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Old 01-14-2014, 06:59 PM
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Default My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

Hello all!
I've been a member of Dendroboard for several years but I've never documented my builds before. Not because I didn't want to, but because I always forgot until I was halfway through my build. I have made many standard 10 gallon tanks for Tincs, but I never found them to be as fun and exciting to make. I got into making vertical tanks when I saw them on here. I have made a 20 gallon vert for a pair of vents, its one of my favorite tanks! I have made four 10 gallon verts as well. One is for my lone nominant Basti (still looking for a female!), the other is waiting for either a pair of variablis, chazuta, or escuado. I made a 10g vert for a friend this past summer and after I knew she could keep it alive I just picked up two vents, forglets, for her and she is in love with them! The other vert I made was for my mothers friend who has advanced cancer and knowing that she loves the tropics and artsy type stuff I decided to surprise her with one for next to her bed to brighten up her day. That was last winter and she still has it and has even had her husband bring it to his university. He works in the biology department and that led to them wanting to order some from me. With time I will be making some very large tanks for them and I am very excited!
That is a bit of background about myself, and now on to my build log! I had an extra 20 gallon long in my basement and decided it was time to make a tank with a waterfall and a pond, something that I had always wanted to do. I purchased an inexpensive fish tank filter that has a spout on the top so that it can be used as a waterfall, and it happens to say on the box it can be used for reptile tank waterfalls. My only complaint was that it is relatively shallow so my waterfall can't be too tall. That is fine by me though as for now I am just getting a feel for this and my next will be in a 40 gallon tanks and a long stream. I had many pieces of cork bark laying around as well as great stuff, assorted rocks, silicone, egg crate, screen, and wire.
The first picture shows the waterfall setup in the back left corner, and the false bottom.
New tank design and others 016.jpg
The open space in the front is for the pond. as you can see I used a deli cup cut in half to catch the water coming from the filter so I can construct something to keep it separate so that I can remove the filter for maintenance.
New tank design and others 018.jpg
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Last edited by BYHGAB; 01-14-2014 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

From here I then used GS to put in place the rest of the waterfall and the background of cork bark.
New tank design and others 065.jpg
New tank design and others 066.jpg
The waterfall was tricky to figure out how to have it blocked off so nothing could get caught but I covered it with screen and will melt holes in the cup so I can direct the flow of water to where I want it to go.
New tank design and others 068.jpg
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Last edited by BYHGAB; 01-14-2014 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

Next was to figure out how to keep the section containing the pump/filter separate from the area of the tank to be occupied by the wildlife. The First picture shows the cork back that I broke up to fit in place and prepared to GS in place.
New tank design and others 074.jpg
In the last picture you can see where I GS in the ledge of the pond with more bark.
New tank design and others 077.jpg
Also you can see how I GS in the divider for the pump. This is all before carving the GS.
New tank design and others 078.jpg
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Last edited by BYHGAB; 01-14-2014 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

In the first picture you can see the area that will contain the pump and filter. I chose the filter as I would like to have fish in the pond.

New tank design and others 083.jpg
The second picture shows how I applied the background mixture I make to the silicone.
New tank design and others 085.jpg
The last picture shows the finished background before I cleaned it up.
New tank design and others 095.jpg
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Last edited by BYHGAB; 01-14-2014 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

New tank design and others 100.jpgThe first picture shows the rocks I siliconed in with aquarium silicone. It is tentative as I am not done and need to see how the water flows before I finish. I filled rocks in as well in the pond area but have since removed most of them and have been shaping everything. The second picture is a close up of the waterfall.
New tank design and others 101.jpg
Stay tuned for more progress! I need to continue to clean things up as this is not exactly what it will look like. I will be doing a lot of work on the pond to make sure that the frogs I put in have escape routes should they fall in. It will be very shallow with sticks in it that are submerged and run onto the land. I will also use logs on the land.
I have a mister that I will use that will enter from the back and allow fog to come down the waterfall with the water so it settles into the pond! I plan on planting everything to look as natural as possible. Suggestions are welcomed for what plants to use in the areas near the waterfall, along and in the pond, and everywhere else. Also what kind of colorful fish would work? I plan on putting in a pair or trio of Veradero!
I ask all to keep in mind that I just recently was in the hospital for and injured back and did much of this as best as I could since I could not do things the way I normally would, especially in terms of attention to detail as I am in a time crunch to get this done. My next tank will be much more detailed as this tank is just a learning experience and really just for fun, and to occupy my mind as I just had a procedure yesterday so this was all under the influence of heavy medications(this also explains why this is all so long-winded and scattered, so please excuse me as I'm in a severe amount of pain) :/ My next build will be much more naturalistic and I want to use an actual pump with tubing for the waterfall and carve it out much better.
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Last edited by BYHGAB; 01-14-2014 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

Very neat! I just got the first few supplies I'll need for a 20g, myself. I'm interested to see the direction you go in with this. Looking good so far!
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

Thanks for replying and the interest Shedevil! I am excited to see how it turns out as well, but right now I am waiting smell of the silicone to go away. After that I will construct the glass top and again have to wait for the smell of the silicone I'll use to go away. Then the fun part: Getting the waterfall going and the pond!!! I cannot wait! I will be spending a small fortune at the reptile expo the second weekend of February. The only person I ever buy plants from now is Mike from Glass Box Tropical's. I swear he didn't tell me to say that haha! He has an amazing selection and knows what will work and always has great suggestions for me when I am unsure about something or have a problem. I have been buying plants from him for over a year and I was so excited when I saw him at my local reptile expo as there were hardly any people there selling such a large selection of plants for terrariums.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

Well the tank will be planted this weekend as it's now ready!!
I plan on putting a few colorful guppies in the little pond as my little three year old daughter keeps asking me to do so, and is obsessed with the tank. She loves the other frogs I have in my vertical tanks and helps me feed them then and she ooo's and ahhh's the whole time I made this tank more for both of us as she loves waterfalls and ponds.
Now I will have the water shallow with lot of vegetation along the edges so if a frog falls in it can climb out, I was advised this is best. I would like some suggestions thigh as to what frogs may be a good idea. If they seem to not work I have a ten gallon vertical ready if I have to move them.
I can get veraderos, green imitators, tarapotos, or some any tinc though I prefer thumbnails. I could also get red eye treefrogs or some other kinds, or geckos. I'd love thumbs, but I'm open to suggestions with proper reasoning!!!
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

If youre going to get guppies (which I think the pond is too shallow for) I wouldn't suggest red eye tree frogs; that's an easy snack for them. What plants did you get? I think tincs would be better if you have any kind of depth to the pond area, and its a good size for a pair.

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Old 02-05-2014, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

Yeah, the build looks great, but that pond looks too small for any fish. Maybe some cherry shrimp or something, but they'd probably end up as a snack too, while also looking quite out of place
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

Ok great replies, it's nice to see some replies to build that aren't on huge scales with thousands of dollars invested.
I must say I really like the idea of the freshwater shrimp, I remember a year or two ago I read up on them for paludariums and thought they would be a great idea but I obviously forgot about them.
I'm wondering if I could find a store in the metro Detroit area that would have them? With it being winter I'd have to spend more on shipping than the shrimp themselves and I'm sure they are fragile.
So now based on your suggestions I'm going to do freshwater shrimp and now I'll decide between auratus, tincs, or maybe galacts if someone has them at the expo. Suggestions? Or maybe Amazonian milk frogs
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

Can't wait to see it planted up! subbed
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:38 AM
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Default Re: My new build: 20g Long w/ waterfall and pond

Thanks me neither! I already have spoken with Mike at glass box tropicals and will see him this weekend. I'm getting some thumbnails for another tank (either veraderos, tarapotos, or green imitators, suggestions welcome I'm experienced with ranitomeya and pumilio) then a quite a selection of plants. Stay tuned as it will be planted Saturday!!!
Update, I put java fern and some kind of other plant (embarrassed I can't remember lol) in and five red cherry shrimp that they happened to have at the specialty pet store! I love then and so does my daughter
Thank you all for the suggestions!
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