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Old 08-04-2017, 12:44 PM
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Default Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

Hey all, I'm starting a build thread (early) to document my first viv build. It's fairly large but I've always been big on not half assing anything, whole ass one thing

This will be housing a group of either Leucs or possibly thumbnails since I have a local breeder here. More likely going to go with a little larger frog though. Also plans to have a lot of mini orchids in here, since I love growing them but it has proven tough in my apartment.



I'm building 2 ventilation shafts with 40CFM computer fans rated at IP57 for air circulation. Only one built so far but you get the idea. They will be hidden behind a HUGE cork round I bought and then cut in half for just this reason.





That's all for now, hopefully this weekend I will have a false bottom in and the vent shafts mounted and hidden behind the cork rounds. Then the fun part of mounting all my cork sheets and driftwood to try and make the thing look inviting.

Edit: Does anyone know how to direct link imgur pictures? Doesn't seem to be working for me. Adding the pictures as attachements for now.

Edit2: Just as an aside this will be lit with 3 Jungle Dawn spotlights... does anyone have any pictures of these in use on a similar sized viv? I already ordered them but I'm just interested to see what I'm getting into.
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Last edited by nyskiffie; 08-04-2017 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

Short update: I got my second ventilation shaft built and installed. Covered them up with the cork rounds. Coated the back with silicone and installed some light diffuser to give the GS something to stick to. I have some really heavy pieces of driftwood I'll be using so it will be necessary.

Right now I'm giving the silicone an extra few days to cure, since it will stop completely once I've covered it with GS. I should only need 3-4 days of cure time, but I'm away the end of this week so it will get a week or so which is only better.

Spent a little while yesterday trying out different hardscape options. It is really hard to get a decent picture of them, because the pieces that come out at the camera aren't shown well. There will be more too it as well,but this is just to give myself an idea.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

Subscribed and looking forward to the progress of your build!
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Old 08-16-2017, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

There's always so much potential with large vivs like this, have fun!
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

There will be an update tonight, I have a bunch of the great stuff down and cork/wood in place. About 1/2 done, 1/2 to go. I'm using way less GS than I had expected, only used 2 cans so far, it is debatable if I will get through my 5 cans.

I do have a question though, I'm building the screen vent right now and I'm wondering what generally would be a good depth for this? It will be the entire width of the tank, and right now I'm thinking about 2.5" deep but I'm not sure if that is enough. I'm considering opening it up to more like 4 or 5".

Does anyone have any strong opinions on this? I will have a mist king and a fogger set up in the tank, as well as the 2 shown active circulation fans, so I think that controlling humidity will be pretty easy for me, even if it takes a bit of balancing. Because of that I was thinking of extending the vent size to allow the tank to dry out more quickly and give me more freedom for misting.
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:30 PM
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It's better to have a bigger vent, since you could always have a spare piece of glass to place on top of the vent if needed to reduce ventilation. Much harder to make the vent larger once you've already done the glass/bulkhead drilling in the existing top setup.
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyskiffie View Post
I do have a question though, I'm building the screen vent right now and I'm wondering what generally would be a good depth for this? It will be the entire width of the tank, and right now I'm thinking about 2.5" deep but I'm not sure if that is enough. I'm considering opening it up to more like 4 or 5".
For my 36x18x36, I have about 2" of no-seeum mesh in the back and I think I would do it differently if I were to do it again. I think I would cut two pieces of glass, one for the front part and the other for the back. This would leave an empty section between the two pieces of glass that would be my vent. I would just silicone some no-seeum mesh over that. A couple of advantages are that I have some pretty aggressive climbing plants in the tank that like to try to push up on my mesh section above the background. Silicone is not that great at adhering to the plastic around the rim, so I would rather the back part where the climbers hit the top be glass, instead. Also, I would have the option of putting a UV bulb above the mesh section if it was in the middle (easier than at the back). I may redo the tank sometime to make it the way I just described. I would lean toward 4" of mesh if I redid it and then put a piece of glass over however much I think I need at the time.

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Old 08-25-2017, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

My plan is to have the screen against the front wall, partly to allow drier air onto the front wall to have it dry faster and partly because i have the circulation vents in the back and that way they will hit the glass and hopefully give me some good convection to get air moving everywhere.

I think I will open it up to 4" though, I think it makes more sense.
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:25 AM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

Update with pictures this time. All great stuffed, drying now. 4 cans. Way way less than I saw a lot of people using... not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

I tried to take a couple picture from different angles to give an idea of how much the wood sticks out into the tank. There will be lots of room for vining plants to hang between them. I also have a cypress stump that may go in depending on how it looks with substrate in.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

One more update before I get to planting this probably tonight or tomorrow. Still waiting for the silicone holding my drain pipe down to cure 100% before I lay down my false bottom and substrate.

Please ignore the wires and drain hose hanging down and the power wires for my circulation fans. I have a temporary piece of glass in there right now so I can plant the tank while I wait for my final piece to be cut.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

I love the background. Can't wait to see it planted!
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

Update: Apparently mist king included the wrong bulkhead in my mist system. Which really sucks. It was pretty much the last big step I had to finish but I can't do that now. So I guess progress stalls here until I receive the new one from them.

On the other hand, I'm super happy with my encounters with Glass Box Tropicals! Got all my broms planted today.
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:25 AM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

Got my camera out to take a decent picture where the broms arent washed out.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

Super exciting update time! I got in the rest of my plants, including a bunch of orchids from Andy's Orchids, a few more broms, some cool ficus, some more broms.. All kinds of stuff!

I also decided recently that the tank will be housing a big group of R. Variabilis "Southern" since my bedroom is pretty cool, and they seem to be more appropriate for the cooler temperatures. Also their quiet call is a big draw for me compared to something like leucs.

Anyway, onto the fun part!
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

Bro, Those Orchids are solid.
If you mind can you share the names of them?
Did you buy them on a stick or just in the moss?
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Old 09-23-2017, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

So it's my first time doing orchids in a viv. So if anyone has any tips for care of these species let me know! I'm going to make a thread in the plants section regarding these as well.

I have:

Masdevallia Tuerckheimii
Restrepia Muscifera
Haraella Odorata
Cischweinfia Sheehanae
Cirrhopetalum Thaiorum (or Bulbophyllum Yasnae, not sure from the description)
Cadetia Taylori
Bulbophyllum Purpurascens
Bulbophyllum Lasiochilum

According to Andy's Orchids these should all be compatible with vivs and should bloom regularly. We will see how it turns out.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

Just a couple update shots. Frogs are all happy as clams, calling and breeding almost constantly. Lots of plant growth too after several slow weeks at the beginning.
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

Did you put the coco fiber right on the great stuff foam or did you silicone the foam first? I siliconed mine first, but now I'm seeing other skip the silicone and but the fiber right on the foam before it dries.

Also, what to the fans do and are they necessary? I'm just wondering if I should add them to my next build?

Looks awesome!
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Exo 36x18x36 Build thread

I siliconed the background really really heavily when I textured it. I thinned the silicone slightly with xylene and spread it on with a gloved hand.

The fans create air circulation which helps the orchids a lot and helps to clear the glass a bit.

Thanks for the compliments!
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