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  #81 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2010, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

Soooooooooooo I think I speak for us all by saying...

CAN WE HAVE A UPDATE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!


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  #82 (permalink)  
Old 05-16-2010, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

Update please?
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  #83 (permalink)  
Old 05-19-2010, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

As long as he doesn't say, "The room is finished and looks great, but my camera is broken." everyone will be ok. haha
Imagine working for a zoo and getting paid to do stuff like this.
This thing has great potential.
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  #84 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2010, 02:27 AM
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OK, here's the update. Nothing too exciting, but I know how much annoying it is to have to wait. I have done the final coat of grout on all surfaces except for the waterfall area. It currently has 2-3 coats of grout on most of it and I need to get another 2-3 layers before I'm happy with its strength. Work has been slow as we decided to landscape the front yard, including tearing out the driveway and re-pouring it in a fairly complex design... The rock is being delivered tomorrow, and I'm hoping to start pouring next weekend.
In the terrarium, I've gotten the humidity up pretty high, and now am fixing some problems that is causing. Number one on my list is the Great Stuff. If anyone plans on doing a similar project, I'd recommend skipping the great stuff. It seems that the high humidity continues to cause it to expand to some extent. Considering how many months, it has been on the walls, I did not expect to be repairing cracks still. Everywhere I used Styrofoam is fine, but the great stuff areas continue to crack after 4 layers of grout and I'm slowly tracking all of the weak points down. I've started using fiberglass mesh to repair the cracks, and that seems to be working well. I'm slowly making progress on the rest of the waterfall, but the main thing I want to make sure of is that I tackle all the problems before I get too much further. While it seems like a large area, I need to use a ladder to get to the higher spots and there isn't very much room to negotiate with the vine down the center and the stream along one side.
I have a few bromeliads in there and so far they seem to be doing well. The misters I have currently, while effective at increasing the humidity, aren't really hitting where I want them to, so I will probably be upgrading them to directional heads. They are hooked up to my sprinkler system and not a pump, so I'm going to have to figure out my options for better heads. I'll try to test my pressure next weekend, but I'm expecting it to be about 50psi.
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  #85 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2010, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

Great stuff shrinks over time. I'm not sure how many layers of grout you would need for it to hold it self up regardless of the decrease in foam volume behind it. However you are mentioning "expansion". Have you been keeping the grout constantly hydrated or is it drying out a bit before they misting system is kicking on?

What type of Fiberglass meshing are you using to work on the cracks and repairs?

BTW Great project, Now if I could just convert an entire room in my house into a giant "tank" : ). Keep up the good work!

~PiG

Last edited by wetpiggirl; 05-24-2010 at 05:03 AM.
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  #86 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2010, 06:35 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

That is really cool! I cant wait to see more. Im wondering if when I visit my family in Sac I can come by and see it. Maybe you should charge admission... after I come by you can start.

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  #87 (permalink)  
Old 05-29-2010, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

I cant believe ive missed this til now!!! This is amazing!!! I know what you mean bout doing Leucs but seems like sure a waste doing them...lol. I vote for something more exotic!!!
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  #88 (permalink)  
Old 05-29-2010, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

This is great indeed - shouldn't have been 'room terrarium' in stead of 'terrarium room'?
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  #89 (permalink)  
Old 05-29-2010, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wimvanvelzen View Post
This is great indeed - shouldn't have been 'room terrarium' in stead of 'terrarium room'?
you could always call it the TERRORROOM and throw in terribilis with their natural diet oh, the terrar.




......yeah, i know
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  #90 (permalink)  
Old 05-29-2010, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

For the layers now, I'm trying to wet down the base layer a bit so it won't suck all the moisture out of the new layer immediately, then it dries for a few hours before the misters kick on usually. The fiberglass mesh is a tape used to tape concrete backer board joints, and seems to be doing its job well. I don't get any problems where I used it. In the future, perhaps I will try to get some fiberglass fabric that I grout over to provide more support.

For those waiting for more pictures, it is currently my plan to put in some hours on Monday, and I'll update the progress at that point.
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  #91 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2010, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

Here is the most recent photo. (Don't mind the ladder. It is pretty hard to move in and out.)


This is the right side of the stream. It is now fully grouted. I also put another layer of grout under the waterfall, so just one more over that one and I will be completely done with grouting the entire terrarium. I didn't put up a photo of the waterfall, because it doesn't should up very well yet. I used many different colors of grout for the under layers so if it wears through it will look more interesting, but until the final color gets on, it doesn't show up in photos very well. I have started placing a few cuttings of plants around that should root with just the humidity to test the conditions a bit. Once I get the last bit of grouting done, I will start looking at the MistKing stuff to see if I can figure out a better solution for my misting system.
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  #92 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2010, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

TYSON!!! We need an update!

BTW I hope you are keeping track of how many cans of GS and how much grout you are using. I want to know what this would take. Im thinking it would have been good to have gotten stock in them before you started this project?
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  #93 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2010, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

NICE!!! I wish I had the space to attempt a project like this. Skimming through this thread, I think that your cracks might coming from the sky lights. IMO the sun is causing the foam(air pockets) to expand and contract and also drying the grout too quickly. I have ran into this problem before. I would try covering the skylights and keeping the room wet for a week or so.

If all else fails, I think I have seen some rocks with cracks before in the wild..I'm sure with the WOW effect this thing will have once finished and grown in, they will go unnoticed.

Keith
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  #94 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2010, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

I hope to have some more pictures tonight. As far as supplies, I used 30-35 cans of greatstuff and I used 4 sheets of 8'x4' Styrofoam. I think I'm hitting about 250lbs of grout and that should be enough. If I were to change anything, I would have used more sheets to build the background and the greatstuff to just fill in cracks.
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  #95 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2010, 06:50 PM
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This is incredible. I'm in Sacramento and I'm looking to start my first build. I'm definitely going with something much smaller to start. I'd love to see this thing in person. So amazing. Your setup is going to put the Reptile House at the Sacramento Zoo to shame.
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  #96 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2010, 04:35 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

As promised, here are a few photos of the waterfall...

This first one is a shot of the whole thing dry.


Here is the base of it, while running.


And lastly, the whole waterfall section while running.


I filled the stream bed in with some rock, gravel, and sand so far. Overall, I'm very happy with it. The flow is very gentle and there are tons of places to easily enter and exit the water. Once the water clears up a bit more, I plan to play with the depth a bit, but it seems nice and safe for the frogs. Now that the waterfall is up and running, I need to make a few adjustment to where it is flowing. One part has a constant drip that is outside of the stream, and there are a couple other areas that need minor work.

Here is the link to all of my pictures so far if you missed the one earlier. http://s599.photobucket.com/albums/t...ood/Terrarium/

Comments and suggestions are appreciated!

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  #97 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2010, 05:02 PM
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So the question I have is where are you going to walk when you have it completely done? Are you going to have some areas that are just clear of plants and litter to view the frogs from? I'm trying to picture it in my head. It would be nice to have a couple diagrams showing the walkways and various habitat areas. The waterfall looks pretty awesome. I hope the stream works out like you hope because it looks like it is going to be really cool.
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  #98 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2010, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

I have some 12"x12"x4" bricks that I have grouted to look like the black stone walls. They make a path so I can get around without stepping on the substrate. Not that there is any substrate in there yet. In the photo I posted on 3/6/10, you can see one of them before I grouted it black (It is the brown square in the foreground.) I haven't quite figured out how I would get a ladder in there if I need to though. I suppose if I put the ladder upside down, the top could rest on a stepping stone. I figure these stone would also give a nice place to feed, as there would be no immediate place for the little critters to hide.
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  #99 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2010, 01:15 AM
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Nice. I see the stone. Seems like it might be easy to step on a frog with such little foot area but I wear size 15's and tend to be a little clumsy.
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  #100 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2010, 03:44 PM
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Had anymore chances to work on it? I can't wait to see it with the substrate down and planted.
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  #101 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2010, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

Looking great so far! Cant wait to see plants going in! My problem with vivs normally is I cant use BIG plants, this is going to be great!
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  #102 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2010, 04:51 PM
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What are you going to put in that monster of a viv? I think you might of said something about luecs? (forgive me, I'm too lazy to go through the thread again )
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  #103 (permalink)  
Old 06-27-2010, 04:50 AM
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I've made some slight progress, but none really noticeable. Mostly I have been playing with the water flow to make sure all of the drips from the waterfall are landing in the stream. I also took some time to find a source for sodium bentonite and iron rich clay. I will need a lot to patch fill in the walls and the base. Luckily, I found a local source and it looks like they have laterite, sea red clay, and sodium bentonite. Now I just need to figure out how much of each to get. I need to read through The ultimate clay-based substrate thread again and figure out what recipe I am going to use. I'm open to suggestions. For the walls, I'm thinking of 40% bentonite, 40% peat, and 20% laterite or sea red clay. Not really sure which would be better. There is only a dollar difference in cost between the 50lb bags so cost isn't an issue. For anyone wondering the 50lb bags are $5.40 for sea red, $6.20 for laterite, and $10.60 for sodium bentonite.

Haven't quite decided what I'm putting in, but leaning towards leucs. I will certainly have a few larger plants in there, but I'm going to try to have mostly smaller ones to create a little more texture and more micro zones for the frogs to choose between.

My next project in there is to perfect my misting system. I'm just not quite happy with how it turned out so I'm looking to get a MistKing system. I need to have the pump be inline (no reservoir). If anyone is able to offer some help/suggestions with planning it I'd appreciate it. Looking at the MistKing site, there are a lot of choices for the various parts. What are people finding most useful?
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  #104 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

This is awesome. Ive read through the whole thread and I have always dreamed of doing something like this but as somebody said earlier im also in college and stay in an apartment so I lack the space..Now my dad has a huge garage but I doubt he'll go for something like this but it would give me a reason to go over there more On another note Im about to start a project with a 40 gal breeder for my Fire Bellied Toad and you have given me some ideas on the background. Ima have to look around my local stores to see if they sell any grout.
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  #105 (permalink)  
Old 07-23-2010, 02:01 PM
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Any Updates on this awesome build!!!????
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  #106 (permalink)  
Old 07-23-2010, 05:19 PM
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I think most people here will recommend using a reservoir for the mist king system only because it will last the longest/preform the best when used with RO water. I know a lot of people will just use dechlorinated tap water, but I think that for the longevity of the misting nozzles it's better to use RO water from a reservoir.


On another note, maybe look into some sort of RO pre-filter before it gets used in your in-line pump if you decide to go that route.
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  #107 (permalink)  
Old 08-31-2010, 08:53 PM
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Any updates on this project? I'm really interested to see how it is coming along.
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  #108 (permalink)  
Old 09-28-2010, 02:21 AM
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Agreed.. love to see how this is coming along.
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  #109 (permalink)  
Old 09-28-2010, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

We certainly do need an update. How's the project coming... in the last several months have there been any plants installed? What's the haps!?
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:00 PM
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I'm curious myself how things are progressing...love the large walk in viv.
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  #111 (permalink)  
Old 10-17-2010, 11:26 PM
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It certainly has been a while, but here is the update. After working with Marty, I purchased a Mist King system and a reverse osmosis system that recycles the waste water. I'm not worried about the waste concentration building up as we have very clean water here. The only reason I'm using the RO system is due to the high mineral content. Here is a shot of the system all set up.

I'm still playing with the misting times a bit but think I'm pretty close. There is very little water pooling on the floor now. I just have to clean up the water that has collected over the past few months of playing with the stream.
In addition to setting up the misting system, I purchased a decent sized group of mini orchids from Oak Hill Gardens.



Between these orchids, and the random bromeliads I've been sitting on, there have been a lot of plants sitting on the floor of the terrarium. I finally got them all mounted and put up on the walls today.


At this point, I'm pretty happy with the way it is filling in. I will probably make another purchase of 5-6 small bromeliads to fill in a few more holes. I mostly need to find some mini vines that will grow over the background and I think it will pull together. I have a few plants which will go into the ground and I hope to grab a vanilla orchid and train across the branch that is running through the room. If anyone has any suggestions for some nice small wall climbing species, I'd be happy to entertain them. I want to stay away from plants like ficus that will grow too quickly and take things over.
I've purchased a few hundred pounds of "dirt" making materials, but have been holding off until I got the watering schedule setup. Hopefully I will start to play around with that recipe coming up as things are starting to look stable.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

are you gonna have any supplemental lighting on this viv or just the natural light from the sky light?
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:19 AM
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There is some supplemental lighting. The two "windows" on the right of the photo are actually lights. Currently they are nothing special. If I notice a lack of growth, I'll beef them up, but hopefully they will be fine. A big part of the problem with additional lighting is that the light boxes are 12' off the ground. My energy bill would be very high if I put lights strong enough to reach the bottom of the terrarium in there.
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  #114 (permalink)  
Old 10-18-2010, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

I don't know if this is possible but why not just add lights in the viv to help with the lighting issue.. Just incorportate them into the side walls some how... I don't know if this is possible but I would try it at least... =P
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:01 AM
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subscribed to read later.
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:57 PM
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i have definitly been inspired to setup a room like this in my house and when i get my whole financial situation sorted out i will start working on it. that would look great to house a group of tree monitors in.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:31 PM
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Can we get few updated shots...Looks great. I'm c urious how it's growing in.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:36 PM
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personally I think you shouldnt worry about getting lights in the sides and what not - plant low light lovers on the ground and so on - on up
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:42 PM
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I agree with hunter above, in the shaded sections you can take advantage and plant low light plants such as impatiens species and all sorts of ferns and other shade lovers. Just take a trip to your local nursery and have a look around - you'll be tempted to go with all sorts of shade plants.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Terrarium Room Build (Pic Heavy)

I am in awe of this 'terrarium.' It looks to me to be more of an Exhibit than a terrarium.
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