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Old 03-22-2011, 03:48 AM
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Default 47g Column Paludarium Build

(Not to be confused with LunarGecko's, just happened to get the tanks around the same time!)

I picked up a 47g Perfecto Column tank, stand and light fixture today at an LFS for a pretty good deal. They had a special that knocked about $70 off the total of what was, admittedly, an already pretty decent price. I stared at it for a while and said "How can I NOT do that as a paludarium? It seems built for it..." and thus bought it. I now live in fear of what the girl will say when she comes back and sees ANOTHER tank even bigger than the rest, but, well.... I will just have to remind her that at least its not my previous 125g reef tank again!

Still figuring out my layout, etc but thought I would get a thread started and go fishing for more ideas. The tank itself is about 20"x18"x31". Pic of the raw tank below.

Planning on having a water "layer" about 8" or so deep and filling it with just some small tropical schooling fish like cardinal tetras and plants to add some flashes of color. My current aim is to have the land mass assume about 1/2 to 2/3 of the floor space but be elevated on PVC pipes (or the like) to leave a large free swimming area for the fish beneath it with a portion of the side and front as open water. Depending on how industrial I feel, I actually think I want to make some fake rocks to surround these PVC supports with in order to make them appear at least a little more natural.

I'm debating between having a separate in-tank canister filter to clean the water and a small pump to power the water feature or whether I should just go with a single unit to accomplish both tasks. My gut says separate would be the better route though.

I've attached a pic of my current 10g viv (both directly post-build and current; original build thread: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/mem...-1st-tank.html) which houses a pair of cobalts. It is admittedly very overgrown at the moment as the creeper vine has taken off in the last 2 months and gone wild and is flowering! I would have trimmed it for a prettier picture, but I wanna save those trimmings to use in the new tank
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Empty.jpg (66.8 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg Complete.jpg (104.2 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg 3-20-2011.jpg (97.0 KB, 137 views)

Last edited by Averhoeven; 03-22-2011 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:53 AM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

OMG, I wouldn't have known those two pictures were the same tank if you hadn't specified! Ahhhh, the possibilities of the column pal!
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Last edited by chesney; 03-22-2011 at 03:54 AM. Reason: Stupid smartphone can't spell.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:45 AM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

Yeah, the vine has sort of covered the pink brom from the original shot. It's actually still there and alive, just kinda "hidden" at the moment The flash and my trying to get a quick, lazy photo resulted in the other brom being lost in the photo, but it's there too. It has decided to grow upwards towards the light and no longer points forward though. Hadn't realized how much some of the plants have grown until I compared the shots though. That plant in the right corner has all new stems I didn't even realize had grown out. Good to know it thrives in this kind of environment though cause it's actually a really pretty plant.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:56 AM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

Should be interesting to see how the 2 different the tanks end up!
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:00 AM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

Anyone know a good way to either simulate or find a good tree buttress type shape? I'm currently thinking I will have 2 main landscape focal points forming the background. Back right corner will have a fairly sheer rock wall with a waterfall carving down it that opens into a shallow but deepening and widening stream that runs from the corner and towards the middle before it opens to the empty water space at the front of the tank. The opposite corner will be composed of a tree buttress that spreads forward and helps compose the barrier of the island. I'm trying to decide what to do with the remainder of the background. Part of me wants to sort of merge the "plant side" constructed of the typical great stuff + coco back and merge it towards the "rocky side" which will wrap into the corner waterfall. I'm hoping some of the plant life will kind of smooth out that transition zone a bit. Rough artwork is forming when I should be sleeping.

Nevermind; tree buttress http://www.bbrock.frognet.org/Making...nd%20vines.pdf love the effect the vine has. And since it is essentially the same process as the rocks, could even extend into the water. Oooooh, I'm excited.

Last edited by Averhoeven; 03-22-2011 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

Wow, just got back from Home Depot and the crafts store with my paint, foam, PVC, grout, etc. Budget build my ass... that stuff adds up quick!
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

Most of the day's free time was spent shopping for stuff (and getting a much needed haircut). Here is a quick set of pics to give a better idea of what I'm thinking (and I need to remember to drill holes in the support pipes). The big 3" PVC on the left will be the main trunk of the buttress. I will have additional pipes come off it and through the egg crate into the water to form the buttresses allowing me to do a bit of aquascaping as well using the same tree. (See: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/mem...ite-viv-2.html though I'm not using clay, I thought the support system for the roots was a great idea instead of the typical foam).
In the opposite corner I plan to make a rock wall with water trickle that leads to a small stream that flows towards the front drop off. Still trying to decide exactly how I want to do that. Whether I want to kind of tuck it into the corner or whether I want that rock structure with the water to bulge out of the corner instead (innie vs outie). That will dicatate the shape and size of the receiving pool too I guess. I think I prefer the idea of the bulge out as I can use it to hide a pump access and I think that concept would be easier to merge into the remainder of the back being GS + coco and not rocks (REALLY don't think I wanna do that much painting and like the coco +GS for planting better).

Honestly, I'm really intimidated by the idea of making the rock wall and tree buttress. I'm not artistically inclined and am afraid the painting portion is going to look terrible. I think I can handle the carving and grouting part. Will probably
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Front Pipes.jpg (85.1 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Side Pipes.jpg (96.0 KB, 11 views)

Last edited by Averhoeven; 03-23-2011 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:20 AM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

Also decided on what I was gonna do for filtration. Gonna use a submersible Fluval U2 (
) as the filter and use a separate pump to move water up to the water feature. Figure that's less to replace if one breaks and in all honesty, I felt I would be sacrificing one or the other to get both in 1 unit. Just gotta find the smallest pump that will move water up about 30" at a decent rate. I'm hoping a simple MiniJet might be able to pull it off. Math works out to the water portion being ~11g.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

I think something like this would be awesome tucked in the corner.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

3 of the most valuable resources I have found about creating fake rocks/waterfalls.
The oft-linked Lizard Landscapes lets you see it in motion: How to make a waterfall (rainforest edition)

This thread has a much better way to actually create a large rock waterfall base than simply hacking and slashing at a bunch of individual pieces of think styrofoam.
my method of building fake / faux rocks - Page 3 - Vivarium Forums

And last, but not least, probably the most valuable thread to me for simplifying the process to eliminate curing. Pay special attention to what Owenz says:
Research to Find HabaCrete Alternative - Page 7 - Vivarium Forums
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

Just wanted to point out you will need a new light for the tank. The light hood that comes with the set up SUCKS. As is I ended up getting a x2 5t light fixture and I still don't think it will be enough light to keep anything more than low and MAYBE med light plants going in the water area.

Also do you plan on actually getting that fountain or is it a reference? I never liked the square or flat water features. They dont look natural to me, but this could just be me. The painting is simple. Start with a dark brown or black cover all over then ink and dry brush in different colors. OR you can got with the really simple way and get a can of the 'stone look' spray paint. You hold it about 2 foot away, do short sprays and different stone looking colors come out.

So far so good.
I just did an update on mine. No one is posting though... makes me feel like people are doing the whole... 'if you cant say something nice', thing.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

I think it looks good, but what really matters is that you do honestly. You're the one that's gotta look at it every day! Plus, I think people only really like to see pics of fully complete setups before they comment. Then they will go and look at the specifics of what they liked in the final thing. To me this means edit your first post with a completed photo front and center when it's done and let people learn from there on how it came to be. Kinda how your grade teacher said the 1st sentence of your story has to grab your reader's attention.
I kinda figured that might be the case with the light. I was thinking I might take my dual compact fluorescent hood off my 10g and trade them and see how that works out. Not gonna try to use the top light for underwater plant growth though since most of it will look more like a cave. I'm deciding between having no plants under the land portion or whether I should shine a light through from the back (like one of those nano fuge type lights). It would look really unnatural, but would essentially allow me to have 2 tanks.
The fountain is just a reference idea. Building my own using the techniques from those threads. That is actually one for a pool or something and is huge and costs like $1200
I saw that stone spray paint the other day and was really tempted. Decided this is my big, bad expensive one and I'll take the time now to make it look better for the long run. Was afraid it would look like I threw gray confetti on the rocks

Last edited by Averhoeven; 03-24-2011 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

Rock wall/waterfall was constructed out of a big 4" thick foam board from a craft store. I used a hot knife to carve out my rock shape and added the "lines" along hard edges from the original cut to make it look a bit more natural. Pretty happy with how it came out.
There's space in the back for a MiniJet 606 to slide down and come up to act as a pump. Using a spread-type spout end to spray and spread the water over the whole corner of the waterfall so I get all 90 degrees or so with trickle.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rocks Split.jpg (97.2 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Rocks Foam.jpg (97.4 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg Rocks Top.jpg (96.6 KB, 14 views)
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

That should look really nice. I suggest you also make a few smaller pieces of rock to fill in on empty wall. It will make it look more balanced if thats not the only rock you put in. Maybe sort of ledges something for the frogs to sit on or places to mount some air plants or broms?
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunar Gecko View Post
That should look really nice. I suggest you also make a few smaller pieces of rock to fill in on empty wall. It will make it look more balanced if thats not the only rock you put in. Maybe sort of ledges something for the frogs to sit on or places to mount some air plants or broms?
Reading my mind
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

So I've made some progress on the tank, but haven't really taken any pics of it. Coming along slowly. However, something excited DID happen today.
I know it's probably jumping the gun, but I got a good deal and figured that keeping them in "quarantine" for a few days isn't going to harm them.

Without further ado, the stars of the show. They climbed to the top and were just sitting there so I figured it was a great photo opportunity.
Frogs 3.jpg
Apparently even frogs blink at the flash....
Frogs 5.jpg
Frogs 7.jpg
Bucket o' frogs
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:40 AM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

Restarted here with the final product so the thread would be more cohesive than an in-progress:
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/mem...ld-thread.html
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: 47g Column Paludarium Build

ahh nice, i am loving the red eyes.
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