*watches the tumbleweed roll on by*
Well, Happy New Year folks! Hope you all had a good Christmas?
Did my initial delay in responding kill this thread? Hope I haven't offended anyone
Figured I'd post an update for posterity, it's most likely that I'll keep this thread going and evolve it into my build thread. Maybe it will be of interest as it develops?
[NB: Unless the readers/mods would prefer me to start a new build thread in the relevant section, with a more relevant title? Just let me know.....thanks.]
So, nearly 2 months on, my Exo Terra is still leaking in it's new location on my living room floor (on a black bin liner, classy!
) but the tincs are thriving. AND I got a whole bunch of hardware for Christmas so that's softened the blow
I've now changed my whole plan for the hardscape construction. I will be using polystyrene to build the structure of a waterfall and stream, and adhering basalt (black granite - true granite, not quartz) to it with black aquarium silicone to create the finished product. This way, I keep the overall weight down, but get the natural appearance of rock, without the expense and mess of Elastupor/Elastopur, Rockoflex, cement/grout, or epoxy. I might need to use some epoxy to seal the stream bed, but that's far more manageable.
That structure will be sat on a egg crate/light diffuser false bottom, negating the use of hydroballs and further reducing the weight, and providing more volume in the reservoir to help handle any excess discharge from a misting malfunction.
For the background, I'm pretty certain I'm going to create the overall structure with expanding foam, but instead of the silicone/coco finish, I'm going to try the clay method. I like that this will further avoid the use of unnatural adhesives (like the silicone). I'll have pieces of cork and/or wood branches included in the background, but these will be placed strategically and not make up the majority, as I want to grow in the background with full epythite/moss coverage. I imagine I'll achieve a similar affect to a hygrolon background - ie. it will look a bit bare to start with, but over time the growth will develop it into a satisfactory display :-)
I'm still factoring in a drip wall on the opposite side wall to the waterfall, at the moment the plan is to construct it purely out of cork (with ABG or sphagnum stuffing), and the "pond" the stream runs to will be underneath it.
On to the tech. I buckled in the end and purchased the Mistking, but Internet Reptile
had a great Black Friday deal on so it made sense to upgrade to the Ultimate system. It includes the ZipDrip, extra spray assemblies and other accessories I coveted from the add on package Jungle Hobbies offer outside of the UK. This meant foregoing the hygrostat upgrade and getting the standard ST Timer, but I got over that and fell back to my contingency plan of getting a separate hygrostat with the plan to use it to run the Lucky Reptile Super Fog II and a set of two 40mm fans. I settled on the Inkbird Humidistat in the end, as it can control both.
Okay, so the fogger and fans might be a little bit overkill and not as likely to kick in if I get the Mistking timings right, so it's a bit superfluous and indulgent, but like I said I'm going for a bit of atmosphere and drama in the finished project. Also, I've only got one shot at including all the possible hardware I might want in the tank, as I don't relish the idea of ripping the build out at a later date to drill more holes in the Euro Viv and build it all again. AND, I don't have the luxury of a frog room, or the space for one (yet.....maybe one day? A girl can dream
), so it's not like I can just do another build in the future. THIS IS IT! I'd rather have the tech there and non operational.......
So, my ill gotten gains so far in anticipation of the build:
- Mistking Ultimate System v4.0
- Ciano CF40 Filter Pump
- PVC piping (in both 8mm and 6mm internal diameter) generic from Amazon
- Elbow and T connectors (in order to run both a waterfall and a drip wall from the same pump with the above tubing) again, just got generic ones from Amazon
- Lucky Reptile SuperFog II Humidifier
- Lucky Reptile Superfog II Multi Outlet
- Inkbird IHC-200 Humidity Controller
- Two 40mm fans
(and relevant power cables)
And on it's way from the States:
- Finnex Planted+ 24/7 CC 36" LED light
I might even be able to get the Euro Viv ordered soon, now I have the equipment, as I'll be able to tell Rich what holes need to go where......
Next up I'm researching the best/most cost effective places to get ingredients for the clay background mix, ABG mix substrate......oh, and egg crate.