right corners about 2" from the screen. I stuck some Peperomia up there. We'll see what happens.

Ziggi 06-02-2009 10:46 AM

Re: 20L build
I love the look of it.
I have tried coco husk before as well and I found that the chunks did not stay on in the long run. But sure looks better then just coco fiber.

How are the plants holding up for you?
Especially those brom looking type plants, I wonder how they will fare in the soil and high humidity.
Keep us up to date!
Great first viv!

bloodraven 06-02-2009 01:38 PM

Re: 20L build
So far so good. The Pink Quill Tillie is supposed to have high humidity, I just can't mist it directly. It should be mounted, but we're gonna see how it does in well drained soil. The soil is mostly coco husk on one side with some top soil mixed in as well as some peat and sphagnum moss. The other side is the same, just with more soil than husk (not by much though). The brom on the other side I am worried about. Not sure what type it is, but it looks like a regular brom mixed with a pink quill as they have the same type of...not a flower, but I don't know what it is. Seeing as how they where both planted in soil, I'm hoping they will be fine. Being new to plants in general, I'm not expecting much. The only plant I have had before this (aside from the pothos in my smaller tank that my auratus is in now..that stuff grows crazy fast) was a cactus. I don't remember exactly which type it was, needless to say, it died. Pretty sure it was a small Saguaro cactus. Anywho, it need light and very little died in a week.

Apparently, I'm less nourishing than the desert....

Oh, one more thing. What would be good in this tank? My auratus is going in it for a bit, but since he will be alone forever (not knowing what morph he is) he will be going into a 10 gallon and this will be for a different species. I am thinking Leuc, azureus, terribllis, maybe something like a citronella or maybe even galactonocus. How many of what could I get? Don't really wanna spend more than $100, so price is an object (gotta start on my water dragon enclosure 7ft high x 4ft wide x 3ft deep)

Ziggi 06-02-2009 03:26 PM

Re: 20L build
20L I would think a pair of Any you mentioned above would be good.
And I'm thinking in your part of the country you could get away with a pair for under 100$.
Not me though lol, I pay around 70-120 per frog but that's cuz i'm in canada.

I also have a water dragon enclosure that is 6ft high, x 4ft wide and 3ft deep.
Had it for about 2 years now.
WD's are lots of fun ;)

bloodraven 06-03-2009 11:07 PM

Re: 20L build
Ok, another question. How long until I can move my Auratus in this thing? I want him in there so that 1) he ha more space than he is in now before I build his 10 gallon and 2) so that it can help the tank cycle. Now, I know he will probably eat most of the springtails, but I have lots of leaf litter and places for them to go...the silicone has been in there for quite a few, when can I do this?

bloodraven 06-04-2009 02:11 PM

Re: 20L build
Anyone? There are no fumes that I can smell, is it safe to move him in?

bloodraven 06-12-2009 09:59 PM

Re: 20L build
Ok! It's been a week with the tank set up. So far so good. I think my springtails have either been eaten, died, or aren't reproducing, which sucks because there is a LOT of mold under all the leaf litter. My baby tears died, and I replaced it with moss out of my older five gallon. I think its dead, but I'm going to give it a shot, and if nothing else, I'll try my hand at riccia.

My java moss is doing good. It is starting to attach itself to the rocks, and hopefully will start growing out more.

My tillandsia is what is amazing me the most. It is doing great! It has bloomed twice, very fragrent, and has two pups growing off it. Well, not pups, but two more quills. The flowers are gorgeous. My other brom seems to be opening up. My hypoestes are growing in one spot and not in another. Other than that, nothing new to report. My pothos clippings died as well...not sure why...still have the whole plant, but seeing as how it grew THROUGH my screen on the false bottom...I'm kind of scared. Here are some new pics!!

My tillie and one of its flowers

And a new growth (you can see a second quill underneath the big one as well)



And of course, it's only inhabitant right now...

Nate 06-12-2009 10:21 PM

Re: 20L build
Nice auratus! Looks awesome, though, that tilly looks like it's suffering from root rot...

bloodraven 06-13-2009 12:44 AM

Re: 20L build
What makes you say that? I thought it was doing good becaue it's grown and blooming. How can one tell if it is root rot?

Nate 06-13-2009 06:18 PM

Re: 20L build
Because of it's dark/dead look towards the middle... it starts at the bottom and works it's way up.

bloodraven 06-14-2009 03:24 AM

Re: 20L build
hmm...interesting...when i got it it looked like that...maybe because they had it in soil as well?

Nate 06-14-2009 01:31 PM

Re: 20L build
That's probably the reason...

bloodraven 06-17-2009 11:01 PM

Re: 20L build
My bromeliad bloomed yesterday...odd looking bloom but pretty. Also, looked in just before bed yesterday, and guess what I found...

And this morning, they had quadrupled in size...

They have now died and about 6 smaller ones are already about half the size of the ones I discovered last night. And, I finally got a good shot of my auratus in there!!!

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