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Old 01-26-2010, 05:38 PM
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Default new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

hi all,

In this hill stream paludarium thread I mentioned that I find the concept good, but the execution can be taken further (especially larger!), to create more different pieces of stream, enabling the keeping of more ´normal´ fish species like tetras. I also want to create walls that are less vertical and more like a slope (at least at some places).

At the same time my wife and I discussed the fact that we could do with some more space in the living room, where this paludarium is situated. And as another room in the house became available (due to change of work), the decision was made to replace the two existing tanks with a large one in a dedicated room.

Here is a Sketchup picture of the room with the new viv.


Dimensions of the viv will be 215cm at the left end, 280cm at the other side and an inner height of 135cm. The depth is 95cm at the left side and 70cm at the

right side. The two ´legs´ are positioned at a bit more than a 100 degrees towards each other.


To get a better idea what I wanted I did a lot of sketching, like this one:

In the final design the room under the tank is used and covered by some sheets of plywood.


Artist´s impression of the tank; I use the back window to create some depth (the window faces North, so the light will be rather diffuse)



Beneath the actual tank there is room for making RO water (to be mixed with a bit of tap water), automatic water refreshing and a large (160x50x50cm) tank in which four large pond pumps will be placed, that are essential for making a hill stream tank.




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

September last year I started the constructional work (which I plan to end at about June this year). The material used is a good 18mm plywood, which will be

covered with epoxy and glassfiber mats.

The best start of course is to have an empty room...



(Before this I painted the wall with some moisture resistant coating.)

I glue the plywood pieces with Poly-urethane glue (don´t know the English equivalent) - even if I wanted, there would have been no space to work with screws.




Part of the automatic refreshing system: a small pump, pumping water to the drain regularely, which will be replaced by a 3:1 RO - tap water mix from the

reservoirs.



The tank through which the water will flow back to the large pumps. There is a biological filter inside, like used for large fish tanks.



Where the water will flow back to the pumps:



Packed in foam, to avoid loss of warmth (by the way, the pumps will act as heaters):


The right part is higher as part of the ´hill´ and to enable access to the pumps in the tank:


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

The walls behind the tank are covered with styropar sheets for insulation:


The standing plywood back:


Dividing the part for the lights and ventilators (the holes are 40mm in diameter and will be covered with wire mesh)




A lot of holes for the pipes (here the ones that will bring the water back from the pumps into the tank):



I sawed the pieces of plywood behind which the glass windows will be placed (45cm high and then sliding ones on top).


Inside, below the lights (the boxes at the end are to place some ventilators for circulation inside the tank):



Between the pumps and the tank I place some taps to regulate the amount of water flowing through each pipe. In the picture they stand above the floor, but once glued they will hang under the tank. Pipes are 40mm in diameter. The total pump capacity is 19000 liters an hour (5000 US gallons), although some is lost because of the height to which the water is pumped.


At these points in the rear end of the tank, the water will flow back to the reservoir under the tank:



In the left side there is another pump under the tank for a waterfall at that side:






I hope the pictures help you to understand what I am doing - I feel my technical English is lacking a bit...

Questions, suggestions and criticism is very much appreciated. Some way this is quite an adventure as there are so few examples of this type of tank building (I fortunate enough to get the help of the man behind this tank, Hans Pietersma).
Any input is welcome!

Last edited by wimvanvelzen; 01-26-2010 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

wow, thats going to be excellent.



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Old 01-26-2010, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I'm salivating already..... This is gonna be a good one
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

your work is very impressive..this is gonna be amazing.
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

what a project
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I can't wait to see the finished project!
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

i hope you understand i mean this in the nicest way possible... i hate you. Im really just joking this is such a very cool project and am very jealous of both the room you have for such an amazing tank and for your amazing artistic skills shown already in previous post. I have subscribed to this thread adn will be following this till the end!
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Guys (and girls), thanks for your support!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akraemer2 View Post
I can't wait to see the finished project!
Neither can I. It really feels like adventure with lots of surprises (undoubtedly nice ones and a few nasty ones )
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Quote:
Originally Posted by calvinyhob View Post
i hope you understand i mean this in the nicest way possible... i hate you. Im really just joking this is such a very cool project and am very jealous of both the room you have for such an amazing tank and for your amazing artistic skills shown already in previous post. I have subscribed to this thread adn will be following this till the end!
I love being hated this way
The room I have is a real blessing, OTOH this one will replace the two existing ones.

There is still a lot of work to do, so enough stuff to follow if you allow me some time
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wimvanvelzen View Post
I love being hated this way
The room I have is a real blessing, OTOH this one will replace the two existing ones.

There is still a lot of work to do, so enough stuff to follow if you allow me some time
I shall give you some time How does a week sound? Again i appreciate your threads, the detail, time and artistic skills spent on your projects shows. When you are finished i have a spare tank that needs to get finished its not as big as your room but its (if my formula is correct its been a while converting inchs to centimeters) 182cm long by 61cm wide and 76cm tall. i hope i did that right... anyone any better at math then me? 1inch = about 2.5cm? Now i feel dumb
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

What are you doing online? Get back to working on this already! I can't wait to see it finished. So do you have any ideas for inhabitants yet?
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexRible View Post
What are you doing online? Get back to working on this already! I can't wait to see it finished. So do you have any ideas for inhabitants yet?
on here fist pumping again!!!!! lol
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Thank you for the week, I am afraid I need just a little bit more

An inch is 2.54cm (at least in the UK). So your tank would be 72" x 24" x 30"?


As for the inhabitants, I just think about moving the frogs, gekkos and fishes from my exisiting tanks and see how they do. Probably some more fishes and some new generations of Mannophryne would be nice...
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I am very, very impressed with this build!!! You detail is amazing and don't worry about your technical english, you are doing great.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

That is one of the most impressive undertakings I have seen. I am completely impressed by what you have acomplished. Great job. I, like others, can't wait to see the finish results.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wimvanvelzen View Post
Thank you for the week, I am afraid I need just a little bit more

An inch is 2.54cm (at least in the UK). So your tank would be 72" x 24" x 30"?


As for the inhabitants, I just think about moving the frogs, gekkos and fishes from my exisiting tanks and see how they do. Probably some more fishes and some new generations of Mannophryne would be nice...
Ok Ok a week and a half will work for me

Perfect on with the size, but i have it started and after looking at your builds im ready to rip out everything ive done! Wish i could figure out what to put in there.

Again beautiful and cant wait for the updates!!!!
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Amazing start and thanks for the pictures. Where are you located?
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Thanks! I live in the Netherlands, Veenendaal to be precise (that is right in the middle of the country).
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

This is insane. I love it. Please do continue and not hold me (all of us) in suspence any longer!
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I plan to get the epoxy stuff this week, so I could do only a few minor things.

First I installed the tubes for the water that flows back to the reservoir. I havenīt glued them yet, as I first want to do the epoxy.


I placed the acryl glass window; of course the frame will be hidden in the background once made.


Cleaned the tank a bit:


A proud family in their new home...


Or better this way?


I also played around with the division of land and water. Just some pieces of foam to get a rough idea.




As seen from the entrance door of the room:


Please feel free to comment, ask for explanation or whatever!
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

THIS IS SPARTA! Hahaha, just kidding, that's how excited this build made me. It looks insane. I really can't wait until it's done. I hate finding cool threads like this before they are done. I have no patience.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Cant wait to see the finishing touches. Looks like its going to be a good one. keep us posted....
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Coming along nicely and thanks again for documenting all of this!
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

i like it alot
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

WOW looking awesome.... definately can't wait to see it finished!!! would love to have something that size someday!! love the look and the design
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

You never really realise the size of the cage or say to your self this is huge, until you can fit inside it.





Lovin' the work so far, maybe some more pictures of how the plumbing looks underneath? How deep is the water going to be? Will there be a drip wall of some type? What's going to light this beast?


Keep it up!
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

hi Nick,

I havenīt really more photos than I already showed. Basically the plumbing is like this:

there is a tap at left side with a RO attached. Then there is small tank with an RO water reservoir (about 20 gallons) and a rest water reservoir (about 8 gallons).
At the right hand side under the tank is a 64x20x20inch tank used as a biological filter; the 4 pumps will be placed in there delivering a 5000 gallons an hour (well, less because of the height of about 3 feet to the points where the water flows into the actual vivarium).

I have 4 points where the water flows into the viv, 2 right above the right hand side of the tank, one about 1.5 feet higher and one with a horizontal arm attached to create a broad dripping wall (well, a bit more than just dripping - make that small waterfalls).

At the left hand side I also have a pump as used for central heating systems to create a 3 ft high waterfall there.


The water refreshing system is simple. Each week I plan to run a little pump in the large reservoir for a couple of minuts, to get about 10 gallons of water to the sewer. Then I run another small pump in the RO water reservoir to add 7 gallons of RO water and then again another small pump to pump 3 gallons of rest water into the reservoir. That way I can get water hardness (is that the technical frase?) I like.

Then there is a lot of water evaporating from the tank. I just can pump RO water to get things back to the level I want.


The water level inside the vivarium will be mainly 30cm / 12inch, apart from the right hand side where I try to get water levels of 10cm and 40cm higher respectively (a bit like rapids in a small burn).

Between the pumps and the actual viv I made a connecting pipe and 4 taps (cocks?) enabling a precise regulation of the amount of water flowing at the different points into the viv.


Again, I hope I make myself clear - just ask in case I am not
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

About lights: I have in the present hill stream tank 4 80W T5 lights (everything is 220V here). Then I have got some small lights (12W) for a slow start of the morning and a slow end of the day (poor manīs dimming system ). Apart from that a couple of hours a 40W heating lamp and a UV emitting light for the lizards.

I my other viv there are 2 80W T5 lights and a couple of 36W PL lights.


I plan to use all of these as well as two 70W spotlights to add some atmosphere in the evenings (with the 80W lights out).
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

this is insane!!!
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

keep up the good work!
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Please don't forget to post! I love the natural light coming in, that is gangster.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I won't forget Just nothing new to show. I did buy a lot of epoxy and glasfiber this week as well as a dripping/rain system. I will work on it tomorrow and post some pics if there anything I could be proud of
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

This build is amazing
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

WOW! this is going to turn out amazing I'm excited to see its progress.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

I don't want to bug you but an update would be awesome! This project is amazing!
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

great project, how will you have access to clean the glass?
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

This is quite the undertaking! Makes me feel comfortable about doing a large display in a reno house. Please keep your progress updated on here.

If you didn't live in the Netherlands, I'd have no problem giving you this:

I'd imagine shipping would be quite high. Good luck!
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Awesome piece of wood, Harold! Thanks for the offer, but it would get costly indeed.

I hope to have something to show within a few days. I am working hard on the epoxy layers inside the wood and on the dripping/raining system. I'll be back!
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

Well, nothing sexy to show but I did some important things. Here are the pictures!

I put multiple layers of epoxy and glassfiber (for the waterpart, the landpart just one layer) in the tank. As you can see I am not a tidy working craftsman







I think that everything is watertight - Iīll test that this week for the lowest few inches. After the front windows are glued in, I can check the entire system.
I also added 25 points for a dripping system near the backwalls and 60 in the lid. The last ones are to mimick the after-rain effect in a forest where large drips just fall at irregular intervals. For real rain, there is much more needed of course!
The system is called Micro Drip, by German based Gardena. I expect to run in 15 - 30 minuts each day, according to need.
I will make the orange parts black, btw. Looks rather ugly now!

When standing in front of the tank, you cannot see the lid and dripping sytem. When seated, you can. Well, that is trade off I am prepared to take!





You can see 2 of 4 ventilators, meant to provide internal circulation (wind). Of course Iīll put some maze in front of it as well as in front of the round ventilation holes.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: new wooden hill stream tank (constr jrnl)

When you get done you can come build us all one.

The Drip system is just a garden drip system or is it designed for us in Vivariums?
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