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Old 02-06-2009, 06:47 AM
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Default IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

Oh Boy... it finally happened. I've been lurking here for so long, and now... I'm finally starting. My red-tail boa's old home, a 55 gal, will become home to my future Azureus family, or some other tincs, or Auratus... let's not put the cart ahead of the horse...

So here are all the ingredients for my build. All laid out in proper fashion. Everything came from Home Depot except for the little pump/filter i got for my waterfall at my local fish store.



The plan is to great stuff the whole back wall and the side on the right to block off a little area so I can access my pump if need be. There's a little pond cut out on the left front side. I'm going to have the water flow trickle diagonally across the background down into the pond. I left some space in front of the false bottom so I can put in some gravel and hide the ugly...

Only hazard so far is that I neglected to pay attention to my minimum waterline when I started cutting. Then I decided that a layer of gravel on top of the eggcrate will solve that problem pretty easily.

Here's an onubstructed view of the eggcrate layout. See it? Can you picture it? I'm going to spend a lot of time on it this weekend. More pics to follow...



Thanks for looking!, tips are definitely welcome / encouraged!

~Brett
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

I am going to be doing a 55g (unless I can find a 40 breeder for a great deal) for my terribilis so I am very interested in the progress. Are you doing the GS, cocofiber for the back wall?

The only hint I would say right off the bat is I noticed my cans of GS go further and puff up more after shaking it up for a good 3-5 minutes. I only shook my first 2 cans a few shakes and they petered out fast. The 3rd can I was shaking as I was stuck on the phone with a long winded person and was surprised at how the 3rd can went much further so...shake away!!
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

Layout looks good so far. Only thing I'd change is maybe add more support to the eggcrate in the back. It looks like its bowing.

I didn't reinforce my false bottom on my first viv enough and it sunk a little in the back.

I saw you said you only got the pump at a fish store, does that mean your HomeDepot carries driftwood? If so, what section is it in?
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

thanks for the tips... i'll be sure to shake up the GS well. Yeah, i'm going to GS/cocofiber the back wall. plus mix in a little waterfall with a trough that goes down across the wall made out of some other pieces of driftwood I had lying around. i do have PVC pipe intended for reinforcing the false bottom. I just didn't get to that part yet.

yes! home depot much to my surprise carried the driftwood. i was on my way to the garden section to look for coco fiber (i forgot i bought that at petsmart). and right on the way outside they had a huge display w/ a lot of broms and air plants and they had a big selection of that grape wood below it. the pieces i got were only like $2-$4. pretty reasonable.

i like the larger piece because it has a nice hollow area that I can plant a brom in. i know nothing about plants yet, but i have an idea for what i think looks cool.

wish it wasn't raining here. i'm worried that my silicone will take longer to set with all the cool weather / humidity right now.
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

I would swap out that grapewood for something more resistant to the high humidity of a dart tank. Things like ghost wood and malaysian wood would be ideal. Otherwise good start.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

bummer. i didn't see that grape wood is a notorious rotter. guess i'll return that along with the light bulbs I bought that didn't work in a normal fixture.

i found some 6500k bulbs, w/ the same standard end as a compact flourescent so i thought they'd work in a regular lamp, but i guess they need a certain kind of fixture.

the "daylight" compact flourescents they had at home depot were only 5000k or 5500k. Is this good enough?
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

Don't worry about the silicone with the humidity. Silicon actually cures better with a little humidity in the air.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

Ok, so I know its been a long time since I started this, but I bought a house, moved, and had a camera stolen in the in between time...

So scroll up to see the images from before. And there are a few stages missing in the middle... now i just finished everything but planting, then experimenting w/ fruit fly cultures, then checking everything for gaps and escape areas, then more learning with plants... THEN FROGS.

Here's where she stands... for a first try, I think she's lookin pretty good. Camera phone apologies to the photo buffs.


The Whole thing...


My little waterfall/pond I know that looks like wet silicon there, but its just where the water comes out of the waterfall...

What do you guys think?? I'm excited to plant all kinds of good stuff in there. Gonna put in an order soon, anybody from southern california know a good place locally? Otherwise I'll send away for stuff from joshsfrogs or blackjungle.

-brett
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

What kind of wood is that for the waterfall? Wont it rot being wet all the time
?
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:53 AM
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Default Re: IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

I think its oak. I figured it would, but then i decided that i didn't really care if it did. i'm going to try and get lots of moss and whatnot to grow all over it so it looks more natural and if it eats away at itself i'll just let it go and see what it looks like.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

Just a suggestion for the wood.
If you want something natural looking that will work well and that moss grows well over you could use Slate.
I used slate pieces for my red eye viv directly under the water fall and that's the best place where my moss has been growing.

Plus it won't rot away at you.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: IT BEGINS! :: 55 gal build journal (my first)

Thanks. If this starts to go Ill work on securing some slate in to replace it. That or I may just let the water free-fall there and build a little stream heading down to my pond.
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