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  #81 (permalink)  
Old 04-13-2010, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

This may be the best home vivarium in the world! its awesom man! keep up the good work
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  #82 (permalink)  
Old 04-15-2010, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Thanks, that is a very nice comment!

Nevertheless:
I have been working on my rocks for quite a few days now, I to be honest I feel not quite sure if the result will be believeable and natural looking. The kind of rock I want to mimick is a kind of layers rock, simply because that is what I can make relatively easily with the sheets of foam I use (3 and 6 cm thick) and because this kind of rock can be easily planted.
I make the parts in the water a bit rounder that the ones above to give an idea of the forces of the water. Once finished I will add some real stones, boulders and gravel.




I put some epoxy on a few pieces to get an idea of how dark the grout will color. To avoid a shiny surface I threw in a very fine sand.








The waterfall part at the left hand side. I will add some real thick layers of tile grout to get rid of some bricklike parts.






And working further on the more rounded parts:








Feedback welcome!
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  #83 (permalink)  
Old 04-15-2010, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Wow. Keep posting pics, we absolutely love it!
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  #84 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2010, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wimvanvelzen View Post
Thanks, that is a very nice comment!

Nevertheless:
I have been working on my rocks for quite a few days now, I to be honest I feel not quite sure if the result will be believeable and natural looking. The kind of rock I want to mimick is a kind of layers rock, simply because that is what I can make relatively easily with the sheets of foam I use (3 and 6 cm thick) and because this kind of rock can be easily planted.
I make the parts in the water a bit rounder that the ones above to give an idea of the forces of the water. Once finished I will add some real stones, boulders and gravel.


Feedback welcome!

Well- as the artist you will always look at your work with a critical eye and never be quite happy with it. From an outside perspective it looks good. the sand in the grout makes it believable and gives it texture.

I went down the same road-trying to make rocks and trees for my viv. I eventually threw most of mine out and used the real thing. It ended up being cheaper than making rocks!

I went to a landscape supply company, handpicked all my rocks, then placed them how I wanted them and used great stuff pond styrofoam to secure them in place.
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  #85 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2010, 07:05 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

i can't wh8 what are you puting in this monster
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I wouldn't worry about the results being believable, because when you're done with this thing nobody will be able to tell if the rocks are fake or not! Ok maybe people could tell a little, but once its established and grown in it will look awesome anyway. It already looks better than any of the vivs I've ever mad that's for sure.
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  #87 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2010, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Another update again - I hope you don´t mind :-)

I worked on the rockwork in the right hand side where the four pumps will expel the water. There are four points where the water comes from: two just above the floor level, one in the corner behind (50cm higher than the other two) and a large one that will feed a long kind of pond, which overflows over the rockwork. When everything works, photos will make this more clear.











In this part a lot of real rocks and boulders will be added (coming out of my present tank).
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  #88 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2010, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Wow alot of dedication and hard work is going into this project ! Cant wait to see the finished viv . . .
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Quote:
Another update again - I hope you donīt mind :-)
We don't mind. In fact, we insist!
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  #90 (permalink)  
Old 04-21-2010, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

So I made most of the remaining rockwork and put the pieces of wood in there to get some ideas. And that is where I need you! Likes, dislikes; brilliant ideas and severe criticism - all welcome!
Please, don´t mind the colors. I made these pictures at night with partial flash light and bulbs. The parts where you can still see the foam will be covered by tree fern panels. The open space under the window in the back will be filled by some peat bricks.


# 1: not that much wood


# 2: the same, to the right


# 3: the same, but the tree in the background is now placed in the water


# 4: the same, but the tree removed all together

---------------------------------------------


# 5: added some new items


# 6: the same, view to the smaller waterfall on the left hand side


# 7: the same, other view


# 8: the right hand side where the waterfall will be


# 9: the same as #7, but the tree laid differently in the water



I think less is more here, so I probably will take some pieces out or make them smaller. Just curious what you think of it!
thedigipix likes this.

Last edited by wimvanvelzen; 04-21-2010 at 09:03 PM.
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  #91 (permalink)  
Old 04-22-2010, 05:54 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Looks fantastic! It's really starting to come together now. I personally like your final layout the best, so I'm not sure I agree with your suggestion that less is more in this case. I think more wood gives the layout more depth and would offer more planting area and shelter for the inhabitants.
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  #92 (permalink)  
Old 04-22-2010, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

After receiving feedback at different forums I worked on some more options. First this piece of wood:



# 11


# 12


# 13


# 14


# 15


# 16
Which way would you prefer?

--------------------------------------------


# 17: I changed the two large trees and their ´feet´. Better than:


# 6 ? Which set up would you prefer?



# 18: seen from below


# 19: overview
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  #93 (permalink)  
Old 04-22-2010, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Go with your feelings on the placement.

The View will totally change when plants are in and growing out.

I know myself when I see a piece of wood in person i "see" it in place in my mind.

Plants will take away the sharp and straight cuts on the trees and branches
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  #94 (permalink)  
Old 04-22-2010, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I like the addition of the viny type wood pieces. That was the only thing I was going to suggest, more of those. Looks great!
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  #95 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2010, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I have my background in landscape architecture and to me it seems too busy. I see it with plants within it and its going to be really, really, really busy that you may be distracting yourself to view the animals. All I think you'll be able to notice whether you have frogs, lizards, fish, or snakes is the plant and jungle life. To me it seems that it shouldn't be so busy. I realize that I may be sounding harsh but the simple fact is that balance with complexity there should also be simplicity. It may be that I prefer my geckos (though I do wish I had a bigger home to have a massive PDF tank) over other reptiles and they dont need complexity. The fact is if you are trying to add animals other then fish to the tank will you be able to see them ever or will all you be able to do is see the plant life. Just an example for me is that I have a 55gal tank and I am going to make it as self sustaining as possible with my intervention when the bug life starts to deterorate then I will have to add more and same with water. I love the amount of time you spent on it but remember if its too busy then wont that be distracting. Other then that I love the overall end so far and would love to see more.

I do have a question though. How did you design the rocks cause I have been trying to come up with a few ideas but all mine seem more complacated then it needs to be.
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  #96 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2010, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I think it looks great and will look amazing when planted and grown in. In response to Venom, from viewing his inspiration and such, it seems like he wants it to be dense and jungle like with a large focus on the plants, just like many other frog enclosures (which I prefer). It will be hard to see frogs, sure, but you can have the same issue in smaller grown in tanks.
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  #97 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2010, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I like my Tanks as Natural as possible...

If I wanted to easily find the Geckos and Frogs I would place them in a Empty Tank.

Look at Zoos..Look how they have evolved over the years. Thank goodness.

A More Naturalistic Tank I believe leads to healthy animals
Myself I love to play "Find Waldo"
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  #98 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2010, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

The more 'cluttered' a vivaria is, the more visible the inhabitants, IME.

Looks great!
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  #99 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2010, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Quote:
The more 'cluttered' a vivaria is, the more visible the inhabitants, IME.
Yes, and the more comfortable the inhabitants.
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  #100 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2010, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

For me, the comfort of my pets always comes first. They have already given up their home in the expansive forest so I try and do my best to make their habitat the best I possibly can.

Generally I see most of my frogs daily though, some run and hide from me, and that is ok I'm sure that my giant head looks like something comming to eat them.
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  #101 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2010, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Thank you all for the food for thought!

My aim is to make it a small landscape, which looks natural, where the plants and animals will have a good life which we can enjoy looking at them.

As for the latter - my present tanks are almost overgrown with plants, I have to look for my animals and I love it when I see them.
The other points are more difficult. When does a tank look natural? Probably not when it were just a slice of the natural environment of our frogs or lizards. Even apart from the fact that in nature there are never such cubicles with perpendicalar walls etc, the small size of a tank (and yes, my tank still counts as small compared to the forests of the world ) makes a small branch look like a large one, a pebble look like a boulder.

So what I am after is some sort of 1:5 scale mini landscape, with a small hill stream in mind. Such environments do have trees, but are not densely wooded. Therefor the question: is less more here? And actually I tend to think that I put just a little bit too much in there.
I am quite sure the type of tree like my two large trees wouldnīt grow so near to the banks of such a stream, but I accept that as part of the overall look I want to achieve. So much for consistency

As for my inspiration: my own country lacks this kind of streams. We happen to live near the Utrecht hills, with a daunting height of 200 feet...
As you can see on my photography website I have a deep love for the Scottish landscape, its hills and waters.
Very useful too and an important inspiration were the many photographs from Borneo in Michael Loīs site Heaven on Earth.
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  #102 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2010, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Again some changes. First of all I put back to taller tree to the front and smaller to the back, which gives more depth.
Then I decided on the placing of the rounded liana to the right. I think I will remove some parts of it, but I am not sure yet.
In the end I worked on the point where tree and rock meet each other, adding some roots. That is not really easy to do and will have to do more work to get something natural looking (I guess the tree is too straight to have the kind of roots I made, but I donīt see an alternative at the moment)



# 20


# 21


# 22


# 23


# 24


# 25: wide shot
What do you think?
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  #103 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2010, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Gee, I don`t know..looks a little small to me.

That was a joke of coarse.
It`s beautiful.

John
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  #104 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2010, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enlightened Rogue View Post
Gee, I don`t know..looks a little small to me.
You know that and I know that - but who is going to tell my wife?


As for the trees and rootform, on a Dutch forum someone posted some pictures of buttress trees near a river bank. Trying to sketch some imitation I came up with these:





What do you all think?
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  #105 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2010, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Very nice this will make your old tank look like crap and that tank was one of the best I've seen also I would get some type of anole
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  #106 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2010, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Thanks! I will put the group of Lygodactylus picturatus in here that I have now in my present hill stream tank.
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  #107 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2010, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

i would put more in then what was in your last tank
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  #108 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2010, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I started with a couple of L. picturatus - now I have a complete family. Will probably exchange a few member and bring some fresh blood in.

Iīd rather not put different species of lizards in there, partly because the suitable areas within in the tank are only about 20% of the entire set up (the drier / warmer parts), partly because lizards are not the kind of animals I know a lot about.

Three species of frogs (Mannophryne trinitatis mainly in the stream part, Hyloxalus azureiventris in the forest floor parts and Hyperolius fusciventris burtoni in the leaf and branch department) are sufficient. Wouldnīt mind some more home bred youngster though


When the tank is running for some months Iīll probably decide upon the species in the water. Untill then Iīll just put the present fishes in the new tank.
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  #109 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2010, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

HOde to the genius!!!!!

It's a baeutyful setup, I hope we can see some pic when tha tank is mature

congrats!!!!!
this is one of the best setups and journal I've see
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  #110 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2010, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Simply amazing! can't wait to see it planted and mature
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I think the foam buttress will look better than your first attempt.
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  #112 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2010, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Thanks!

Trying to get a more natural look, I imitate some kind of buttress roots to the trees. Well, I can tell you - that is not easy... Then I gave it colour, working with blobs of different colour in the end. I did the same on some pieces of rock. Remember that the colour of the rock will be quite a bit darker once the epoxy is applied, making the combination of colours more believeable.

I also sawed the large circle formed liana to get something that fits better (at least I hope).


# 26


# 27


# 28


# 29


# 30: wide shot


What do you think?
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  #113 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2010, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Looks awesome! Once some plants and moss grows in, those buttresses will look 100% organic.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Your rockwork is top notch, everything looks really really good!
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  #115 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2010, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Can we have pics of your last tank and how it's doing
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  #116 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2010, 01:34 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Wow....I cant wait to see this all planted. How long of a project has this been?
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

WOW! looking good.

Only wish i had a bigger house!!
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  #118 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2010, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

thanks again!

I have been working on this viv since September 2009 (sketching and planning since February actually).
It is situated in some sort of garage, which I had been using for work but due to changes there the room could get another use. We donīt have such a big house actually, so in order to build this one, I give my two existing tanks.

I will put some update pictures of my present tanks this weekend. They both look a bit wild now, as I spend way too few time on these two - often working on the other
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  #119 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2010, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Looking good man! Can't wait to see it planted!
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

It seems I cannot stop right now :-)

I took the strange vertical rockwork in the corner away and replaced it with a nice piece of wood. I thank this works way better.
I also decided upon the placing of the two main spotlights (to be combined by T5 lights).

Next stage will be to apply epoxy on the grout!



# 31; the light is mainly directed at the waterfall area, leaving a large part of the tree in the shadow - I hope this will add to the feeling of depth.


# 32


# 33


# 34: wide shot (just daylight, no lights on)

as always, comments and questions welcome!
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