09-04-2016, 04:21 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: the Netherlands
Thanked 46 Times in 25 Posts
Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)
Original poster here!
Due to circumstances I wasn't able to make updates the last few years. Nothing bad, just new responsibilities and other distractions...
A few weeks ago I had to put an end to the tank - not because it was no longer sustainable (it was), but because we moved houses.
As a testimony to the strength of the built - my 18 year son and me spent some 30 man hours to get the plants and animals out, to strip it from the useful technical stuff and to saw it to pieces to get it out of the house.
It was a very large tank, but our former house wasn't. In our new house there will be space for new tanks, but I will probably make other choises!
During the job of bringing it down I had enough time for some reflections. I share them here for what they are: personal evaluations about this specific tank.
First of all about the land part:
- the frogs didn't thrive as much as they did in the far smaller test set-up. I honestly don't know why. There are just two Mannophryne left, as wel as one azureiventris and still the old Mantella expectata (one the adult group I bought in 1998!).
- the tank never worked for (small) lizards either.
It might have been a feeding question; there were many different niches for the animals, differing in moist, light etc.
As a fish tank:
The hillstream set up was very fine for the fish and shrimps, as long as the species can live together size was of course. The only real constraint could be the temperature (ranging from 20C to 27C), but that is just a matter of buying the right species.
Tech stuff and set up
Most technical stuff worked fine, especially the pumps, vents and lights.
The real problem was in keeping the room in shape. Too little insulation meant some real moulding in the corners. The tank had no problems, but it was a bit messy.
The idea of having a show tank in a separate room didn't work out that well too. It is great having a spare room for breeding, experimenting etc. But a show tank works for me the best in the living room.
All in all: I am really happy I gave the idea of a hill stream paludarium a try. As a landscape it worked well, it was technically more than sound.
Such a large tank though seems less appropriate for frogs. Too little control? Or some factor I didn't discover?
I will problably start a new built in a few months time. I hope to make a little journal again. No hill stream this time. A visit to Costa Rica last year gave me some other ideas though...