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Old 05-09-2020, 02:45 PM
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Default My first big experimental exo build. Fans/waterfall/misting/climate

Hello, I’ve been an avid fan of terrariums, paludariums, ripariums for years and my favourite has to be “Justin grimms, the peninsula”. I’ve kept geckos, snakes and fish and want only the best husbandry for my pets. I’m also into my botany too.

For my first large paludarium, I’ve decided to go with a large second hand Exo Terra 90W 60H D45. (No idea on future inhabitants just yet)

Let me paint you a picture, the appearance will resemble, lower rainforest with upward pointing trees/bark with waterfall/drip wall starting towards top centre at the rear descending right into a stream and a drop through roots to water area via another small drip wall. The aquarium area will take up half of ground space around right hand side and front of tank.

Main Materials:

Eggcrate
Fluted card
Pond foam
Hygrolon
Masonary sealant
Weed mesh
Insect mesh
Aquarium silicone ( multiple colours)
Coca fibre/peat mix
Bio active substrates
Ada soils (for underwater)
USB ultrasonic mister
Small silent mains pump or usb pump
PVC tubing
Two cpu fans (either 30-60mm)
Exo terra misting system
Exo terra large 4 bulb canopy lid.



Main elements of the build are:

1. Misting system (exo terra, 2 nozzles)
2. Building in a hidden ventilation system behind hardscape, aka Justin Grimm “peninsula”
3.waterfall starting at top and heading down via drip wall effect into a short stream + half the lower surface area will be water btw. (Using false bottom for substrate)
4. Fogger (hidden ultrasonic mister, in waterfall)
5. on timers for total automation

After years of reading on forums such as this and watching endless hours of video I’m just near to the point of starting with all materials.

Firstly I want it to look sharp and clinical hence the question,
To members of the forum is, with 3 to 4 jungle dawn bulbs + plus two grow lamps, the waterfall, and misting system + original exo terra mesh top, is using 2x 30-60mm cpu fans appropriate for this size of tank to reduce condensation on the glass. And what about humidity? (I will be housing each fan in a long/short configuration (yet to be decided) in custom made plastic square vents behind the rear walls of the hardscape, drawing in air from just below exo mesh near the top and directing through hidden vents hidden midway down rear wall) the positions yet to be determined. I was thinking pointing out towards size glass or maybe down toward water surface so the air will move cleanly around the full front of the tank?

I can’t decide if It would be overkill, forward thinking or if I would be better positioning an aquarium cooler fan on the top of the mesh, (undesirable due to appearance) but easy obviously.

U.K. based btw

(I will post pictures of build as i create a journal for myself)

Thanks

Ben
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Old 05-09-2020, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: My first big experimental exo build. Fans/waterfall/misting/climate

I'm not sure I'm understanding everything you're saying here, but I'll toss in my experience. I've used internal air circulation, passive ventilation, and a "hybrid" method (I will explain), in small and large vivs.

Internal air circulation doesn't do much to keep the front glass clear, since it's just blowing the humid vivarium around. That said, I think internal air circulation is good for plants and animals, even if it doesn't benefit the front glass. THAT said, I only employ it in my largest vivarium right now.

Blowing external air actively into the vivarium tends to make harsh dry spots that most of my vivarium plants don't love.

Passive ventilation alone is great for plants and animals, but not always enough to keep the front glass clear.

My "hybrid" method is to use ~80mm fans above the vivaria to blow ACROSS the tops. I have ventilation strips at the front top of all my vivs, and the air blowing across creates the perfect amount of internal circulation for me. The front glass stays clear, the leaf litter dries out a little, and everyone seems happy.

My routine is an automated morning misting 2 hours after lights on. This makes a nice wet morning (like most forest mornings in my experience). The fans come on 2 hours later and blow for only 2 hours. This dries everything out like the afternoon sun. The glass is just starting to get foggy again before the lights go off for the night.

Most of my rationale for the daily cycle is for my own amusement, and you could do it 100 different ways and I'm sure the frogs and plants wouldn't care. And this post is much longer than I anticipated. Hope there is at least a shred of helpful information in there for you.
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broseph View Post
I'm not sure I'm understanding everything you're saying here, but I'll toss in my experience. I've used internal air circulation, passive ventilation, and a "hybrid" method (I will explain), in small and large vivs.

Internal air circulation doesn't do much to keep the front glass clear, since it's just blowing the humid vivarium around. That said, I think internal air circulation is good for plants and animals, even if it doesn't benefit the front glass. THAT said, I only employ it in my largest vivarium right now.

Blowing external air actively into the vivarium tends to make harsh dry spots that most of my vivarium plants don't love.

Passive ventilation alone is great for plants and animals, but not always enough to keep the front glass clear.

My "hybrid" method is to use ~80mm fans above the vivaria to blow ACROSS the tops. I have ventilation strips at the front top of all my vivs, and the air blowing across creates the perfect amount of internal circulation for me. The front glass stays clear, the leaf litter dries out a little, and everyone seems happy.

My routine is an automated morning misting 2 hours after lights on. This makes a nice wet morning (like most forest mornings in my experience). The fans come on 2 hours later and blow for only 2 hours. This dries everything out like the afternoon sun. The glass is just starting to get foggy again before the lights go off for the night.

Most of my rationale for the daily cycle is for my own amusement, and you could do it 100 different ways and I'm sure the frogs and plants wouldn't care. And this post is much longer than I anticipated. Hope there is at least a shred of helpful information in there for you.
Hey thanks for the reply, really appreciate your feedback.

What I’m trying to do is avoid having the fan above the exo terra mesh, but have it just under to draw air from above the tank through the mesh. Therefore bringing cooler air in to clear the glass & for humidity control occasionally when I need it to. Do you think being placed butt up against the mesh will be close enough to draw air from outside the tank or should I cut into the mesh to create a clearer path to the internal fans.

In terms of the output of the fan I want to keep it smaller than 60mm so that my hardscape isn’t compromised on size by losing some depth. With the fan outlets facing towards the glass and waters surface I was hoping this would have a good effect at alleviating condensation.

I’m more than happy to do it just for the plants and any animals. Geckos, dartfrogs or maybe even a snake could be accommodated but I will have fish in the tank and maybe a small species of pleco I’ve kept once before. But that’s dependant on conditions i end up with.

I think with the cycling, that’ll come in time after setup is complete and I’ve run it a month with different periods of use for each element (fans etc)

It’s kind of one of those problems I’m trying to foresee, because I could go with just an aquarium fan across the top similar to what you mention you use, that may be adequate and easier but insufficient to penetrate the mesh enough, so building it in although inconvenient Is something I need to make a decision on before I start the build obvs .

Anyone with a paludarium this size from exo terra have experience with fans through the mesh?

There are lots of threads of people mentioning ventilation but the original hardscape tear down images of Justin Grimms peninsula are what motivated me. However those images seem to have disappeared now 😞 that’s the goal anyhow if it can be done right, you won’t even know it’s there.
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: My first big experimental exo build. Fans/waterfall/misting/climate



Hereís the tank. 90w 60h d45


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:51 PM
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Anyone got any experience with cpu ventilation built into a paludarium? Pictures, angles and positions ideas? I’ve got a few myself but wonder if anyone else has come across this conundrum
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: My first big experimental exo build. Fans/waterfall/misting/climate

Sorry, I don't do fans so cannot offer specific CPU fan ideas or advice. However, generally speaking:

Quote:
My "hybrid" method is to use ~80mm fans above the vivaria to blow ACROSS the tops. I have ventilation strips at the front top of all my vivs, and the air blowing across creates the perfect amount of internal circulation for me. The front glass stays clear, the leaf litter dries out a little, and everyone seems happy.

My routine is an automated morning misting 2 hours after lights on. This makes a nice wet morning (like most forest mornings in my experience). The fans come on 2 hours later and blow for only 2 hours. This dries everything out like the afternoon sun. The glass is just starting to get foggy again before the lights go off for the night.

I think this is good content.


With so much space devoted to "aquarium", plus where you're allocating that space (right under your front ventilation strip) passive ventilation will not keep your glass condensation-free. Not a hope of it. Doing like Broseph and having your lid vents in the front, as opposed to the back like most of us, will help ensure you've at least got airflow all the way up the front glass.

Quote:
What Iím trying to do is avoid having the fan above the exo terra mesh, but have it just under to draw air from above the tank through the mesh. Therefore bringing cooler air in to clear the glass & for humidity control occasionally when I need it to. Do you think being placed butt up against the mesh will be close enough to draw air from outside the tank or should I cut into the mesh to create a clearer path to the internal fans.
I think I understand. One concern I share with you is the airflow occlusion offered by the mesh. You can find look-up tables showing the degree of occlusion by different wire mesh ("screen") densities and wire thicknesses. Or, some vendors provide useful data at each product's page, e.g.: https://www.mcnichols.com/wire-mesh/...101280&cId=177

Yeah that's a little plug for McNichols. They have good gear and great service. Check 'em out.

So anyway, I think - assuming you'll be using pretty fine mesh to keep little bugs in - that you'll either need 1) a larger or faster (louder?) fan butted up against the mesh than you hope, or 2) to cut a hole in the mesh as you describe. In the latter case you might not just leave a gaping hole, but instead use a small piece of replacement mesh with a higher percent open area. Just to keep cats' paws or kids' fingers away from the spinning blades. "What could go wrong?!?!?" Ha ha. I dunno. Something.

Finally, I think you ought to get this viv up and running, planted & grown out, before thinking about animal suitability. It seems your main objective is excellent appearance. The volume of airflow required, and its vector, may impinge on the viv's suitability for some taxa (e.g., confined snakes HATE a breeze & you will surely kill them if you force a breeze onto them).

Good luck, man. I love this stage of a project - the labor-free dreaming and information collection and planning. I'm getting the itch to do some making. I likes to make too!!! Ha ha ha. You've found your people, congrats.
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgragg View Post
Sorry, I don't do fans so cannot offer specific CPU fan ideas or advice. However, generally speaking:

Quote:
My "hybrid" method is to use ~80mm fans above the vivaria to blow ACROSS the tops. I have ventilation strips at the front top of all my vivs, and the air blowing across creates the perfect amount of internal circulation for me. The front glass stays clear, the leaf litter dries out a little, and everyone seems happy.

My routine is an automated morning misting 2 hours after lights on. This makes a nice wet morning (like most forest mornings in my experience). The fans come on 2 hours later and blow for only 2 hours. This dries everything out like the afternoon sun. The glass is just starting to get foggy again before the lights go off for the night.

I think this is good content.


With so much space devoted to "aquarium", plus where you're allocating that space (right under your front ventilation strip) passive ventilation will not keep your glass condensation-free. Not a hope of it. Doing like Broseph and having your lid vents in the front, as opposed to the back like most of us, will help ensure you've at least got airflow all the way up the front glass.

Quote:
What I’m trying to do is avoid having the fan above the exo terra mesh, but have it just under to draw air from above the tank through the mesh. Therefore bringing cooler air in to clear the glass & for humidity control occasionally when I need it to. Do you think being placed butt up against the mesh will be close enough to draw air from outside the tank or should I cut into the mesh to create a clearer path to the internal fans.
I think I understand. One concern I share with you is the airflow occlusion offered by the mesh. You can find look-up tables showing the degree of occlusion by different wire mesh ("screen") densities and wire thicknesses. Or, some vendors provide useful data at each product's page, e.g.: https://www.mcnichols.com/wire-mesh/...101280&cId=177

Yeah that's a little plug for McNichols. They have good gear and great service. Check 'em out.

So anyway, I think - assuming you'll be using pretty fine mesh to keep little bugs in - that you'll either need 1) a larger or faster (louder?) fan butted up against the mesh than you hope, or 2) to cut a hole in the mesh as you describe. In the latter case you might not just leave a gaping hole, but instead use a small piece of replacement mesh with a higher percent open area. Just to keep cats' paws or kids' fingers away from the spinning blades. "What could go wrong?!?!?" Ha ha. I dunno. Something.

Finally, I think you ought to get this viv up and running, planted & grown out, before thinking about animal suitability. It seems your main objective is excellent appearance. The volume of airflow required, and its vector, may impinge on the viv's suitability for some taxa (e.g., confined snakes HATE a breeze & you will surely kill them if you force a breeze onto them).

Good luck, man. I love this stage of a project - the labor-free dreaming and information collection and planning. I'm getting the itch to do some making. I likes to make too!!! Ha ha ha. You've found your people, congrats.
Thank you for such awesome advice and nice reply 👍🏻
& thanks for welcoming me in. At this point i am airing 😉 towards fans across the top very much like you suggest. I’m going to see if that exo terra design across the front produces results, alongside air through the mesh at the top. That cycle sounds great too.

I’m at the point now of just dive in. People keeping telling me this is the best moment lol
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