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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-11-2011, 12:12 AM
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Default 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Hi,

After so much time without making any custom vivariums, I finally decided to make one.

I ordered the glass on monday and I will be receiving it on friday. I can't wait to start building it. I have many ideas on my lighting, ventilation, misting but I still have to work on it so I get the perfect setup.

I will be posting pictures of the build on the whole process, from siliconing the glass to a full planted vivarium. It will be a 4 foot long, 1.5 wide and 4 feet tall vivarium. It will house my cobalts, rodyll's and fantastica caynarachi. Many people don't mix species but I do and have had success breeding them.

I have seen beautiful builds on this forum that will inspire me for sure.

Rani
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Old 08-11-2011, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

I am excited to see this. I will eventually build my own massive "Utopia" tank from scratch and to see more ways on how to do it gets my brain thumping.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

nschmitz06,

Many people here have great designs. HX's technique for rock walls and naturalistic logs are really stunning.

Raf too has made a superb big setup with many lianas.

I received the glass today. I will be starting the construction tomorrow and I will upload pictures every step of the way.

You should start your project, we'll get inspiration from one another. I have built many custom backgrounds for my collection and everytime you make one, you step up your level!


Rani
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:05 AM
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Default Glass parts

Nothing great to see.

This is just the glass that I ordered.

I took it 6mm thick because 4mm glass was too wobbly at this size. Can<t wait to put it together tomorrow.

Rani
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Here are the pictures of a couple of stuff I picked up from Home Depot.

What do you think of the cement and acrylic i bough. Maybe HX could tell me if they are ok tu use since I am trying out his technique.

The rest, like GS and silicone are of normal use for covering backgrounds.

I will keep you posted

Rani

PS: the frog isn't for glueing, just for fun baby pic!!
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:58 AM
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Default Prepping and siliconing

Here is the "putting the glass together" part
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Wow that's gonna be a huge tank! :O
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

A nice project you've got there. Good luck and looking forward to your progress!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dendrorani View Post
Maybe HX could tell me if they are ok tu use since I am trying out his technique.
Can't say I can be of much assistance, here. I haven't used any of the stuff you're using.

But in general, I would feel safe to use pretty much all of it.
When shaping the insulation materials you have, don't burn them.
Quikrete cement is just portland with a catalyst and sand. Catalysts are usually safe after curing.
The acryl polymers or "resins", as they have named them, seem to be ok. They almost always are.
Colors might be the only concern, here. But the manufacturer seems to be confident to relate the colors to "fish pond projects", so I guess they have studied the contents.


Again, good luck with your project.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Im liking all of the recent large builds that have started. Gonna be sweet!
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Prepping and siliconing

I'm in for the ride!

*Subscribed*
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:12 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Thanks everybody,

I am so busy with work that I haven't started the nex step.

Next up is:
-the false bottom
-ventilation system
-custom background

For ventilation I have a lot of ideas but I don't know which to use.
GRIMM, I really like your vent system. How is it going ? Do you like it? pro's and con's.
Anybody could give me an idea since I can pretty much do anything I want in this custom setup.

For the vent bars, I will be going to a big plexi shop.

Now here is my idea. I will be putting a vent on top of the bottom front panel that you see in the pictures(It will be under the sliding doors). It will be 2 inches high and 48 inches long. I will carve out slots in the plexi and cover them with fine mesh. My sliding doors will then sit on the vent.

For the top of the vivarium, I will be using the same size vent but this time placed horizontally(obviously).

This will enable me to have a good flow of air on the front glass.

Any input on this? please share

I will keep you posted.

Rani
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:38 PM
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Default waterfall section styrofoam

Here are the rocks that will be used for the waterfall section.

A big root system will start from the top of the viv to the bottom. The roots will go everywhere on the waterfall just like HX s technique.

Here are the pics before cement.

Rani
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:46 PM
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Default ugliest simulation but you get the idea

here is the idea
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Can you use IMG pic code so the pics will display large?
Upload them to a pic share site and copy the link url and do this
[*IMG] link url here [/IM*G]
Just remove the *
Or just copy and paste the IMG code
It is such a pain to sit here and click each attachment lol
I'd appreciate it....I think many of us would :P
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Last edited by DragonSpirit1185; 08-22-2011 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Cant wait to see more!!
Looks great!!!!

Subscribed!
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:09 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Sorry didn't know you couldn't see the thumbnail pics since I can see them.

Maybe it's your ie version?

I will try to do it here.

Here are the pics of the fake rocks used for the waterfall with two layers of cement. There is also a picture of the styrofoam used for the butress tree.

Enjoy,

Rani


image upload


post image wordpress


png upload

Last edited by dendrorani; 08-23-2011 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:50 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

the rocks ROCK.

I'm about to start on some rocks and I'm going for natural JUST LIKE THOSE. Of course I'm talentless and overly ambitious, so mine won't look anything like those.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

The rocks look great! Much better than any of my attempts at carving foam.

Do you have a means by which to test the pH of the water that will be soaking your rocks?

I've very interested in seeing how long it will take for the pH to become stabilized since you are using a portland cement product as the layup material. I'm very close to perfecting a cement product that will cure to neutral in <7 days of soaking. Any data from other people using portland cement products in this hobby would be a great help to use for comparison purposes.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

hey guys, thanks for the compliments

For the ph to become neutral it will probably take 2-3 weeks soaking.
It is the first time though that i use portland cement so I am not 100% sure. Still, the ph monitor from my reef might just be usefull.

I am really liking the look of it but i just need one or two more layers with a black coloring to it.

I started carving the tree. Man oh man I hope it's going to look good because I feel I havent gotten enough depth to play with. I will post pictures tomorrow.

Rani
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Quote:
Originally Posted by BethInAK View Post
the rocks ROCK.

I'm about to start on some rocks and I'm going for natural JUST LIKE THOSE. Of course I'm talentless and overly ambitious, so mine won't look anything like those.
Don't be scared to make some nice deep grooves. Do it one step at a time. First glue as many odd shaped styrofoam blocks one on top of the other. Then use a pointy head tool such as a steak knife and don't be scared to eat out the styro!

Good luck

Rani
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:02 PM
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Default Here is the tree making

I find it turned out ok. I am not totally satisfied with the look but still it looks good. It took a lot of time for thinking how to carve out the styro.

Finally came out with this.


image host

Then I put some GS on it

post image wordpress
Then I carved the foam and did the first coating of cement with a brown colorant and a dap of black color to make a dark browm

wordpress image hosting

What do you think?
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Awesome work! Seems like things are coming together nicely. Any updates? And photos!
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:58 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Hey henessey,

I haven't posted for a while. I am still waiting for cement to harden under water.
I am still looking for ropes and tubes to use for the background. I will post pictures soon with my updates.

Not many people were replying so I didn't find it necessary to write every second I did something.

Hope you guys are anxious to see the result. It's about sharing in the end...

Rani
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:32 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Quote:
Originally Posted by dendrorani View Post
Sorry didn't know you couldn't see the thumbnail pics since I can see them.

Maybe it's your ie version?

I will try to do it here.

Here are the pics of the fake rocks used for the waterfall with two layers of cement. There is also a picture of the styrofoam used for the butress tree.

Enjoy,

Rani
Meh I don't use IE....can't stand it.
If I was using a comp I would use nothing but Chrome by Google
I use the stock browser on my Android phone :P
Using IMG codes just makes the pics big and bold so we can see details and not have to click the thumbnails to see the image larger.

Looking good so far.
How do you plan on reducing the pH of all the concrete?
The pH levels are gonna be high and you're gonna need to do a vinegar soak or spray to neutralize the pH.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

First let me say what i forgot to in the previous post....good work on the buttresses for the tree! I have found that is one of the hardest parts to make look natural when doing custom work. So after the tree and rocks are neutral and ready, What do you plan on doing for the rest of the background? And as far as the ventilation, in addition to the vent design you had, I would put in a few fans to get some air flow going through the tank. I get mine from local computer parts stores. But I've heard that radioshack usually has good clearance stuff. Also what size are you planning to make the vent holes and what type of mesh will you use? I would recommend using a non-metal bug mesh. I had a problem with fruit flies escaping into the living room when i used regular screening. Needless to say my better half wasnt to happy with me on that one. haha Sorry for the long post but I'm feeling frisky today. haha
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:40 PM
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Wink Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

I do TONS of reading since I'm trying to learn how to make a viv myself. I don't normally post on peoples build threads because I feel that it makes the threads harder to read through... I forgot that sometimes it's nice for the poster to get that positive feedback!

I've really been enjoying your post, and I'm jealous of your buttress/tree making skills. It looks awesome, especially the holes in it. I know those are probably going to be filled but it reminds me of the "fern gully" tree. Don't rush anything for our sakes but please post whenever you have updates!
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:36 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Thank you all for the compliments.

Neutralizing the PH is not a problem. I have been soaking and changing water daily. I will test it with a saltwater PH machine.
Yes indeed the holes of the tree will be filled with plants. I am not totally satisfied though with the buttress but we will see how it turns out.

I am gathering stuff to make the background with silicone and substrate technique. On the left side there will be the waterfall with roots coming down on it from the background. On the right side there will be the butress tree. For the rest of the background it will be fake roots and branch system.

My false bottom is cut and awaiting being wrapped by geotextile.

I wanted to do a little river/lake but I find it will take too much space for my ground specie ie Cobalts.

I will keep you posted guys.

Oh, I forgot about the ventilation system. The mesh will be a special one with holes smaller than regular screening. I will add computer fans on top and turn then on rarely during the day. The misting system will probably be a mistking system. And finally the lighting will be amazing. It will be composed with 5x HO T5's with two 15W LED directional system for the height isssue with plants....

Rani
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Any updates?
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Awesome work so far! Subscribing.

Wish I had that much space to work with.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

how's this project coming along?
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:31 AM
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Default

Bump. Update please!

Sent from my PC36100 using Xparent Purple Tapatalk
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:29 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Well, well, well. I am so happy to be back on the forum.
I have been busy over the top of my head AND we had a big drain problem at home....so construction work had to be done and as you may have guessed, everything got postponed.
Lost a few frogs here and there, frogs stopped reproducing etc. as I had little to no access to my frog room for 2 month.
Let me tell you, I had to do a whole lot of efforts to bring my collection back to a stable state.
So, yesterday, with a bit of motivation from my friend, I managed to work a bit on this project.

A lot of things have changed.... no more big tree on the right side.
I decided to go with something a bit different, a bit more jungleish!
So, made a few lianas, a few changes and voila, got my final background done.

I will now be working on the water return line, waterfall tubing, ventilation and lighting...

For now I took a quick picture of the setup. Pepsi can for size reference!

Hope you like it.

Oh almost forgot about something!!! My front rail and ventilation is in the making. It will be really well done and that is because, thankfully I have a great brother who will be machining the plexi railing!!!

I will be writing about the progress... Hopefully you will still be interested in sharing things about this project. Sorry for letting you guys down,
I long Dendroboard... Everybody on this forum made me better in the hobby!

Regards,

Rani


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Old 06-26-2012, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Background is looking pretty sweet. What materals did you use to make it, and how long did it take to do a project of that size?
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

The background was made using GS foam and peat moss. The lianas were made out of automatic garden watering system tubing. And all the little roots/tiny lianas are made from garden elastic wire used to tie plants...

If you skip the part were no work has been done on the tank, it took me to get to this step approx...

I will break it down in steps...
1 Day for putting the glass together
1 Day for siliconing the glass for better foam adherence
1 Day for glueing the fake rocks to background
1 Day for shooting the foam
3 Days for coating with peat moss (1 big + touchups)
+ drilling glass, testing water, bathing fake rocks for PH...

I would say it takes about 2-3 weeks to get to this step.
I still have many things to work on so this should add another 2 weeks.

And a project like this costs a lot...
For glass, silicone tubes, foam, peat, lianas, false bottom about 600$
Mistking system cost me 100$, lighting system from LYR about 300$ minimum (still chatting with Todd for optimal output).
Plants needed are no less than 300$ to set it up plenty not empty.
And this is without frogs....
But since all the frogs will be coming from my own breeding colonies.... 0$

In final I would say a project like this size will take 1-1.5 month and cost 1300$ + ?$ for frogs...

In hopes it gives a good idea on how much time and money it takes...

Still....truly worth it....

Rani
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

I like the Pepsi can, gives it more contrast lol... looks awesome man keep up the good work
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Are the small vines fake or real? If they are fake, great job, did you use peat and rope?
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

The small vines are made with a sort of wire used for holding plants. It is very easy to work with and has the perfect size for small realistic vines.
I will post a picture of what it is.

Rani
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Thanks Rani, I have made several attempts to make vines with rope of various sizes, silicone and eco earth, not happy with any of them.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Quote:
Originally Posted by dendrorani View Post
My front rail and ventilation is in the making. It will be really well done and that is because, thankfully I have a great brother who will be machining the plexi railing!!!
Care to elaborate on the design? As you may have seen, I'm working on my own custom railing: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...oor-track.html

I though about making it out of black plexi, but I wanted to be able to use silicone to adhere it to the glass and plexi doesn't bond well to silicone. As the post indicates, I was going to make it out of aluminum, but anodizing was going to be expensive and also I found out bleach will destroy anodized finishes. So now, I'm going with machine grade ABS. That's what most aquarium frames are made of, so I know it'll bond well with silicone.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

This is turning out great! I am keeping my eye on this build.
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