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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-07-2009, 07:17 AM
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Default Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

Hi everyone,

Would like to share my latest background work for my tree frog vivarium.This method is trying to eliminate the complication of using expanding foam and yet still produces interesting landscape.
Coconut shell pieces are used to provide resting platform for the frogs and also serving as pockets for planting.

Materials:
Polystrene backgound for aquarium (or the Exo-terra / Zoomed ready made background)
Coconut shells
Coco fibers/Bark chips/etc

Tools:
Soldering iron,hammer,silicone,drill.


This is the original polystyrene aquarium background.



Use the hammer and beat the coconut shell to smaller pieces.
Use the soldering iron to melt/carve out grooves on the polystyrene background following the edge contour of the coconut shell pieces.


Fill the grooves with silicone and insert the coconut shell pieces.


The background with the coconut shell shelves.



To make the background surface looking more natural and more suitable for plants to grow,use the common silicone/ coco fiber,bark chips method.


The finished background. (Without planting)


The finished background. (With plants)


Thanks for watching and please excuse my English since it is not my first language. Please give me comments so I can improve in the future.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

I think your english is just fine, and I like your technique, especially since I don't like the expanding foam technique



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Old 10-07-2009, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

I think the wood in the foreground is an awesome piece. Not a huge fan of the coco shell chunks, but it would save some time. Keep us updated on how it grows in... I think it's the sharp angles I don't like about the shell fragments, and I bet they will get covered up by plants and allow for some interesting hanging.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

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Originally Posted by Occidentalis View Post
I think it's the sharp angles I don't like about the shell fragments, and I bet they will get covered up by plants and allow for some interesting hanging.
Thanks for your comment. I forgot to mention that the shell edges were smoothen off with sand paper.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

Think he said angles...not edges

I am usually anti-prefab (because the prefab today is horrible) but I think you did a nice job coming up with a creative alternative. The coconut shells might not be for everyone but I like the final look and you still did it with natural materials.

Two thumbs up from me for being creative, original and coming up with a nice looking viv in the end.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

I really love your setup. this is great i must say.

If you can, try another project, 2 -3 ft paludarium and brighten it with lampeyes killies.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

Very cool!
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

Nicely done.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

It has been 6 months since the viv was set up and it's time for some updates.




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Old 10-27-2009, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

You have done a great job with your imagination and now the landscape! After just 6 months set-up time, all your plants are doing very well. Do you have any frogs to show? What type of lighting do you have?
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

This growing in really nicely, you have an excellent plant selection and placement. I too would like to know what kind of lighting that is. Also what sort of substrate are you using? Also what is that tube and nozzle at the top left? is that for a drip wall?
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

I was thinking about asking the same question of the tubing too. Great to see other pics and ideas of other vivs from other countries!!
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:51 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghettopieninja View Post
This growing in really nicely, you have an excellent plant selection and placement. I too would like to know what kind of lighting that is. Also what sort of substrate are you using? Also what is that tube and nozzle at the top left? is that for a drip wall?
Thanks everyone!!
Two Chinese tree toads (Hyla chinensis) are kept in this viv. The lighting is the Exo Terra Compact Top (single bulb version) with a 24w household bulb. The tube and nozzle at the top left that you see is actually the wire and the sensor of the hygrometer.

The substrate that I use is mainly volcanic soil (akadama soil) mixed with small amount of aquarium soil. The volcanic soil is widely use in bonsai planting in Japan. Here is more info: Soil akadama soil small bag big grain : THE MAILLOT-BONSAĻ STORE

These are the Chinese tree toads. The fat one is the female and the other is male.



Here is a video of the female feeding on crickets:
YouTube - Tree Toad Feeding
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

That is an exceptional set up. I truly like the coconut shell idea. I may use that in the future. It's a pretty sweet idea!
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean33 View Post
The substrate that I use is mainly volcanic soil (akadama soil) mixed with small amount of aquarium soil. The volcanic soil is widely use in bonsai planting in Japan.
thx!!

Go back to the subject of substrates I use. Here is a photo showing the layers when it was just set. From the bottom: lava rocks at the sides and pumice in the middle as the drainage layer,follows by two layers of volcanic soil with different grain sizes.
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: Background construction - Polystyrene background + Coconut shell

This viv is awesome! Love the toads aswell, at first glance I thought they were Hyla Arborea.
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