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View Poll Results: which animal would work best in a 5 gallon paludarium?
firebellied newt 4 12.90%
fire bellied toad 7 22.58%
guppies 12 38.71%
nada! too small dum dum! 8 25.81%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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  • 2 Post By juliana maria

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-09-2012, 05:14 AM
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Default 5 Gallon Palu Build

Hi everyone!

This is my first attempt at a paludarium, and I gotta admit, I'm pretty excited! I had an empty five gallon tank sitting in my closest collecting dust so I figured it would be a good way to practice different building techniques for a larger tank in the future. I've been working on it for a few days now, so here's some pics of my progress

pic1 - I picked up some cork bark from my lfs to serve as the water feature and give the palu a more natural feel.

pic 2 - messing with carving the styrofoam and messing with a scape

pic 3 - filled in the the blocks of syrofoam with some GreatStuff, the carved it to look more rock like

pic 4 - coated it with two coats of sandy motar, let it dry, then did started the fun part....painting!!!

pic 5 - makin it look nice and mossy

pic 6 - side view

pic 7 - colored the inset black. I plan on growing a wee bit of moss in that area so I figured being fancy with the coloring wasn't essential

pic 9 (skipped 8 :P) - paint job done!

pic 10 - finished side

pic 11 - I have deducted that this is the worst way to seal a background. Next time I'm just gonna use quick crete and cure the darn thing, lol


That's it for pictures right now. Some of the paint chipped a bit when I was applying the silicon. Anyone have any tips for preventing this in the future? Luckily the chips are minimal and can be easily covered with coconut fiber.
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:36 AM
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What are you planning on doing with it? And inhabitants? It looks really nice! I was skeptical being such a small tank but it looks nice. I'll let you know now though tht the styrofoam, well any polystyrene for that matter, is known for being an endocrine restrictor (?) something endocrine. The moral of the story is its bad for frogs and not sure what else but I know it's frowned upon with darts for a future reference
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: 5 Gallon Palu Build

Set it up? Haha, I didn't adhere it to the tank itself because I wanted to be able to salvage the tank if I wasn't happy with the outcome of the build. I also wanted to have easy access to my filtration in order to change out/clean the carbon & sponges. I didn't take any pictures of the plumbing yet, but I intend to have the water level hit the top of the little stairs I made, and a small waterfall through the bark in the middle.

I was thinking about stocking either 2 fire-bellied toads or or two fire bellied newts....although I think 2 newts would be a little overkill for this tank. Crabs maybe? I'm still pretty undecided.

Thanks for the heads up about the foam being a endocrine inhibitor. Ultimately I'd like to build a vivarium for some darts in the future
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:30 AM
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Yeah inhibitor that's the word hahah. No problem, and that would be pretty cool good Luck with it Id like I see it finished
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: 5 Gallon Palu Build

That actually looks really neat, nice work! The painting is rad. What kind of paint did you use? In general I'd be careful what materials and chemicals you put into a vivarium, but it's been mentioned (about the foam, etc). Again though, it looks wicked!

I feel obligated to mention my opinion on inhabitants, and this is not meant to be rude at all...you should always select an inhabitant first (after doing lots of research), and then build the enclosure to meet its needs. It's rarely a good idea to build an enclosure and then try to fit something in. Those are my guidelines anyway, I'm sure some people will disagree, but I feel we are responsible for the animal's best interests, regardless of what we really want.

I wouldn't put firebelly newts in there...probably not large enough space IMO...also don't forget that firebelly newts require cool temperatures, usually no warmer than about 68'ish year round. I don't mean to be a party pooper or anything though
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: 5 Gallon Palu Build

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Originally Posted by Pacblu202 View Post
Yeah inhibitor that's the word hahah. No problem, and that would be pretty cool good Luck with it Id like I see it finished
I've actually heard "endocrine disruptor" used a lot too...
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: 5 Gallon Palu Build

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Originally Posted by flyingSquirrel View Post
That actually looks really neat, nice work! The painting is rad. What kind of paint did you use? In general I'd be careful what materials and chemicals you put into a vivarium, but it's been mentioned (about the foam, etc). Again though, it looks wicked!

I feel obligated to mention my opinion on inhabitants, and this is not meant to be rude at all...you should always select an inhabitant first (after doing lots of research), and then build the enclosure to meet its needs. It's rarely a good idea to build an enclosure and then try to fit something in. Those are my guidelines anyway, I'm sure some people will disagree, but I feel we are responsible for the animal's best interests, regardless of what we really want.

I wouldn't put firebelly newts in there...probably not large enough space IMO...also don't forget that firebelly newts require cool temperatures, usually no warmer than about 68'ish year round. I don't mean to be a party pooper or anything though
You're definitely not a party pooper! I was initially planning the tank for newts, but the more research I do the more hesitant I become on those guys. Especially now that I know about how harmful the foam can be. I think it would be neat to have either red devil crabs or vampire crabs instead of an amphibian for this set up.

As for paint goes, I used acrylic paint with a dry brush technique. I was pretty happy with the outcome
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: 5 Gallon Palu Build

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Originally Posted by Pacblu202 View Post
Yeah inhibitor that's the word hahah. No problem, and that would be pretty cool good Luck with it Id like I see it finished
hopefully it'll be done within the next week or two. thanks for the support!
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:10 AM
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It looks great, especially for a first build.
As for inhabitants, you could try fiddler crabs if you can find some, they stay smaller and are fun to watch, remember that red devil crabs might tear each other apart in there....l
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: 5 Gallon Palu Build

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Originally Posted by Ckent42 View Post
It looks great, especially for a first build.
As for inhabitants, you could try fiddler crabs if you can find some, they stay smaller and are fun to watch, remember that red devil crabs might tear each other apart in there....l
I work at a pet store that always sells fiddler crabs and red thai crabs. I was just hoping for something different
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: 5 Gallon Palu Build

completely sealed now. Talk about a pain in the booty! I know there's many different methods to sealing backgrounds, but there so many I got kinda lost. What works best for you guys? It would also be nice if anyone knew any options that aren't s shiny
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Last edited by juliana maria; 06-09-2012 at 02:08 PM.
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