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-   -   6ft./150 gal first time Palu build... (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/81687-6ft-150-gal-first-time-palu-build.html)

kitcolebay 04-19-2012 03:32 PM

6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
This is my first post to Dendroboard. I have been doing a lot of reading on Vivarium Forums and started posting there. Here is a link to my beginner build thread there... 150 gallon/6 foot palu...1st time build. - Vivarium Forums
Just starting to continue my research by doing a lot of reading on here. Nice to meet you all and any help, warnings, and such is greatly appreciated!:)
Thanks, Chris.

kitcolebay 04-19-2012 04:40 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 

ibytencode 04-20-2012 02:00 AM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Great start. Just curious, what do you plan on putting in this?

kitcolebay 04-20-2012 03:53 AM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Not quite sure yet what live little critters I want to put in it. That's going to take a lot more research and I'd like to get my wife's and kids input. Dart's interest me, but they seem to definitely be more involved and complicated in care for a first time builder. I'm definitely up for suggestions on a good balance...Freshwater fish and land inhabitants.

kitcolebay 04-20-2012 12:20 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Another question to toss out there...would metal halides be too strong of lighting to use? I currently have a 2x250watt system that I was thinking of using and just lifting it off the top to keep some of the heat off the tank.

bmartin04983 04-20-2012 02:42 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
It's looking great! Nicely done, keep it up!

Just a quick question, what is the blue liner you have under the rocks?

kitcolebay 04-20-2012 05:44 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
It is a scrap piece of pool liner. I will be adding more rocks and lining the edges with Great Stuff for ponds to build it up and camo it a little more. None should be visible when done.
I'm about to go for a search on the forums, but I'll throw it on here too. I'm trying to calculate how much substrate I need. About to order my Hydroton and ABG mix and want to make sure I get the proper amount. Anyone got a good guess or have the formula to figure it?

kitcolebay 04-20-2012 05:48 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Estimating on the high side. I have no more than 4 1/2' x 18" of floor space to lay substrate. I imagine quite a bit a less, but would rather have a little too much substrate than not enough.
(This is in reference to the above question).

bmartin04983 04-20-2012 05:59 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kitcolebay (Post 723765)
It is a scrap piece of pool liner. I will be adding more rocks and lining the edges with Great Stuff for ponds to build it up and camo it a little more. None should be visible when done.
I'm about to go for a search on the forums, but I'll throw it on here too. I'm trying to calculate how much substrate I need. About to order my Hydroton and ABG mix and want to make sure I get the proper amount. Anyone got a good guess or have the formula to figure it?

Look at New England Herpetoculture LLC - Home

They are great people and have great product. You will see a calculator right on the front page. It's an excel document. If you dont have excel, I'm sure they will do it for you.

Brad

skanderson 04-20-2012 06:19 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
if you use 250 watt mh you will be able to keep a wide variety of plants at different heights. the disadvantage is that they throw alot of heat. you will definately need to raise them and maybe even need to run a fan on them to keep the heat near the tank down. that is somewhat dependant on what you want to keep in the viv. my suggestion is before planting or buying any animals to cover the viv. and turn the lights on for 12 hours and see what happens to the tank. if you dont have the lights but were considering buying them i would consider looking into either a decent t5 system with good reflectors or even better a led system. keep us in on the build, thanks steve

nonliteral 04-20-2012 06:38 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kitcolebay (Post 723765)
It is a scrap piece of pool liner. I will be adding more rocks and lining the edges with Great Stuff for ponds to build it up and camo it a little more. None should be visible when done.
I'm about to go for a search on the forums, but I'll throw it on here too. I'm trying to calculate how much substrate I need. About to order my Hydroton and ABG mix and want to make sure I get the proper amount. Anyone got a good guess or have the formula to figure it?

Measure or guestimate the length, width, and depth of substrate you'll need in inches (ie: 18" x 18" x 2" deep); multiply together, divide by 231, and you'll have the volume you need in gallons.

kitcolebay 04-20-2012 07:01 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Thanks Steve and Brad. Appreciate the help!
I tried the calculator on NEHERP, but unfortunately no excel. I'm about to give them a call. Is that the best place you'd recommend ordering hydroton and ABG? I was considering them or Josh's Fogs.
About the lights, thanks again. I was definitely planning on having temp and humidity going for a while before adding any live little friends, but that is a fine idea to check the temp fluctuation from the lights before even doing any planting. At the moment, I just have a standard 6 ft. bulb for the tank and was planning on buying a new t8 bulb to put in it. Hoping to put that metal halide system to good use!

Thanks Chuck! I had already went the long way converting cubic inches to quarts, but your equation is much easier and confirmed my answer. Items are now in shopping cart...lol.

nonliteral 04-20-2012 08:53 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kitcolebay (Post 723792)
Is that the best place you'd recommend ordering hydroton and ABG?

I'm not sure what part of the country you're in, but if you have a hydroponics supply place nearby, you may be able to buy hydroton locally and save on shipping. I've also seen it at some of the larger nursery / greenhouse supply shops.

kitcolebay 04-21-2012 07:00 AM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Last week or so I had checked local nurseries, home improvement garden areas, and pet stores. Unfortunately, the pet stores just had the basics and overpriced. I did order from Josh's frogs and thankfully they had free shipping. Not too bad at all! Ordered my hydroton, ABG, leaf litter, and thermo/humidity gauges. At the store today I picked up a nice piece of cork round I really like. Hopefully, I can make a trade real soon for filters so I can get moving forward on the construction again.

bmartin04983 04-21-2012 09:04 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kitcolebay (Post 723792)
...Is that the best place you'd recommend ordering hydroton and ABG? I was considering them or Josh's Fogs....

I have used both and have had good experiences with both. I personally stick with NE Herp when I can. They have gone the extra mile for me before, and I haven't found a better fly media than theirs - out preforming my previous favorite by a lot!

kitcolebay 04-23-2012 04:24 AM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
My son and I spent some time in the garage and made some good progress:). He's always a lot of help. We put some screen down on the landing around the waterfall. Got the background cut. Put shelves in the background and mounted some planter cups. Siliconed rocks on the inside of the "pond". Planned out some of the plumbing since I made my filter trade this morning...Got 3 Magnum 350 canisters for my sump filter. I'm going to use two of them. We also got the background covered in Great Stuff.
Here is a pic before we put planter cups and GS on background or finished putting some more rocks on pond wall-
http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/...4-22212542.jpg

Hopefully I may make knock out some smaller things over the next week. I may wait two weeks to do some of the bigger steps for when my son and I can spend another weekend toying around with it.
My Hydroton and ABG should be in around Tuesday.

kitcolebay 04-24-2012 03:11 AM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
I wanted to get some feedback on critter selection. For several reasons, I was thinking something somewhat simple...I hope. I know I've read that many people don't think it's a good idea to have several types in a tank, but some people like to and have no problems. After talking to my wife and kids, they like the simple green anoles and tree frogs. Is it generally fine to have these together? I've been told yes at our local store, but I like to get multiple opinions to best base my own. Also, is it ok to mix tree frogs? For example, green's and red eye's? For the water portion, I was thinking maybe a few cichlids. Any advice, suggestions, and recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
Just a reminder, it is 6 ft. by 25" by 18" and 150 gallons. Quantities of suggested critters for that size would be great too.

kitcolebay 04-25-2012 05:34 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Wish me luck! Tomorrow morning I'm picking up what I hope to be another Craigslist deal. 60" 8 bulb HO T5 fixture with 6 month old 6500k bulbs in it for only $75. I assume it's one of the cheaper fixtures, but I'd think it should meet or exceed my requirements...I hope!;)

No more construction yet. I hope to get some or all of the plumbing done this week. Yesterday my order of substrate materials from Josh's came in. I also picked up another cork round I like that will provide a "land bridge" over the "creek" and another couple good places to plant.

kitcolebay 04-27-2012 06:54 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Busy week(like most people have). Hope to get some work done this weekend(once again, like most people). I did get my lights picked up yesterday morning. Pretty happy with them. They are the cheap China made ones, but they are still 8 working T5 HO 6500k bulbs that light up pretty good;). Eventually I will buy new bulbs to brighten it up even more and put a couple different strengths to hit a wider spectrum of color.

My LED lunar lights showed up today:). I have these same lights for my salt water tanks. I don't think you can beat the price...72" bar(3x24") that has 54 LED's w/dimmer control for $55. They are also in clear tubes to make them water resistant(not waterproof). Thanks DigiKits.com.

Other than that, just a whole lot of reading and thinking about the next steps.

-Chris

Here is my new LED's out of the box...

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/...4-27131108.jpg

And one of my existing ones in my 55 gallon reef tank...

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/...2-19225903.jpg

In my reef tank, I have them at full brightness. I imagine I will have them dimmed down to one of the lower settings for the Viv.

kitcolebay 04-30-2012 02:14 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Well, far from complete, but got a little more done;). Got all the plumbing figured out and roughed in. Just have to run to the store this morning to grab a couple more fittings. I did test my misting nozzles to the pump and they worked pretty good. I'm also picking up my humidifier for my fog line this morning. Ordered the black contact paper to trim and place on the outside to block what doesn't need to be seen. Once I know that everything is set to stay, then I'll work on sealing in the pond, attaching the background, and sealing up the seams.

Hopefully I'll make some progress next weekend if my son and I get a chance. He just turned 16, so we will be gone part of the weekend to take him and a couple friends to a Rise Against concert. Also, have a party to go to on Saturday. Maybe...Sunday?:rolleyes:

Here's a couple pics of it roughed in...

Right side...

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/...4-30084529.jpg

Left side...

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/...4-30084413.jpg

Full view from left...

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/...4-30084551.jpg

The 2x4 in center is just there to prop up the overhang until I get it secured in place. Still a lot on my list to do!:o

As always, please feel free to comment, suggest, or criticize. I'd love to have the feedback on how I'm doing and what I could do be better.:)

Thanks, Chris

jpstod 04-30-2012 06:09 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Looking Fantastic..A lot of Effort going into it

Rusty_Shackleford 04-30-2012 06:17 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Wow, a nice big tank and a very ambitious project. Looks like it's coming along very nicely. One thing I wanted to mention, while I don't know this for fact first hand, I have heard that pool liners may be impregnated with some nasty chemicals (algecides etc.) You may want to check into that. Pool liners were made for pools not vivs. A safer alternative might be some EPDM pond liner that is safe for fish and animals. Just a thought. I'd hate for you to do all this work and find out there is a problem after it's inhabited.

kitcolebay 04-30-2012 07:16 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Thanks gentlemen!

I appreciate the heads up on the pool liner. I'll check into that. Hopefully I may be all right. This was a scrap piece that was never in the pool. You're absolutely right though...I don't really want to try to remove it, but it'd be so much easier to do now than waiting until everything is assembled, secured, and have hurt little critters in the tank!:o

These are definitely the things I need to know! Please keep them coming!....

...Why!?!...:o

...Because my wife has given me the green light! Plus, she would like to see it done and in its final place by May 12th(The day my step-daughter is moving her stuff into the garage temporarily)! Coincidentally that is FrogDay!:p

Can you all help me? I'd like to go up to FrogDay and actually shop for the new inhabitants. Can I have this ready in time to house some new friends? Which frogs would you suggest for me to start with? What all do I need to do before then? I have a lot to do in a short time(which I didn't want to do). I wanted to go slow and careful, but now opportunity knocks with a challenge! If darts are the suggested frogs, then I need to get busy learning and doing cultures, right?

Once again, I could use all the guidance I can get to complete this properly and make it to FrogDay!

Thanks in advance! :D

-Chris

Rusty_Shackleford 04-30-2012 07:35 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Chris, that's one of the many wonderful things about this forum. With so many individuals and so many minds someone is bound to thing of something that never crossed your mind. It may just be something really helpful.

Like I said I'm not 100% sure about the pool liner, but better safe than sorry.
So I'm assuming you're within driving distance of Chicago to come up for Frog Day 2012. Even if you don't get the viv finished, it would still be a wonderful experience to some and meet people and look at the frogs. Don't fret there are ALWAYS frogs available. If you do purchase some and the viv isn't finished you could always buy a rubbermaid type container to house them temporarily. Most people give their vivs at least a few weeks to a few months to let the plants become established, let microfauna colonize etc. before adding their frogs. Not saying it can't be done quicker, it's just this has sort of become a best practice.

Your viv is coming along nicely and it will be done it no time, though never as quickly as we would like. I've been working on a couple new one for a few weeks myself. I wish they would finish themselves lol.

I'm glad you have the support of your wife, that's important. If she was hesitant at first I bet she'll end up loving the frogs and will spend hours watching them and telling you all about what they're up to. I've seen that happen more than a few times.

shibbyplustax 04-30-2012 08:23 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
yea i was going to say, your going to want to quarantine the frogs for a few weeks anyway before you put them in the viv. you dont want to do all this hard work on the viv, put your frogs in and realize they are sick and have to rip everything out and sterilize. This way if you qt it will not only give you a few extra weeks to finish but also help prevent you from having to destroy your work.

jpstod 04-30-2012 08:53 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rusty_Shackleford (Post 726861)
Wow, a nice big tank and a very ambitious project. Looks like it's coming along very nicely. One thing I wanted to mention, while I don't know this for fact first hand, I have heard that pool liners may be impregnated with some nasty chemicals (algecides etc.) You may want to check into that. Pool liners were made for pools not vivs. A safer alternative might be some EPDM pond liner that is safe for fish and animals. Just a thought. I'd hate for you to do all this work and find out there is a problem after it's inhabited.

How come algae still grows on it then?

Many Pool liners are made of EPDM also

Rusty_Shackleford 04-30-2012 09:04 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
I could not tell you why algae grows on it. My whole point was be sure what you're putting in your viv. I know for a fact EPDM liners are safe. If pool liners are then why aren't they used in ponds? I'd rather have the OP make sure it's safe rather than to just assume it is and end up disappointed with dead frogs. It's worth checking out just to be sure.

jpstod 04-30-2012 09:49 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Thickness for one reason. pool liners are made to stretch (most being vinyl)
Pond liners are also designed to be tough and puncture resistant

Even a Search of EPDM turned this up..
"What about EPDM? There are several manufacturers of EPDM material, and each has introduced a slight variation. One states categorically that their product is indeed safe for fish, whereas another states equally emphatically that their product is guaranteed to kill fish and they warn their sales staff to be sure to inform potential customers of this fact. I do not know the situation with yet a third producer."

I have had Koi ponds and Watergardens and I have never killed any fish due to the liner.
Sadly if truely researched most fish kills are due to water issues due to chemicals in the Ponds..

One favorite brand of silicone used by most hobbyist contains a Mold/fungus preventer

Another reason Vinyl degrades faster when Exposed to UV Rays.

A Search on EPDM discussion
"EPDM and PVC pond liners are by far the most widely available. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. While that doesn't sound like something you'd want to expose your fish too, PVC is quite safe for all aquatics. EPDM stands for ethylene-propylene rubber. What's the difference between EPDM and PVC? Well, PVC pond liners are more flexible than EPDM ones, but EPDM liners can handle temperatures down to 40 below, whereas PVC liners shouldn't be exposed to much more than 20 below.

Both kinds of pond liner have very good seal capabilities (so if you need to glue two bid sheets together, either PVC or EPDM will do fine), but EPDM tends to have better UV resistance, and is less likely to tear. Even if you do use an EPDM liner, you'll still want to limit the sun exposure. Finally, PVC liners do have a reputation for having a shorter lifespan than EPDM liners, but there are no real-world tests that prove that.

Given its slightly extra strength and ability to withstand long-term exposure to sunlight, EPDM liners are ultimately a better choice. But if all you can find is a PVC liner, go ahead and use it with confidence. The best-selling brand of EPDM liners is Firestone, which offers a 20 year limited warranty for their 45 mil and 60 mil liners. The difference between 45 and 60 mil is thickness - 60 is thicker than 45. Both weights make an excellent liner. If you can afford 60 mil, pay the extra for the added durability. Once your pond is filled and stocked with koi, the idea of having to drain it and search for one tiny hole to fix a leak will make you grateful you bought the 60 mil liner.

Some pond centers also sell butyl liners, which are comparable to EPDM liners in strength, flexibility and UV resistance. Many long-term pond builders say butyl liners considerably outlast even EPDM liners. They do cost more, however, and are harder to find. If you're satisfied enough with a 20 year life for your liner, EPDM is probably the best compromise of quality and cost."

Rusty_Shackleford 04-30-2012 09:58 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
I've built three ponds using EPDM liner and never had a problem. I did purchase them from a pond retailer and they were made for fish/ponds. I felt comfortable using them.
As far as the silicone, I believe a large number of hobbyists have purchased the wrong type of silicone without realizing there are two different types. I believe it's GE Silicone I and II correct? I don't use that brand so I'm not to familiar with it. I always try and find 100% pure silicone and then make sure it doesn't have any mold/fungus inhibitors.
Great info jpstod, thanks.

Alegre323 05-01-2012 12:16 AM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
looks great. im jealous already. cant wait to see it planted

Alegre323 05-01-2012 12:18 AM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
oh and I think firebelly toads would do great in there. plus its cool as hell to watch them hunt in the water :D

goof901 05-01-2012 12:20 AM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
first off, it looks great!!! also, if you are planning on putting frogs in there, it would be a good idea to make the edges of the pond sloped so the frogs don't get stuck in there.

kitcolebay 05-01-2012 03:50 AM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Thank you so much for your posts and thoughts. Hopefully I can make a tiny bit of progress made each morning before getting called into work.

I'm still a little uncertain on how I'm going to seal the pond wall to the front glass. I have the 2 big pieces of flat slate that I was planning on trying to silicone into place and then silicone the divider/wall to the slate. Then after using the black Great Stuff for ponds, I thought that might make a better seal, but look kinda crappy. Another option was to say to hell with how the seal looks and just cover it up on the outside with black contact paper. Any suggestions on how to get a good seal and it still look decent would be great!

I'm about to do some reading before going to bed, but I'd also gladly take any advice about potential inhabitants for this beginner. The first thing we saw at the store before starting this project was a tank with firebelly toads and newts that we liked. I also like the idea of frogs with green anoles. Any particular frogs that would live well with anoles? Or avoid that completely? As for tree frogs, I like the RETF's. Then, finally, I like darts. What would be manageable for a rookie to take care of and add a lot of life and activity to the tank?:confused:

kitcolebay 05-01-2012 02:42 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
Also, any plant suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

I have browsed the local nurseries and read some threads/sites for recommended plants. I've found some that I'm interested in and made a compiled list of "good plants for terrariums".

Specific suggestions for the shape, size, and layout of my tank would be great! I'll continue doing my own homework, but it's always nice to have some experienced help to speed up the learning process.;)

If this was your tank, how would you stock it with frogs, plants, fish, and/or others?:)

Thanks again for all your help and support!

-Chris

kitcolebay 05-01-2012 09:28 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
I'm thinking RETF's or one of the more common, hardier darts. Which would be the wiser choice for my tank? Would small community freshwater fish be ok in the "pond" with either of these? Would green anoles be ok with either? What would be a good beginner dart?

Alegre323 05-01-2012 11:09 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
RETF's are boring as hell. they're only active during the night. go with some fire belly toads. active ALL DAY and part of the night. plus they're tanks and pretty much invinsible lol

Alegre323 05-01-2012 11:10 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
if it were my tank, id go with guppies and neon tetras, some cleaning fish, duckweed, an actuall small species of lillypad, some nice broms, jewel orchid, and a fog machine hooked up at the top of the waterfall.

goof901 05-01-2012 11:51 PM

Re: 6ft./150 gal first time Palu build...
 
if u want anoles, make sure u get CB ones not WC because they can bring in harmful parasites.

Ckent42 05-02-2012 12:11 AM

How much water is that? You could use any number of small schooling rasboras, with some freshwater gobies and killifish. It depends on what you enjoy though, a few large bright fish, or a large number of schooling fish. I'm not sure if cichlids would be a good choice, as I'm pretty sure that they need hard water, and that might be bad for the plants/frogs, especially with many of them coming from south america. Just something to keep in mind, but some rams might work, that's a fish I've always wanted haha.

Anyways, this is a spectacular tank, and I can't wait to see it finished. That pond, stream, and multiple levels are really an amazing idea. Good luck with it all!


Edit: you might want to stay away from duckweed, it takes over incredibly fast and is difficult to get rid of, especially in high light, low surface current situations. There are many other floating plants that you can use, that are bigger, grow slower, and filter the water just as well, such as water lettuce.

Ckent42 05-02-2012 12:14 AM

You could also try some dwarf day geckos, or mourning geckos if you want. You just have to make sure that it is really escape proof, especially if they're breeding, as I read someone's story about how their hatchling yellow headed dwarf geckos were escaping through some airline tubing in the tank.


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