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  #81 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2016, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

I added two more pvc vines this morning, one to provide fresh air beneath the false bottom and one to feed.

the larger 1 1/2" one goes through a hole in the false bottom. The top of the vine goes through a hole in the ceiling where I'll plumb it into the 3" ductwork. I wanted to be able to circulate some fresh air under the false bottom and aerate the substrate.

I decided to use a 1" pipe for the feeding tube idea. As of now I'm planning for a large group of Variabilis. I was thinking Pumilio for a bit but my experience definitely doesn't warrant that decision. Also, I'd have a heart attack if I were out of town and had a power outage So I figured even a larger thumbnail could venture up the tube and have plenty of space not to get stuck.

The the opening at the bottom of the vine is about 6 inches above the false bottom, hidden behind other vines. That way I can add plenty of leaf litter without covering the hole. I'll have a slip-fit cap on the top that I'll pull off and insert a funnel to feed.

The second pic shows the tops of the vines. The 3" pipe at the bottom right corner of the pic goes down to the substrate to circulate air low in the viv. A 3" duct line will run over the 1 1/2" pipe from the fan to the 3" line coming up through the ceiling.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

Been taking it slow for the past couple weeks, waiting on shipments. I've been monitoring everything closely to try and spot any design flaws or threats to longevity before adding plants and covering things up. So far so good
I've had the water feature running for about two weeks now, water is staying clear and the stream is holding up to the flow.

I put in the spot lights and ductwork last week and finally got to test out the circulation system. I'm trying out a cheap 110v 80mm fan, it's quiet and fits the 3" ductwork perfectly. It moves a bit too much air so I'm hoping to set up a speed controller for it, otherwise I'd have to get a weaker fan. Here's a link to the fan.

Robot Check Robot Check

I finally got test out the fogger and am pretty happy with how it works. I used a 3 head mist maker from thehouseofhydro.com. It's been a fantastic product for me, I actually ran this one every day on my other tanks for about a year, very reliable. Would definitely recommend House of Hydro for mist makers. I might want to size up to a 5 head fogger just to get a thicker fog effect.

One thing I learned that would be useful in planning an internal fogger like this is that the float is an unnecessary waste of space. The float keeps the misting discs at the right depth when the water level changes. If the tank has a sump and the water level is constant, the fogger can be fixed permanently with the disks about 1/2" under water. Not knowing this, I made the reservoir at the top of the waterfall large enough to accommodate the float, almost two gallons. Now I'm wishing all that water didn't have to drain back into the sump in the event of a power outage.

I've made up about thirty pounds of clay substrate via Doug's recipe in the Clay Substrate How To thread. I'll be putting it into the viv this week. Still not sure how much I'll need but thirty pounds has to be enough. Hopefully I'll have some left over to put in my other tanks.

Here are a few pics, the second one shows a test of the fogger with the fan circulating.
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  #83 (permalink)  
Old 01-29-2016, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

I put in my substrate today. I ended up using about 25 pounds of it, leaving enough behind for my other tanks.

My first brom shipment came in this week and I tested out the drill mount method, works great! Not sure if the placement is final but I'm getting a feel for how I want to plant the branches.

Jon
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

This gets cooler with every new post

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Old 01-31-2016, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

I drove down to NEHERP in Meriden Connecticut last Thursday and met Mike, Jessica, and Liz in person for the first time. It was super cool to talk to them and see the facility. They run an awesome business and have been great to me since I first got into the hobby. Thanks for the supplies Check out neherpetoculture.com if you haven't already.

I picked up all the leaf litter I could (5 gallons) along with some NEHERP moss and a fresh springtail culture for the build. They're shipping me another 5 gallons of leaf litter when they get it in.

With 5 gallons, I was able to get about two to four leaves thick in the back but I ran out by the time it was one leaf thick in the front. I think another 5 gallons will be a good start. I did not boil the leaves, hoping to maximize longevity. I plan to CO2 bomb the viv once all the plants are in, even if I don't see any hitchhikers. I'll seed with springtails to keep things fresh for now, then reseed with springs and isos after bombing.

I blended up the moss with RO water, no sphagnum, buttermilk or beer. I want to see what growth I can get just by tweaking the misting and fogging. I'm in no rush for moss to take over, I enjoy seeing the wood and rocks. The 12"x12" square of moss blended up into a 16oz shake, most of which I painted onto the wood and rocks, trying to jam as much as possible into the bark and pores.

When I run the fogger with no circulation, the bottom half of the viv fills up with dense fog, leaving the top half clear. I'm going to try this once or twice a day for a couple hours hoping to satisfy the moss while not overwatering the broms.

I cut some holes in the ductwork aimed down at the florescent fixture, they do a great job of cooling it off. The holes reduced airflow in the viv to where I want it while bleeding in some fresh air. It takes about a half an hour for the glass to clear up after fogging and turning on the air.

I'm headed to south from the 2nd until the 14th to see some friends and family. I was happy to get the system operational before my trip, hoping some moss will start establishing while I'm gone.

Here're a couple pics, sorry about the glare. Anyone following this already knows my photography sucks. I'll have a friend take some quality pics when I'm a little further along

Jon
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  #86 (permalink)  
Old 01-31-2016, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

Wow! That's one of the best hardscapes I've seen. Great job!
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:37 AM
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Definitely following along on this one!
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  #88 (permalink)  
Old 02-19-2016, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

Quick update, I just got back from Florida and Texas and haven't made any real progress since the last update. Still waiting on leaf litter...

I picked up a twelve outlet power supply before I left and set up timers for each light, the misting system, the fan and the fogger. I've been fine tuning the timers for the past few days and I think I have schedule that'll work. I'm running the fogger for an hour and a half three times a day and circulating the air whenever the fogger is off. This is keeping the bottom of the viv nice and wet for the moss while still allowing the brom leaves to dry out a couple times a day.

All the broms I put in have shown some growth and are acclimating really well. To my surprise, I'm already seeing specs of moss growth all over the wood and rocks at the bottom of the tank!

No new plants yet, but I placed an order yesterday for a couple orchids and some Marcgravia.

Jon
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

It was warm today so I got to break out the power tools. I cut in a back wall to the space below the tank using 3/4" plywood. Cut a 6" hole in the back to access the outlet behind the viv. I ran all the wiring from the hood through the hole and to the power supply.

I cut in a shelf with some leftover plywood and mounted the power supply above the shelf. I'm taking a simple approach to the shelving, really want to have this done before my work season starts up next month. The shelf is supported by stainless steel L brackets and can be taken out or height adjusted easily.

I also pieced together some 1 1/2 PVC on top of the misting reservoir to make filling easier.

Jon
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

Not enough timers.... needs more cowbell also


Nah looks good
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  #91 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2016, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

You said that the fab was a bit too powerful, if you put a mesh in front of the fan, apparently that reduces the airflow a little

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  #92 (permalink)  
Old 03-01-2016, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

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Originally Posted by ruairidh_ View Post
You said that the fab was a bit too powerful, if you put a mesh in front of the fan, apparently that reduces the airflow a little

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Thanks, I put screens over some spots in the ductwork and cut some holes in the lines as mentioned earlier in the thread. The system's working great now, the airflow is right where I want it, its ff proof, and the light fixture is cooled by the holes in the ductwork.

For the past few days I've been working on the exterior. I cut a face and doors for the stand out of plywood, and have been touching up all the screw holes and seams with wood filler. I'm super anxious to finish cause I'll be neck deep in work by the end of march... Once I'm done touching up and mounting the doors, I'll just have to sand and paint it.

Also added a few more plants last week from glassboxtropicals.com, Masdevallia erinaceae, Dryadella cristata, Epidendrum gnomus, Microgramma vacciniifolia, and Marcgravia rectiflora. My first time with all of them, they came in looking great and most of them still do, but the marcgravia might not make it... They're incredibly fragile and I think I put them in too wet of a spot in the tank. I moved them all to a drier spot once I saw they were drooping but I don't know if they'll come back... I would really like to get a lot of marcgravia established in the tank but it's not cheap and I haven't figured out how to make it happy yet. If anyone has a good amount of it you'd like to sell, feel free to send me a pm.

I finally got a chance to put some leftover clay substrate into my R. amazonica tank! I dug out all the abg in that was in the front half and left the back undisturbed for the frogs.

Jon
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  #93 (permalink)  
Old 03-01-2016, 01:30 AM
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Beutiful

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Old 03-01-2016, 03:38 AM
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Looking good!


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Old 03-01-2016, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

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Thanks, I put screens over some spots in the ductwork and cut some holes in the lines as mentioned earlier in the thread. The system's working great now, the airflow is right where I want it, its ff proof, and the light fixture is cooled by the holes in the ductwork.

For the past few days I've been working on the exterior. I cut a face and doors for the stand out of plywood, and have been touching up all the screw holes and seams with wood filler. I'm super anxious to finish cause I'll be neck deep in work by the end of march... Once I'm done touching up and mounting the doors, I'll just have to sand and paint it.

Also added a few more plants last week from glassboxtropicals.com, Masdevallia erinaceae, Dryadella cristata, Epidendrum gnomus, Microgramma vacciniifolia, and Marcgravia rectiflora. My first time with all of them, they came in looking great and most of them still do, but the marcgravia might not make it... They're incredibly fragile and I think I put them in too wet of a spot in the tank. I moved them all to a drier spot once I saw they were drooping but I don't know if they'll come back... I would really like to get a lot of marcgravia established in the tank but it's not cheap and I haven't figured out how to make it happy yet. If anyone has a good amount of it you'd like to sell, feel free to send me a pm.

I finally got a chance to put some leftover clay substrate into my R. amazonica tank! I dug out all the abg in that was in the front half and left the back undisturbed for the frogs.

Jon
Wondering what false bottom medium you are using, seen in 5th photo?
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  #96 (permalink)  
Old 03-01-2016, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

It's just the standard egg crate method with fiberglass screen on top. The fifth picture shows the clay substrate before I put leaf litter on top.

Jon
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

This is going to look amazing! There is so much potential with that size and the way you designed the hardscape. Great job!
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:10 PM
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This is going to look amazing! There is so much potential with that size and the way you designed the hardscape. Great job!
Thanks!!! I'd love to hear some plant suggestions, any nice orchids that like to be wet all the time? The branch at the bottom right is always wet and I'd like to find some plants that will thrive on it.

I'd also like to get my hands on another moss species or two. I'm very happy with the Neherp moss and it's getting off to a great start, just want to spice it up a bit... I'd like to find something slow growing that won't mask the hardscape too quickly.

Jon
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:26 PM
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Thanks!!! I'd love to hear some plant suggestions, any nice orchids that like to be wet all the time? The branch at the bottom right is always wet and I'd like to find some plants that will thrive on it.

I'd also like to get my hands on another moss species or two. I'm very happy with the Neherp moss and it's getting off to a great start, just want to spice it up a bit... I'd like to find something slow growing that won't mask the hardscape too quickly.

Jon
Unfortunately the only orchids we offer are Vanilla planifolia, and they do well in our customers' vivariums. I know many members here can offer a much wider variety of more exotic orchids though.

As for slow growing plants for your background that won't go too crazy, we find that Ficus pumila 'Quercifolia', Ficus pumila 'Minima' and Ficus punctata 'Panama' are all much slower growing than their commonly used and larger leaved relative Ficus pumila 'Creeping Fig'. There are many other options too, but these ones came to mind and are commonly used/easy to grow.
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Old 03-07-2016, 07:04 PM
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Unfortunately the only orchids we offer are Vanilla planifolia, and they do well in our customers' vivariums. I know many members here can offer a much wider variety of more exotic orchids though.

As for slow growing plants for your background that won't go too crazy, we find that Ficus pumila 'Quercifolia', Ficus pumila 'Minima' and Ficus punctata 'Panama' are all much slower growing than their commonly used and larger leaved relative Ficus pumila 'Creeping Fig'. There are many other options too, but these ones came to mind and are commonly used/easy to grow.
Thanks, I still haven't had a chance to order any vines/trailing plants. I'm really taking my time planting this because my schedule is getting now that the weather is turning. Also I want to be 100% satisfied with any choices because I don't want to have to pull any root systems out of the clay substrate down the road. I really like Solanum evolvulifolium, I think I want to try a bunch of it out.

I'm still working on the exterior, finishing up with the sanding. I mounted the doors and just need to do a little bit more touch up before painting.

Until today, I had a bunch of aquarium substrate in the stream which I realized I didn't like as soon as I finished putting in... I thought it was going to be a huge pita to remove it, so I left it for a while. I discovered something amazing today that I'm sure many of you already know A wet/dry vac with the right amount of power can suck out the undesirables without damaging anything in the viv. I held a piece of half inch plastic tubing up to the end of my shop vac hose and tried sucking the substrate out of the stream. It worked beautifully, like a mini dredge pump! I got all the ugly, bright colored rocks out of there in no time, while leaving everything else undisturbed.

I'm expecting a bunch of new orchids in the next week, can't wait to mount them!

Jon
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Old 03-10-2016, 12:03 AM
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Just added Barbosella prorepens, Dryadella elata, Dryadella simula, Encyclia polybulbon, and Pleurothallis acestrophylla. Also put in some long awaited leaf litter.

I set up a new fogger, I messed up and fried the old one. I was using a three disc mist maker from thehouseofhydro.com, I just got their five disc model this week and it works great!

Jon
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:58 PM
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The house of hydro is badass. I have a 3 disc for my big build I'm starting and a five disc in my greenhouse. Nice to see them getting some dart Frogger/Viv builder love.


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Old 03-17-2016, 02:40 PM
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Check it out! After countless hours of patching and sanding in the past month, the work end of this project is DONE. As of yesterday, I have reclaimed my living room It felt pretty damn good to put ALL the tools AWAY and convert the workshop back into living space.

I must admit I was a little overwhelmed towards the end of the project, I put full steam into the work and didn't take any progress pics. NOTHING was easy for me... I'm actually very pleased with the results on the exterior, I kinda envisioned it that way from the start but wasn't sure that I could pull off a clean look.

I can't believe how well the glass track design is working, I put some petroleum jelly in the groove and now it slides easier than the doors on my smaller tanks!

I guess now I'll slowly siphon off the rest of my bank account for plants, maybe even frogs some day

Jon
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Old 03-17-2016, 02:49 PM
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...wow....
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Old 03-17-2016, 03:41 PM
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Wow is right, you really finished that off nicely! Love the cabinet!


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Old 03-17-2016, 03:52 PM
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That is awesome!

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Old 03-17-2016, 07:23 PM
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Nicely done sir. Nicely done.
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:47 PM
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Thanks!

On another note, it appears I am culturing some blue cheese in the tank... Looks different from any mold I've had in a viv so far. Anyone recognize it? It's spreading pretty quickly but seems to avoid well lit areas. It's not bothering me yet but I'd like to get rid of it before it becomes an issue. Maybe springtails will take care of it but just haven't found it yet? I tried to put a bunch directly on the mold but it's tough to get enough to stay there. I have been building the springtail population since I put in the substrate, but there are still a bunch of unpopulated areas. Any wisdom on this mold would be appreciated.

I ordered a five pound CO2 tank a couple days ago and I'll be bombing the crap out of this thing as soon as it comes in. I have a small population of what look like fungus gnats, probably came in on the centerpiece, I baked the crap out of all the other wood, that piece was just too big and I didn't want to cut it. I ran a few searches on the effect of CO2 on mold and came up empty handed. Will a CO2 bomb do anything to the mold?

Thanks,
Jon
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

. Wow . That build came out great ! Some vines would work killer in there . Solanum sp. Columbia would grow well in there . A couple large show pieces like Philodendron , Alocasia , Syngonium species for instance !

Great job !
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Old 03-19-2016, 01:18 AM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

Very nice. Love the vines!
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Old 03-19-2016, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

I wouldn't think that CO2 bombing would do anything to mold, but I'm not sure. As for the type, I have seen it a lot in the woods lately, and I would assume that it is non harmful. Have the springs and other microfauna gone after it yet? Be sure to keep us updated!

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Old 03-19-2016, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

Could the mould be simply due to the fact the wood is in a humid and hot environment?

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Old 03-21-2016, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingolfin View Post
I wouldn't think that CO2 bombing would do anything to mold, but I'm not sure. As for the type, I have seen it a lot in the woods lately, and I would assume that it is non harmful. Have the springs and other microfauna gone after it yet? Be sure to keep us updated!

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Still can't see any springs on it but I'm not too worried about it, it hasn't encroached on my moss yet...

Still no CO2 tank, thought Prime would have it here by now. The fly population doesn't seem to be increasing, they're such weak fliers that most of them get sucked into the ductwork when the fan's on.

Jon
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:12 PM
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Just got my CO2 tank in, let the extermination begin!!!

Tanks size may be overkill but I wanted to be able to do this a bunch of times without the inconvenience of refilling

I just taped off the sides of the glass and put the tank on top of the viv with a hose into the viv. I cracked the valve to allow a very slow flow of CO2 into the viv.

I've never done this before, any advice on how long I should bomb for? Or how much CO2 it should take to fill the viv?

Thanks,
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:09 PM
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I think I'm getting the hang of the CO2 bomb. I released the entire 5lb tank into the viv and left it for 24 hours before turning on the mister and air circulation. Was worried that the air movement created by the Mistking might drive some CO2 out through the top of the tank. I'm glad I got the five pound tank, I learned that it was just barely enough to fill the viv. I read on a conversion chart that a pound of CO2 has a volume of 8.741 cubic feet, I'm thinking at normal pressure? If so, the five pound tank should fill just over 43 cubic feet when released. Universal Industrial Gases, Inc. ... CO2 Unit Conversion (gas, liguid, solid) It's tough for me to estimate the volume needed to fill the viv because I can't determine what percentage of the space is taken up by the hardscape and the raised floor under the false bottom. My rough estimate is in the mid to high 30's, probably not over 40 cubic feet.

After bombing once, there wasn't much sign of life but I did see more mites crawl up onto the glass so I refilled the CO2 tank and bombed again three days later. The viv has been running for about 24 hours since bombing and there's no sign of life yet... I'm thinking there may still be some live eggs in there and I 'm prepared to keep bombing until everything's hatched.

I didn't notice any benefit to the plants from bombing but everything's starting to take hold except the Marcgravia

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Old 04-09-2016, 01:53 PM
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WellÖ Iíve got nemerteans.
Iíve done three 24 hour bombings, each about a week apart. I found four of them so far, to my surprise they crawled up on the glass right after bombings, two alive, two dead. This leads me to believe that the bombing can kill them but a 24 hour period is too short to suffocate them all. I donít know if Iím finding adults, but the ones Iíve found have been about 4 mm in length.

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/gen...-question.html

I think it's time to stop bombing and get a clean up crew in there. I read in this thread that orange isopods will eat nemerteans and that Josh Moore successfully cleansed a tank of them by introducing them. Iím going to give it a try, I just ordered a couple of cultures and will try to establish a decent population in the tank. Iím thinking I wonít add springtails for a few months, theyíre just a food source for the nemerteans. I know they can survive starvation for quite a while, but if I can get some isos to start eating them while the population is low, I might be able to eliminate them.

On another note, it's been really fun trying to fine tune the climatic conditions and watching the first couple months of growth. The airflow system is working perfectly, orchids are starting off nicely, some have already thrown a good bit of new growth. With ten nozzles, I'm just getting enough coverage. I was making slight adjustments to the nozzles and timers every day, now I finally have a schedule that's kicking ass. The moss is growing in better than I could have imagined!!! Seeing growth even in the darker parts of the tank.

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Old 04-09-2016, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: 360 Gallon Plywood Build

Any updated pics? I love this one!
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:54 AM
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No new pics for now, haven't added any new plants since the last update. I do have couple of plant orders pending, just waiting on some better shipping weather. Joyce Construction is back in full swing for another season, so I haven't really been able to focus on the tank.

Now that the climate is consistent in the tank I'm becoming familiar with all the different microclimates. I'll be more comfortable ordering plants when I know the growing conditions all over the tank.

Placed an order yesterday on some giant orange isos to hopefully eat any nemerteans left in the tank.
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:21 PM
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Check it out! My mom did a painting to go next to the tank. She doesn't know much about frogs but she's done plenty of rainforest paintings. I showed her some Basti's pictures and here's what she came up with. Super excited about how it came out!

As for the tank, I haven't had time to do anything in a while. Still have a lot of planting to do but I think I'll just let it be while I get through my busy season.
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:07 AM
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Moss is growing in nicely. I introduced some giant orange isos a few weeks ago and I'm just starting to see them crawling around. The nemerteans, if that's what they are, don't seem to be multiplying, haven't seen any in the past week. The springtail population is booming, no more mold blooms, everything smells nice and fresh.
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