Dendroboard

Go Back   Dendroboard
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read Advertise

Support Our Sponsors
No Threads to Display.

facebook

Dendroboard

Dendroboard (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/)
-   Parts & Construction (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/)
-   -   75G Tower Paludarium Build Log (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/350290-75g-tower-paludarium-build-log.html)

andrewdingemans 01-23-2019 08:26 PM

75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Hello all,

So I am new to the paludarium/viv world, however am a woodworker and cabinetmaker, and general craftsman. I live and breathe construction, but have also been in the aquarium hobby (fresh and salt) for over 10 years (other experience I have in my intro in the newbie section of the board)

This build will have alot of restrictions and challenges. I am very glad to have Dndro as such a good resource as I have been doing research for quite a few months and gathering some needed construction materials. I will also be attending the Toronto Reptile Expo this coming weekend (Jan 27) to search out some build materials like cork and branches/driftwood etc.

The Location:
I live in a condo and unfortunately lots of wall space has been dedicated to storage and my 80 gal cichlid tank and my 30 gallon reef tank. This paludarium will be located offset of a column infront of a window. To make it even more challenging it will be above a mini freezer that is 38" to the solid wood top. The freezer surround is built with solid wood and lag bolted to the concrete next to it. I have 56" from the top to underside of ceiling and may end up using it all (with the false bottom I want below, height of tank, and cabinet/access above).
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psglwoxwmd.jpg

The Tank:
It is a custom 1/2" glass 75 Gallon column tank. It originally was going to be used for Discus (hence the taller profile) but decided to take the plunge. Exterior dimensions are 24.25"W x 24.25"D x 29.5"H. This gives a rough 75 gallons to work with. Due to the tall profile, this is where my wife and I had the idea to 'sacrifice' 5-6" on the bottom to water to allow us to still house some aquatic plants and MAYBE some small guppies or shrimp...still not decided on this part.

When I got the tank it was in pretty rough shape, it sat outside for something like 2 years. The back glass has a few scratches which I am not too concerned about and the silicone inside looked like it was in rough shape. Being in the building industry, scraping near the joints looks like UV reactive sealant was used to secure the glass together. Either way, entire tank was scraped, washed, disinfected, washed again, taped off, degreased and then resealed with Silicone 1. I typically have contractor packs of this stuff in storage.
(disregard the dead plants in the tank):rolleyes:
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pspnhed2ho.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psimvmm93b.jpg

The Construction Materials:
I have compiled some of the materials I will be using to build the false bottom, air circulation channels, lid, background, tank surround/cabinet (more on that later)

-Paper towels
-GE Silicone 1
-Paper towels
-Caulking gun
-glass scrapers and lots of replacement blades
-First Aid Kit (because I am bound to cut myself duh)
-Paper towels
-Masking Tape/Frog tape for nice clean caulking lines
-Rubbing Alcohol
-Acetone
-Silicone profile scraper (old credit card cut to profile)
-Paper Towel (Did I say that yet?)
-Respirator and fans (since I am working inside in the middle of -10C weather)
-3/4" PVC for false bottom standoffs
-White lighting diffuser
-Zip ties
-Great Stuff Sprayfoam (I found 16ox Multipurpose Black RV/Marine at HD near me)
-Drylok (grey)
-Titebond 3
-Acrylic Paints (for tinting Drylok)
-All The Tools!

Above is what I have so far. Have some other misc stuff lying around for other stages, but luckily they are still in storage.

Timeline:
Well this is the interesting part. I have always rushed into and finished builds quickly. every 2 years the 80 gallon gets re-scaped in the matter of 24 hours. The reef was assembled in approx 7 days once materials started arriving. This build is going to be longer thought out and implemented. I work from home and typically can spare an hour throughout the day. Family life typically eats up mornings and afternoons and time with the wife afterwards with another hour or 2 to focus on the build. Weekends are sporadic for time to work on the build also.

With all that being said; once I have a clear direction and have all the materials I would like to have the build completed in 5-6 weeks time. I have an image in my head of the design and pretty adamant in sticking to it due to where the pal will sit in the condo and what I am looking for in terms of inspirational photos/builds I have seen. I would then like to have it run for 7 days to off gas anything remaining and ensure the water feature will work without issue. I would then like to place order for all the plants/CUC and get it planted in 7 days and let things cycle and settle

Sorry in advance if this becomes long winded, but I am also tracking this for myself and my daughter. Happy reading and I am gladly open to suggestions as they come.

______
Andrew

andrewdingemans 01-23-2019 08:45 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Progress: False Bottom

Today's small progress was the start of the false bottom. I had mulled over many ideas before with keeping the water feature and false bottom components separate to avoid tannin leaching from the ABG mix I want to use, but with everything I am reading with the potential risks of the divider between the water and non-water areas failing at some point and the false bottom keeping the ABG off the bottom AND the current discussions about ABG alternatives, this is what I have so far:
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psrnpvcg3d.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psoxhoxspz.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps7dcbe2pc.jpg

The false bottom sits at 5.5" above the bottom glass. The shape of the land has been fine tuned a few times to get the right flow....still needs a little bit.

The recessed area between the 2 masses will have a 1/2" bulkhead as the input from a fog machine. It will be masked with a piece of driftwood also. The idea here is to make it look like fog coming out of a cave or tunnel. At the narrow point near the front I am thinking of having a mossy cork round bridge type thing. From that cork back, the water area will be a shallow 1/2"-1" and get deeper from there to the front glass.

3 more bulkheads will be installed on the rear coming from a canister filter. 1 will be the return TO the canister and a valve will split 2 feeds, 1 back directly to the pond, and 1 for a trickle waterfall/stream.

I still need to finish creating the PVC pipe standoffs (cut to 5.25" and channeled at bottom to ensure no stagnant water stays inside of them)

The perimeter of where you see the blue line will get pieces of the light diffuser as my plan here is to cut a long 5" piece and then torch it to bend it to the profile (similar to how you would heat and bend plexi/lexan)

______
Andrew

andrewdingemans 01-24-2019 11:16 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Progress: False Bottom

https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...pszdqejqki.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psaljiltje.jpg

Finished constructing the false bottom. Used 3/4" PVC stand-offs and my hands regret doing the perimeter diffuser, all the cutting with snips and super-glueing (due to misplacing my tiny zip ties). Of course I found them after the fact so will be using them before the bottom soil cloth.

Speaking of, below is product I have used for raised plant beds to keep soil in and a bit of moisture in. Question Is: Should I use this or should I be using something different? I fear that door screen may allow too fine of particulate to get through.

https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...pswim1krgu.jpg

Another question which I am sure is pretty obvious, is do I need to silicone the false bottom down if the standoffs are secured to the false bottom structure?

Next steps now are to get the holes for the bulkheads drilled. As mentioned, I will be using a canister filter as not a lot of filtration will be needed, but just some. I may be using a ZooMed 501 due to it's small footprint and ease for me to hide it behind the tank. One idea that came to mind was to have a valve and output under the false bottom as to be able to 'wash' out any accumulated dirt or detritus. I would be able to temp turn off the water feature and open the output to get full flow under the false bottom.

I am still debating on if I will treat or camouflage the vertical surface of the false bottom, or just build up the substrate. DSB's are typically used for aerobic/anaerobic bacteria, and this could be a great are for this (I would employ substrate from my cichlid tank to kick start the cycle)

It's slow progress, which is testing me, but I am looking to the end product.

Thanks for reading! Comments and suggestions welcome!

______
Andrew

indrap 01-25-2019 12:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I'm really impressed with your false bottom, it must have taken a lot of patience to curve it so smoothly like that!

I dont think it would hurt to add more silicone just in case, and maybe do a test with your liner that substrate doesnt leak through I can't imagine it'll be too bad especially when your abg is wet and more compact

SoloSK71 01-25-2019 01:20 AM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
I would suggest caulking it down, but I am not sure on the life of that fabric submerged.

Solo

rjs5134 01-25-2019 01:38 AM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
That material breaks down in my garden. I wouldn't use it.

Looks great so far.

andrewdingemans 01-25-2019 11:15 AM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rjs5134 (Post 3055796)
That material breaks down in my garden. I wouldn't use it.

Looks great so far.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoloSK71 (Post 3055794)
I would suggest caulking it down, but I am not sure on the life of that fabric submerged.

Solo

Thanks both! Yea I did some more research on it and I will probably use something else. If I don't plan on replacing the land substrate in 5 years it may break down. It is of organic composition and will degrade. I will look around today at HD or Lowes for some fine polyester based screen.

Quote:

Originally Posted by indrap (Post 3055780)
I'm really impressed with your false bottom, it must have taken a lot of patience to curve it so smoothly like that!

I dont think it would hurt to add more silicone just in case, and maybe do a test with your liner that substrate doesnt leak through I can't imagine it'll be too bad especially when your abg is wet and more compact

I will certainly be adding some silicone. I guess my worry was not being able to get access under the false bottom for some reason. I guess that's not really something I would ever need.

______
Andrew

ethanp1900 01-25-2019 05:37 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Awesome tank! I can't wait to see when this is done. If you are going to have running water going into the false bottom then you might need something with bigger holes like fiberglass screen. I've found that weedblock or other barriers that have tiny tiny holes and are semi-permeable take a while for water to go through. I'm using two layers of screen for my current viv. (it doesn't have a water feature) and I regret it. I should have only used one layer but I think it will be fine because just in some spots I cut the screen so water might pass through, just in case. You might think about using weedblock or something similar for the abg but switching it up for something different with the water feature.

Also I cant wait to see your selection of frogs since this tank will be so vertical. Another question: are you going to be doing a backround?

andrewdingemans 01-25-2019 07:08 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ethanp1900 (Post 3055828)
Awesome tank! I can't wait to see when this is done. If you are going to have running water going into the false bottom then you might need something with bigger holes like fiberglass screen. I've found that weedblock or other barriers that have tiny tiny holes and are semi-permeable take a while for water to go through. I'm using two layers of screen for my current viv. (it doesn't have a water feature) and I regret it. I should have only used one layer but I think it will be fine because just in some spots I cut the screen so water might pass through, just in case. You might think about using weedblock or something similar for the abg but switching it up for something different with the water feature.

Also I cant wait to see your selection of frogs since this tank will be so vertical. Another question: are you going to be doing a backround?

Hey Ethan, yea I ended up picking up regular fiberglass screen since I didn't want to run the risk of water not passing fast enough through the soil and into the bottom.

Background is coming soon, waiting for the bulkheads to get in, hopefully today so then I can drill and get things better visualized for the crevices, ledges and profile of the back.

In terms of frogs, I played with the idea of tree frogs, but my wife likes the size and character of the PDF's. I want to still do some branches hanging out into the tank in case I still go to a tree type frog but I have heard leucs are good climbers. My issue with the leucs is I am concerned their calling may be too loud. I've never heard it in person in a closed viv so not sure here either.

Ranitomeya Imitator or Auratus are on my wish list however. I am going to wait for the tank to be finished and cycle and have it acclimate so I can see what it's conditions will be without having to heat or cool or mist too much.

______
Andrew

johnachilli 01-26-2019 05:57 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
To keep in mind with frog calling is darts will call during the day time or just before/after their light cycle, while treefrogs are going to call at night.

Anyways the leucomelas call is fairly loud but very pleasant IMO.

andrewdingemans 01-28-2019 01:48 AM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by johnachilli (Post 3055888)
To keep in mind with frog calling is darts will call during the day time or just before/after their light cycle, while treefrogs are going to call at night.

Anyways the leucomelas call is fairly loud but very pleasant IMO.

That's good to know about when. That will probably be deciding factor with the calling at night, would not work in our place.

______
Andrew

andrewdingemans 01-28-2019 02:19 AM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
This will be a multi-day post since not much has happened due to me being sick on Friday and Saturday and also the Toronto Reptile Expo today.

Made a trip to Home Depot last Friday and saw a few intriguing plants. Of course the Selaginella that I got, my cat peed on it the second I turned my back. Did a few quick freshwater dips to get it mostly rinsed out so hoping for the best....BTW if you can ID any of these that would be awesome (last one is the Selaginella)

https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...psn7bszokd.jpg

http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psn942cavp.jpg

http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psjfae4leg.jpg

http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psbmi3uj4t.jpg

http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psaigmwxgd.jpg

I also ended up picking up the mesh to wrap the false bottom and found my bag of zip ties
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psqn7tyqe7.jpg

After wrapping the false bottom I started working on ideas for building up the landscape for the water feature. Still need to figure out the left side but was waiting to pick up the cork pieces. There will be a collection area at the top with some sort of overhang above, which will cascade down to another collection area, then another cascade down to another collection area followed by the 1/2-1" fall to the pond area.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psnbi8jl35.jpg

http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps9wbehr4l.jpg

http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pskvekghdj.jpg

Speaking of cork!
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psxua3q0xn.jpg

A bit ticked off since I bought 3 bags of the Magnolia leaves and didn't notice the third was missing from the bag they packaged all the cork and misc that I bought from them.

Otherwise the Reptile show was great, saw a pretty cool paludarium display there, however am less than impressed with the Zoomed reptifogger and how little the output was in the small display.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps1efycskt.jpg

Another good find was a plant source that had some really good looking air plants and broms
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pswwnzkojc.jpg

Also I have not concluded in regards to heating, whether I am going with something in-water, inline with the filter, or with a heat mat.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pseijixsy6.jpg

Anyway, next steps at this point are to drill the 4 holes for the bulkheads and decide on heating. If it's going to be in tank, I don't want to see it in the display area, so I would need to incorporate a channel to get a heater in and out of the back near the water inlet and outlet.
______
Andrew

SoloSK71 01-28-2019 07:18 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
If you go for an in tank heater, get a Finnex 25W Titanium tube heater. Reef Supplies sells them in Canada. No risk of them breaking if a part of them gets dry.

Solo

andrewdingemans 01-28-2019 09:16 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SoloSK71 (Post 3056036)
If you go for an in tank heater, get a Finnex 25W Titanium tube heater. Reef Supplies sells them in Canada. No risk of them breaking if a part of them gets dry.

Solo

Thanks for the suggestion Solo, I have a 100W Finnex in my reef aquarium and the 50W Finnex I can get here is still a bit too long for me to be able to maneuver it into the bottom without removing any background (finnex is 6" long)

I've decided to go with a similar heater that I have on my large freshwater, Hydor inline heater.

https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...pstpizvn8m.jpg

Hope this doesn't cut down on head pressure for the filer. We shall test once it comes in, if needed I will upsize the filter from the 15 gallon model to the 30 gallon

______
Andrew

andrewdingemans 01-28-2019 09:42 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Progress: Bulkheads

So due to the snow storm we are getting in the city here, my attention has turned to ensuring life support for my other 2 tanks, clean blankets and towels, batteries, battery powere air pumps, 15 gallons of fresh RODI, 10 Gallons of fresh saltwater, just to name a few. I got stuck when we had a winter storm in 2016 and was not prepared (hard lesson learned)

What I did get completed are the 4 holes for the 1/2" bulkheads; I forgot how long it takes to drill 12mm glass. This will set me up nicely to silicone down the false bottom and start laying out the hardscape. Orders for all the remaining supplies will go in this week!

http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pshou56z8n.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps5twcnu2o.jpg

Top left is fog inlet, top right is inlet for water feature, bottom left is the false bottom 'wash-out', and bottom right is the filter return.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps7b19xwhe.jpg

______
Andrew

andrewdingemans 01-31-2019 11:52 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Progress: Hardscaping

So after being sick for a few days I tackled a small part of the false bottom and the background. I added the pipe for the false bottom 'flush' and then siliconed the false bottom in place. Then I attached the fogger pipe and ran it to where I wanted the output (forgot to take a pic). Taped over the end and cut all the cork to size for the background. Trying to get this tank on it's back with the bulkheads installed was a bit of a challenge, but nothing a few rolled up towels didn't take care of. Put in a temp pipe for the waterfall outlet.

Roughly laid out:
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psr0uodt1d.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pshpdpvope.jpg

On it's back and foam started:
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pskemnzgmd.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pstdgvqjuf.jpg

One question should i be worried about this hollow spot? There doesn't seem to be anyway in or out of it, foam is in contact all the way around with no gaps. If needed I can poke a hole or 2 in the cork and squeeze in some foam.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psdnutkbm5.jpg

Got it upright and started to foam in the waterfall area. Alot of the foam going in is support material so lots will be carved away. Used up all 3 16oz cans and think i need another 2 or 3 to do what I need:
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psvtrnkiks.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps1zoeulcp.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psqtih5cjo.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pssw5fhzsi.jpg

This is starting to look awesome and have a few more pieces of cork I want to put in to get it to look the way I envision.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome!

______
Andrew

andrewdingemans 02-03-2019 01:46 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Progress: Hardscape

It's always nice to come home to 1 of the 3 large orders you've been waiting for gets here.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps8wp5nhnq.jpg

So the last few days I have been working on the 'rock-forming' with foam and foaming in the cork logs to form some branches. I was stuck between the decision of lots of branches to allow for more air-plants and orchids, but it would make it difficult to light, vs just enough but making sure the future frogs could cross all bodies of water safely.

This week, the glass top order will go into a local glass supplier that I have used to order glass for my custom aquariums.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pshqkss1bi.jpg

Anyway, below is what I believe is how it will stay. All branches are foamed in and foam carved except for the one in the foreground that lays across the waterfall.

The plan is anywhere that should be a branch will get silicone and coco fiber, then the rest will get 5-6 coats of dry lock and acrylic paint to imitate rock.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps69uqfkjb.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps1v7z7xp6.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psdn7avrno.jpg

You can also see the output for the fogger in the back of this cave:
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psppddnbfi.jpg

______
Andrew

andrewdingemans 02-06-2019 04:40 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Progress: Cabinet design and Background

Alright, so I have been busy with work so only have had a bit of time here and there to get things done. I added another cork tube to the tank after getting the tank up onto it's resting place and viewing it from my work desk, couch and kitchen table. Something just seemed to be missing from one spot. I now know I should have designed it more like a root structure than a tree structure (branches/roots coming down vs. branches going up)

One thing I am working on today is getting the coco background material ready for application. Bought a dried brick of it and for the life of me was trying to get it to work without having to soak it but it wasn't working. 4L of water later I had about a gallon worth of coco fibre. Got it layed out on a few baking sheets and have been baking now for almost 2 hours. I am baking at 300F and turning every 20 mins. I am terrified of it catching fire (my oven is sh**). My other contemplation right now is to apply it using either GE I Silicone or Gorilla Glue Original. AHHH, Decisions!
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psqxlanllr.jpg

I have also been working towards finalizing the design for the cabinet that will surround the tank and house all the equipment etc. I should be able to house the small zoomed filter in back with all the hosing etc and have a compartment ontop for the electronics. I have not finalized what Lights I am using so the space ontop may become taller. For now I am showing the 2 switch panels and 2 fan controllers.
https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...psn9lkjjil.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps2ogqbe9x.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pswsekn1jv.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pszku4vyp9.jpg

Let me know your thoughts with profile cutting the side panels to match it to where I would paint black on the tank to block the foam and cork, or if I should straight cut the wood and just leave it with the paint. My idea is my 2 cats will stand and scratch the black paint.

I saw these new Zoomed lights at Big Als this past week when I was taking in some fish I bred. It's a 24" fixture with sound effects. It's called ZooMed AquaEffects - Model 2.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pshkqjci3v.jpg

I am not sold on them, just liked the idea if I ran 2. However have heard less than raving reviews of ZooMed lights in general. Spectral is still high on my list.

ethanp1900 02-06-2019 05:55 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by andrewdingemans (Post 3056662)
Progress: Cabinet design and Background

I am not sold on them, just liked the idea if I ran 2. However have heard less than raving reviews of ZooMed lights in general. Spectral is still high on my list.

Probably a good idea to go with spectral designs. Tested by many other froggers and I have heard nothing but positivity. You also can't beat the price for what you are getting.

andrewdingemans 02-06-2019 06:18 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
I definitely agree. At this point shipping and the dollar exchange are what are holding me off from completely pulling the trigger. Also due to the lights going in a cabinet, I am trying to figure out a mechanism that these can either mount or hang from that can be moved to allow access as I understand that the lights should sit directly on or right above the glass top.

andrewdingemans 02-09-2019 05:14 AM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Background Substrate Methods: Test Samples

Ok, so I was going to do this as a separate post, but it pertains to the build so here goes.

I spent the last couple days preparing samples of a few ways to cover the great stuff foam based on results from others on the board here.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psl1lw4sym.jpg

First was Drylok. The right side is painted on pretty thick with just 1 coat. The left was brushed on, then 'stippled' with a dry brush to help with creating a bit more texture. In the end, the finish is the same texture, however the right seems to be thicker. Surface is still a bit soft after 24hrs of drying.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps7j7aft9q.jpg

Second was coco fibre spread and pressed over a fresh application of black great stuff foam. End result is less than impressive. The texture of the surface is uneven, but not imressed with the amount of fibre attached to surface, a few bald spots. Surface is soft like uncarved foam.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pswxogil2j.jpg

Third was the Titebond III and fibre slurry. I did the right side where it was more of a paste (about 1:1 ratio of fibre to glue) and the left was more liquid (2-3:1 of glue to fibre). In the end I covered it all with fibre and pressed it in. Both show the same type of cure with 1 coat each and the same finish and coverage. The surface still feels semi-soft but more firm than just fibre on foam.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psby8nz1pz.jpg

Fourth was Titebond III painted onto the foam until no holes in the carved foam could be seen and fibre sprinkled on and pressed. Finish looks about the same as the slurry and paste mix, but a bit less firm than slurry and paste after 24 hours of cure
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...ps6mv9onxn.jpg

Fifth was Silicone 1 and fibre. Applied a decent amount of silicone with gloved hand and sprinkled and pressed in the fibre. Finish is even with no bald spots. Firmness is about the same as just fibre on foam, but good coverage.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psrtmjquwq.jpg

Sixth and last is gorilla glue and fibre. I applied the glue until all foam pores were filled. Gave it a light mist then applied some damp fibre and pressed into surface. I then applied some dry fibre over the surface, gave a light press and let cure. This finish is now rock-hard and has alot of texture. The gorilla glue did add some bumps and texture to the surface therefore the fibre coverage is not even showing a few bald patches
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psykpg2zp7.jpg

Before I make my decision I am going to allow the samples to cure for 5 days then do a misting test (20 second mist) to see how each withstand it, then a soak test (submerge in water for a few hours at a time) to see how they also withstand that. So far the gorilla glue solution is out due to the hardness of the sample and the foam is out due to the uneven coverage.

Drylok will be used for the waterfall section, however 2 new samples need to be made where I apply silicone to the foam prior to drylok and second where I apply drylok then silicone overtop.

Hopefully some find the above info helpful.

TheRainforestExhibit 02-10-2019 09:10 AM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
When you said you were doing a 75G Viv, I had no idea you were this far along...nice work!

I can't wait to see what you do with it!

andrewdingemans 02-10-2019 04:39 PM

Thanks! It's not as far along as I would like but doing some testing and making sure the habitat is built accordingly will be pivitol to the longevity and health of the future inhabitants

andrewdingemans 02-14-2019 09:07 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Progress: Glass Tops!!!

So very little progress due to being swamped with work.

However! The glass top pieces were completed a week early. The shop I use waterjet the holes for the fans and mist nozzles so I don't need to worry about it. I now need to figure out the hinge for it and get that purchased so then I can silicone the rear into place (clearances and all).
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psqpdni44y.jpg

On a side note, my patience was being tested with the samples so I started the water testing last night. For sake of also simulating being trampled on etc I used one setting up on my pump sprayer from mist. So far the silicone is holding up the best with keeping a soft texture (top left in pic below). The 2 TB3 samples (bottom 2 in pic below) continue to loose fibre when I spray them and are extremely rough (like sand paper) when they fully dry out. I assume they are soft when wet because I didn't allow them the proper time to cure.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psdugqgftc.jpg

andrewdingemans 02-23-2019 07:33 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Progress: Glass Tops and Ready for Background and waterfall finish.

This past week I have been finishing up the background testing, which I have concluded I will be using the silicone and coco fibre due to how it held up during testing, dryout time and softness.
Top right is the silicone and fibre option
https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...psvmlgdwy5.jpg

The glass tops I have also siliconed in place, then bonded on the hinge with E6100 (yes I know not frog safe, but it is not in contact with any of that and external to the tank). You apply the product similar to contact cement, then bond both parts together while the 'glue' is still soft.
https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...ps7qbozdpt.jpg
https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...psixdjf7zf.jpg

After getting that completed, it allowed me to finish filling the last of the gaps with the remaining foam I had. This project has used 5 full cans of foam!
https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...pstwqhxpjg.jpg

Also, I've been working with Kurt to finalize the design of the light fixture. Due to me having the fans on the top, depth of tank, and wanting to feature certain areas, some custom design work was needed with the standard size lights he makes. Hope it all works out!

andrewdingemans 02-27-2019 10:36 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Progress: Fake rock work completed and circulation started

Quick little update. I have spent a few days completing the fake rockwork. The drylock is a fairly easy and low smell product to use. I used acrylic paints to tint it as the powder options didn't give me the look I was after. The drylock is only being applied to the waterfall area over the silicone base that I laid down

I did 4 coats of the base grey with no tinting color in semi-heavy coats.
https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...ps5xjp3iva.jpg

I then mixed in about 2 ozs of black to about 2 cups of drylock to give me the dark tinted base coat. I did about 2 coats of this as the first coat missed some spots as I painted it at night under artificial lamps. Today I got around to trying some more artistic finishing using the dry-brush method. A friend of mine suggested to tint the water areas a light blue and the rock areas with greens and browns as rock have those colors. I am by far no artist and the cramped work space certainly made it challenging. For my first try I say I did alright. As the base of the paint is the drylock product I am under the impression I don't need to seal any of this as the drylock product itself is a 'waterproofer'.
https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...pszhoobbhu.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psvfudygdp.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psc0j6lmnm.jpg

One thing I would change is that I would spend a bit more time carving to look like riverside boulders rather than one large rock formation. For my first attempt I am content.

The other thing that I started to make this week are the external mounted circulation fans. I have a number of 2" PVC and ABS that I will use to create almost all of the circulation for the tank including one 'duct' to bring in and exhaust from outside the cabinet if things get too humid
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pstetz21tm.jpg

Also this week I will be completing all of the silicone and coco fibre work for the background. I forgot to pick up some sphagnum, so will do that as I want to silicone it into some spots also.

andrewdingemans 03-05-2019 07:50 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Progress: Hardscape and circulation Complete

Last few days I've worked to complete the background and the fountain area and get all the circulation parts assembled.

Final land-scape. Pond-scape to be completed when up in it's final location.
https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...psn4a7p4x3.jpg

Yes, there is a missed spot in the pic above, but I got it right after:
https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...pszxqwwj0i.jpg

Hardest part with the background was doing the coco fibre around the fog outlet. I can't even seem to get a good picture of it now. In the picture above it is to the right of the background cork in a 2" deep hole.

Vacuuming up the loose fibre from under the false bottom was definitely an ordeal. Tilting the tank back and onto its side and back and forth. Had to uninstall one of the bulkheads to get a straw contraption I made in to vacuum it all up. Quite the challenge since the tank is nearing 200lbs already.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psli5lfuv3.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psucgppwhh.jpg

Final Circulation assembly with mesh in place. 2" ABS is used here. I lucked out when both assemblies leaned up against eachother in this configuration and it holds the lid open very well. The Y from the rear will be connected to a louvre of some sort that will allow in/out fresh air. Still not 100% sure on this one yet.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psk2pm2brb.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pssifs2kfb.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pswwoft15v.jpg

Next steps are to build the frame that will support the tank and allow the install of the exterior panels that will cover the tank and equipment.

andrewdingemans 03-20-2019 01:46 AM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Progress: Cabinet Complete!

Gotta say it's been a long 12 days with building this cabinet.

I spent a few days trying to figure out how to build the frame in a way where I could assemble and paint everything in place. Once I had a plan, made a trip to HD to buy about $450 in wood and supplies that would become the main frame and cabinet.

First battle was to get it into place. Tank I remembered was about 160lbs empty. With everything in it and the lid, my scale was showing 225lbs. My brother, his girlfriend and I wrangled this thing onto it's stand 34" up and got it resting where it will live.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pskdwawruo.jpg

Next I got all the panels test fitted to see if any trimming was needed. I needed to plan all my cutting and router work as I am in a condo and like to keep the dust out of here as much as possible, so it required me to lug all the parts to a stairwell or in the parking garage to get what I needed complete.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pscj5wqlsj.jpg

Also decided when building the frame that I wanted a 3" deep drawer below for storage of supplies etc.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...pso8apitet.jpg

Viewing panels framed in and routed out. Flush cut to the "frame" and then 1/8" roundover.
https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...psurjn7pip.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psrkl9uipy.jpg

Alot of sanding and finessing and ensuring everything would fit along with the equipment etc and I was happy. I originally was going to hinge 2 front doors on the front, but due t the frame etc, the hinges I had wouldn't work without a decent amount of work. I decided to join the pieces I already had cut to make it look like a false double door, however I have it hinged on the top with some actuators.

I also then decided that I was going to make the inside of the cabinet black and the outside white. Other colors would clash with the rest of what we have going on here and I have a 5 gallon pail of semi-gloss white from when I did some other cabinetwork. The interior got 2 coats of black and the exterior got 4 coats of white. I decided early on that I still wanted the side panels to be removable just in case so some holes will be covered with stick on covers.

FINAL CABINET PHOTOS
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psafaajyca.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psx3qrezr6.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psqfniihmw.jpg
https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...pszbw6gkys.jpg

Next up is working on getting all the equipment setup and plumbed in. Already have in my switch controller, fan controllers, humidity and temp controllers. Still on the hunt for a slim water reservoir for the mistking.
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psqjte02em.jpg

Tanks 03-20-2019 02:07 AM

Looks great!! Nice work on that cabinet

andrewdingemans 03-25-2019 07:38 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Thanks Tanks!

Progress: Almost ready for plants!!!

I have the tank now at about 95% and almost ready for plants. I am ready for microfauna, but trying to source somewhere that the shipping isn't more than the buggers is my issue.

The cool mist is plumbed in, all scaping in the pond completed and a simple 5L plastic container was used for the mistking. It sits ontop of the cabinet so it can gravity feed the pump.

Lights from Spectral ship out tomorrow so hoping to have it installed by weeks end.

I'm also monitoring conditions in the tank to see how the temp and humidity fluctuate during the day without any heating or cooling running. Outside temps are hovering around the 0deg C mark (32F) so it'll give me a good base point. I've also tested what effect the cool mist has in 10, 20 and 30min intervals along with the misting system at 30, 60, 90 and 120 second misting lengths once daily.

https://i1254.photobucket.com/albums...psyxlvpft5.jpg
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/...psox1wv0gq.jpg

DPfarr 03-25-2019 09:54 PM

Well done. Everything.

What’s up with the green lights?

camps23 03-28-2019 01:34 AM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Beautiful setup

andrewdingemans 03-28-2019 02:38 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DPfarr (Post 3059908)
Well done. Everything.

What’s up with the green lights?

Thank you. It is temporary at this point, I had these LED pucks lying around and thought the color added a little something until plants and my Spectral lights get here.

Quote:

Originally Posted by camps23 (Post 3060120)
Beautiful setup

Thank you

andrewdingemans 04-12-2019 01:08 PM

Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log
 
Paludarium Build Complete!

So the day finally came where Spectral finished the lights! Kurt was very patient and worked through all the custom parts of the plan. These things are crazy bright and I am very impressed.

Lots has happened since the last update personally, but a few things with the tank. I am thinking now that I am into the planting stage I am going to move tracking of future progress in the Member's Frogs and Vivariums section of the board.

First set of plants came in from Integrated Exotics. Everything got a 10min soak in room temp RODI water to rid of anything on the surface and to rehydrate the tillandsias. Then got the CO2 bomb implemented (no pictures during) and left for 24 hours. No signs of pests of any sort.
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...psuqmm1o9x.jpg

Went through the standard process of placing plants, then fogging and misting to check what got wet etc and adjusted accordingly.
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...psgf1lygwb.jpg

Early this week the lights came in. Kurt typically doesn't ship to Canada anymore so I kept my fingers crossed for customs to go smoothly. Luckily Shipping from USPS and COD were still under $100CAD. Well packaged and tested perfect.
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...psa7hefcc6.jpg
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...psviiiynbp.jpg
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...psyuauwwtu.jpg

Finally getting the lights with the controller etc meant I could finalize the equipment in the cabinet.
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...psaehfguvn.jpg

A few days ago my Orchid order also came in. I was pretty excited as the supplier was on the west coast and had some pretty expensive rare species. List of what I got is below also.
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...pseym1lja7.jpg
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...ps5x1gvbro.jpg

As I have been going through researching how to properly acclimate, mount and deal with the epiphytic roots on the orchids (some have roots almost 24" long!) I decided to turn a little focus towards the water area. Picked up some Cherry Shrimp, Nerite snails and 3 Gold long fin Danios. Also grabbed some flame moss, nana petite anubias and Elatine hydropiper.
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...pscahm4zqh.jpg
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...psylgdz3sr.jpg
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...psfuoyhdxc.jpg
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...psadz9xrqv.jpg

Started to see some of the isopods I added (orange Porc Scaber)
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...pspjhzvn1z.jpg

And in the end, the one who seems to enjoy it the most has given her approval :)
https://oi1254.photobucket.com/album...psvwceaqeg.jpg


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.