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Old 01-20-2019, 08:36 AM
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Default underground cave system construction

Hello everyone. We are in the very beginning stages of designing our next vivarium. This one will be tall as we are wanting to do a 1/3 underground display. In the deep soil space I also want to add a cave system which will open to the glass, perhaps on a couple sides. Mostly to some things like cave crickets, millipedes, centipederes and maybe some blind fish. Still not sure about the logistics, would really appreciate some help. The viv will have a waterfall, river, pond which will run down to the cave under the would (concrete construction) and the cave will drip water down the back and some points on the ceiling into a small cave stream and pond before exiting the tank and pumped back up through a filter and down the waterfall.

Things like small LED light inside the cave for some viewing, air circulation etc still trying to figure out what's best, safest, good for the fauna etc.

Size is.not decided but it needs to fit through our door. So 170cm tall is our max, by 55cm deep. Length probably 150 to 200cm. Depends on price of glass.

Appreciate any tips or thoughts!
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: underground cave system construction

Sounds ambitious! I don't have a lot of advice, except that mixing some of the species you have mentioned and above ground species can get problematic. But the fish should be fine.

Aeration would be your biggest challenge, and filtration, as there would be no way to get inside it to clean up.

Solo
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:09 PM
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Default Re: underground cave system construction

I take it that this enclosure will not house dart frogs, correct?
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:14 PM
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Sounds awesome! Im doing something similar but on a much smaller scale. My tiny lil cave is underneath a raised section of land where my waterfall is. I also foamed in some spots for planting, using light diffuser for drainage. The water from that and the waterfall drips into the cave and in front of it. I’ll be placing a single led pinspot, ran through the above substrate, to shine into down into the cave.

A separate sump would help with filtration and oxygenating the water. I’m guessing that access to the water area would be limited, so keeping the substrate minimal, or none at all would keep the water clean...as long as you can get a siphon tube in there. Your nitrifying bacteria can live in the sump area too.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: underground cave system construction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formosa View Post
Hello everyone. We are in the very beginning stages of designing our next vivarium. This one will be tall as we are wanting to do a 1/3 underground display. In the deep soil space I also want to add a cave system which will open to the glass, perhaps on a couple sides. Mostly to some things like cave crickets, millipedes, centipederes and maybe some blind fish. Still not sure about the logistics, would really appreciate some help. The viv will have a waterfall, river, pond which will run down to the cave under the would (concrete construction) and the cave will drip water down the back and some points on the ceiling into a small cave stream and pond before exiting the tank and pumped back up through a filter and down the waterfall.

Things like small LED light inside the cave for some viewing, air circulation etc still trying to figure out what's best, safest, good for the fauna etc.

Size is.not decided but it needs to fit through our door. So 170cm tall is our max, by 55cm deep. Length probably 150 to 200cm. Depends on price of glass.

Appreciate any tips or thoughts!
Sounds cool!

On our project we are using high density foam from DUNAUSA. This is not expanding foam, but a foam that comes in 4 different types, U60, U100, U150, and U200. We are using U100.

It is carvable and solid that it will keep it's shape. There is an issue with mess when grinding or using a coarse file, but we have made a plastic room basically to work in. Our project is also big, so the mess would be less with smaller pieces.

If you are interested I can make a video for you (quick cell phone) to give you an idea. Let me know.

Either way, your project sounds great!
all the best...MAG
The Rainforest Exhibit
and
Punk Your Chucks

http://www.therainforestexhibit.com

In fact, we just posted a unboxing vlog of when they sent me samples...here it is:

https://youtu.be/px2lKDC0Qzo
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File Type: jpg DUNAHDFmontage1.jpg (82.8 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg dunausafoampic1.jpg (56.5 KB, 53 views)
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: underground cave system construction

What specific invert species are you planning? Millies will mulch your substrate real fast, and many centipedes are voracious and will eat everything that moves.....as an invert keeper I'm questioning the wisdom of this particular assortment of critters.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:50 AM
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Thanks for the input!

Correct, no dart frogs. We won't be using any foreign species of animals, just locals. Plants will probably add exotics.

TANKS: I like your idea of small LED inside the cave for occasional viewing, we will also be doing that. Though wondering about waterproof brands as its going through soil and may be in ultra humid environment.

I think due to weight we will have a metal frame on wheels so we can move it. On the back wall I am likely going to cut holes in and add water tight door for access to cave area for Maintenance. Seems necessary.

Rainforest exhibit: that looks amazing! What a cool job to have!! I like the skill you guys have carving foam. We won't be using.g foam, but it certainly does look amazing!

If it is convenient I would really like to see your video 🙂



Tarantulaguy: ya I hear you, we haven't really gone through the species yet, working on that now. Definitely millipedes probably cave crickets, isopods etc. We will be adding more vegetarian/scavenging species, but would like to add a predator or 2 in for balance, though I hear you loud on clear on centipedes. I was thinking using.a couple of our smaller species in thinking that they couldn't handle a big millipede. Never kept stone centipedes before, you have any experience?we are ok to supplement feeding but that rarely works. The idea is to have it as self sustained as we can, and tweak things as need be. Previously I was breeding vinegaroons for a few years and they might be interesting instead of the pedes. But they get far bigger than the centipedes I had in mind.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:14 PM
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I'd like to see how this comes together... interested
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:09 PM
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Great, hope you enjoy. I will start a new thread as a build project with pictures. Now.I'm.still in research mode and hoping people can point out flaws with my idea so it can be rectified before starting. The more I think about it, the more I see tarantulaguys point on centimpede, so will probably abandon that idea. Even a big tank does.t offer the diversity and quantity needed for such hungry predators.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:33 PM
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Hey everyone. Been away for a while. Work mostly. Starting to collect materials. Will be designing it around the glass size as its the most expensive, least flexible aspect of construction. But should be about 6' long x 5' high x 3' deep. Give or take a little based on glass size.

Money for glass permitting, should be 2 ends and front glass and playwood construction. Ive built many wood vivs and even aquariums without issue. But i have been really wanting to add something that many might think is bad.

Termites. I know. But is there a way to protect the wood from termites without lining it with glass? Would epoxy or fiberglass be realistic or can they chew through it?

Appreciate any suggestions about the termites.
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