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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-24-2010, 09:20 PM
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Default Trying something new

I purchased these birch bark tubes from a company out west that makes birch bark canoes. They are about 30 inches long and completely hollow with no slits down the side.
My idea was to fill the tubes with great stuff before using them in my vivs.
Anybody see why this wouldn't work out?

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Old 09-25-2010, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Here is an end after being filled and trimmed.




I think I will use this one as my center piece.

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Old 09-25-2010, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Trying something new

I've used birch bark "hollows" to encase or hide some pots in a tank and they've held up for over a year so far.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Trying something new

I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work. Definately give it a try. It'll be a good experiment to see how the birch bark does long term.

Mind posting where you found them and their cost?
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Here is where I got them from. Home of the Birchbark Canoe $6.50 a square foot. I suggest you call and mention this site and project as I had talked to them and explained what we would need prior to purchasing. Normally you would get extremely clean flat pieces as they use them for canoe building. For our purposes the more snarly and scarred the better. And as you will see the prices are really cheap especially compared to driftwood or the materials one one need to create something even close to this. Also birch bark last a long time under wet or humid conditions which is why they use it to build canoes.
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Very neat idea ! Im sure it will look awesome when put in a viv . . .
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

I am Just going to continue my build here. This is a 20 vert destined for a pair of Varadero.

Great stuff background in place.



Hand tweaked the great stuff using my "pinch and poke" method.



And finally a dry fit before I start painting the GS. I don't use the silicone with peat or whatever method. And in the past I found that after painting, once you get moss algae and plans going it looks just as good IMO.

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Old 09-25-2010, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Some thoughts:
Birch bark doesn't breathe much, it has resin in it that makes it water-proof. Could make problems getting your great-stuff filling to cure.
Also, old school reptile care books advise against resionous woods.

Sustainably harvested?

My Dad was dreaming of building a birch bark canoe, but it required a very large, live birch tree (which are getting harder and harder to find) to be cut down, and he could not bring himself to do so.

I'm guessing these are the top limbs of the big trees they cut down to make canoes.
Personally, I would not support that sort of business.
Just my $0.02
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Thanks for the input Brian
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

It is possible that they collect these from the forest floor that have already fallen, which would mean that it would be perfectly sustainable.
In fact, being that the bark is intact, I would think this is the case.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

That is exactly what they told me when I asked.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

What is the outside and inside diameter of those tubes? I take it they had different lengths available? Where you also able to choose what diameter you wanted?
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

You could try a design like this....


No reason you can't do that in a viv. Might go for a denser planting but the same basic principle can be used...just an idea
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

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Originally Posted by rollinkansas View Post
What is the outside and inside diameter of those tubes? I take it they had different lengths available? Where you also able to choose what diameter you wanted?
The people at that store seemed very helpful... if you call them up and let them know what your looking for I am sure they could help you.
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

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Originally Posted by Dendro Dave View Post
You could try a design like this....


No reason you can't do that in a viv. Might go for a denser planting but the same basic principle can be used...just an idea

That tank really looks awesome Dave. We can always count on you to bring up cool stuff.

By the way I have 2 more tubes here if anyone is interested locally. One is already filled with GS and the other is empty. I had ordered 3 since they were cheap enough, but not sure I will use them. PM me if interested. Trades are welcome.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Getting there.... a little more detail in the paint and then just let it cure before planting.

just wish my camera didn't suck so bad.

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Old 09-25-2010, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dendro Dave View Post
You could try a design like this....


No reason you can't do that in a viv. Might go for a denser planting but the same basic principle can be used...just an idea
Dave, is that your build, and are those cork tubes?
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Added a little more paint detail.

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Old 09-26-2010, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: Trying something new

That looks great...The detail in the paint really makes it look natural and the dark background the Birch really stands out.....Thumbs up!
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Azurel View Post
That looks great...The detail in the paint really makes it look natural and the dark background the Birch really stands out.....Thumbs up!

Thanks... I really wish my camera could capture all the detail. It really does look a whole lot better in person.
I ordered some broms and tillies from a couple of our sponsors on the board. Hopefully by next weekend this baby will be complete.
By the way that background is a water feature. I am waiting for it to completely cure before I run water over it and make any necessary tweaks.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Looks great!
What paint do you use over the background?
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: Trying something new

I use mostly spray paint. Chase or Krylon. Just make sure it says non toxic once dried. For fine work I spray a bit into the cap and use an artist brush.
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:41 AM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancing frogs View Post
It is possible that they collect these from the forest floor that have already fallen, which would mean that it would be perfectly sustainable.
In fact, being that the bark is intact, I would think this is the case.
The website says the tubes are collected from dead trees which makes sense if the bark slides off. That said, they are also boasting that they were getting a huge shipment of bark from Siberia, where the care for the living tree isn't much of a concern.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

I don't normally post but figured I'd add my .02 since birch from Siberia was mentioned. I dont want to offend anyone, just throw my opinion out there. One of my former forestry professors headed a governmentally sponsored expedition/timber cruise in Siberia to determine if it could be viably (profitably) harvested and I got to hear about it at great length...believe me, i had him for 3 classes over 5 years and he would not shut up about going to Russia, it must have been all the vodka they drink there all the time, breakfast lunch and dinner.

Most of Siberia is inaccessible to the infrastructure that traditional forestry practices need (roads for logging trucks, moving heavy equipment and logs through the forest etc) not to mention it is sparsely populated. There are alot of very big old growth trees that with modern practices (mostly heavy lifting helicopters and selective harvesting) can be very profitable as well as sustainably managed.

Because of so little activity going on in that part of the frozen North with so little people exporting the resources there, I am sure there is a wonderful source of birch bark strewn all about the forest floor from accumulated years of debris falling/ trees dying with delayed decomposition due to the cold climate. Too bad it is human nature to not be able to manage resources in a sustainable manner...
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:15 AM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Finally started planting. I am still waiting for my broms and tillies to arrive along with my mixed fauna kit.

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Old 10-01-2010, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brotherly Monkey View Post
Dave, is that your build, and are those cork tubes?
No thats not mine, its just a pic I pulled off some aqua-scaping website. It may be a takashi amano tank, not sure. I couldn't link directly to it...then I ended up pulling the pic off flickr, actually just for that reason, afraid people would think it was mine ...Don't want credit for work I didn't do.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:35 AM
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Looking good!
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

great work!
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Ready for some frogs! Yeah!

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Old 10-07-2010, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Trying something new

why does it seems like the paint in the backround is washing away? you said you used spray paint right?
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Ready for some frogs! Yeah!

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Old 10-07-2010, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Its not washing away...LOL. Its the lighting and different camera. I found an older camera that I think takes better pictures. But the newer camera has a LED flash and this has the older type flash. Also keep in mind that in this picture the water is running over the background, though its hard to tell in the picture.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

be careful with the broms planted in teh substrate, they can easily rot from being too wet
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:46 PM
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I thought about that Julio. Its purely Orchard bark mix under the spagnum.. so it drains very well. I am hoping this will be enough. I did not want to mount to the glass as later I will probably mount some film canisters there and the back wall is all water except for the far right where I also have a brom that is hidden mostly by the tree trunk.

If you see a better spot in there for them I am open to suggestion.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:42 PM
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Thought I would post some different angles to give a better idea of the space in relationship of the trunk and background. My photographs tend to flatten the depth of field an awful lot. Tomorrow I get my frogs. Hope they will be happy in there.







By the way, if anyone is interested in trying a tree trunk I still have 2 available for locals. I am not interested in shipping.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

And here is the reason for the whole build.

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Old 10-10-2010, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

It looks great to me. If the bark doesn't breathe sufficientely, and I'm sure you probably thought of this already, you could drill small holes on the back side and let it cure for a few days before putting it in the viv.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:44 PM
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Its long well cured now. But thanks fore the suggestion.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

very cool shot!
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Trying something new

Sweet viv and broms dude. The frogs aren't bad either
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:56 PM
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Thanks everyone
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